Was this beautiful lens, which was made exclusively for the Pentamatic II designed by Zunow Optical?

Simple Answer – Yes


Yashica Auto Yashinon f/ 1.7 5.8cm lens designed exclusively for Yashica’s Pentamatic II. It appears for the first time in August 1960 and disappears from use by Yashica in January 1961. There’s no documentation about the lens and no hard evidence that Zunow made the lens. Hard evidence would be sales brochures or advertisements that specifically link Yashica and Zunow. Co-branding on the lens ring would have been nice but never happened. Unfortunately our claim that it was made by Zunow is, at this point in time, circumstantial and coincidental. Much more digging around needs to be done on our part.

The lens features the unique Pentamatic bayonet mount that couldn’t be used on any other SLR of the time without an adapter. That in and of itself could have been a major reason for the quick demise of the Pentamatic series of cameras.


Two “clues” that link this lens to Zunow – the serial number style with its unique “No xxxxxx” vice the more typical serial number style that Tomioka used “No. xxxxxxxx” at the time (as did most lens makers). Another clue, the style of the lowercase “a” in Japan. Most Zunow lenses used a fat “a” vice the keyboard style lowercase “a”. We know, these are hardly the type of clues needed to link the two but they’re good ones for now.

zunow font

Close-up of a Zunow made f/ 1.8 4.5cm lens for the Yashica Lynx-1000 (1960). Note the fat “a” and distinctive serial number style.

Could the f/ 1.7 5.8cm lens have been made by Tomioka Optical? Of course, Tomioka was the almost exclusive lens supplier to Yashica since the beginnings of Yashica in 1953. We feel that Tomioka had their hands full making nearly 1,500 lenses per month for Yashica’s first Pentamatic model (which was still very much in production at the time), and then taking on this lens at about 1,000 lenses per month for the Pentamatic II may have been a bit much for Tomioka.

This lens is so radically different in design and function of other Tomioka made SLR lenses of the time (Tomioka only started making lenses for an SLR in September 1959 with no known examples found before that).

Here’s a peek inside of this lens –


It features quality construction throughout and what we feel is another Zunow cue, 10 aperture blades. The Tomioka f/ 1.8 5.5cm lens for the original Pentamatic has only 6 blades. We’ve yet to take one apart (soon).


Pictured above is the f/ 1.7 5.8 Pentamatic II lens with its 10 aperture blades. Below, the front lens group removed from the lens barrel.


Original sales brochure (below) dated February 1961 featuring the Pentamatic II and its very unique lens.


Is All of This Enough to Prove a Connection to Zunow?

No of course not. Our claim is a merely a starting point for further discussions and discoveries. We hope to disassemble the Tomioka f/ 1.8 5.5cm lens that was made for the first Pentamatic and compare it to this f/ 1.7 5.8cm lens for the Pentamatic II. By the way, the Pentamatic II was only available for sale in the domestic markets in Japan. There’s no evidence that it was ever exported. We do know that Zunow Optical and Yashica did have a working relationship by the mid 1950s with Zunow supplying high quality D mount cine lenses for Yashica’s 8mm movie cameras (see below).

yashica zunow cine lens (2)

Thanks for your visit! Comments are always welcome and your input is important to us. This post is designed to stimulate discussion as to the validity of our assertions. Heck, we may have missed significant clues along the way that would either prove or disprove our claim.

By the way. A special shout out to my good friend and fellow Yashicaphile, Paul Sokk! Our frequent correspondence on this subject first planted the seed that this lens could have been made by Zunow. Paul rightly reminded me that the bankruptcy of Zunow in January 1961 coincided with Yashica stopping production of the Pentamatic II. Yashica is thought to have acquired Zunow after that and one would assume all of Zunow’s assets and debts.


