Pentamatic ’35’… 11.3.2016

The tank that is the Pentamatic ’35’. 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…

Source: Pentamatic ’35’… 11.3.2016

Yashica Super Yashinon-R f/3.5 13.5cm Telephoto Lens

Nice little addition to our Pentamatic family of lenses. Purchased in Japan and was with an early model Pentamatic’35’ set in “well used” but stable working condition. It came with the original Yashica brown leather case, unbranded plastic rear lens cap, Yashica front metal 52mm push-on lens cap, unbranded lens hood, and a very nice looking Walz chrome metal and glass Skylight C. (cloudy) 52mm filter.


Pentamatic bayonet mount 13.5cm short telephoto lens… f/3.5 with rather low serial number. Early Yashica lenses were often given a serial number that starts with the focal length of the lens. In this example, ‘135 0722’ shows it to be a 135mm lens with a sequential production number of 722. Best guess is that this lens was made in early to mid-1960. We have another Super Yashinon-R 13.5cm lens with a serial number of ‘135 0927’.

The above image shows the lens partially disassembled for cleaning and inspection. No fungus or mold, but I’ve found some funky streaks on the face of the first removable lens element (large lens element to the right).


The chrome nose removed.


The main lens group removed. If you look closely, you may see the funky streaks across the face of the lens.


Aperture blades set at f/ 22. No oil and no problems (looking into the lens barrel from the front of the lens). Note the 12 aperture blades.

super yashinon p mount 25cm

Here is a similar lens with the 12 blades that was for sale recently. The seller identified the lens as having been made by Kyoei Optical Co., Ltd.  using the brand name “Acall” Kyoei was also abbreviated as “KOC” which may be the reason for the red “K.C.”

New info as of Feb 5, 2020 – At first, I guessed that my lens was made by Tomioka Optical as they were responsible for most of Yashica’s lenses. A reader has pointed out the similarities between my lens and the design of the Acall lenses with both  Pentamatic and M42 mounts. I must say that I agree with them upon further review. Thank you for your input!


Partially assembled body. Nice clear markings and solid-looking bayonet mount.

These first Pentamatic lenses were pre-set and not automatic and were the kings of the heavyweight division. Lots of metal and glass here! When properly stored they were not prone to fungus… but almost all classic lenses will have some sort of mold, dust or fungal issues when left in the dark and in their leather cases.

Thanks for the visit!

Chris and Carol

You’re invited to visit our online store at for some great vintage and collectible cameras, lenses, and accessories.

Pentamatic S – 1961 to 1962

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 as they were only available for sale in Japan with the S close behind.


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


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.

The Pentamatic S pictured above, the serial number is NO. 140572. Our other S is NO. 140294. These numbers decode to… 1=1961, 4=April, and the last four 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. Another serial number in our database is… NO. 141796 which suggests that it was the 1,796 th unit made in April of 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.


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 clip-on exposure meter to the dial.


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.


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.


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 position 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 Pentamatic 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 was the standard lens on the original Pentamatic ’35’. 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

Please visit our online store at for a nice selection of classic film cameras and vintage photo accessories.

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