Yashica’s J-Series of 35mm SLR Cameras from the 1960s

Regular readers know that the main focus of my collection has been centered around cameras made by Yashica. I have collected quite a few examples going back to their 1953 origins. This particular series caught my fancy a few years back when I was lucky enough to find a pristine Yashica J-3 in a pro-black finish with a matching lens. When it comes to chasing classic cameras, the J-3 in black and in pristine condition is no easy task. Here are a few images of what I’ve put together so far.

Chasing these guys has been fun, to say the least. It’s not that any one of these is rare in the true sense of the word but finding pristine examples has been the tough part.
As best as I can tell, the J-7 wasn’t the last one produced in the series as the J-4 came out just a bit later.
The black J-3 was never mentioned in any brochure which was odd considering it was Yashica’s first all-black SLR and was produced in limited numbers.
Since the cameras from Yashica were never meant to be of interest to collectors very few survive to this day in mint and better condition. The little circle on the camera’s left side front is the CdS exposure meter. These cameras did not feature TTL (thru-the-lens metering).

If you decide to collect this series you’ll find a very nice assortment of lenses to choose from as Yashica produced thousands over the years. The body accepts m42 screw-in lenses which for a time was one of the most widespread lenses made.

Here is what a complete in-the-box set looks like for the silver J-3 from around 1962.

As always thanks for stopping by – I hope I’ve shed sufficient light on this often overlooked series from Yashica. Maybe a few of you would enjoy the chase in pursuit of these mid-1960s gems. – Chris

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and, while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, is this blog’s property and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

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