The Yashica Flex model S (aka Yashicaflex) is one of Yashima’s most important early cameras… well maybe the second most important behind the first. Obviously Yashima’s first camera, the oddly named Pigeonflex one could argue, was the most important. The model S though was the first twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera (in the world!!!) that had a “built-in” exposure meter.
The Sekonic CB-1 exposure meter was attached to the camera’s left side and the light gathering cells were located under the nameplate flap. They were connected to one another but the meter was non-coupled to the camera settings. The user would lift the flap to expose the cells to light and then read the exposure index in the window on top of the meter. Then simply set the camera to the proper f-stop and shutter speed and snap away. No batteries required. But with the passage of time most of these meters failed in some way or another. If you find one with a working meter so much the better.
So there you have it… a short (very short) history of some groundbreaking cameras from Yashima/Yashica. For more on Yashica’s awesome array of TLRs visit my friend Paul’s site at http://www.yashicatlr.com
Paul’s site is a labor of love and if you want to know anything about Yashima/Yashica that’s the place. We hope to bring some more Pentamatic blogs your way soon. We are of course, The Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic!
Thanks, Chris & Carol