Fujica ST801

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The Fujica ST801 is a manual SLR 35mm film camera made by Fuji between 1972 and 1978. It was the first 35mm SLR to use viewfinder LEDs, replacing the traditional centre-the-needle meter display with a centre-the-indicator-light system. This electronic light metering system was developed to eliminate mechanical failure, and needle deviation caused by shocks.

Feature summary

  • M42 mount. Fuji created a modification to the standard 42mm screw mount, adding a very small tab on the back of the aperture ring to communicate with the body's light meter to permit open-aperture metering. Unfortunately, M42 Fujinon lenses are sometimes found to have had their aperture coupling tab filed off. While unmodified lenses do fit many M42-mount camera bodies, some lens flanges (or lens adapters) are wide enough in diameter so that the aperture tab interferes with mounting the lens.
  • TTL average light meter, with LEDs
  • Open-aperture metering using silicon photocells, more sensitive and faster-responding than CdS cells
  • Shutter speeds up to 1/2000 s

Pros and Cons


  • Very bright viewfinder (probably brightest finder on an M42 body, save the Bessaflex)
  • Light meter uses 7 LEDs which are visible in adverse light conditions, and indicate approximately 3 stops of over- and under-exposure. Fractional stops are indicated by adjacent pairs of LEDs being illuminated.
  • Open-aperture metering when used with matching Fujinon M42 lenses
  • Very compact for its time.