Petri isnt a brand you see discussed much. One of the lesser known brands out of Japan that did pretty well for itself in the 60's but was dead by the end of the 70's. They made a lens or two in M42 mount to begin with, then quickly changed over to their own proprietary bayonet mount. They made a small but capable line of lenses, some of which having very nice designs with rare earth glass used in their production. Somewhere along the line, like most makers of the time, they replaced the big milled metal focusing rings with smaller plastic ones, but the lense kept the quality feel they possessed previously.
From what I can tell from the small selection I recently found at a thrift store (a metal ringed 28/3.5 and a plastic ringed 55/1.8) the later 55mm seems to have a nicer multi coating. The coating of the 28mm seems more primitive, but still effective. To a degree. The lenses dont strike me as the highest contrast lenses available but when used in normal circumstances they work fine. However if light hits them they can wash out quickly, the 28 far faster then the 55.
What I have noticed is a very pleasing rendering in the out of focus area. The bokeh if you will. Its quite unlike any other lens I have used. If find it to be very pleasing. The shots I will post here arent the best examples of what I mean (maybe the alley shot is) but I have noticed very nice bokeh in many of my mistake photos where I wasnt trying to go for a bokeh effect.
Anyway, here a few shots from them. Petri is an interesting little foot note in the history of camera makers. Adapters for them arent common at all, but can be purchased. There was only one available on the auction site when I ordered mine, with a quantity available of about 10. As opposed to the pages of other adapters one can find when one searches for them.
A side note. Petri later went back to a normal M42 mount in an effort to cut costs as things got bad toward the end. Either all or most of these were outsourced to Cosina. They are not up to the quality of the original breech mount. At least that is what my research has led me to believe.
Also, my copy of the 55/1.8 has some separation inside the glass. I was reluctant to shoot with it for this reason but after testing I can see no ill effects. The lens is sharp, even wide open. Its impressive enough for me that I am considering the purchase of a pristine one to see if a little more performance can be gained. Not that I need it at this point.
Oh, and the 28mm is brand new. Looks like it was purchased and never, ever used. Its like I time traveled back to the mid 60's, bought this lens, then came home. Clean is an understatement. And one last thing. The little "Made in Japan" engraving on the bottom of this lens is done by hand. I would swear to it. No machine would engrave those subtle differences in spacing and lettering the way this is done. I cant prove it, but I would put money on it.
Hope you enjoy.
Petri EE Auto 55/1.8 (macro shots with two Minolta close up lenses)
thru the leaves
quick morning shot (not indicitive of the sharpness of this lens, it was a fast shot taken right after my little girl got out of the bad. I was trying to capture the moment, not critical sharpness)
Petri C.C. Auto 28/3.5
view from the alley (heavily processed, but nice bokeh)
dream of film
And lastly, I have a leg up on a Petri 55/1.4 (which may or may not be one of those famous Tomioka 55's) that I might be able to get from a friend later this month. Fingers crossed.