I found a pretty sweet deal a couple weeks ago – a great price on quite a few 35mm rolls of Velvia 100. My current go-to 35mm film camera is an old camera from the 50’s or 60’s that my Grandfather gave me. It’s been a little beat up over the years, even before I acquired it, it still works, and still looks pretty good, but I am afraid that as a daily driver I will break and it. So naturally, I started looking for another camera with the same lens mount. The camera mount is an m42 Screw mount. The mount was invented in the late 40’s and it was a “universal mount”, there were no proprietary elements, and many manufacturers used this mount. Pentax had quite a few cameras that used the mount, and at first I was looking for a Pentax Spotmatic. Looking around on eBay I found that the Spotmatics were going for $40-100 depending on how clean they were. There is some risk with large purchases on eBay, but the buyer protection from paypal is pretty good, and mitigates most of the risk to a buyer.
I came across a Fujica ST605 as I was researching cameras. There are quite a few of these on eBay, selling anywhere from 99 cents to $80. The ST605 is a simple all manual SLR, with all Mechanical shutter and timer. It has a simple match-stick type light meter built in. I bid on a couple, and ended up winning this one for $7.50! The seller listed it as good condition, with mechanical shutter working at all speeds and the meter unknown since they did not have a battery. I wasn’t too worried about the meter anyway, since I use a handheld spot meter when I shoot. The camera came in and indeed, the shutter sounds right to me, and when I put batteries in the camera the meter actually works!
It has a few small dents and dings, but everything works as it should. I have a roll of Velvia 100 in it now, and I am going to to shoot it and see how it works. The light seals on the film door look a little questionable, but we will see after this roll is developed. I am excited to get out and try it out. I will be posting some samples images in the coming weeks.