Unique Yashica TL Electro-X from Denmark – Update 1

Many thanks to reader Jens Erik at http://www.jebsign.dk for sharing a photo of his Yashica TL Electro-X with me recently. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it appears that a distributor of Yashica cameras and photo gear (Kirk) in Denmark had a rather neat twist on this popular SLR. Here’s the ad that ran in 1969 –

1969 April, Yashica TL Electro-X

Here’s Jens Erik’s Yashica – his TL Electro-X matches the one depicted in the Yashica ad from 1969 and it clearly shows that the “X” is black vice the typical red and that the gothic “Y” that would normally be on the pentaprism is “missing”.


An example of an early version of this popular Yashica. The lens is not the lens that would have been on the camera at the time of its release. I’ll call this version the Type 1.

Updated info as of September 2019. It now appears that this no “Y” version wasn’t unique to this Danish or any other European distributor. I’ve just acquired my own version of this camera through a seller in the United States with no indication that it was purchased outside of the US initially. In my opinion, Yashica’s first version (pictured above) of their wildly popular TL Electro-X was the version missing the “Y” on the pentaprism – production looks like it first began in October 1968. My newest camera for my collection is from December 1968 as its serial number is 81200636. There’s one for sale on the Spanish eBay site that has the serial number 81000991 (which is October 1968).

Below is an example of the more typical Yashica TL Electro X design. The “X” is in red and there’s no hyphen before it and of course, the traditional gothic “Y” on the pentaprism.


Yashica TL Electro X Type 2 – with red “X” and gothic “Y”


Yashica sales brochure from the early 1970s.

Update #1: So Yashica’s first design for the TL Electro-X was the one without the “Y” on the pentaprism (Type 1) and the second and much more available TL Electro X with the “Y” is the Type 2. There also appears to be a large gap in production between the T1 and T2 of about eight or nine months. At this point in time, we don’t have a reason for the changes or for the gap.


Yashica sales brochure in German from around 1972. The ITS model with its distinctive gold electron design on the pentaprism is on the right.

Thanks again to Jens Erik for sharing his Yashica with me (and you).


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7 thoughts on “Unique Yashica TL Electro-X from Denmark – Update 1

  1. Hi Chris, Thanks for all the useful information on Yashica cameras, you have solved a mystery which has been bugging me for quite a while! Some years back I bought a black TL ElectroX ITS and had fun using that and then I bought another from a fellow member of the PCCGB (a UK camera collecting club). When the second one arrived it had a different location for the metering indicator lights and instead of red arrows inside the viewfinder the indicators are just above and outside the viewfinder and they read “Over” and “Under”. I assumed this was maybe an early model and that the design soon changed to the much more common internal arrow indicators. Your information confirms it is a Type one and your serial number information confirms it is from December 1968 – number 81200037. It also has the earlier DX lens and no Y on the prism. Thanks for clarifying a mystery that has been puzzling me for about 10 years! I guess Yashica amended the design based on early customer feedback but both meter displays work well enough for me.

    Last week I bought a chrome TL ElectroX (Ttype 2) for £5, so now I have the three types plus a couple of TLs and a nice AX.

    Thanks very much, Tim

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! I’m glad I was able to help. I know how I felt when I “discovered” the Type 1 model, it answered many a question I had about why there were so many ads without the gothic “Y” on the pentaprism. Maybe something popped up on the production line that motivated the change of design and the addition of the “Y”. Spread the news! Chris


      1. HI Chris,

        Have a couple of old UK magazine articles that I can send you some images of if they are of any interest. There is a good article by Ivor Matanle, in Amateur Photographer about the Yashica M42 cameras and I think I have an old 1970s review of the AX in another magazine. Let me know if they will be of interest and I can email the images to you.

        Thanks again. Tim

        Liked by 1 person

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