Yashica TL Electro-X

Another look at a recent post about my all-time favorite Yashica. This one was sold to another collector hours after listing it in my shop.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

One of the best cameras that Yashica made – in 1968 Yashica produced an exciting 35 mm SLR with a built-in computer! Well, integrated circuits and an electronic “brain”.

It was my first SLR and I fell in love with its looks and the feel of it in my hands. This one is from my rather silly large collection of Yashica cameras and I’ve decided to make it available in my online shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

This one is from around 1970 and besides being in stunning mint condition it works like new!

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Gotta love the gothic “Y” on the pentaprism – pure Yashica!

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The battery for this camera is still readily available today and isn’t very expensive.

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I’ve always felt that the satin silver finish on this model was the best – it holds up well and it’s easy to keep clean.

The camera will come with a fresh (new)…

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Pigeon 35 by Shinano Camera Co., Ltd.

A reblog of an earlier post about this amazing and seldom seen 35mm rangefinder camera made in Japan in the early 1950s.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Why show a 35mm viewfinder camera on a blog about the Yashica Pentamatic? Well, Shinano and Yashima-Yashica share a common history. The first camera that carried the Yashima name was the Pigeonflex… a twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera!

Anyway here’s a nice example of a gorgeous 35 mm viewfinder camera that we acquired recently. The lens is made by Tomioka… a sharp (we hope) Tri-Lausar f/ 3.5 4.5 cm lens. NKS shutter B – 1/200.

It’s a nice heavyweight camera that has a good feel to it. In our opinion, it’s far from being a cheaply built camera as some would say. In fact, it still functions as intended after 6 decades of use. Most leather cases would be a complete mess after this amount of time but the leather is nice and the stitching is intact.

20160801_183736 1952 Pigeon 35 by Shinano.

20160801_183800 Nice view of the Tomioka lens.

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Just Arrived! New items in the shop.

Some new items have just been listed in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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Canon EOS nylon camera strap from the 1980s. New, never used. Super nice.

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A must have original (not a copy) Canon Booster T Finder instruction book. Near mint condition.

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Hyper rare Minolta Six 6×6 cm medium format 120 roll film camera from 1936. This was the first camera to carry the Minolta name and was the first 6×6 cm camera made in Japan.

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Classic early 1970s Mamiya/Sekor 35mm SLR – the 1000 DTL was a landmark camera from Mamiya.

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Super cool camera case (camera not included). Made by Marsand. I still have the key and the lock still locks!

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Not often seen outside of Japan, this SLR slayer from Fuji Photo Film Company is like new in its original package – with all the goodies included it’s ready to be a street photog’s dream.

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Brand new Canon Olympics fanny pack. Step back to the future with this HTF collectible from Canon.

There you have it – a small sample of some of the neat items I’ve added to my shop recently all at 10% off in my big Spring sale! Check it out at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Happy SUNday! – Yashica Cousins

Yashica’s advertising figurine (doll?) from the early 1960s. Officially nameless but I’ve tagged him with “Sailor Boy” for obvious reasons.

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My camera shop display sized (20 cm) Yashica “Sailor Boy”. This one was still in its sealed plastic bag and original box from Modern Plastics of Japan.

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Another dealer display model (not mine) of Yashica’s “Sailor Boy” – this one looks as though he’s been in a bar fight in Tokyo!

I’m not sure which one was first but my guess is that the “tough guy” version may have been a prototype as I’ve never seen another one for sale in all my years of collecting Yashica branded items.

Have a great day y’all! – Chris

I’ve listed some neat items in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – pop on over and check it out!

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

some early morning zen in the garden

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Cameras: Fujifilm X-A10 and Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful Saturday! – Chris

Stop by the camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for some classic photo gear.

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Are TLRs a good way to discover medium-format photography?

I guess another way to pose the question would be “are TLRs still relevant”?

Film photography appears to be holding its own in this digital world but have twin-lens reflex cameras lost their appeal? Obviously, not all vintage and classic camera sales go to just collectors – many of these 40 and 50-year-old cameras are being purchased and used by today’s crop of film photographers looking for a way to explore medium-format images without breaking the bank.

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Typical twin-lens reflex (TLR) film camera.

I decided to take a snapshot of just completed sales of cameras that were listed as “TLR – Film Cameras – Sold” on eBay.

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The top six are –

  • Mamiya
  • Yashica
  • Rolleiflex
  • Lubitel
  • Rollei
  • Konica Minolta

This list goes back to the last few days of January 2019 and does include some accessories (lenses, lens caps, cases) that are not cameras. So the total numbers will be a bit skewed.

Here’s the list searching for “TLR Camera – Film Cameras – Sold” on eBay which removed accessories like lenses, cases and other minor parts.

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The top six are –

  • Yashica
  • Mamiya
  • Rolleiflex
  • Rollei
  • Konica Minolta
  • Minolta

This represents an unscientific look at the popularity of TLRs as a viable tool for enjoying medium-format (6×6 cm) photography. 120 roll film is still widely available and it’s easy to find online companies that develop the film.

