Earth Day 2019 Walkabout – NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat

Carol and I have had our backyard certified by the NWF for many years now – it’s a fun way to get your kids interested in the environment (even if it’s only their own yard) and to foster a respect for our plant in the big picture. All great things start small.

Here’s some images from this morning’s walkabout (4.22.2019) – our little part of the Earth right here in northeast Florida.

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There are over 15 bald cypress trees mixed in with river maples, some oaks, bay trees, and of course, plenty of maidenhair ferns for protective groundcover. There’s a small natural bog and some wetlands too. I’m proud to say that I’ve planted all but 6 trees out of the nearly 60 trees in the yard. Since we moved here in the autumn of 1991 we’ve lived long enough to enjoy the fruits of our labor as most of the cypress trees have grown to be about 40 feet tall.

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One of the many bald cypress trees that inhabit the yard. This one is a “baby” from the first tree that we planted nearly 30 years ago. (see below)

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This bald cypress we brought home from the nursery in the back of our SUV when it was maybe 5 feet tall. It’s now the “daddy or mommy” to most of the other cypress trees in the yard.

We live in a somewhat typical suburban neighborhood with the exception of the backyard has not one blade of grass. No mowing, no lawn maintenance – no chemicals.

Other trees that we’ve planted – Leyland cypress, Japanese black pine, and river birch. All of these do extremely well in the semi-wet environment of our yard and all are native to Florida.

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A young bay tree starting its life amongst the ferns.

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We recently added a wren birdhouse (a gift from our daughter Lindsay) and a family of Carolina wrens have taken up residence. Yeah!

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The sun sculpture on the fence is a favorite of the local anole lizards – they like poking their heads out from the mouth and the sun holds on to some late afternoon sunlight and warmth. Here in the early morning hours, it catches enough sunlight to make it a cozy home.

As the summer wears on, these garden ornaments make a perfect landing spot for dragonflies while patrolling their territory.

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Our crepe myrtle which we purchased through the Arbor Day Foundation (it came as a stick 10 years ago) has grown quite nicely over the years and provides a nice display of dramatic color and texture throughout the year right outside our garden window. The local cardinals and squirrels love the seeds it produces too.

The crepe myrtle in this part of Florida does well without much fuss – it gets all of its water from rainfall and I’ve never fertilized it or use chemicals on insects. The birds and lizards do an excellent job at keeping the bugs in check.

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Marsh rabbit – aka, “Bun-Buns” as Lindsay used to call them.

Other dwellers of the yard – otters (rarely now do we see them), hawks, cardinals, bluebirds, wrens, crows, vultures, marsh rabbits, squirrels, snakes (all types except pythons), lizards, frogs, river cooters (turtles), gopher tortoise, bats, owls, racoon, opossum, armadillo, bobcat (rarely but they do show up), coyotes (only recently), and there was a report of a black bear a few years back. No deer as the yard is way too wet and the woods are a bit dense.

It’s super easy to convert your backyard into a wildlife habitat – just get rid of the grass, plant native trees (a bunch of them), provide some groundcover and water, plant native bushes and flowers and then sit back and enjoy the show. It sure beats mowing and the birds and the bees will thank you each and every day!

Certify your yard with the NWF (go online, it’s easy to do), buy your trees through the National Arbor Day Foundation, shop for native trees and shrubs through local nurseries, add plenty of environmentally friendly rocks (if you’re not blessed with them naturally), mulch to discourage weeds, and share your knowledge with others.

Happy Earth Day y’all! Peace!

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.

 

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Hoppy SUNday!

Happy Easter!

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With my mom, Easter 1964

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Easter morning 1964. Where’s the chocolate bunny???

Have a beautiful day y’all!

Chris

Zoom Cardia 900 – SLR Slayer from Fuji

It’s available through my Etsy camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com or buy it direct here. Thanks – Chris

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Released in Japan in February 1990, this powerful (and not so little) point and shoot 35mm film camera was designed to bring all of the best auto features into one small package. It listed for ¥ 43,800 ($300 at that time) and compared to other P&S compacts of that period that wasn’t a bad price.

It’s a good looking camera in my opinion and its got some heft to it with all of the micromotors built-in and that big Fujinon zoom lens (400 grams with the CR-P2 battery installed).

DSCF9592 Excellent coverage from this sophisticated Fujinon zoom lens – wide-angle to a perfect portrait and short telephoto focal length.

The Cardia Zoom models are considered to be one of the best of the best in the compact 35mm film camera segment – certainly worthy of being called a Modern Classic!

Some of its impressive specs:

  • Fujinon Z 38-85mm f/3.8 (2.2x zoom)…

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FRIday Fun – Random Pics

There are so many details, both large and small that add a richness to living in a small town. A short walkabout is a photographer’s dream as all of these images were captured within a few blocks of one another.

