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A camera old enough Florida Pete recognizes it

March 15, 2015

My Japanese camera gets to indulges in a little ancestor worship while Pete looks on.

Over the weekend, my homeless binner friend Florida Pete found a beautiful, piece of vintage photo tech in the garbage: a handheld Fujica Single-8 P1 movie camera, zipped up in it’s original black leatherette/vinyl case.


Fuji manufactured the Single-8 P1 between 1965 and 1977. It was the first platform for Fuji’s Single-8 film format cartridges, which competed unsuccessfully with Kodak’s Super-8 film format.

A beautiful exercise in mechanical design

The open film chamber where the B-shaped Single-8 cartridges snapped in.

The open film chamber where the B-shaped Single-8 cartridges snapped in.

Fuji Film itself finally discontinued manufacturing Single-8 film in 2012 but new Single-8 film is still available through a few third-party companies, including a Dutch company called Super8 Reversal Lab, a Japanese company called Retro Enterprises and Mishkin Productions Australia.

This compares to only one company that I know of — the German-based Impossible Project — making vintage analog Polaroid film.


The slim, 560 gram camera ran on four double A batteries and one 14-PX button cell (for the light meter).

In addition to the movie camera, the zippered vinyl case actually still contained one “Mallory Duracell” 2.7 V. 14-PX mercury button cell — a vintage bit of toxicity.


The original light meter battery which uses mercury oxide.

Not only did it remind me that Mallory was the company that changed its name to Duracell but that until 1991, a lot of batteries, for devices like hearing aids, watches and cameras were made with highly toxic mercury oxide.

Non-mercury equivalents of the 14-PX are available but as with the Single-8 film it involves searching the Internet.

The Small Battery Company of London, England, sells an Exell akaline 14-PX for Can$12.52 each and the Battery Mart of Richmond, Virginia, sells the exact same Exell A14-PX for Can$6.34 but only in batches of nine.

More than one camera forum thread suggests that you can successfully substitute a stack of  two modern 675 zinc 1.4 V. hearing aid batteries, so long as you make a cardboard holder to make up for their smaller diameter.


I told Pete to handle the little 14-PX battery with care and store it separately from the camera but also that he should carefully wrap up the camera and keep it safe and dry because it really is a beautiful piece of hardware in very good condition and well, surely someone in the world would treasure having it.

Hopefully we can find a better home for it than either Pete’s shopping cart or the landfill. Click the images to enlarge them.

  1. Sandra permalink

    An amazing find!! A collector is out there with her/his name on it! I hope Pete gets a good price.

  2. Sandra permalink

    Perhaps you could post it for sale on Kijjii for Pete or maybe a local Photography business may know of someone with an interest.

    • Been looking at Kijiji; generally assumed that I would need certain bona fides such as an address and phone number but so far I see no such requirements. Before I look into it further I would need to physically take possession of the camera from Pete — to insure I could deliver what I would be offering.

      • Slowcrow permalink

        You don’t do that Fongo thing?

      • Wasn’t aware of Fongo it until your comment. I’m reading up on it now. Last time I played with VoIP was about eight years ago on my tricked-out Palm TX.

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