Be sure to stop by our online store CC’s Studio Twenty-3 Eighty at https://www.ccstudio2380.com for some neat items of photographic interest! Thanks, C&C

Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Professional Printer

Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Professional Inkjet Printer

Brand new in unopened box direct from Canon. This large format (up to 13x19 inches / A3+) color inkjet printer uses genuine Canon archival inks that are guaranteed not to fade over time. Matched with Canon's large assortment of professional grade photographic papers it's a unbeatable value for the home studio. We will include FREE SHIPPING via UPS or FedEx in the USA (lower 48 please). For more details on this incredible printer, please visit our online store (see link below).


Please visit our online store, CC’s Studio Twenty-3 Eighty at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for more details and a more complete description.

The free shipping offer is at least a $70 value! The printer will arrive to you in its original box from Canon unopened with everything included – 8 full color Canon ink tanks and the printhead.

Thanks, Chris and Carol

Battling Bots


My country divided… again and again over everything! Maybe this is how Congress should decide the issues… accords and compromises are non existent under this political climate with the “Divider in Chief” at the helm.



Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.


Why the Pentamatic?

Back to square one!

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

The Yashica Pentamatic has always fascinated me from the moment I first caught a glimpse of it while doing research on the Yashima / Yashica Company. It was (and still is) a strange-looking camera… so 1960s and it was Yashica’s very first 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. I love its sleek lines and simple design… and it was just a little bit “quirky”. My first 35mm SLR was the very popular and stylish Yashica TL Electro-X (in satin chrome finish) which I purchased in early 1972. That camera was big and heavy just like the Pentamatic… lots of brass and glass as they say. The exposure system was a through the lens (TTL) affair that used two red arrows to guide you in adjusting the shutter speed and aperture to obtain a properly exposed image. It was fairly accurate and easy to use but under some low light conditions the…

View original post 570 more words

Yashica Pentamatic Timeline… update 3 (Oct 2017)

Updated with new information. Please share your comments! Thanks

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Our best timeline for the development of the Yashica Pentamatic 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) film camera… Pentamatic ’35’

Please note that this is a “dynamic timeline” and it will be updated as we discover new dates and developments…

  • Summer 1959… Yashica develops / invents its first 35mm SLR
  • September 1959… Yashica files to trademark the name ‘Pentamatic’ in Japan
  • October 1959… Tomioka starts production of a new lens for the Pentamatic. f/1.8 5.5cm
  • December 1959… First Pentamatics assembled at the Suwa factory
  • February 1960… Yashica files to trademark the name ‘Pentamatic’ in the U.S.
  • March 1960… Production reaches 1,500 units
  • March 1960… First showing of the Pentamatic occurs at a trade show in St. Louis… first images of the camera are provided by Yashica
  • April 1960… First published look at the Pentamatic in the May 1960 issue of Modern Photography magazine
  • May 1960… First full page advertisements for the Pentamatic…

View original post 207 more words

Scale – Weekly Photo Challenge


This is a tough one (as evidenced by the number of images submitted for your consideration). Here’s what we came up with in response to this weeks challenge.






Perspective and scale. They go hand in hand. Is the flower big or is it small. The mushroom – close to the camera lens or was it shot with a telephoto? The brass ball – big or small? Big leaf or little leaf or is it the scales (cells)? The forest fits in the viewfinder.

Thanks for your visit!



Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Hi There! We have a online store!

After years of collecting the things that we love, it’s time to share some of our collection with others. We have a Etsy Store that is “everything” oriented but this one is hosted on Etsy’s Pattern site.

If you’re interested in some outstanding classic film photography items, then pop on over to our online store at –

CC’s Studio Twenty-3 Eighty


Classic Cameras, Fine Art Photography, Rare Collectibles, Custom Designs & Creations, Buying and Locating Services and so much more!

You can contact us here and through our site at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com


Fujifilm GF670 Professional

Fujifilm GF670 Sales Brochure

Super hard to find sales brochure from Fujifilm for the popular and desirable GF670 Professional 6x6 / 6x7 medium format film camera. Full color large format about 21x30 cm. All specs, features and accessories. In mint new condition with only the slightest bend on the lower right cover. Add this beautiful brochure to your photographic collection. Mails to the USA for free! International buyers please request a quote for shipping.


One of Fujifilm’s most popular (and expensive) modern film cameras. This rare brochure will enhance any photographic library and make a nice addition to your Fujifilm GF670 collection.



We have a rather large collection of photographic sales brochures. Let us know if there’s one we can find for you.



“Is that a Zunow on your Lynx?” Connections: Yashica and Zunow – do you have one?

The web is a wonderful place as we all know – But like anything in life, it can also be crawling with nonsense and ripe with inaccuracies. Digging through mounds of data requires tons of luck to weed out what’s important and what’s not.

Every now and then something really neat happens!

While surfing through some photography blogs from Japan, I stumbled upon a seemingly casual and offhand comment about the Yashica Lynx. I read that there are some bloggers (from Japan) who have speculated that Yashica’s super popular Lynx 35 (released around May 1960) may have had two lens suppliers during its first half-year or so of production and that there may be a way to tell if your Lynx has a lens supplied by Zunow Optical or a lens made by Tomioka Optical. These Japanese bloggers (roughly 4 or 5) plus one eBay seller from Japan, claim to have read something somewhere online that a Lynx with a body serial number that begins with “NO. xxxxxx” has one type of lens and that cameras whose body serial number begins with a Lxxxxxxx” have a different lens. They’re not talking about the lens serial numbers, just the body numbers. Naturally I was intrigued by this so I wrote my Japanese eBay colleague and asked if he could provide some hard evidence to support his claim and to give me some insight as to why they would think that. What I got were links to what appears to be multiple bloggers copying one another – No references and no additional links. Still I pressed on. I scanned hundreds of images of Zunow and Tomioka lenses and poured over the details of dozens of Yashica Lynx cameras for sale on various auction sites. I even looked at every picture of the Lynx that are posted on Flickr. My conclusion? There’s something to this!


This Yashica Lynx was made in August of 1960 and it was the 723rd off the assembly line. This is our Lynx-1000 with the Zunow lens.

Why is any of this important? If it’s true that some of the Yashica Lynx cameras were delivered with a Zunow made f/1.8 4.5cm lens vice the more common Tomioka made f/1.8 4.5cm lens then that would make the Zunow-Yashica Lynx more valuable to collectors. Why? Rarity could be one factor. The biggest reason is because Zunow lenses (across the board) enjoy a cult-like following from collectors and those in the know. It doesn’t make sense because although Zunow made some groundbreaking lenses (f/1.1 fast!) and some very expensive lenses (LTM) they also made simple and inexpensive lenses for 8mm movie cameras and 35mm fixed lens rangefinder and viewfinder cameras too.


Zunow lens on our Lynx-1000. Many unique features – Fully grooved focus ring without a focus lever. Simple “F / M” for feet and meters. Scale begins with 20 feet vice a typical 30 feet.

Could a Yashica Lynx with a Zunow lens outperform its Tomioka equipped cousin? Should it be worth more?

I can’t answer the first question as I’m not a techie when it comes to lens performance and the final image that a lens produces is subject to an individual’s taste and preferences. The second part I can offer something of an answer. It should be worth more as it appears that Zunow equipped Lynx cameras are few and far between compared to the much more common Tomioka versions.

 Making the Case For Zunow

So how can you tell if you have a Zunow lens on your Lynx? Number one and the single most important thing is your Lynx must have a body serial number that begins with “NO. 6xxxx or x” AND have a lens serial number that begins with “No3xxxxx”. You must have both. The biggest clue to it being a Zunow made lens is the lens serial number. Zunow throughout its short history almost always used the “No” to begin its numbers. It didn’t matter who the lens was made for or if it was a Zunow branded lens – The “No” is the clue. If your lens has this type of serial number then you have a Zunow.


