Studio Fun – Fujifilm X-A10 and Canon FD 50mm Macro Lens (75mm APS-C Sensor)

Still playing with our new addition. Our slightly used Fujifilm X-A10 (16.3MP) mirrorless camera mated with one of our favorite Canon lenses – Canon FD 50mm f3.5 macro lens.

It was the most inexpensive way to get one of Fujifilm’s X series bodies and to make use of our collection of Canon FD lenses from the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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f8 ISO 1000

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f5.6 ISO 800

Shallow depth-of-field at f5.6 (above). At f32 almost the entire spool is in focus (greater depth-of-field) below.

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f32 ISO 1000

The Canon FD 50mm lens 35mm equivalent is 75mm on the APS-C sensor.

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The camera… $189, adapter… $59.95, lens $75

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f8 ISO 800

Shot with Fujifilm film simulation mode Velvia Vivid. Little to no post production. We’re happy campers (and photogs)!

Chris and Carol ^.^

 

Fujifilm X-A10 and Canon

We’ve been wanting to get our hands on one of the Fuji X series mirrorless cameras for some time now. We enjoy our Fuji S9900W bridge camera very much – we use it almost exclusively as our studio camera.

We have so many classic film lenses in our collection that we never get a chance to use them. The first adapter we decided on was the Canon FD to Fujifilm X mount.

We choose the Fujifilm X-A10 body. It’s simple (inexpensive) and has the APS-C CMOS sensor and since we’ll be shooting with an adapter with manual focus lenses, we’ll shoot in aperture priority mode anyway. No need for all the other bells and whistles.

The Fuji X-A10 has 6 film simulation modes – PROVIA, Velvia, ASTIA, Classic Chrome, monochrome and sepia. My only wish was that it had ACROS.

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The adapter we choose is the Fotodiox Pro (B&H $59.50 free S&H). It has a removable tripod mount which we like. Well built and it feels solid – mounts easily and securely.

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This Canon Macro Lens FD 50mm is one of our favorite lenses for macro work. Below are a few sample shots.

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16.3MP, APS-C CMOS sensor and under $200 lightly used. Great way to experience Fujifilm X Series cameras.

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Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

Yashica Penta J and the J-P

Yashica’s first 35mm single-lens reflex camera with the Praktica-thread (M42) mount lenses was the Yashica Penta J… at least here in the United States and in Japan. Elsewhere (most of the world) the camera was known as either the Yashica Reflex 35 or Reflex J (Australia and possibly the U.K.). As best we can tell, they were all the same cameras with different top plates to accommodate the different names (logos).

Part of the demise (lack of sales success) of the well-built Pentamatic series of cameras that preceded the Penta J, was that Yashica decided to go with a Pentamatic exclusive bayonet mount lens system. Sturdy and well designed to be sure, but being unique limited the available lenses that could be swapped between cameras. The Praktica design M42 screw thread mounting system was in widespread use at the time and Yashica’s bayonet design just went against the flow.

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Now fast forward to 1965 ish… Yashica introduces the new J-5 AND the J-P! In between those years Yashica had introduced the J-3 and J-4. Why would Yashica go back in time and bring out another 35mm SLR in 1965 that was the cousin to the 1961 Penta J? Notice we say cousins… not brothers. They shared the same platform with one another but as you can see in the image below the top plates were of a different design.

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Yashica J-P 6-27-15 Papers

Stay tuned… more to come on these Yashica classics.

Many thanks, Chris and Carol

Yashica Penta J – the Pentamatic that wasn’t!

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Clean design and simple controls. A stunning camera.

Released in 1962, the Penta J (Reflex 35 J in other markets) was Yashica’s first 35mm SLR designed to accept the popular M42 screw mount lenses vice Yashica’s exclusive Pentamatic bayonet mount that preceded it. The Penta J shared more body parts and took its design cues from the Pentamatic S (1961-62). Interestingly the Penta J lost the self-timer lever that the Pentamatic S fought so hard to get.

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The Penta J was designed to accept a clip-on exposure meter that coupled to the shutter speed dial. No TTL metering – that was a long way off!

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The ASA/DIN dial was not coupled to anything. It was a reminder to the photographer as to what the speed was of the film that was loaded in the camera.

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The standard lens for the Penta J was the semi-automatic Yashinon 5cm f2 lens.

