Short History of the “Mysterious” Pentamatic

Short History of the “Mysterious” Pentamatic

Decoding serial numbers… Yashica has never been upfront with the dating of their cameras, lenses or printed materials. Instruction booklets and sales brochures are only occasionally dated and those were mostly in the 1950s. Camera bodies and lenses (and accessories) remained a mystery until now. I believe I have finally decoded the serial numbers of Yashica’s first 35mm SLR, the Pentamatic. Look closely at this camera’s serial number… 36001500… knowing a little bit about when this camera was “invented” helped me decode the number. The trademark “Pentamatic” was filed by Yashica in September 1959 in Japan. The first prototypes were built around then with the first consumer models produced by December 1959. This camera dates… 3 = March / 60 = 1960 / 01500 = 1,500th unit made since December 1959. The latest camera in my database has a serial number of 16115756. This decodes to… January 1961 and was the 15,756th unit produced since December of 1959. The earliest body in my database is 16000373 (discovered for sale in Japan 12/2015). It decodes to… 1 = January / 60 = 1960 / 00375 = the 375th unit made.

JN Pentamatic SN 16000375

Pentamatic with SN 16000373

Pentamatic with SN 36001500

Pentamatic with SN 36001500

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