How to date a pretty little Yashica… *

More exactly, how to decode the serial numbers on the Yashica YE 35mm rangefinder camera.

*Not an official Yashica dating site.


We touched on this briefly the other day, but the Yashica YE serial number might have a date code embedded in it. We say might have because we are working off only a 25 camera database – possibly not enough to make a definitive call.

In the example above, the serial number (No. 392745) appears to decode to: 3 = March, 9 = 1959 and 2745 = 2,745th made.

The earliest camera in our database is: (No. 128049) which would be 12 = December, 8 = 1958 and 049 = the 49th made.

The latest in the database is: (No. 699821) which is 6 = June, 9 = 1959 and 9821 = 9,821st made.

Reports on some sites on the Internet claim that only 4,000 cameras were made. The serial numbers, if consecutive and continuous would seem to contradict that. For the moment, let’s keep an open mind about the serial number decoding. More info is needed to fill in the December 1958 and post June 1959 production numbers from Yashica.

If you have some additional info or serial numbers to share, please feel free to share that with us.


Be sure to check out some of our fine art prints available at

Chris and Carol

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