The Yashica Pentamatic S (below)… the Penta J’s cousin.

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The Pentamatic S pictured with the standard lens for the Pentamatic II.

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So there you have it. The Yashica Penta J and the Pentamatic S. Cousins in the Yashica family.

Comments? Please feel free to share what you know and what we may have missed. Thanks

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

Yashinon Lenses – 1962*

That date* might be a bit misleading as the sales brochure this was scanned from is undated (as is most Yashica marketing stuff). Our only clue as to the date is that it (the brochure) features the newly released J-3 and doesn’t include any other Yashica SLR. No Penta J or Reflex 35 (same camera different markets) and no J-5.

We like it because it features the Yashinon lenses available at that time. If you look closely at the mounts of the lenses, you’ll see the M42 screw-in mount. Yashica does state in the brochure that all of these lenses are available in both the Yashica Pentamatic bayonet mount and the M42 mount. My friend Paul, see An Interview with Paul Sokk – Site Author of the popular YashicaTLR.com , has proposed that Yashica may have distributed these lenses to dealers (market dependent) with both mounts – meaning that they were shipped with the “new to Yashica” M42 mounts but could be converted easily at the dealer level to bayonet mounts for the Pentamatic. Sounds very possible. At this time, Yashica also sold adapter rings for mounting their M42 lenses to Exakta mount bodies and for mounting Praktica mount (M42) lenses to their Pentamatics. Confusing? Yes. Yashica guessed incorrectly when they choose to design their own bayonet mount for the Pentamatic back in 1959. Was it Yashica or was it Tomioka’s designers? How about the ex Nicca and Zunow designers? We may never know but it doomed the Pentamatic right out of the gate.

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Excellent snapshot of the lenses that were available at the time. The dual mounts (bayonet and M42) reflects Yashica’s indecision as to which mount to embrace.

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Cover of the sales brochure that was included with our Yashica J-3 when new.

It is generally believed that all of these lenses were made by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo.

While some early Pentamatic bayonet mount lenses bear the Tomioka and sometimes Tominon names, most only carry Yashica and Yashinon. The same applies to the M42 mount lenses. Some can be found with Tominon but most simply have Yashinon. We don’t have positive proof that some lenses (both types) may have been made by another lens manufacturer. But whom? Taiho Optical (which was the former Nicca Camera hidden away in Suwa) but was really Yashica, or or or. We just don’t know. Pure speculation to think that another company did, but then again, no proof that there wasn’t another maker.

Thanks so much for your visit! If you made it this far you just may be a “Yashicaphile” or just Yashica junkies like us. Do you have something to contribute??? We’d love to hear from you and would love to include your info in our blog. Thanks! ^.^

Chris & Carol

Mysterious Wildcats by Joel Sartore — FLOW ART STATION

Caracal Leopard Cat Canada Lynx clouded leopard African Wildcat Serval Rusty Spotted Cat African Golden Cat Sand Cat Asiatic Wildcat Leopard Cat Jaguarundis Eurasian Lynx Fishing Cat Iberian Lynx Palla’s Cat Marbled Cat Melanistic (black) Asian Golden Cat Margay Genetta maculata Geoffrey’s Cat Flat-Headed Cat Mysterious Wildcats by Joel Sartore In this series for […]

via Mysterious Wildcats by Joel Sartore — FLOW ART STATION

A must see!!! Wonderful photography throughout.

Chris & Carol

An Interview with Paul Sokk – Site Author of the popular YashicaTLR.com

Chances are you’ve visited Paul’s site and hadn’t known it. Thousands of collectors, online auction sellers and buyers and estate sale pickers gather valuable information about their vintage Yashica cameras from Paul’s well researched and easy to understand site. First appearing in late 2011, Paul describes his website as more of an e-book about Yashica. Paul traces Yashica’s humble beginnings from early 1950s upstart to become the worldwide leader in the manufacture of twin-lens reflex cameras by the end of that decade.

Paul calls the beautiful Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia his home – retiring after 35 years of Government service. He enjoys spending time with his family, photography and writing.

Paul's View

Ahh the joys of retirement… the Central Coast, NSW and a lovely sunset.

Paul

Paul with one of his favorites. A prized Yashica Flex S from 1954.

I first met Paul via his website back in 2014. I asked a seemingly simple question about decoding Yashica serial numbers and ended up with my answer (well sort of – we still regularly battle about it to this day) and a new friend.

