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 baseball players.

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 comparison.







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.

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"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handle."

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.