Fernandina Beach, Amelia Island, Florida

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Fernandina Beach can be found in the extreme northeast corner of Florida – it’s located on the first barrier island (Amelia Island) along Florida’s east coast just across the border from St. Marys, Georgia.

It’s certainly worth a visit – there’s nowhere else in Florida like it and we’ve got 13 miles of beautiful unspoiled sandy beaches too!

Ocean Wave

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

BTW, I’ve got some interesting new items in my camera shop which can be found at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

The Yashica Pentamatic – Our 8 Year Search – Some Conclusions & Wild Speculations

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Some Conclusions

The first Pentamatic was “born” in December 1959 but wasn’t available for sale in the U.S. until April 1960. The Pentamatic was Yashica’s first 35mm single-lens reflex camera and was designed with the help of technology obtained from Yashica’s acquisition of Nicca Camera in 1958 and with some involvement with designers from Zunow Optical in 1959. Of course, Yashica designers were involved too as well as collaboration with Tomioka Optical for the first lenses.

Below is a scan of what appears to be the first sales brochure for the Pentamatic found in Japanese. A machine translation of it proves that Yashica and Nicca designers worked together to jointly develop the camera over a 3-year period. The exact date of this brochure has not been established but it appears to be at least issued in the Spring of 1960. Many thanks to my good friend Paul Sokk for his efforts in researching the Pentamatic with me over the years. His fabulous site can be found at www.yashicatlr.com

Yas inside P1 bro

Below is a scan of the cover of that first sales brochure that features the new Pentamatic.

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The original Pentamatic was a failure. A beautiful, sleek and modern camera at a great price, but still a failure. A replacement for it (Pentamatic II) was released by September 1960 – just a few short months after the original Pentamatic debuted.

The Pentamatic and the Pentamatic II were both out of production by January 1961. The Pentamatic S didn’t appear until around April 1961. Little was significantly changed over the course of these 3 models during this short timeframe. The Pentamatic II and its one-off lens improved on its semi-automatic capabilities. The body stayed the same with the exception of adding the engraved “II” after the name. No logic to this as Yashica could have simply made the new lens available as an option to the original Pentamatic. There had to be another reason to call it the model II and it appears that there were some internal changes made to accommodate the new lens.

The standard lens that was available for the Pentamatic II was designed and built (quickly?) by Zunow vice Tomioka. Our best guess at this point.

The Pentamatic II was only available for sale in Japan.

The Pentamatic S essentially was the replacement for the original Pentamatic – not the Pentamatic II. The model S added a lug for attaching an accessory exposure meter that coupled to the shutter speed dial. The S also added a self-timer and the body got a redesign (the strap lugs were moved to the front and the shutter release button was no longer at a 45-degree angle).

The Instruction Booklets

The booklets have been an additional source of fun separate from the camera searches. The booklet for the original Pentamatic was relatively easy to find. The first Pentamatic saw about 16,000 units made so the booklet is much more available. The Pentamatic II booklet was the hardest to locate since only around 5,000 cameras were made. The Pentamatic S booklet is even rarer – only around 3,000 cameras produced.

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Inside the booklets…

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Wild Speculations

Wild Spec 1 – The first Pentamatic was not initially released in Japan. Yashica had a slow go with its early production so only a limited number were available for the April to June debut in the U.S. There were only about 4,000 cameras made by then and that just didn’t support a wide release of it in their home market. However, with the discovery of the as yet undated sales brochure found by my friend Paul Sokk it does appear that some of the first Pentamatics were in fact distributed in Japan. We do feel that Yashica had a suspicion that the original model would not go over well at home. Why do we feel this way? During our quest of all things Pentamatic, we’ve yet to find an instruction booklet for the original Pentamatic in Japanese (or any other language besides English). We’ve seen no early 1960s advertisements either. Although we’ve yet to find these items that does not mean they don’t exist.

Wild Spec 2 – The Pentamatic II was only available in Japan and was never intended for widespread availability in the world marketplace. We further feel that the Pentamatic II was the camera Yashica intended to release in Japan vice the original Pentamatic. Why? Same thing… in over 8 years of searching, we’ve never seen a Pentamatic II instruction booklet in English and the only sales brochures we have are in Japanese. No English ads or brochures anywhere (yet). Update: As of April 2019 still no English ads or books.

Wild Spec 3 – The Pentamatic S wasn’t available in Japan. Crazy right? The same thing applies here – no Japanese advertising or brochures and no instruction booklets in anything but English. Again, not finding them does not translate to not being produced but the likelihood looks slim.

