Another ‘First’ for Yashica

Another example of a Yashica first. After Yashica introduced its first 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) film cameras in the Pentamatic series, it followed up in 1962 with the little know Penta J. The Penta J was also know as the Reflex J in Australia and the UK and the Reflex 35 J in Europe. As I’ve discussed before, the Pentamatics were either a complete failure or a big success for Yashica. Choosing to go with an exclusive bayonet mount for their lenses (Pentamatic series), Yashica decided to go mainstream by using the more common M42 screw mount lenses and to forgo their exclusive bayonet mount. This gave Yashica the opportunity to reach more potential customers and more than likely helped Tomioka Optical (their lens maker) as they did not have to produce a unique mount just for Yashica. The Penta J with lens listed for around $130 in the U.S. and 28,000 yen in Japan. Just as with the Pentamatic S before it, the Penta J had the ability to attach a clip-on exposure meter that was coupled to the shutter speed dial (about $25).


Even with the rather clunky exposure meter attached, the Penta J was an elegant camera that retained the strong lines of the Pentamatics and a feeling of solid construction.


The location of the shutter release button was moved slightly from the Pentamatic design so as to allow room for the clip-on exposure meter. 


A beautiful set from 1962.


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