Yashica-A: Collecting 101*

*Or how to run out of space for it all real quick!

As much as Carol and I would love to go on collecting camera sets, the cameras will eventually win out! Even when we narrow our collecting to let’s say only twin-lens reflex cameras made in the mid 1950s, and only made by Yashima-Yashica, we’d still run out of space and money. There were just too many made (obviously) to be able to collect all the different models and all the different variations. Yashima-Yashica was, by far, the most prolific TLR maker – ever! I believe they finally stopped by 1986 which was long after TLRs fell from favor!

So we’ve reached the point they sing about in that Disney movie – “Let it Go”! 

Collecting Yashima-Yashica cameras is a very satisfying endeavor. We’ve been at it for decades, we know. There’s enough of them around so the choices are plenty – but since Yashicas were built well but built for the masses, they weren’t collected when they were new. Most that are available are well used. They’re still very functional, but well used nonetheless. So if you’re trying to collect complete sets just as they came from the factory, and you want them to work and be in mint (or near mint) condition, good luck! It’s not like collecting Leicas, Nikons, Canons or Rolleis where when you google “nikon mint box” you end up with hundreds to pick from from all across the web. Google “mint yashica box” and you’ll see maybe a dozen of Yashica’s last TLR – the Mat 124G. A great camera but it’s common. The early stuff from Yashima-Yashica, well that’s a whole different ballgame, and that ballgame is fun!

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This one is from 1957,  made by Yashima Optical – the Yashica-A

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Solidly built and well maintained.

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All the factory goodies.

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“Fall out of bed” easy to operate – shoot 6x6cm negatives or color slide film soon after loading it. Great optics, accurate shutter and bright viewing screen.

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Yashimar f/ 3.5, 80mm lenses made by Tomioka Optical.

The Yashica-A is a great medium format camera. Simple to use and produces super sharp, large images that you’ll be amazed came from your hands. Why is the A the best? This one is 6 decades old and works perfectly. Why? Virtually nothing on it to break or jam. Simple winding knob, no self-timer and black yarn light seals that never fail. No built-in light meter (use a phone app) or use a vintage hand held meter or guess at the exposure or learn the “Sunny-16” rule. You almost have to try to make a bad image with a camera like this. Worried about the reversed image in the viewing hood? You’ll get over it quickly and you’ll soon love composing and shooting in the square format (6 x 6).

This model A (remember, “Let it Go”) is available for purchase. If you have an interest, contact us at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com or visit us at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

If there’s something that you’re looking for maybe we have it or can find one for you. You never know!

Thanks for stopping by!

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

 

 

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