Pentamatic ’35’… 11.3.2016

The tank that is the Pentamatic ’35’.


A nice example of an everyday shooter. This one was made in May of 1960 and looks like it saw some regular use. The Auto Yashinon lens is spotless inside and shows a nice patina on the barrel.

The Pentamatic pictured above shows some signs of frequent past usage. Some bright marks on the silver finish, a few dings and dents here and there… some bits of surface corrosion but nothing broken or inop. Per the serial number on the body and on the lens, this camera and lens set were made in May of 1960. The body was the 4,410 th to roll out of the factory since production began in December 1959.

The Pentamatic and its standard lens – the Auto Yashinon f1.8 5.5cm is a beast! Lots of brass and glass went into making these beauties. We love the chrome nose on the lens… a quick swab with some 91% isopropyl alcohol and it shines like new.


As is typical with these 56 year old cameras, the mirror tends to show some grime and “soot”. A very very¬†gentle swab with water and some dish soap does a good job with the dirt and some of the soot but the mirrors never really come fully back to their original shine.

The metal lens cap (52mm) is quite solid and is backed with black felt like material. Occasionally you’ll find some pretty dented up caps but since they were so well built you’ll more than likely find a good example out there.


The Nicca Camera Company (Taiho Optical Company) inspired cloth focal-plane shutter. Simple and pretty rugged. This one has some white spots on it as most do… we tend to leave them be rather than trying to clean the them off.

This one (above) has a nice clean film path and film chambers. They’re easy to keep clean with a cotton swab and some canned air. Don’t blow directly on the shutter curtain with the high pressure air!


Since the Pentamatic with lens weighs nearly 2.5 pounds, the base plates usually take a beating. This one is rather good and has held up well!

If you’re interested in adding a nice Pentamatic’35’ to your vintage camera collection, hopefully we’ve shown what a super clean but well used camera looks like. Be careful when you’re shopping around – the mirrors often get stuck in the up position. A few little adjustments (and some lube) usually get them working again but they’ll remain “tricky”. Obviously look for evidence of severe damage – a major dent that prevents something from operating properly would be one to definitely stay away from. The lenses often freeze up do to lack of use… a short time with a hair dryer can often get them moving again.

Best of luck on your search! Any questions please feel free to contact us.

Many thanks, C&C