Pearl IV is a 120 film folding rangefinder camera, 4.5 x 6 format,
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.
Pearl IV is the last model of the Pearl series. It's easily
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
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
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: 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.
from the back. Viewer on top.
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
from above of the camera bed, camera open. From front: speed indication ring, shutter
cocking lever and flash connector, aperture indication and focussing
lever. Focussing moves the whole shutter assembly via a steep helical
Seen from the bottom, camera open. Tripod mount and knobs to retract the pegs.
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.
Camera back open.
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
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
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. Advance film. To
close the camera set focus to infinity, press the hinges of the struts as
usual, it will fold easily.
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.