Pax M3

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The Pax M3 is one of the 'Pax' series of compact 35 mm rangefinder cameras made by Yamato Kōki Kōgyō in the 1950s. As with its predecessors, the style of the camera is somewhat similar to the Leica rangefinders of the same period[1]. The rangefinder/viewfinder superstructure of the earlier models is replaced with a profiled top plate. This is engraved 'Pax M3' together with the serial number. 'Pax' is impressed in the leatherette of the back. There is a small red 'Pax' badge on the front, near the shutter release[2].


  • Type: 35 mm fixed-lens coupled rangefinder camera.
  • Format: 24x36mm on 135 cartridge film.
  • Manufacturer: Yamato Kōki Kōgyō
  • Years of production: c1957[3]
  • Lens:Luminor Anastigmat 1:2.8 F=45 mm; a coated Tessar-type lens.
  • Shutter:
    • Rim-set leaf shutter. 1/10 - 1/300 sec plus B. Cocked by film advance. No delayed action. Shutter-cocked indicator (red spot in window on top of lens)
    • Synchronised for flash with a PC socket and switch for F- or X-synch.
  • Viewfinder: Reverse-galilean viewfinder.
  • Focusing:
    • Coupled rangefinder under the top plate, giving double-image focusing in the viewfinder. Rangefinder baseline approx. 40 mm.
    • Knurled thumb-knob on lens and knurled focus ring (rather slim for western fingers). Scale in feet, from 3 ft to infinity.
  • Film advance: Lever-wind.Film-type reminder dial in the hub of the lever.
  • Film rewind: Rewind knob (can be pulled up for ease of use). Button to release the film for rewind is behind the shutter release.
  • Other features:
    • Accepts slip-on hood (approx 32 mm) and has a 30 mm filter thread.
    • 'Cold' accessory shoe on the top plate.
    • Cable release socket in shutter release button.
    • Rangefinder adjustment screws under screw-in cover by the viewfinder eyepiece.
    • Back does not hinge, but comes off altogether for loading (latch on the base).
  • Dimensions (width x depth x height): 110 x 65 x 64 mm
  • Weight: 475 g


  1. Compare to the Leica M3 at Karen Nakamura's Photoethnography site
  2. This (the whole badge) serves as one of the screws holding the top plate on. Interestingly, while this badge seems designed to mimic the Leica red spot, that does not appear on Leica cameras of the same time.
  3. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p.1022.


In English:

In Japanese: