Nerd heaven! After years of speculation and almost constant searching, we’ve been able to confirm that Tomioka Optical began making lenses for Yashica’s new Pentamatic 35mm SLR camera in the latter part of 1959. The two lenses pictured below confirm (via serial numbers) of an October 1959 start of production. Yashica had filed for a trademark of the name ‘Pentamatic’ in September 1959 (in Japan). Since their new camera used an exclusive mount for its lenses, Yashica designers had to have shared their design with Tomioka as early as the summer (August ?) of 1959.
Using the rule of twos, these lenses are the earliest in our collection.
No. 59 = 1959 10 = October 0092 = 92nd made
No. 59 = 1959 12 = December 1630 = 1,630th made
It’s a good find for us as the early serial numbers were just a guess on our part as to how they decoded. Having two lenses made before 1960 helped firm up our speculation. Lenses made in 1960 drop the month code in favor of a model number or code. A typical 1960 lens would have a serial number of: No. 605xxxxx which would be 60 = 1960 5 = model code xxxxx = production sequence number.
If you’re a collector of Pentamatics or are just interested in Yashica cameras in general, this is important info. We know, total nerd stuff!
Thanks for your visit.