Tower 10 – Made by Olympus for Sears, Roebuck and Company

This one (a later model) is from 1959 or so. It’s a fun little camera that weighs a ton especially given its small size (lots of metal and glass).

It’s an Olympus 35-S II that’s co-branded with Tower which I think is a bit odd. Nowhere on the body is it marked “Tower 10” – the only clue can be found in the instruction booklet. The model with the E. Zuiko f2.8 lens is the Model 10.

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My camera is in surprisingly good operating condition considering it’s been sitting in a little vinyl camera case in a shed for more than a few years! Only three issues with it – “bulb” does not work, what appears to be typical for this model, there’s “brassing/corrosion” around the film advance lever, and lastly, the rangefinder/viewfinder windows had become detached from inside the camera and were misaligned. Oh, and it was a tad bit dirty.

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No self-timer on my later model.

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It was pretty straightforward taking the top plate off from the body. A minimum of parts to remove and the viewfinder window was easy to get to and repair with some fresh glue and a steady hand. The viewfinder was actually very clean and thank goodness there was no mold or fungus to deal with.

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As best as I can figure, the “Luminous Frame Window” (center) helps to bring more light into the viewfinder to aid in focusing. The view is impressive. It’s bright, clear and sharp inside that thingy.

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It’s a rather simple camera – I like that! The three windows identify that this is the 35-S II vice the original 35-S

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The corrosion around the film advance lever gives the camera some character – or that’s the story I’m sticking with! The lens, as described by Olympus, is a “fast” f2.8 made up of 5 elements in 4 groups (4.8cm).

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Thanks for stopping by! If you can find a nice Tower/Olympus 35-S II I think you’ll find it a fun little camera to own. – Chris

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

Copyright © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Nicca & Tower Instruction Booklets

Not often seen, here’s a few instruction booklets for the classic Nicca and Nicca-Tower rangefinders. No dates on these but by the look of the cameras on the covers, I’d say the earliest is 1950.

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The Nicca Type III (Type-3) pictured above and below.

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The Nicca 3-S and Type 4 (below).

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The Tower Type III made by Nicca for Sears, Roebuck and Company (below).

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Do you have a Tower or Nicca instruction booklet? How about some early ads? We are interested buyers of anything relating to Nicca and the Tower rangefinder cameras of the 1950s. Let us know. Thanks – Chris

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

Copyright © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Whiteface Mt., New York – 1967

Me on top of New York! Well, almost.

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On top of Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington, N.Y. near Lake Placid.

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The original image on Kodak Kodacolor Instamatic film. The square pics of my youth.

Whiteface Mountain hosted the alpine portion of the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980.

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At Whiteface Mountain in 1960 – mom’s got a good hold on me with no seat straps. 

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

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

Copyright © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Nicca Pentamatic!?

This post is worthy of another look. I see some areas that need to be updated with better information. – Chris

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

We know… doesn’t make sense does it? Doesn’t even sound right… “Nicca Pentamatic”.

Stay with us and we’ll try to make our case. Recently discovered information has filled-in some of the missing links in the development of our favorite obsession camera. The mysterious and seldom seen Pentamatic ’35’… Yashica’s first SLR.

dscf2740 Nicca 3-F 35 mm rangefinder (left) and Yashica Pentamatic 35 mm single-lens reflex SLR (right).

A few interesting bits of info have come to our attention recently. We were alerted to an auction by our friend Paul Sokk (http://www.yashicatlr.com) that listed a 13.5 cm f/ 2.8 lens made by Taiho Optical Company –  Nicca Lens. Having never heard of the company, Taiho Optical, and knowing about Nicca’s history, we couldn’t figure out where and how there could be a Nicca connection.

