Pajtás front

The Pajtás

As frequent readers of this blog already know, I started my camera collection swith several cameras which I bought while I was living in Hungary. So as this collection (an family) is heavily influenced by Hungary, it was time to finally time to buy, shoot and write about an Hungarian camera. Meet the Pajtás, named after the word used for “buddy” between the Hungarian pioneers at that time. I bought it during a short visit to Budapest by the time of my wedding, the occasion when I also got my Zenit TTL. As this camera is quite uncommon outside her homeland, there comparable few articles in the internet. I got nearly all my information about it from this lovely post on Camerajunky, the beautiful illustrations of the camera’s details alone are worth a visit.

About the camera:
The Pajtás was built between 1955 and 1966, around 100.00 were produced. The Pajtás is a simple bakelite box camera for 120mm medium format film. It has an 80mm f8 achromatic lens, one fixed speed and three aperture settings. Sadly the the aperture selector on my one is a bit loose and the lens should be cleaned form the inside. Also, the screws holding the front element a rusty, which makes the repair tasks a bit tricky. But given the age, who would take this bad from an old buddy? If you are looking for an rarer alternative to the Agfa Isola or Holga with more wight & choice of aperture, here it is.

Taking pictures:
Open the back, insert your film and close the back. Advance till the “1” mark appears in the little red window on the back. Set the little red lever to white. Check with the litte dial on the lower right of the lens barrel if the cameras is set to “M” for shooting at 1/30 or to “T” if you want to use it in “bulb” mode. If your hands are to shaky for the low speed, add some Pálinka to the photographer. Choose your aperture between with the little dial on the left side. 8, 11 or 16. No focus needed or possible. Shoot. For double exposure, shoot again, for a new picture, advance the film with the knob on top. Now shoot. That’s it. Especially on f11, the pictures are surprisingly sharp, with an open aperture it produces pictures with a “ghostly” aura.

Pajtás front Pajtás top Pajtás back Pajtás bottom Dunaújváros Szént István Basilica 000007 000006 000003 000005 000004 Szent István Bazilika

Brand Pajtás
Camera Pajtás
Year built Between 1955 and 1962, s it has the FFV label might be an early one
Serial number
Lens Achromatic 1:8 f = 80 mm
Shutter Yes
Film format 120mm
Special features Box Camera with three f-stops
Accessories Ever ready case
Manufactured by Fővárosi Finommechanikai Vállalat FFV, later labelled Gamma
Date of purchase 2014
Price 2.500 HUF
Place of purchase Soós Fotó Budapest

Keep the camera in the lower part of the base, as you might accidentally open the back.

Film purchase & processing:
The camera can use any 120 mm film, I usually shoot (like with all my box type cameras) 400 ISO.

Useful Links:  (Must read) (Reference) (Review and pictures) (Flickr group)

The Pajtás Flickr pool
My pictures on Flickr

Deutsche Version


6 thoughts on “The Pajtás

  1. Help…the shutter release button just popped off and I am beside myself as to how I am going to fix it. It’s a treasure I can’t toss. Tried hot glue but it kept catching on the outer sleeve that turns into a lock/unlock position and keeps it from sliding easily in that chamber. Any suggestions?

    1. For me it look like one piece of bakelit, so it would try to remove the hot glue, and use a single drop of super glue, and after it dried remove the edges with sandpaper

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.