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The Pearl III is a 120 film folding rangefinder camera, 4.5 x 6 format, first issued in late 1955 by Konishiroku Photo Industry Co. (later: Konica), Yodobashi, Tokyo. It was built until 1958 and there are slight variants.

The 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 film.

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

Here 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.

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Camera front closed. Top: camera opening button, viewfinder window, rangefinder window, under the window: shutter release lever on camera bed. Bottom: Automatic film advance device.

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Seen from the back. Viewer on top.
Bottom: Film counter window on automatic film advance device and film advance release lever.

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Seen from the bottom. Tripod socket, film advance..

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Seen from above. Film memorizing device, camera opening button.

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Camera front open. Speed setting ring around the lens.

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Seen from above of the camera bed, camera open. From front: s
peed 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 thread.

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Seen from the bottom, camera open.

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Seen from the top, camera open. Double index point for speed and aperture. Shutter release near the hinge.

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Camera back open.

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Genuine leather case, closed.

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Leather case open.

Handling 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 you 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 paper backing 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 it stops at "1".

Open the camera. 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.

The 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 favorites.
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.

Konica Pearl III 640120 x 111 (98) x 49CAuto, DEPHexar 3.5/75 | ~ 1,1Konirapid, B 1 - 1/500 | 22

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