Regula III series

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The King Regula III series were a range of 35mm viewfinder and rangefinder cameras made by King between 1956-1959.

The Regula III series models all have a similar look and have a characteristic front plate. This is a flat rectangular Eloxal (ELectrolytic OXidation of ALuminum) plate, with distinctive chrome-black-chrome stripes each side. The King logo is at the top of the left-hand stripe, and a PC flash sync connector on the bottom right stripe. The other common things across the range are the film advance/film counter lever, a "cold" accessory shoe, rewind knob, 1/4" tripod socket, textured leatherette and having the model name engraved on the front of the camera.

The film counter on all models is on the film advance lever but has a reliability issue, it relies on a tiny rod in the film advance lever, and a fixed rod on the camera body pushing against each other every time the lever is advanced; the problem is the rods are so small that they wear down with repeated use until the film counter stops working.

Contents

Models summary

  • Regula IIIa is a basic viewfinder camera with a Prontor-SVS shutter, but no focus aids, light meter, frame lines in the viewfinder or strap lugs on the body.
  • Regula IIIb is the same as the IIIa but has a viewfinder with frame lines and a Gossen made uncoupled light meter.
  • Regula IIIbk/Automatic is the same as the IIIb but a later upgrade with a Prontor-SLK shutter and coupled manual metering using a Metrawatt light meter.
  • Regula IIIc is an interchangeable lens rangefinder camera that uses a bayonet mount, it has no light meter but a longer rangefinder base, also has no frame lines but has strap lugs.
  • Regula IIId is like the IIIc, it has the same Gossen light meter as the IIIb, but a shorter rangefinder base, still no frame lines.
  • Regula IIId Automatic is an upgrade of the standard IIId, it now has coupled manual light metering (made by Bewi), a Prontor-SLK shutter and frame lines in the viewfinder.
  • Regula Cita III is a fixed lens rangefinder, the design is based on the IIId body, basically making it a fixed lens IIId, strap lugs have been removed. There are three versions with different lenses made by Steinheil, Enna and Zeiss.
  • Regula RM is a fixed lens rangefinder, it's a later upgrade to the Cita III and replaced it. It has a push button Bewi light meter and frame lines in the viewfinder. It was also available with the same three lens options as the Cita III.
  • Regula R is a fixed lens rangefinder, the design is based on the IIIc body, basically making it a fixed lens IIIc. This is also the rarest III series model.


Regula IIIa

The Regula IIIa is the most basic of the III series, a simple viewfinder with no frame lines and no light meter. Focusing is basic, you can use an accessory rangefinder in the shoe mount, or guess and use zone focusing with the depth of field markers by the focus ring.

  • Lens: Steinheil Munchen Cassar 45mm f/2.8
  • Shutter: Prontor-SVS - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Filters: 30mm push on
  • Strap lugs: No, best to use the camera's ever ready style case.

The Regula IIIa was also redesigned and re-badged in 1958 as the Mastra V35 for Photopia in the UK.


Regula IIIb

The Regula IIIb is similar to the IIIa but has Gossen uncoupled light meter, and frame lines in the viewfinder. The light meter has a flap covering it, in bright daylight situations you keep the flap closed and take a reading, when using inside or darker condition open the flap. The meter dial can be a little confusing to read, when the flap is up use the orange numbers on the meter (the metal flap has a little orange notch on it when open to remind you presumably), when it is down use the white numbers on the dial. On the aperture ring there are red numbers from 2-17 (these are EV values), take your number reading from the light meter and line up the red arrow with the red number using the meter reading, this will give you the exposure required for the shot.

  • Lens 1: Steinheil Munchen Cassar 45mm f/2.8
  • Lens 2: Rodenstock Trinar 45mm f/2.8
  • Shutter: Prontor-SVS - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Light meter: Gossen selenium type, EV 2-18
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Filters: 30mm push on
  • Strap lugs: No, best to use the camera's ever ready style case.


images by Morinaka. (Image rights)


Regula IIIbk & IIIb Automatic

The Regula IIIb Automatic and the Regula IIIbk are an update to the Regula IIIb and are identical apart from the name. The difference between the IIIb and the IIIb Automatic/IIIbk is that they have a Prontor-SLK shutter which is coupled to a Metrawatt light meter. The coupling is hidden behind the name plate bump on front of the camera. Automatic in this case refers only to coupled manual metering not a fully automatic exposure system.

  • Lens: Rodenstock Trinar 45mm f/2.8
  • Shutter: Prontor-SLK - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Light meter: Metrawatt selenium type, coupled
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Filters: 30mm push on
  • Strap lugs: No, best to use the camera's ever ready style case.


Regula IIIc

The Regula IIIc is a interchangeable lens rangefinder camera. It uses a bayonet mount that is unique to King rangefinder models. A range of lenses for it were made by Enna, Steinheil and Isco between 28mm and 135mm; a list of the lenses available is on the King Regula Rangefinder Lenses page. All lenses use a 45mm filter thread for filters.

