Yashica Mystery – what is it and what does it mean?

Contributor and Yashica aficionado, Graham Buxton-Smither posted this picture in my Flickr Group, https://www.flickr.com/groups/2734130@N24/pool/ the other day asking if I’d ever seen this type of serial number on a Yashica TL Electro X (pro-black body) before. I haven’t so I thought it would be good to broadcast it in this blog in hopes of discovering something about it.


Serial number with its odd two letter prefix ‘FI’. Photo courtesy of Graham Buxton-Smither https://www.flickr.com/photos/164456136@N06/

The serial number itself is unremarkable in the sense that it follows along with the standard for a Yashica SLR. It decodes to December 1969 as the manufacture date. The ‘FI’ has no previous use that I’m aware of so it was a surprise to see it. Graham states that it is on a one owner Yashica TL Electro X purchased in the UK when new. It appears to be a factory mark as the black paint looks undisturbed.

I’m stumped as there isn’t an example anywhere in my databases. I can’t even fathom a guess at this point.

Any help including guesses will be appreciated.

Thanks – Chris


6 thoughts on “Yashica Mystery – what is it and what does it mean?

  1. I have a TL electro X with the same FI prefix. The serial number is “FI 91036474”, so produced just 2 month before the one in the original post. It’s a black paint too, not marked as ITS, with the gothic Y on the front and time knob flat with white numbers for high speeds, yellow number for slow speeds and a red x on the 125 sinc for the flash. Unfortunatly is in good external shape but the shutter unit is so sticky to be 100% unreliable. I have an other “normal” ITS and i’m thinking to use it as a donor for the shutter unit, since i think it’s a shame for a unit so intriguing not to be in working order
    (Sorry for my bad english)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing that as it’s important to know if something is a one off or part of a bigger trend. You didn’t say where your camera may have been originally purchased since Graham’s is from the UK. – Chris


  3. I just recently bought a Yashica camera and I have been trying to do more research. It still has its black leather case and attached is a leather string to hold around the neck, and 2 film canisters with VIETNAM painted on. Letting is slightly faded due to weathering. The serial code on mine is LII 6113831. I am also sending you an email with some pictures because I cannot pinpoint when it’s from.

    Liked by 1 person

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