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Let’s backtrack a bit with a quick history lesson. Yashima-Yashica was a very successful…

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Historic Advertising Flyer – 1958

I’ll say 1958 because it looks like it was produced shortly after Yashima-Yashica acquired the Nicca Camera Co., Ltd. in May 1958. As best as I can tell this is the one and only time that a piece of advertising contained all three key players in the Nicca III-L. Nicca, Nikkor (Nikon), and Yashica. The address at the bottom of the page matches the address that Yashica used in 1958-1959.

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My translation app has the address as 1-8 Nihonbashi, Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

The lenses for the Nicca cameras were almost exclusively supplied by Nikon and branded as Nikkor. Since this was a transition time (end of the line) for Nicca, this flyer clearly indicates that Yashica is the new player in the picture. Yashica would operate Nicca as Taiho Optical Company for a period of time with at least a few lenses getting produced with that brand name on the lens.

Yashica eventually (in well less than a year) started to supply lenses with the Yashinon name for these Nicca-Yashica crossover models. It’s not clear if these lenses were made for Yashica by an outside company such as Tomioka or that they may have been made by the newly acquired Nicca operating under their new name Taiho. There are at least a few Nicca branded lenses that I’ve seen so it’s not an impossible thought.

As always, thanks for your visit. Do you have something to add? I’d love to hear and see anything related to this dynamic period in Yashica’s history. – Chris

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

Copyright © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Tower Type-3 35mm Rangefinder – Made by Nicca for Sears

One of the better made Leica type of 35mm rangefinder cameras from the early 1950s. This one dates back to the period during the occupation of Japan following WWII. The occupation formally ended in April 1952.

I believe the Nicca-Towers are extremely attractive in their design and some (like this gem) have aged very well (1951 on this one).

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The Tower brand was made by Nicca Camera Company for Sears, Roebuck and Company for sale in the United States through their stores and in their catalogs.

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Nippon Kogaku Nikkor – H.C f2 5cm lens from my Nicca s-3

These cameras accept all L39 screw-in (Leica type) lenses made by a ton of manufacturers – Canon, Nikkor, Leitz and more than I care to think about. Oh yeah, Nicca even made one with their own name and Yashica made a few too. Happy hunting!

Chris

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

Copyright © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

Yashica YF – aka Fair-Way, 35 YF Nicca

A bunch of ways to identify the same camera from Yashica. One of the few cameras that made it to the marketplace with both the Yashica and the Nicca names. Yashica had just acquired the Nicca Camera Company in 1958 and this was the last interchangeable lens 35mm rangefinder camera from both.

This is a picture from my archives that was found on the web some time ago. The main reason for including it on the blog is that few (myself included) have ever seen the original presentation box before. This box is in wonderful condition and gives us a glimpse into Yashica’s marketing in 1959. The box has Yashica, YF and Nicca but not the “Fair-Way” name as it was sometimes referred to in Japan.

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I hope to add a YF to my collection shortly and I’ll be sure to post about my impressions of it here.

Thanks for stopping by and of course my camera shop is always open at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – Chris

Yashica Lynx – the ‘Wildcat’ in Yashica’s den!

Recent finds and some good detective work by my friend Paul Sokk have gone on to lend support that Zunow did make some of the lenses on the Yashica Lynx and now it looks like they first appeared on the Yashica 35 YL. More to come!

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

We haven’t paid much attention to rangefinder cameras here on the “Fanatic” – it’s not that we don’t find them interesting – quite the opposite, many rangefinder cameras associated with Yashica are groundbreaking and historically significant and are worthy of further research.

The Yashica Lynx – aka the Lynx-1000. It was the first in a long line of successful fixed-lens rangefinder cameras from Yashica in the early 1960s. The first Lynx was made in May 1960 based on the serial number of the camera in an early sales brochure (in English below).

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We find early sales brochures extremely helpful when attempting to place a date of production of a camera. In this case, the serial number NO. 650048 would indicate that the Lynx was first produced in May 1960 (6 = 1960, 5 = May, 0048 = number 48th made).

This early box (below) confirms that Yashica referred to…

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