Yashica’s evolution during the 1960s and beyond started with their first TTL (Thru-the-Lens) exposure metered cameras – the much loved TL Series which were introduced right after the successful J Series (Penta J, Reflex 35, J-3, J-5, J-P, J-4, J-7).
It began with the exceptional TL-Super in April 1966. The chronology is as follows based on serial numbers and not based on advertised or previously known release dates.
- TL-Super Apr 1966
- TL Nov 1967
- TL Electro-X Oct 1968 Type 1
- TL-E Jun 1969
- TL Electro X Jul 1969 Type 2
- ITS Dec 1970
- Electro AX Mar 1972
- TL-Electro Apr 1972
- FFT Jul 1973
The TL Series ended in 1978 with the last TL-Electro made. All of these Yashicas used the M42 screw-in lenses which were made by a variety of lens makers.
It’s easy to decode your camera’s serial number as Yashica used a 3 or 4 digit date code at the beginning of the serial number. As an example, here’s a serial number on a TL-E (90607952) 9 = 1969, 06 = Jun, 07952 = 7,952nd made that month in sequence from 00001.
Here’s a TL (2816946) 2 = Feb, 8 = 1968, 16946 = 16,946th made that month in sequence.
If you’ve got a serial number that you can’t quite decode send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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