I like Major League Baseball and I like cameras. I
like other things too, but I'm going to write about the
correlations between baseball and cameras. If you're not
interested in this correlation, skip ahead.
Baseball is a sport that's rich in player history. From
the greatest to the stinkiest, there have been lots of
Players that made it to the majors had to be good and
needed to provide something that was lacking in the team
that chose them.
Maybe somebody needed a third-string second baseman in
case the starting second baseman and his fill-in got
hurt or arrested or something.
That third-string second baseman was probably a helluva
player in high school and college but when he made it to
the majors he couldn't hit the curve ball and was
relegated to being a "slot player."
Most cameras don't suck. Most cameras aren't awesome.
Most cameras get the job done with varying degrees of
quality. And, like baseball players, they all have at
least something interesting or quirky about them.
So cameras are just like baseball players.
I apologize to those people reading this that live in a
non-baseball country. I'm sure it sounds ridiculous. I
assure it's not. In fact it's brilliant.
The Perma Matic 618, equipped with The Tosicor f5.6 40mm
lens was made in Japan for Perfect Photo Inc. I suspect
Taron made the camera but I don't know for sure.
It's most likely the biggest pocket
camera ever made. What the hell were they
thinking ? How many three hundred pound second
basemen can you name ?
It's shown above with a Canon FX for purposes of
The drop-in film cartridge fills up much less
than the total volume of the camera. 126
cartridges were filled with 35mm film without
the sprocket holes. The Permatic was equipped
with a light sensing exposure system that told
the lens iris how to behave.
My example still works perfectly.
126 film, as stated earlier, is 135 without the
sprocket holes. The film has a paper backing
unlike regular 135 film.
It's possible to take a 126 cartridge apart and
reload it with 135 film and I'm tempted to
do so. I can see myself becoming obsessed with
126 cameras. There's so little time and so many
baseball cameras. I'm not going 126.
I don't recall how I became a Perma owner but I
do know how I got the Verichrome cartridge. A
lady asked me if I could rescue family photos
from a 126 cartridge and I agreed.
When the cartridge arrived it was on exposure
number four. Those exposures were unintelligible
so I shot the rest of the film in the Perma
Matic and processed them in HC110.
- - -
"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the
So, in a few at-bats, the Perma Matic managed to
do something. Had the camera had a
few good breaks, who knows how history would
have recalled old 618.