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B Pearlette

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The B Pearlette or Pearlette B is a Japanese folding camera taking 4×6.5cm exposures on 127 film, released by Konishiroku (predecessor of Konica) at the end of 1935.

Description Edit

Despite its name, the B Pearlette has nothing in common with the strut-folding Pearlette. It is a cheaper camera, self-erecting with a folding bed. The body has a sharp octagonal profile. There is a folding frame finder attached to the side, with a cross at the front and four prongs indicating the field of view for 3×4cm exposures. The film is advanced by a key at the top right, as seen by the photographer holding the camera vertically. There is a single strap lug at the top left. The back is hinged to the bottom and contains two red windows. There is a nameplate attached to the top of the lens standard, marked B. Pearlette or Pearlette. B, depending on the examples.[1]

The shutter is an everset Primer giving B, 25, 50, 100 speeds, selected by an index at the top. The shutter plate is black, marked Primer at the top and ROKUOH-SHA at the bottom. The lens is a simple meniscus and the aperture scale is at the bottom, marked U.S. with 16, 32, 64 settings (these are Uniform Scale apertures, corresponding to f/16, f/22 and f/32). (A camera with a brighter US 8 lens has been reported, but this is unconfirmed.)[2]

Commercial life Edit

The camera was briefly advertised from October to December 1935, and was featured in the new products column of the November issue of Asahi Camera.[3] The advertisement in Photo-Times December 1935 lists the camera as the B Pearlette, for ¥9.50 (about half the price of the regular Pearlette).[4] It is said that an accessory brilliant finder was available for ¥0.65.[5]

Notes Edit

  1. B. Pearlette: examples pictured in McKeown, p.544, in Sugiyama, item 1148, in Asami, p.52 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, in Kameari, p.13 of Camera Collectors' News no.11, and in this page at Asacame. Pearlette. B: examples pictured in Sugiyama, item 1147, in Asami, p.51 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10, in this page at Neco's camera collection, and observed in an online auction.
  2. Brief mention in Asami, p.52 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  3. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.338. Kameari, p.4 of Camera Collectors' News no.11, says that the official company history Shashin to tomo ni hyaku-nen and the book Nihon kamera no rekishi give the release date as October 1936 by mistake.
  4. Advertisement reproduced in Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.82. See also the October 1935 advertisement reproduced in Asami, p.52 of Kurashikku Kamera Senka no.10.
  5. Kameari, p.7 of Camera Collectors' News no.11.

Bibliography Edit

Links Edit

In Japanese:


Konishiroku prewar and wartime cameras (edit)
plate hand cameras stereo hand cameras strut folders box telephoto SLR
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rollfilm folders box or collapsible TLR
Pearlette | Special Pearlette | B Pearlette | Pearl (for plates and rollfilm) | Pearl No.2 | Pearl (Year 8) | Baby Pearl | Semi Pearl | Sakura Palace Record | Sakura (box) | Sakura (bakelite) Sakura-flex

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