120folder.com          Pearl IV

The Pearl IV is a 120 film folding rangefinder camera, 4.5 x 6 format, first issued in December 1958 by Konishiroku Photo Industry Co. (later: Konica), Yodobashi, Tokyo. It was only built for about 6 months, making it a rare and sought-after model.

The Pearl IV is the last model of the Pearl series. It's easily recognizable by its completely re-designed body. It has a big rangefinder with projected framelines, but no parallax correction, just parallax indicators. It's slightly bigger and heavier than the III, but easier to view, especially if you wear glasses. Speed and aperture are linked (LV system).

Size (mm): 127 x 108 x 50
Weight: 709 g
Lens: Hexar 3.5/75, closest focus 1.1 m
Shutter: 
Seikosha MXL, B, 1 - 1/500, F 3.5 - 22
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.

jpgpearl/pearl_iv_IMG_3037.jpg
Camera front closed. Top:
film advance, rangefinder window, viewfinder window. Shutter release lever on top of the camera bed, camera opening button towards the right edge of the bed.

jpgpearl/pearl_iv_IMG_3038.jpg
Seen from the back. Viewer on top.


jpgpearl/pearl_iv_IMG_3039.jpg
Camera front open. LV scale ring around the lens. Top left: shutter cocking lever, further behind focussing lever. Top left: flash connector. Bottom left: shutter release lever, only necessary, if the shutter release on the bed fails. Bottom right: release lever for LV combination.

jpgpearl/pearl_iv_IMG_3042.jpg
Seen from above of the camera bed, camera open. From front: s
peed indication ring, shutter cocking lever and flash connector, aperture indication and focussing lever. Focussing moves the whole shutter assembly via a steep helical thread.

jpgpearl/pearl_iv_IMG_3040.jpg
Seen from the bottom, camera open. Tripod mount and knobs to retract the pegs.

jpgpearl/pearl_iv_IMG_3041.jpg
Seen from the top, camera open. From top: indicator for presence of film, shoe, film number indication, cable release socket, advance knob with film reminder scale. On the bed: speed indication, double index point for speed and aperture, sync lever, distance scale, DOF scale. Shutter release on the bottom of the bed.

jpgpearl/pearl_iv_IMG_3043.jpg
Camera back open.

jpgpearl/pearl_iv_IMG_3044.jpg
Film chamber.

Handling a Pearl IV is easy, it's like other folding rangefinders. Loading film is as usual. Open the camera back and put the film roll into its place, the pegs retract by turning the knobs at the bottom. Same procedure for the take-up spool. Insert the film paper backing into the spool and advance it using the advance knob, until the start arrow meets the white index marks. Close the camera back 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. Advance film. To close the camera set focus to infinity, press the hinges of the struts as usual, it will fold easily.

The Pearl IV is a very nice, small, but sturdy camera, easy to use. Next to the III, it's one of the tiniest 120 film cameras and one of the lightest with rangefinder and automatic film advance.
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. It took me a years to put my hands on a cheaper offer. As the camera is rare and techically advanced for its time, most of them disappear to collectors, who will never use them. That's a pity, it's so nice to use.

Konica Pearl IV 709127 x 108 x 50CAuto, DEPHexar 3.5/75 | ~ 1,1Seikosha MXL, B 1 - 1/500 | 22

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