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Konica Pearl III Review

This diminutive, but stylish Japanese coupled rangefinder camera is a Konica Pearl III, and it's from the late 1950s, a time when medium format folding cameras were on their way out, (as were folding cameras in general), and small format 35mm cameras were all the rage.

Our late model Pearl III has a nice feature set including a four element 75mm F/3.5 'Tessar' type lens, a nine speed shutter with the dreaded light value scale embedded on the shutter speed ring, and an 'automatic film advance' mechanism which BTW, doesn't wind your film automatically, you wind it yourself just like a regular folder, but it's supposed to be safer, and more precise than watching for the shot number in the red window of your average folder.  Other nice features include a coupled rangefinder, cable release, accessory shoe, and the ability to use 30.5mm screw-in filters.  Oddly, this high spec camera has no...

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Rheinmetall Weltax 75mm F/3.5 Tessar Review

This week our review camera is the Rheinmetall Weltax self erecting, dual format folder, taking 6x6 images, or 6x4.5 with the addition of a reduction mask placed over the film gate.  It looks like this one was 'top of the line' as it has the four element Tessar 75mm F/3.5 lens, but ironically is equipped with an eight speed Tempor shutter, maxing out at 1/250, which was a bit slow for the times.

I purchased this Rheinmetall Weltax complete with the original box and all the paperwork, carrying case, and reduction mask.  The date of manufacture appears to be late 1955 if I read the identification card correctly.

The Rheinmetall Weltax and Welta Weltax are the same camera, but VEB Welta-Kamera-Werk, according to online gossip, was overwhelmed with orders, and shifted some production to VEB Rheinmetall for a period of time.

The Weltax looks and feels like a quality camera, and has a good lens, so how does it perform...

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Agfa Record III 105mm F/4.5 Solinar review

Our review camera for this week is the Agfa Record III; a classic 1950s 6x9 self erecting folder featuring an uncoupled rangefinder, and a four element lens.  This is my favorite camera, and I've taken more pictures with it than any other camera except maybe my old Canon A-1 I used back in the 1980s.

I really like the fact that it's very compact when folded; it'll fit in the back pocket of your jeans, or in a jacket pocket.  These old folders take no batteries, they're fully manual; you advance the film, focus, set the aperture and shutter speed; then cock and press the shutter!  Thankfully, the camera uses widely available 120 film, and any good photo shop should charge you about the same amount as your 135 film for processing, scanning and printing.

Believe it or not; this Agfa Record III with Solinar lens will come close to the resolution of the...

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