Chris: Paul you have an amazing site that just can’t be easily compared to anything else presently online. What was the genesis behind it?

Paul: When I got interested in Yashica TLRs, I wanted to find out more about the history of the cameras. Some of the stuff on-line seemed contradictory, the more I looked into it, the more evidence I found of discrepancies. Barry Toogood’s TLR-cameras.com seemed to be a popular source at the time for both enthusiasts and eBay sellers. Most of the wikis linked to him but their sources were different and seemed to mainly be an interpretation of original ads. Their conclusions were often different to Barry’s but still not reconcilable with what I was seeing. I wanted to set the record straight and I felt that if I could convince Barry to change some of the claims on his site, that would be a tipping point. So I wrote to him. He didn’t agree with me but did say “interesting” and offered me a webpage on his site to state my claims. Being all very new to this and enthusiastic about proving my theories, I was producing page updates at a far greater rate than Barry could keep up with plus I was making additional demands for spreadsheets and graphics etc. It didn’t take long for me to realise that what I needed was my own site. So that page became YashicaTLR.com. My continued commitment to it is partly driven by the hope that one day, Barry will indeed make some changes to his site. Are you listening Barry? (If you are, thanks mate!)

Chris: I know what you mean, and I know lots of bloggers feel the same way about providing accurate and complete information in their blogs too. But your site is huge (in a good way) and it can’t be easy researching all of that data and keeping it straight. We only blog, you maintain a database accessible worldwide that’s used as reference material. Is your background in research? 

Paul: Nah, I’m just a bit anal. Others collect things, I like to collect information about things. Back in the early 70s, I was a uni dropout and followed some friends into the Commonwealth Public Service here in Australia. With a 35 year career mostly in middle management in disciplines varying from personnel to finance to computing systems, I learnt the value of accuracy, process, facts and records management. I also learnt that collecting data is one of the best tools of research. That is why I have spreadsheets listing details of almost 5,000 Yashica TLRs I have found online. That alone has enabled me to decode 1957 to 1980 serial numbers. Mind you, all the mistakes about release dates, some by as much as three or four years, could have been easily fixed by looking at a few original ads available online to anyone.

Chris: Why Yashica? And why specifically Yashica twin-lens reflex cameras? They’ve been out of production for over 30 years now. Do you think film is making a comeback?

Paul: I was a digital convert by 2003 but couldn’t afford a DSLR back then. I craved real metal cameras as a way of linking to my past, not as replacements for my photographic tools but as a nostalgia fix, I just love the feel, sound and weight of them and disliked the plastic AF SLRs of the 80s and 90s, although that is what I still had too. After playing around with some 50s and 60s 35mm cameras, I thought I should get something medium format. Something I had never used before, maybe a TLR, and the first affordable one was a Yashica D. That turned out to be a dud with a focus problem so that was an excuse to follow up with a Yashica LM. Before you know it, a collection had started.

Is film making a comeback? Not in the sense that it is going to hurt digital market share but people are realising that there are these wonderful old tools than can still be used to make exquisite photographs with nuances quite different to a digital photo. It’s not that one is better, I think that there is room for both.

Chris: Your background is of course with film photography. Can you tell us what formats you used and which you enjoyed the most?

Paul: I’ve been mostly a 35mm shooter, although in the early 1970s, I did 2 years of a commercial photography course which mostly used 4×5 view cameras. They were a huge amount of fun but not really the kit for a non-pro. I like the square TLR formats but they are challenging at times. Sometimes a composition screams for it but when it doesn’t suit, it doesn’t suit. I hate having to crop to change format and generally I also tend to prefer a slightly wider angle of view. In that way, 35mm is more forgiving and even more so is the 4:3 aspect ratio of micro four thirds that I now use.

Chris: Do you recall your first experience with a digital camera? Did you see a bright future for digital back then or did it seem like it could never equal film’s capabilities?

 

My daughter was born in 1990. By her first birthday, I was following her around everywhere with an analogue camcorder. Having shot some 8mm movie stuff previously, that was an eye-opener. It was only a small step to my first digital camcorder in 2000 and by then I was a total convert to the idea of digital imaging. At about the same time, the branch I was managing got hold of its first digital stills camera. That came home quite often with me. First, our family bought a Pentax Optio p&s camera for about AU$1,200 but by 2003, I had replaced my SLR with a Canon G2. What I loved most about electronic film, both analogue and digital, was the amount of control it gave back to the user. Only a darkroom could match it for film but that was no longer a realistic possibility for me.

