Pentamatic S

The Pentamatic S… the last true Pentamatic in the short lived series of SLRs from Yashica. The Pentamatic II is the hardest to find from a collector’s standpoint with the S close behind.

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The Pentamatic S. The last camera in the short lived Pentamatic series.

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Pentamatic cameras tend to have very well designed film paths and film chambers. We rarely find corrosion and the chambers are large and easy to keep clean. The Nicca inspired cloth focal-plane shutter in this example is super clean and shows no white mold spots.

In the above pictured Pentamatic S, the serial number is NO. 140572. Our other S is NO. 140294. We believe these numbers decode to… 1=1961, 4=UNK, and the last three digits equal the sequential production numbers. The S models were not produced in great numbers so it is possible that both of these cameras were made during the same month as they are within 300 units of one another. One other serial number in our database is… NO. 141796 which suggests that it was the 1,796 th unit made later in 1961. Interestingly the serial number of the model S in Yashica’s instruction booklet is NO. 140893. It is odd that the camera in the booklet has a higher production number than two cameras we own.

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The only difference between the S and the original Pentamatic ’35’ is the notch in the shutter speed dial on the S. It is used to couple the light meter to the dial.

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The biggest changes in the S from the original… the shutter release button is no longer at a 45 degree angle but its position on the body is the same. The S adds a self-timer and the light meter (exposure meter) lug on the face just below the shutter speed dial.

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The lug for the neck strap has been relocated to the front from its previous position (on the side). It’s interesting to note that this lug is super corroded while the lug on the other side is not.

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As we mentioned in the previous post on our blog, the Pentamatic series of cameras are prone to mirror lock-up. This S is currently in the locked-up mode and has resisted my attempts at freeing it. It had been working at the higher shutter speeds (1/125 and higher) but now it sticks at all speeds. Ugh!

In summary… the S is a very worthy camera and is built like a tank. The S went back to using the Auto Yashinon f/1.8 5.5cm lens which is a good thing. The Tomioka Optical built lens is sharp and smooth. The S allows for the attachment of a separate exposure meter on the front lug (where the “S” is) and can couple with the shutter speed dial. Still a long way from TTL metering but at least headed that way.

Thanks for your visit!

Chris and Carol