Pearl River

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by nancy_bueler, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. I saw one of these for sale in a store in Toronto; they wanted $89
    Cdn for it, but I'd never heard of the make. So, I looked on the
    net, and this is what I found. Has anyone else out there used one of
  2. Nancy:

    I think that you just stumbled in the HOLGA next generation, crappy lens, horrible film advance and the like.

    This will become a cult camera soon since the resutls of its operation are ALEATORY !!!

  3. I think the Seagull is pretty similar. A friend brought one back for me on her last trip to the Chinese mainland. I think it was about $50 or $60, US. The viewing screen is dim as all get out and more than half the time the film advance screws up. It's mostly a shelf queen. I'll take my Mamiya TLR's thank you.
  4. Correct. The Pearl River is a near-perfect clone of the lower end Seagull 4B.

    $89 for a used one is probably a little overpriced, unless the condition is excellent and you can verify that all shutter speeds are correct. And I can confirm the ease of confusing the film advance with the focus knob -- did it a couple times when I had my Seagull.

    Honestly, for that money, you'd be better to keep your eye open for a Rolleicord, or else buy three Holgas. The Rolleicord is a much better camera, but if you have three Holgas you can make crappy images on three different films (for different light) -- say, ISO 125 B&W, ISO 400 color, and Delta 3200.
  5. As a matter of fact, Donald, I do own three Holgas, so I may just do what you
    suggested. I guess I'll leave the Pearl River in the store, and see about
    picking up a Rolleiflex 2.8 for $495 I saw in another store or the Speed
    Graphic for $400; not that I can afford it or anything, but when has that ever
    stopped me!
  6. Nancy, before you mortgage your firstborn for that Speed, consider a middle ground. You can get a camera about as good as the Pearl River or Seagull 4B for about $15 in the form of an Argoflex E, EM, or EF (the last has M flash synch and a hot shoe), or any of a number of other focusing, adjustable TLRs -- even a Lubitel isn't significantly behind a Pearl River (it's pretty close to Argoflex, except it's plastic instead of metal), and they go for similar prices to the Argoflex even though they're up to 30 years newer. Similarly Ricohflex or Rolleicord, not the top of the line like a Rolleiflex, but rather a nice, solid, knob-wound red-window TLR with a good, but not spectacular lens, and lots of quality behind the leatherette.

    Even a Yashica (anything from a D up through 124 -- but watch out for the 24, which takes only 220 film) is a good alternate, and an older Yashica will sell for about the same money as that Pearl River, but likely deliver better pictures and last longer.

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