Classic Fixed Lens Rangefinders:
Kuribayashi Petri 2.8

by Karen Nakamura



Overview and Personal Comments

The Petri 2.8 Color Corrected Super is a coupled-rangefinder, leaf-shuttered 35mm camera that was built from 1958~1961 by the Kuribayashi Camera Industry of Tokyo, Japan. It was a very popular camera, with over 10,000 produced each month for the three years it was in production. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

I purchased mine in excellent condition from an antique dealer in Iowa City, IA for $25 in October of 2003. I paid a bit more than I did for the Petri 35MX, but I was drawn by the plaque on the top of the camera that said "COMMEMORATION Productions [sic] EXCEEDED 1200000." According to the Collector's Guide to Kuribayashi-Petri Cameras, the Commemorative editions are very rare unlike the common regular edition.

The 2.8 CCS differentiates itself from the 1955 35MX by having projected brightline frames with parallax compensation (just like the Leica M3 that came out in 1955). The Carperu MXV leaf shutter was bumped up to 1/500. The lens is an A.C. Petri Orikkor 4.5cm f/2.8. This, along with the commemorative plaque, dates this camera to late 1959 to early 1960. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

The Japanese sites say that the nickname of this camera was the "Green-o-matic" from the green rangefinder/brightline windows which featured automatic parallax compensation.


Interesting quirks

In addition to the earlier 35MX, I also own a later model, the Petri 7s which adds selenium metering.

Technical Details

Camera Name
Petri 2.8 Color Corrected Super
Place of Manufacture


Date of Manufacture
Focusing System

Fully coupled rangefinder.


Orikkor 45mm f/2.8 (4 elements in 3 groups; Tessar-type)
2.8' - infinity
Left-focus (infinity on left hand side)


Carperu MXV leaf (in-lens) shutter

1 - 1/500 + B + self-timer

Metering System



f/2.8 - f/22 no click stops
10 shutter blades


"Cold" flash shoe

PC external flash connection

Flash type selector: M - X

Film type / speeds

Standard 135 (35mm) film

Battery type
Dimensions and weight

129mm x 78mm x 68mm ; 680g

Retail price
¥14,800 (1958)
$49.95 (1958)
Note: Using the text or images on this site in an ebay auction without permission is a violation of your ebay Terms of Service. I will report you to ebay if I discover such a violation taking place. This may result in your account being cancelled. I also reserve the right to file claim for civil penalties.


About Kuribayashi

The company name means "Acorn Grove" and they are actually one of the older Japanese camera manufacturers. They started up in 1907 making accessories and went bankrupt in 1977. They made a bunch of plate cameras, folding roll film cameras, rangefinders, and finally SLRs. Like the Miranda Camera Company, they couldn't make the step up to mass production and electronization and competition from Nikon and Canon.

The mid-fifties seems to have been a good time for Japanese camera manufacturers. The occupation had ended in 1952. One of the side-effects of Germany's defeat was that all of their camera patents and innovations were put in the public domain. Things like lens coating and specialized lens designs pioneered by Zeiss could now be used by everyone. Furthermore, the German camera industry was in disarray as the Zeiss factories in Jena were taken by the East Germans but the engineers and opticians had fled to West Germany. In the brief period from the 1950s to the mid 1970s, there were many small Japanese camera companies producing quality equipment.

Unfortunately in 1955, Leica came out with the M3 and changed the scene for rangefinder cameras. The M3 set such a high bar that most of the leading Japanese manufacturers (Canon and Nikon) abandoned their rangefinder lines and decided to compete with SLRs instead. Kuribayashi was actually the first Japanese companyu to come out with an SLR, but the smaller Japanese companies couldn't keep up with the rapid pace of innovation in the 1960s by the larger corporations like Asahi, Canon, and Minolta and died out. Kuribayashi filed for final bankruptcy in 1977.


On the Net


Copyright © 2002-11 by Karen Nakamura. All rights reserved. This page and its images may not be reduplicated in any form. Use in ebay auctions strictly prohibited, violaters will be reported. Please do not jeopardize your feedback ratings by engaging in copyright violations, it is a violation of Federal and International Copyright law as well as ebay terms of service.
Last modified: Friday, 07-Jan-2011 15:27:32 EST , [an error occurred while processing this directive] .