Skip to content

Surprise Supplies

One 4LR44 battery, a Fujica ST901 SLR, and a happy photographer.

st901

My Fujica ST901 with Super-Takumar 55mm f/1.8 borrowed from my Pentax SV

For my Edge of Town project (whose gallery I really must update), I have chosen to use Pentax screw mount cameras (Spotmatic F and SV) with external light meters. The type of images in this project are suited to slow, considered image making. The Spotmatic F’s meter works absolutely fine, but I removed the battery so I was not to be tempted to ‘cheat’ and use the camera meter.

However, one thing about the Pentax cameras I do find challenging is focusing without a split prism finder (strangely though, the SV is easier than the Spotmatic F). So when I spotted a Fujica ST901, which is an M42 camera that does have a split prism finder, on the auction site, I decided to buy it. I was swayed by the reasonable price, the fact that they don’t seem to come up for sale very often, and that it is a landmark camera; more on that in a minute.

I wasn’t bothered that it wasn’t battery tested, for I was buying it for the finder. I knew I could use it without batteries in manual mode with Takumar lenses, albeit with a limited selection of shutter speeds; although I haven’t found the array of 60th, 125th, 250th, 500th, and 1000th shutter speeds limiting at all.

Anyway, an hour ago I was rummaging in my battery stash (held in a rather nice tin Leica; thanks William Henry Prince), looking for a battery for another camera, when I happened upon a 4LR44 battery, the very one needed for the Fujica. I found a one pence piece, unscrewed the battery chamber lid and popped in the battery. Switching the mode dial to Auto I looked through the finder and crossed a couple of fingers. Half pressing the shutter release, I saw what I was hoping for. The world’s first camera with an LED readout in the viewfinder was still working in automatic exposure mode. I could see red numbers in a very small LED top middle of the viewfinder It’s a pretty primitive readout, but it is working; what remains to be seen is how well it is working! I will have to source a Fujinon EBC lens to get the best out of this camera in auto mode.

2 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What’s this site about?

I make conventional and experimental images and write about photography projects, vintage cameras, the environment and time.

Find Out More

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 59 other followers

%d bloggers like this: