A little info about a Yashica Pentamatic II that was spotted the other day. Well today actually! It sold for around $112 with the f/ 1.7 lens and the original leather case. As best as we can tell it was far from ‘nice’. That price gives you some idea on how infrequently the Model II shows up for sale.
The body serial number is No. 86000631… that would put it in line with the serial numbering system established for the Pentamatic I. Not very many of the Model IIs were sold as the production run was extremely short as best we can tell. The Pentamatic S “replaced” the Model II by late 1961. We haven’t found concrete evidence as to why Yashica brought out the Pentamatic Model II to begin with (with so few changes). Was the Model I that much of a failure?
This serial number would decode to: ‘860’ = August 1960 and the ‘00631’ = the 631st in the production sequence.
The lens appears to be a “newly designed” lens that Yashica asked Tomioka Optical to build… a unique 5.8cm f/ 1.7 Auto Yashinon (rather odd size for a normal lens on a 35mm SLR). The lens was an early replacement (?) for the recently made Auto Yashinon 5.5cm f/ 1.8 lens which was the normal lens for the Model I. We haven’t cracked Yashica’s serial number code yet on these lenses as there are not many to look at. At first glance it would appear that the ’42’ is a model number of the lens with the ‘4065’ being the 465th lens made. A Japanese sales brochure for the Model II (dated 02/1961) has a clear serial number on the lens: 424106. Remember that the brochure had to have at least a month or two lead time so the image of that lens and body were more than likely taken in the August-September period of 1960.
As always… we appreciate any and all comments you may have and would love for you to share them with us. Especially if you have new information about the Pentamatic series of cameras.
Thanks… Chris & Carol