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Everyday Rangfinder Thread Part II - Medium Format
Old 01-22-2017   #1
Colorado CJ
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Everyday Rangfinder Thread Part II - Medium Format

A couple weeks ago I posted about finding my everyday 35mm rangefinder, I tiny little Zeiss Ikon Contessa 35.
Having settled on a 35mm rangefinder, I went to look for a nice, compact, pocketable medium format rangefinder. I already have a Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 6x9, but that is a little too large to carry around every day. It is a nice size for a coat pocket, but too large for anything else.

I started searching the internet and almost decided on the smaller Zeiss Super Ikonta A, but found another little jem.

Introducing the Konika Pearl II. I found one on ebay advertised using the Japanese name for this camera and grabbed it up for $49.00. These normally run for around $200.00.

When I received it, I noticed that the lens was badly fogged. After taking the lens apart, I found that the coatings on the inside of the rear element went bad. Not a problem though, I got out some chrome and aluminum polish and a clean cotton rag and went to work polishing off the bad coatings. After about an hour, I had a nice, very clear and scratch free lens, albeit one without coatings on one surface. I'll live with that for $49.00!

Anyway enough blather. I have a roll of Acros 100 in it right now, and after I get done shooting it around the house, I'll develop it and post them here.

I took some photos of the Pearl II along with the Zeiss Ikon Contessa for size comparison.

Its as wide and as deep as the tiny Contessa. Here you can also see the great focus scale.

Konica Pearl II 1 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

But, just slightly taller

Konica Pearl II 2 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

Opening it up, you see a unit-focusing Hexar 75mm F3.5 lens and a shutter that goes from 1 second to 1/500s.

Konica Pearl II 3 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

The back of the camera showing the window for advancing the film.

Konica Pearl II 4 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

And finally, next to my Gossen Luna Pro F for size comparison.

Konica Pearl II 5 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

After seeing some photos that others have taken with this camera, I am sure I'm going to really like it. It's no 6x9, but man, it is tiny.
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Old 01-22-2017   #2
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You got lucky! Enjoy! They actually might be too small, lol. I've been looking for awhile: no way am I paying e bay BIN prices for one of these.

I typed in "Konika Pearl" and just the search just brought up Konica Pearl... oh well.
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Old 01-22-2017   #3
Colorado CJ
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I searched for Konishiroku and this one came up for a "Buy it Now" price of $49.00.
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Old 01-22-2017   #4
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Good hint! There is one for $75 but its a I
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Old 01-23-2017   #5
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Hopefully you'll find one soon using the Japanese name.

It just came to me to use it, and I was lucky to find one that was just posted.
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Old 01-23-2017   #6
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With a similar goal in mind, a dropped a Seagull 203 in my coat pocket and it stayed there for a long time. That was over 20 years ago and I haven't used that Seagull in a long time, but my recollections of it are that it was small, very cheap and had a great lens.

The quality of construction.... well, that was another story.
I just treated it gently and i never had a problem with it. I should probably dig it out again and use it for a while.

Your Pearl is definitely a higher quality camera, but the Seagull worked great as a daily carry.

Last edited by Pentode : 01-23-2017 at 06:37. Reason: Typo
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Old 02-15-2017   #7
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I love the design of these fold up MF cameras. Simplistic design with a leaf shutter cant be beat. The Zeiss Nettar comes to mind.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
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I finally put a roll of film through this camera. It looks like taking off the degraded coatings on the inside of the lenses didn't hurt it at all. These are just a few shots I took to test the camera, so nothing great. I shot a roll of Acros 100 and developed it in Pyrocat MC for 12.5 minutes.

The camera itself is very easy to use and the rangefinder is right on the money. I have a nice Zeiss Super Ikonta 531 A MX coming in the mail tomorrow, so I'll see which one I like the most.


Konika Pearl II Test 1 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

Konika Pearl II Test 2 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

Konika Pearl II Test 3 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr

Konika Pearl II Test 4 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
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Been lusting after a Pearl for a while now and your photos have just amplified said lust... Cheers for the Ebay tip!

What's the left-handed shutter release like? I imagine it's pretty comfy holding it landscape mode by the left hand edge, resting on the palm of your left hand, left thumb on the release?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbitrarium View Post
Been lusting after a Pearl for a while now and your photos have just amplified said lust... Cheers for the Ebay tip!

What's the left-handed shutter release like? I imagine it's pretty comfy holding it landscape mode by the left hand edge, resting on the palm of your left hand, left thumb on the release?
The shutter release is very easy to use, both in portrait and landscape modes. I really like the rangefinder/viewfinder compared to the separate and smaller ones the Super Ikontas have.

The Pearls also have unit focusing so they do good at closeup, wide open shooting.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado CJ View Post
And finally, next to my Gossen Luna Pro F for size comparison.

Konica Pearl II 5 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr


When I saw this comparison, I must admit I let out a dastardly swear. That thing is so dinky!
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