Chris: What equipment do you enjoy using today? Are you a film vice digital shooter or have you (like most of us) embraced digital as your primary tool and film for your artistic side?

Paul's Olympus

Paul: I use one digital body and that is an Olympus E-M5 II. My favourite and most used lens is an f/1.8 17mm prime, although I have the Pro standard zoom and some other lenses as well. I previously used Canon APS SLRs but for my purposes, I can’t tell the difference quality wise, I’m getting more keepers and my wife doesn’t cringe when I say “I’m bringing the camera”.

Chris: Money’s no object – what would be your perfect digital setup? How about film?

Paul: I’m very happy with my Olympus gear and Panasonic has some nice micro four thirds temptations as well, but, always the but, there are better low light performers and for some reason, I seem to find myself in low light quite a bit so perhaps I would give a Sony A7s II and some nice Zeiss primes a go. For film, maybe a Leica M7, or something I have just thought of, the CONTAX 645 AutoFocus SLR. Nah, too heavy for selfies.

Chris: Final questions coming up. Thinking back over the years, are there any film cameras (and lenses) you wish you still had or wished that you had gotten?

Paul: In the mid-70s, I probably should have kept my Minolta SR-T101 instead of trading it on a Zorki IV Leica copy. Going back to basics was just an excuse for “couldn’t afford the lenses”. Which brings me to the second part. I wish I had got some more Minolta lenses for the SR-T101 instead of adapted crap.

Chris: You’ve been given $500, are you going to spend it on a camera for research purposes or something more current like that special something you just have to have to make your digital photography just a tad better?

Paul: Give me the $500 and let me surprise you… No? $500 is not enough but I am pining for a decent wide angle lens. I would only spend $500 on a camera for research purposes if it was likely to be an appreciating asset. I’m not good with anything that involves making money.

Chris: OK for real this time, one more three part question. Do you have any suggestions on how to start a website like yours? Have you thought about blogging? Why no advertising?

Paul: Part 1 – Do I have any suggestions? Don’t do it my way. A wordy long book-like website is not really a website, it’s an e-book. Either learn or pay for real web-design skills or pray that you are offering a subject which will attract people regardless of what they may have to wade through. Oh, and definitely pay for more reliable hosting, it’s not worth the unbelievable angst for that teensy 5% of time that it’s really a crap service.

Part 2 – Yep, maybe when they introduce the 36 hour day.

Part 3 – It’s ad free for a number of reasons. The main one is that even though I try to stick to using my own photos, or my contributors photos, there are so many different Yashica variations to analyse and document, invariably, I end up “borrowing” from the net. Quite often this might be from a Japanese auction where it is impossible to ask permission but sometimes from western sites too. I acknowledge that on the site. I try to minimise any concerns by only using the part of the image that features whatever I am wanting to show and usually at quite low resolution. My defence for doing that is that it’s in the public interest. Mind you, that is a moral, not legal defence. If I start making money out of advertising, I lose the moral argument as well. The other reasons are “the site is too big already” and my doubts that this type of site could generate anything worthwhile.

Thanks so much Paul for taking the time to visit with us.  I encourage anyone even with a passing interest in film photography to stop by Paul’s site (be sure to bookmark it) at http://www.yashicatlr.com

You can contact Paul directly at paulsokk@live.com.au

A small sample of Paul’s most recent work which includes a trip to Japan in November, 2016 –

Paul's Sydney

The Sydney Opera House – 27 May 2017, E-M5 Mk II and M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens. The occasion was Vivid Sydney, an annual light show.

Paul's Storm

Storm clouds across Brisbane Water, near Broken Bay, Gosford, NSW.

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Japan, 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Japan, 2016

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Japan, 2016

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Hiroshima, Japan 2016

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Japan, 2016

Paul's Yashica 635

Yashica 635 from Paul’s collection.

Yashica TLR

http://www.yashicatlr.com

Pigeonflex, Yashima Flex, Yashica Flex, Yashicaflex & Yashica Models
ピジョンフレック ヤシマフレックス ヤシカフレック ヤシカ

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