A Zunow lens on the left and a Tomioka lens on the right. Note the simple differences in the two serial numbers.


Close-up of the Zunow lens. The serial number will always begin with “No” and then 6 or 7 digits beginning with “3”. Also note the style of the “a”.


Close-up of the Tomioka lens showing a typical Tomioka (and Yashica) style serial number. Note the style of the “a’.

Examples of other Zunow Lenses

Here’s an example of a Zunow lens (below) for the Miranda T. – Same Zunow style serial number.

zunow26 miranda t

This is a 1956 Miranda T. Notice the fancy “f” in “f=5cm”. That was typical for Zunow in the first half of the 1950s. Sharp eyed readers will notice a small wrinkle in my theory. Look at the way “Japan” is written on this Zunow Miranda T lens and then compare it to the way “Japan” is written on the Tomioka Lynx lens above. Pretty darn close… But, both “a’s” in “Japan” are slightly different. Whew!

Here’s another example (below) of a Zunow lens on a Neoca-SV from around 1959 or so.


This is essentially the same lens as the Lynx lens. Note the style of the “a”.

How to Tell Internally Between Zunow and Tomioka

The lens of the left in the image below is the Zunow – on the right is the Tomioka. It’s fairly obvious that there’s significant differences between the two lens designs and some very similar design cues too. We admit that up to this point, these are the only two Lynx lenses that we’ve taken the front lens group out of the lens barrel. ***We don’t intend to keep purchasing additional Lynx cameras with the two different style lens rings to see if they’re all like this. We would encourage our readers to do so with their Lynx and to be so kind as to share their results with us.


The Zunow lens (left below) is about 3mm taller than the Tomioka lens on the right.


A close-up of the Zunow pictured below reveals a very distinct lens design. For lack of better terms, it is taller and more angular.


Tomioka lens close-up (below). For lack of better terms it’s obvious that the lens is shorter and more rounded.


A close-up of the Zunow front lens ring (below) shows a consistent height to the numbers. A typical Zunow feature and common to others as well.


A close-up of the Tomioka lens (below) shows a definite “high-low” style in the numbers. Small “8” and “5”. That same style is seen on some of Tomioka’s other lenses and it maintains this same style on this lens long after Zunow closed in early 1961.


Here’s our other Yashica Lynx (below). This one was made in July 1962 and it was the 1,184th made that month. Yashica reset the serial number sequence at the start of each month during this period. Many thanks to my friend Paul Sokk for that decode! 



L = Lynx and “2071184” decodes to: 2 = 1962, 07 = July, 1184 = 1,184th made that month.


So in Summary

The easiest way to know if your Yashica Lynx-1000 has a lens made by Zunow is to check the lens serial number found on the front lens ring. If the serial number looks like this one below then you have a lens made by Zunow Optical for Yashica.


If the serial number looks like the lens ring below, then your lens was made by Tomioka Optical for Yashica. Tomioka was at this time Yashica’s number one supplier of lenses going back to Yashica’s earliest days.


This is a bold statement on our part and a pretty exciting discovery too. We never want to mislead anyone and certainly we wouldn’t post this if we weren’t sure of our conclusions.

If you find that our post doesn’t hold water, let us know and share your input and support for your theory. We’re always looking to discover something new and exciting.

Many thanks!

Chris and Carol



Super Cool Pokemon Pikachu Watch!


Nintendo Pokemon Pikachu Talking Watch – Fully Working!

Gotta catch 'em all! Genuine Pikachu Pokemon talking watch - stopwatch - month/date/day - Help Ash catch 'em with Pikachu's help! It talks and works just like new. Brand new battery just inserted. Highly adjustable with Velcro inner strap and vinyl outer strap. From 1999... Put a smile on someone special's face with this awesome watch. FREE USA SHIPPING! Mails internationally... Ask for a quote.





Thanks for looking!