The camera has no light meter, no frame lines in the viewfinder and long-base coupled rangefinder. A finder with frame lines for lenses 28-135mm was made and sold by King as an accessory for the interchangeable lens rangefinder models, the default view in the camera's viewfinder is for 50mm lenses. The rangefinder focusing on this model is probably the most accurate of the King models as without a light meter in the camera it gave them room to fit a longer base rangefinder instead, this also gives the camera a cleaner look than other models.

  • Lens: Bayonet mount, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 90mm and 135mm lenses available
  • Shutter: Prontor-SVS - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Apertures: Supports lenses from f/2 to f/22 in 1 stop increments
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode switch on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Strap lugs: Yes, on the front of the body, use split rings and attach a neck strap to those.


images by Morinaka. (Image rights)


Regula IIId

The Regula IIId is a interchangeable lens rangefinder camera; it is similar to the Regula IIIc but has the addition of a Gossen uncoupled light meter. It uses a bayonet mount that is unique to King rangefinder models. A range of lenses for it were made by Enna, Steinheil and Isco between 28mm and 135mm; a list of the lenses available is on the King Regula Rangefinder Lenses page. All lenses use a 45mm filter thread for filters. A finder with frame lines for lenses 28-135mm was made and sold by King as an accessory for the interchangeable lens rangefinder models, the default view in the camera's viewfinder is for 50mm lenses, but has no frame lines to guide you or for parallax correction.

The camera has a light meter made by Gossen and it reads using the EV system. The light meter has a flap covering it, in bright daylight situations you keep the flap closed and take a reading, when using inside or darker condition open the flap. The meter dial can be a little confusing to read, when the flap is up use the orange numbers on the meter (the metal flap has a little orange notch on it when open to remind you presumably), when it is down use the white numbers on the dial. On the aperture ring there are red numbers from 2-18 (these are EV values), take your number reading from the light meter and line up the red arrow with the red number using the meter reading, this will give you the exposure required for the shot. When the value is set it limits you to a particular set of shutter speeds/apertures that correspond to that EV value, this lets you adjust for depth of field without affecting the exposure of the shot.

  • Lens: Bayonet mount, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 90mm and 135mm lenses available
  • Shutter: Prontor-SVS - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Apertures: Supports lenses from f/2 to f/22 in 1 stop increments
  • Light meter: Gossen selenium type, EV 2-18
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode switch on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Strap lugs: Yes, on the front of the body, use split rings and attach a neck strap to those.


images by Morinaka. (Image rights)


Regula IIId Automatic

The Regula IIId Automatic is a interchangeable lens rangefinder camera. It uses a bayonet mount that is unique to King rangefinder models. A range of lenses for it were made by Enna, Steinheil and Isco between 28mm and 135mm; a list of the lenses available is on the King Regula Rangefinder Lenses page. All lenses use a 45mm filter thread for filters.


This camera is an upgrade to the Regula IIId and introduced later. It has a Prontor-SLK shutter which is coupled to the Bewi made light meter, though automatic only means coupled manual metering not fully automatic exposure. The cameras viewfinder has also been upgraded with frame lines for most lenses. The default view is for 35mm lenses but has frame lines for 35mm, 50mm, 90mm and 135mm lenses in the viewfinder; this makes the viewfinder rather cluttered but saves needing to buy an accessory finder. There are parallax correction marks but only for 50mm lenses.

The light meter is coupled to the ISO and aperture rings. It has two needles, a white needle and a red needle. The white needle moves with the light and the red needle moves when you change the ISO dial or change aperture. The red needle is the guide and you are meant to line up both needles for the correct exposure. So point the camera at your subject then try to line up the red needle by changing the aperture until it matches up with the white needle. Once that is done the exposure is set and it limits you to a particular set of shutter speeds/apertures, this lets you adjust for depth of field without affecting the exposure of the shot.

  • Lens: Bayonet mount, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 90mm and 135mm lenses available
  • Shutter: Prontor-SLK - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Apertures: Supports lenses from f/2 to f/22 in 1 stop increments
  • Light meter: Bewi selenium type
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode switch on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Strap lugs: Yes, on the front of the body, use split rings and attach a neck strap to those.



Regula Cita III

The Regula Cita III is a fixed lens rangefinder camera based on the Regula IIId, it is in essence a fixed lens Regula IIId. There are three versions of this camera, the difference between them is the lens used, either a Steinheil Cassar 45mm f/2.8, Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 or the rarer Enna Ennalyt 45mm f/1.9. It has the same light meter, rangefinder and shutter, though it lacks the f/22 setting of the IIId. The viewfinder in the Cita III is the same as the IIId with a small circular focus spot and no frame markings.