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6×6 cm image taken with my Yashica-Mat EM TLR. Learning to compose and shoot this square format takes a bit of practice but the quality of the finished picture is worth it.

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Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

My camera shop is always open and it can be found at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – I’ve got a big sale in progress with some super savings… check it out!

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

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.

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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 maker of high quality, low-cost twin-lens reflex cameras but hadn’t moved into the 35 mm market as of early 1957. It appears that the president and founder of Yashima-Yashica, Mr. Yoshimasa Ushiyama could see that although Yashica was successful building TLRs, the market for them would slowly diminish as new, smaller and easier to use 35 mm cameras would grab the marketplace. He wanted in but how?

Yashica had no experience with 35 mm cameras, especially rangefinder cameras with cloth focal-plane shutters. There were dozens of Leica copy cameras in Japan (and the world for that matter) but possible patents protected specific manufacturer’s shutter designs. If he could buy into an established company then he could use their shutter design and incorporate it with early Yashima-Yashica designs. In May of 1958, an opportunity presented itself. Nicca Camera Company was apparently experiencing financial difficulties and may have been on the brink of bankruptcy. Nicca cameras were well known and well respected – they made high quality 35 mm rangefinder cameras with focal-plane shutters. They used Nikkor lenses with the L39 screw mount. Mr. Ushiyama was in a rush to purchase Nicca before they went belly up. Advisers cautioned to wait until Nicca went bankrupt arguing that they would be able to acquire it for a better price. Mr. Ushiyama knew that that outcome of a bankruptcy could take longer than he was willing to wait and there would certainly be more suitors to compete with. So the deal went through… sort of. As best as we can glean from our research, a “religionist” “admonished” Mr. Ushiyama for rushing into the deal and cautioned that Yashica itself would suffer a “decline” if all of the transfer were made immediately.

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OK, OK! We give!!! We share your feelings dear reader –  what’s the connection between Nicca and the Pentamatic? Taking the advice of the religionist, Mr. Ushiyama created a new company. Nicca would become Taiho Optical Company. Say what? Nicca wasn’t absorbed into Yashica in May of 1958, instead, they became another company that could continue to operate with Yashica but without becoming Yashica. Simple. Confused? Mr. Ushiyama listened to his adviser so nothing bad happened. It appears that the former Nicca employees were now free to develop new processes and designs with the financial and technical support of the much larger Yashica. What did Yashica get for its money? Plenty it would seem. Access to years of 35 mm rangefinder manufacturing experience and access to a proven focal-plane shutter. Important steps in building a 35 mm single-lens reflex camera. We don’t know (yet) which one of the two companies came up with the design of what would become the Pentamatic. Was it mostly a Yashica design that had been kicking around for a while lacking a focal-plane shutter, or was it mostly a Nicca design that lacked the financial means to bring it to market? We feel that it was more than likely a 60 – 40 split with Nicca as the 60%. Just a hunch, no facts at the moment.

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Earliest known sales brochure for the Pentamatic ’35’. The best guess is that it was printed in the Spring of 1960.

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A machine translation of this page from inside of the brochure states clearly that Nicca and Yashica developed the Pentamatic.

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But what did the Taiho Optical Company make? Yashica didn’t make their own lenses, Tomioka Optical of Tokyo did. Was the former Nicca, now that it had become Taiho Optical, going to suddenly start making lenses? At the start of this blog, we mentioned that we were alerted to the existence of a 13.5 cm lens for sale with the Taiho Optical Company-Nicca Japan markings. Other than that, nothing.

So when did Mr. Ushiyama merge the two companies? He apparently listed to his adviser and waited eight long years before merging the two. From 1960 (when the Pentamatic was released) until 1968, when he not only made Yashica whole, but he also acquired long time lens supplier Tomioka Optical.

Now we know how the Pentamatic came to be and why it could be called the Nicca Pentamatic.

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Thanks for sticking with us. – 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Wordless Wednesday – Turtle Power!

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Camera: Samsung Galaxy S8+

BTW, she’s OK and soon left on her own accord to hang at the bog.

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

E.P Marked Photo Gear. Is it really worth more?

A revisit to this earlier post about the mark that is sometimes found on Japanese cameras from the 1950s, 1960s and infrequently the 1970s. Recently we discovered a Canon AV-1 from 1979 with the mark – that’s the latest ever found by us.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Photo gear made in Japan will sometimes carry a strange marking  <E.P>

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In the above example, the <E.P> mark is engraved on the rewind knob of this Nicca camera. This camera is from the 1955 to 1957 period.

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In the example above, this Nikkor 13.5cm lens has the <E.P> mark engraved on a small lever near the base of the lens. On the lens case below, the <E.P> mark is stamped into the leather just below the JAPAN stamp. The case belongs with the lens pictured above.

s-l1600 (22) First time we’ve seen the mark on a lens case. To us that implies that the case was mated with that lens from the factory (or wherever the mark was applied).

So what’s up with the <E.P> mark anyway?

As we understand it, the Japanese government needed a way to identify which pieces of photo gear were sold through military facilities and duty…

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