Why did Yashica bring out the Pentamatic II less than a year after releasing the original model?
The only difference we can tell between the original Yashica Pentamatic ’35’ and the Pentamatic II (which came out around September 1960), is the standard lens that was mated with the camera body. The original Pentamatic came with the Auto-Yashinon, f/ 1.8, 5.5cm fully automatic 6 element lens. Of course it has the unique Pentamatic bayonet mount and not the M42 screw mount. The Pentamatic II came with the Auto-Yashinon, f/ 1.7, 5.8cm lens (pictured below). Both lenses were made for Yashica by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo. We imagine the 58mm, f/ 1.7 lens was a bit faster than the f/ 1.8… but we don’t see why Yashica changed from the model I to the model II and why they changed the lens… we may never discover the reason either.
We’ve yet to find an advertisement for the Pentamatic II in English and along those same lines, have yet to find the Pentamatic II in a sales brochure in English. The Pentamatic S replaced the model II less than a year after its release. The model S went back to using the original 5.5cm, f/ 1.8 lens that was on the original Pentamatic.
That makes the Auto-Yashinon 5.8cm, f/ 1.7 lenses one of the rarest of the early Pentamatic bayonet mount lenses.