Wild Spec 4 – As we stated in the conclusions section above, the standard lens for the Pentamatic II (5.8cm f/1.7) was made for Yashica by Zunow Optical vice Tomioka. This flies in the face of what’s known and we don’t have solid written proof (yet, if ever). Both the original Pentamatic and the Pentamatic II ended production in January 1961. By coincidence, that’s the reported date of Yashica’s acquisition of Zunow (or their bankruptcy). Once Zunow went bust they no longer make lenses for the Pentamatic II.

Wild Spec 5 – Once the Pentamatic II stopped production, Yashica started selling the original Pentamatic in Japan (or at least increased its availability in Japan). We would still like to find a Pentamatic instruction booklet in Japanese to validate this thought.

Wild Spec 6 – Since the Pentamatic S wasn’t sold in Japan, there was a rather large gap in Yashica’s SLR availability. The next camera to be sold widely in Japan (and the U.S.) was the Penta J but that didn’t come out until the Summer of 1961.

These marketing and production missteps led to a less than stellar debut for Yashica in the world of 35mm SLRs. The competition during this same period was “inventing” much more sophisticated (and mostly more expensive) cameras which had a wider range of interchangeable lenses and accessories. It took Yashica a long time to establish a “foot in the door” with their Penta J and their first internally coupled exposure metered SLR, the Yashica J-3 (Jaguar).

Things we would like to find…

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The first thing we would like to discover would be an ad, sales brochure or instruction booklet in English for the Pentamatic II. We don’t think we will as we feel that they don’t exist.

We would like to find a Pentamatic instruction booklet in Japanese. They must exist but we’ve yet to find one.

Pentamatic S instruction booklet and a sales brochure in Japanese. Don’t think they exist but time will tell.

Pentamatic II box!!! They must exist – someone’s got to have one in their collection! Update: Finally found one but we missed acquiring it for our collection so we “borrowed” this image –

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Pentamatic (any model) in its original boxes in factory fresh condition. WooHoo!

***Solid proof that the standard lens for the Pentamatic II was made by Zunow Optical.***

Other than these things, I think we’re good! ^.^

Thanks for your visit! If you’ve made it this far in the post give yourself a big pat on the back! You just may be on your way to becoming a ‘Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic’!

Please stop by our online shop at https://www.ccstudio2380.com and check out some of our classic cameras available for sale.

We are active buyers of quality cameras and equipment – especially anything Yashica, Nicca, Fujica or whatever! Contact us at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com

Please stop by our camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

Remembering when voices carried… 1985

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’til tuesday from their 1985 Epic Records 45 cover Voices Carry

‘Til Tuesday is Aimee Mann, Robert Holmes, Joey Pesce, Michael Hausman

Lyrics for Voices Carry
I’m in the dark, I’d like to read his mind
But I’m frightened of the things I might find
Oh, there must be something he’s thinking of
to tear him away-a-ay
When I tell him that I’m falling in love
why does he say-a-ay
Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry
Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry
Uh-ah
I try so hard not to get upset
Because I know all the trouble I’ll get
Oh, he tells me tears are something to hide
and something to fear-eh-eh
And I try so hard to keep it inside
so no one can hear
Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry
Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry
Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry
Uh-ah
Oh!
He wants me, but only part of the time
He wants me, if he can keep me in line
Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry
Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry
Hush hush, shut up now, voices carry
Hush hush, keep it down now, voices carry
Hush hush, darling, she might overhear
Hush, hush – voices carry
He said shut up – he said shut up
Oh God can’t you keep it down
Voices carry
Hush hush, voices carry
words by Aimee Mann

My Studio Camera: Fujifilm X-A10

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Happy Saturday – kitchen fun

“Hello, it’s grate to meet you!”

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Camera: Fujifilm X-A10 with Fujinon Super EBC XC 16-50mm Zoom Lens

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Camera: Samsung Galaxy S8+

Have a grate day y’all! – 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.

Yashica-Mat 120 Film Camera Set – 1960

For those who may have missed this post from two years ago here’s a reblog of it. This is one of the nicest sets we’ve ever come across in all our years of collecting Yashicas.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

dscf3786 Pretty close to the way it looked when it was unboxed back in 1960. This one was part of a short production run of only a handful of cameras. It was for sale at US Military Exchanges (stores) in Japan as it is marked *EP* which meant and exempt purchase. No taxes paid but it could not be purchased or sold on the Japanese domestic market. 

dscf3787 It was Yashica’s first crank film advance TLR and it had auto cocking of the shutter. First released in April 1957.

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The quality of the images taken with a Yashica-Mat are outstanding – Yashica used high quality Yashinon f3.5 80mm lenses made for them by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo.

They are a joy to use and it’s a great camera to get into medium format photography. It produces large 6 x 6 cm negatives or slides.

Thanks for your visit!

Chris and Carol  ^.^

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