Pentamatic vs. Pentamatic S – Yashica’s Heavyweights

The Pentamatic was Yashica’s first single-lens reflex (SLR) and was released in 1960 (May-June) timeframe. The Pentamatic S was released about mid to late 1961. Not much changed between the two – the S model added a built-in self-timer and most notably, a provision for mounting an exposure meter to the top right of the camera that coupled with the shutter speed dial. Other small changes were to add lugs for holding the neck strap (moving them from the extreme right and left sides of the body on the Pentamatic to a more typical front mounting on the S). Unseen from the exterior is a change to the focusing screen inside the pentaprism. The original fresnel screen in the Pentamatic was replaced with a split image screen in the model S. For me, that change makes the Pentamatic S much easier to focus and improves the brightness inside the viewfinder.

A look at both models shows these changes and the tiny bit of extra weight that the S carries over the original Pentamatic.

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At 978 grams, the original Pentamatic is anything but a lightweight. (2.16 lbs)

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At 1,004 grams, the S shows the slight weight increase from the changes made between the two models. (2.21 lbs)

Both cameras are photographed with the same lens attached – Auto Yashinon 5.5cm f1.8 lens which was the standard lens that came with both models. Only the Pentamatic II (released in September 1960) came with a different lens. (5.8cm f1.7)

Compared to other SLRs from the same time period, the Pentamatic was a bit of a beast to tote around. The buying public never embraced these wonderful cameras and they ended their production run in less than 2 years.

Finding good looking (and still working) Pentamatics is a challenge for any collector with the Pentamatic II being especially difficult to find in any condition.

Of note, if you have an Asahi Pentax, Nikon F or Canoflex camera with the standard lenses from the late 1950s or early 1960s, we would love for you to let us know what their combined weight is. We could be way off in our assumption that the Pentamatic was significantly heavier than the other cameras of that era. Thanks!

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

Yashica’s YT-300 Transistor Radio – 1960

Yashica produced more than just cameras during its boom years. As a leader in the field of electronic photography in the middle to late 1960s, Yashica’s early electronic devices ranged from such diverse items as transistor radios, record players, movie projectors, calculators, editing equipment and tape recorders to name but a few.

Most of the earliest electronic devices are rather rare now (as one would expect after 50 years) and only occasionally does something come up in auctions both on the web and in estate sales. I suspect that the more common electrical items such as projectors and editing equipment are still flooding eBay and other on-line auction sites.

Finding early radios such as the YT-300 and YT-100 is quite difficult. Here we share some of what we’ve been able to collect over the years.

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Yashica YT-300 Radio Brochure

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Thanks for your visit! If you come across a working Yashica radio or tape recorder snag it! They’re really rare and a fun little reminder of the first transistor radios and how cool they were.

Studio Camera: Samsung Galaxy S4

Chris

Shop Dog

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Shop dog keeping a watchful eye on me as I pass through his territory. 

Honmoku, Naka-ku, Yokohama late 1970s. One of my favorite images from that time period as the various shop dogs and cats were not easy to get pictures of. The late day sun helped to add depth to the composition.

Camera: Canon F-1 (1978 Version) with FD 80-200mm zoom lens on Kodachrome.

Chris

Fun with Fuji’s K-28 “Construction Camera”

Here’s a camera you don’t see often – maybe never – Fuji Photo Film Japan’s Fuji K-28. A waterproof and dust/dirtproof 35mm compact camera. Designed for rugged use like on a jobsite or in the rain. All of the controls are sealed against the elements via tight fitting rubber gaskets and secure latching systems.

The camera gets its power from 2 AA LR6 alkaline manganese batteries. Here’s an interesting note from Fujifilm Japan: 

Apologies and Requests
Fujifilm “Construction Camera” For Customers

By the way, when the capacity of the batteries is not complete (for example, when new alkaline batteries are used with used alkaline batteries) in part of “construction camera” we sell at this time. It is extremely rare that hydrogen gas is sometimes released from the battery, the gas mixes with the air inside the camera, and it turned out that there was a possibility that the back cover of the camera could come off with a sound when using the strobe . December 8, 2000 – We would like to thank our customers for their continued patronage and appreciate their continued patronage.

Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd

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Besides being a way cool looking camera, this Fuji is more than capable where it counts. A sealed Fujinon f3.9 28mm lens with adjustable focusing and auto exposure with a set 1/100th of a second shutter. ISO auto set for film rated from ISO 100-400.

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The Fujinon lens has 5 elements in 5 groups – closest focusing is 0.75m and the front glass is 4mm thick. The camera weighs in at 423g  and 467g with batteries.

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The focus scale is only in meters. The flash must be turned on via the well marked lever (center), film advance is manual by the lever on the camera’s right side and the shutter can be locked to prevent accidental exposures. The film rewind lever (left) gets tucked away to prevent damage and to help seal the top of the camera.

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Looks great in B&W!

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Nice lines.

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When the K-28 was released in June of 1991, the yen to dollar exchange rate was 138 JPY to the USD. So it listed for around $215 but was not for sale outside of Japan.

The K-28 certainly will hold a spot in our Fuji collection as it is basically brand new and in mint condition. The box, although a silly thing, is important to our collection as we like to collect camera sets as complete as possible. Besides, who wouldn’t want a bulldozer on their camera box!

If you find something incorrect in our post, please feel free to let us know what it is and we’ll gladly correct it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris