Earliest Pentamatic US Sales Brochure

Very early if not the earliest US printed sales brochure for the new Pentamatic.

I’m thinking the summer of 1960…

I haven’t found an earlier brochure that features the Pentamatic then this one. “Printed in the U.S.A.” on back cover using the 234 Fifth Avenue, New York 1, N.Y. address. The cover is amazing in that other than Yashica’s name and a image of the camera there is no other writing. No “Pentamatic”. Just an image of the camera. That was a first for Yashica as best as I can tell. The first magazine advertisement was June 1960 in the US so I don’t believe this brochure was out before that. The only problem with my thinking is that most of the other cameras featured inside this brochure are 1959 model cameras and in some cases late 1958. Could even be a few that came out in early 1960. The two pages scanned here contain an interesting wealth of info on the features and accessories. Of note, the lens serial number (No. 59100036) puts that lens to be one of the first lenses Tomioka made for Yashica with the new bayonet mount (December 1959).

Page 1 provides a wealth of info for Yashica's first 35mm SLR.

Page 1 provides a wealth of info for Yashica’s first 35mm SLR.

IMG_20150926_0025

Page 2 shows (with prices) a nice selection of accessories for the Pentamatic.

6 thoughts on “Earliest Pentamatic US Sales Brochure

  1. At last I have all the Yashica M42 and C/Y cameras (even a working FX-A) along with a Pentamatic but not yet the S version. What surprised me was to find a Pentamatic with a 5.8cm 1:1.7 Yashica lens pictured on the web – do you have any info on that lens, which seems to be the rarest of them all?

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    1. Hello Graham. Wow that’s quite a collection! Good on you to have collected that many Yashica/Contax models. So do you have the Pentamatic II? I did see that you don’t have the S. The II is crazy hard to find in any condition. I have the 5.8cm f1.7 lens. It came with a Pentamatic S that I purchased some time ago. I believe I have a picture of it somewhere on the blog. I just re-posted the Pentamatic II brochure I have with the info about the 5.8cm lens. Regards, Chris

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      1. Hi Chris, no, I don’t have the Pentamatic II though I saw one for sale here in the UK last month but I also had the chance to buy another Tomioka Yashinon 60mm macro lens and not enough money for both… As for the M42s, the J-4 and FFT were the toughest to find but I came to Yashica via the Contax and it’s only now that I’ve realised what I was missing for decades with their glass and cameras. Getting a working FX-A (I have 2 others part-working) was the hardest of all my searches but sadly I’ve never been able to find a user manual so I’m not sure I’m getting the best out of the Honeywell focusing system. I’ve been able to acquire every C/Y Zeiss lens other than the N-Mirotar and 1000mm Mirotar since first using the kit back in the late 1970s but I ignored Yashica back then. What an idiot! That Tomioka Yashinon Macro, the DS-M 24mm, the ML 100 3.5, ML 28-50, uber rare ML 70-210 f4, ML 500 f8….all brilliant lenses. Anyhow, it’s 4.30 in the morning and thanks to you I now have 2 more camera to find – a Pentamatic II as well as the S…should be fun!
        Love the site by the way…I see you have a reference to Petri – I just managed to grab 3 Kuribayashi Orikkor 50 f2s with Penta bodies – what a lens! Film is in the fridge just waiting for the weather to improve….
        Cheers,
        Graham

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  2. Excellent info Graham. You have some pretty rare glass to be sure. Glad to hear that you still use the lenses and bodies – do you post your images anywhere? Good luck with the Pentamatic II and the S. The S is a tad more common but the II is an elusive find. It’s funny to think now, but I never gave Contax a second look back in the 1970s. After my first Yashica, the TL Electro-X which I purchased new in 1972, I didn’t like the RTS so I went with the Canon F-1 instead. I don’t own any Contax cameras now nor do I have any of the lenses. But… if a nice RTS (1st version) landed on my doorstep I wouldn’t turn it away!
    Do you have Yashica’s first black body SLR – the J-3 black with matching black f2 lens? Pretty camera.
    Would love to see some of your cameras and lenses so if you post them somewhere let me know. And finally, could you share the serial number of youe Pentamatic body and the f1.8 lens? Thanks and best regards, Chris

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    1. Hi Chris, I’ll dig out the Pentamatic and send you the serial numbers as soon as I can find it; I have about 20 large boxes of photographic gear and the camera and 55 1.8 lens are in their case in one of the boxes… Oddly, I usually take a piccie of each camera but I can’t find one of it. As to the other Yashica kit, as soon as my TL arrives, I will take a group photo and post it to the Yashica Forum. There are already a lot of piccies of bits of my kit there under the name: biggles3 You can find us at: http://yashica.boards.net/ I have been watching a black J-3 on Ebay but the asking price is crazy so for now I stick with the chrome version. I do have the black and chrome TL Electro X bodies and might buy the mkII chrome version too if I can find a working one. I love the black Electro X and Electro X ITS – you can see the DNA for the FX-1 – much more so than the later AX and FFT. Do you know why Yashica launched the FFT? It seems odd as the FX-1 was just starting to make an appearance and they launch a no-frills M42 body…weird. I like both the AX and FFT but I don’t understand Yashica’s thinking about the latter.
      One other Yashica rarity I grabbed was their M 35 – I love hybrid cameras manufactured by the brand-owner; the same applies to my favourite variant of the original Contax RTS – the RTS Fundus. I have yet to acquire a FX-3 half-frame – they appear regularly every couple of years here in the UK as they were used by the Police for mug-shots. The trick is to find one that works…
      Cheers for now,
      Graham

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      1. Thanks Graham…
        You do know your Yashicas! I basically stopped collecting Yashicas when the M42 bodies dropped out of production. I will say, in answer to your question, that many times in Yashica’s history they brought out an odd body and some unusual lenses… meaning just what you said, simple stripped down models in the middle of more modern and advanced cameras. My thought is that occasionally Yashica needed to compete with a rival for a lowest price and/or their Trading Companies demanded a camera-lens combination that was unique to them. There is evidence of that with the release of the Yashica J-P while the J-5 was still hot in the marketplace. The J-P came with an odd 5cm f2.8 Yashinon lens that I would guess sold for less than $150 or so. https://www.flickr.com/photos/127540935@N08/27542413420/in/album-72157646795650950/
        I’ll be sure to check out your links!
        Regards,
        Chris

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