Some of you have perhaps idly noted that I seem to comment a lot of the time on Spiratone, Fred Spira, and the various exotically named gadgets. I didn't actually mean to get into it this deeply, but I remembered fondly going over the stuff in the 1960s and 1970s Spiratone ads with the same attention to detail that I spent on the Johnson Smith ads (yes, the X-ray glasses) on the backs of comics books in the 50s. So when I saw some of those things surface on eBay, well, I seem to have got carried away. So when a Spiratone camera, the Spiraflex TTL, of which I had never heard, showed up on eBay with a Spiratone 400mm f/6.3 Pluracoat lens on it, I had to bid. I got the lot for $26 plus postage. The camera looked nice and clean and sounded good, The 400mm seems to work, but has some looseness in the tubes. I've got better examples of it anyhow. Spiratone had sold cameras before. In the 50s they had offered some older Exakta models and some other cameras, most of which were probably "remaindered" as newer models had been introduced. The Spiraflex, however, had actually been made by the Petri and branded with the Spira name. The Spiraflex TTL is a rebranded Petri FTX of 1974, but apparently offered only in black. It was sold by Spiratone without much fanfare, and the only news release I can locate in my own old magazine holdings is a Popular Mechanics short announcement of April, 1974,where it was stated that it sold for $130 and was only sold without lens. None of the magazine ads that I have for 1974 or 1975 have this among the Spiratone multiple-page listings. Petri had gone out of business around 1977, so nothing later, The Spiraflex has (stop-down) through the lens metering. It formerly took a PX625 mercury battery. A modern alkaline 625A (1.5v) battery works, but I confess that it was easier to just use an external light meter, so I didn't try to fine tune the exposure since I was using negative film anyhow. I ran my very last roll of Tri-X that had expired in March of 1990 through it and it worked just fine again. I decided not to shoot with the 400mm f/6.3 Pluracoat, both because of uncertainty that the looseness might affect shooting and because using it would have reasonably called for setting up a tripod, etc. So I dug down into my vast box of old Spiratone items and pulled out a fairly decent Spiratone 28mm f/2.8 YS automatic lens. I actually found the 28mm to be a little hard to fine focus on the viewfinder screen, but with the depth of field it hardly mattered. The mount is a M42x1 mount to which Petri had switched with this model. The same camera was also sold as the first variant of the Argus STL-1000 before they later made Cosina their supplier for the same name, but different camera. Some of the Petri-made Argus cameras of this sort may have initially been sold as just the Argus STL. Although the negatives looked good to the eye, I discovered that there was a little shutter drag on the right (of the negatives, that is) at the higher speeds (1/500 and 1/1000). It also didn't help that I overdeveloped the negatives slightly (D-76 8.5 min), It also turned out as I poured in the fixer, that I had some contaminate, probably silver, that had precipitated out of solution, leaving some specks on the film. All the same, here are the results, with the camera first.