Pearl III is a 120 film folding rangefinder camera, 4.5 x 6 format,
issued in late 1955 by Konishiroku Photo Industry Co. (later: Konica),
Yodobashi, Tokyo. It was built until 1958 and there are slight variants.
Pearl III is a late model of the Pearl series. It's easily recognizable
by its automatic film advance device, which sticks out of the main
body. It's one of the smallest and lightest rangefinder cameras for 120
Size (mm): 120 x 111 (98 except film advance) x 49 Weight: 620 g Lens: Hexar 3.5/75, closest focus 1.1 m Shutter: Konirapid, B, 1 - 1/500, F 3.5 - 22 variants: Seikosha MX and MXL Finder: coupled rangefinder Film advance: automatic
are some photos of the camera. As it's a 4.5 x 6, you have to turn the
camera by 90° for ordinary landscape format. In consequence it unfolds
sideways. There is a short introduction to the use of it and how it
feels at the bottom of the page.
front closed. Top: camera opening button, viewfinder window,
rangefinder window, under the window: shutter release lever on camera
bed. Bottom: Automatic film advance device.
from the back. Viewer on top. Bottom: Film counter window on automatic film advance device and film advance release lever.
Seen from the bottom. Tripod socket, film advance..
Seen from above. Film memorizing device, camera opening button.
Camera front open. Speed setting ring around the lens.
from above of the camera bed, camera open. From front: speed setting ring, shutter
cocking lever, aperture
control and focusing lever with a small fluted mould to put your
finger. Focusing moves the whole shutter assembly via a steep helical
Seen from the bottom, camera open.
Seen from the top, camera open. Double index point for speed and aperture. Shutter release near the hinge.
Camera back open.
Genuine leather case, closed.
Leather case open.
a Pearl III is easy, it's like
other folding rangefinders. Loading film is as usual. Check, whether
the film counter shows the triangle mark. It normally stays there when
have taken out the previous roll. (If not, move it there by turning the
advance knob and actioning the film advance release lever.) Open the
camera back and put the
film roll into its place, there is nothing to retract, just put it on
the upper spool
shaft and press the roll towards the top, it's held by a spring. Same
procedure for the take-up spool, space may be a little just and you may
have to turn the advance knob until the spool engages. Insert the film
into the spool and advance it using the knob, until the start
arrow meets the white index marks. Close the camera back. Then action
the film advance release once (it's just a tiny movement
counterclock-wise) and move the film via the advance knob until
stops at "1".
Cock the shutter, set speed and aperture. Set focus via the lever. Press the
shutter release on the camera bed. That's it. Action the film advance unlock lever and advance film. To
close the camera set focus to infinity, press the hinges of the struts as
usual, it will fold easily.
Pearl III is a very nice, small, but sturdy camera, easy to use. It's
one of the tiniest 120 film cameras and one of the lightest with
rangefinder and automatic film advance. It has become one of my
It fits easily into your coat or even your suit pocket, which makes it
easier to carry around than most of the other 120 film folders.