Yashica Pentamatic I & II – 1960

The original Pentamatic ’35’ and the Pentamatic II. The original Pentamatic made its debut in March 1960 and was first available for sale in  April 1960 (production started in December 1959). The Pentamatic II was rushed into production in August 1960 and was only for sale in Japan. The only change between the two cameras… was the lens!

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The P1 (left) came with the Auto Yashinon f/1.8 5.5cm lens. The P2 (right) came with the Auto Yashinon f/1.7 5.8cm lens. The goal of Yashica was to improve on the semi-automatic operation of the lens over the standard lens on the P1.

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Serial numbers. The SN on the top camera is on the original Pentamatic camera body. The number, NO. 126013189 contains a date code and production sequence number. This camera was made in December 1960 and was the 13,189th camera made. The bottom camera’s serial number (Pentamatic II), NO. 126004171 decodes to: December 1960 and it was the 4,171st made since August 1960 (the start of production on the P2). 

So both of the cameras were in production at the same time in the same factory. We’re highly confident in our analysis of the serial numbers. We have enough examples in our database and enough experience in decoding Yashica serial numbers to say that we are 100% correct.

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The whole process of releasing the Pentamatic II was rushed – the top plates were only slightly modified to accommodate squeezing in the “II”. The engraving was moved about 1 mm to the left so as to have room to engrave the “II”. On the back of the camera it only took a change in the serial number engraving to reflect the P2.

The Pentamatic II didn’t get any upgrades to the body… no self-timer and no hot shoe. The lens is a totally different lens and we’ll cover those differences in our next post.

Thanks for your visit!

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

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