The rangefinder control is similar to the previous generation Cita camera where the focus ring is mounted behind everything next to the camera body. This makes using it quite awkward as at either end of the focus scale (1m or inf) your fingers tend to block either the viewfinder or rangefinder windows.

The camera has a light meter made by Gossen and it reads using the EV system. The light meter has a flap covering it, in bright daylight situations you keep the flap closed and take a reading, when using inside or darker condition open the flap. The meter dial can be a little confusing to read, when the flap is up use the orange numbers on the meter (the metal flap has a little orange notch on it when open to remind you presumably), when it is down use the white numbers on the dial. On the aperture ring there are red numbers from 2-18 (these are EV values), take your number reading from the light meter and line up the red arrow with the red number using the meter reading, this will give you the exposure required for the shot. When the value is set it limits you to a particular set of shutter speeds/apertures that correspond to that EV value, this lets you adjust for depth of field without affecting the exposure of the shot.

  • Lens 1: Steinheil Cassar 45mm f/2.8
  • Lens 2: Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8
  • Lens 3: Enna Ennalyt 45mm f/1.9
  • Shutter: Prontor-SVS - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Apertures: f/1.9 or f/2.8 to f/16 in 1 stop increments
  • Light meter: Gossen selenium type, EV 2-18
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode switch on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Filters: 30mm push on
  • Strap lugs: No, best to use the camera's ever ready style case.


Regula RM

The Regula RM is a fixed lens rangefinder camera and is one of the last of the III series range despite not having III in its name. The camera was introduced to replace the Regula Cita III and is basically the same camera. The first version of the RM is nearly identical to the Cita III. The second version has a Bewi uncoupled light meter replacing the Gossen one, and an upgraded viewfinder that is bigger, clearer and has frame line with parallax correction marks; the second version of the RM eventually replaced the Cita III.

There are three versions of this camera, the difference between them is the lens used, either a Steinheil Cassar 45mm f/2.8, Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 or the rarer Enna Ennalyt 45mm f/1.9. It has the same light meter, rangefinder and shutter, though it lacks the f/22 setting of the IIId. The viewfinder in the Cita III is the same as the IIId with a small circular focus spot and no frame markings.

The rangefinder control is similar to the previous generation Cita camera where the focus ring is mounted behind everything next to the camera body. This makes using it quite awkward as at either end of the focus scale (1m or inf) your fingers tend to block either the viewfinder or rangefinder windows.

The camera either has a light meter made by Gossen or Bewi and it reads using the EV system. The Gossen light meter has a flap covering it, in bright daylight situations you keep the flap closed and take a reading, when using inside or darker condition open the flap. The meter dial can be a little confusing to read, when the flap is up use the orange numbers on the meter (the metal flap has a little orange notch on it when open to remind you presumably), when it is down use the white numbers on the dial.

The Bewi light meter is easier to use and lets you take readings at eye level. Set your film speed and point the camera at your subject and press the red Bewi button on the light meter for a couple of seconds, this takes a reading and holds the white needle in place. Turn the metal ring around the light meter dial and match the red needle to the white needle. The red number will be used on the shutter to set the correct exposure value.

On the aperture ring there are red numbers from 2-18 (these are EV values), take your number reading from the light meter (doesn't matter which) and line up the red arrow with the red number using the meter reading, this will give you the exposure required for the shot. When the value is set it limits you to a particular set of shutter speeds/apertures that correspond to that EV value, this lets you adjust for depth of field without affecting the exposure of the shot.

  • Lens 1: Steinheil Cassar 45mm f/2.8
  • Lens 2: Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8
  • Lens 3: Enna Ennalyt 45mm f/1.9
  • Shutter: Prontor-SVS - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Apertures: f/1.9 or f/2.8 to f/16 in 1 stop increments
  • Light meter: Bewi or Gossen selenium type, EV 2-18
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode switch on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Filters: 30mm push on
  • Strap lugs: No, best to use the camera's ever ready style case.



Regula R

The Regula R is a fixed lens rangefinder camera and is the rarest of the III series cameras. It is based on the Regula IIIc body so it has the same long base rangefinder, in essence it is a fixed lens IIIc.

The rangefinder control is similar to the previous generation Cita camera where the focus ring is mounted behind everything next to the camera body. This makes using it quite awkward as at either end of the focus scale (1m or inf) your fingers tend to block either the viewfinder or rangefinder windows.

  • Lens: Steinheil Cassar 45mm f/2.8
  • Shutter: Prontor-SVS - Bulb, 1s, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/300th.
  • Apertures: f/2.8 to f/16 in 1 stop increments
  • Self timer: Yes, around 10 seconds, use V mode switch on the lens
  • Flash: PC socket on the body, flash synchronization at all speeds, X and M modes
  • Filters: 30mm push on
  • Strap lugs: No, best to use the camera's ever ready style case.


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