Yashica in Hong Kong

It’s known that Yashica had a presence in Hong Kong very early on but the establishment of an actual factory in Hong Kong didn’t happen until around 1968. A friend of mine on Flickr has spotted a rather unique marking on the back of his Yashica Minister III which was released early 1966.

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Just to the right of the viewfinder, this Yashica Minister III has a seldom seen marking indicating that the camera was in some way processed in Hong Kong. Image courtesy of Graham Buxton-Smith.

BTW, the serial number decodes to 8 = 1968, 3 = March, 1816 = number 1,816 made that month. The “H” does not necessarily indicate Hong Kong.

Yashica Minister III from Graham

Minister III from the mid-1960s. Image courtesy of Graham Buxton-Smith. The camera on the left has the Hong Kong markings.

Apparently, before Yashica operated a full-scale factory in Hong Kong it appears that they may have sent partially completed cameras there for final assembly. Usually, it would have “Assembled in Hong Kong” or simply “Hong Kong” on the camera. I’ve seen “assembled in Hong Kong from parts made in Japan” before but not engraved anywhere on the camera body. My best guess is that Yashica was attempting to save on labor costs or import fees by doing so. By the way, the “H” before the serial number in this example may not indicate Hong Kong. It’s been reported that some cameras have been spotted with the “H” but engraved Japan. More investigation is needed.

Yashica HK Snip

Courtesy of Paul Sokk at http://www.yashicatlr.com

By 1986 Yashica stopped making the Yashica Mat 124G. Notice that at the top of this address list it says Kyocera Corporation vice Yashica. Yashica was acquired by Kyocera in 1983.

So, not a significant discovery but an interesting one to a Yashicaphile. Has anyone else spotted a Yashica with “Processed in Hong Kong” before? If you’ve had please share that info with me here or at ccphotographyai@gmail.com – Thanks, Chris

Our camera shop 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Single Shot Focus on the Yashica TL Electro-X


The Yashica TL Electro-X. It would not be an overstatement to say that this camera was Yashica’s most successful 35mm SLR – ever! I’m not sure what the total sales record is for this camera but success is measured beyond just the number of cameras sold. It was the first SLR with full electronic control of the shutter and it used an innovative LED display in the viewfinder to help adjust the camera for the proper exposure.

From Yashica: Electronically operated metal focal plane shutter with speeds from about 2 seconds to 1/1000 with in-between shutter speed settings possible, and B. Thru-the-Lens (TTL) light measuring system with IC computer and electronic exposure readout. It had a “brain”.

This gorgeous example is from my personal collection and it’s available for purchase in my Etsy camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

It includes the famous Tomioka Optical designed and built Auto Yashinon 50mm f1.4 DS-M lens. The camera and lens are in collector quality condition – full mint condition and the camera works as new. The lens is perfect and the glass is crystal clear. Adding to the uniqueness of this set is that the camera was built at Yashica’s new factory in Hong Kong in September 1973. The baseplate is appropriately marked “Hong Kong”.


Assembled in Hong Kong with parts made in Japan.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check it out in my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

There’s plenty of awesome cameras available in the shop with more being added from my collection almost daily.


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.



A fan for Carol – Hong Kong 1979

While going through some of our collections of “stuff” I came across the fan that I’m holding in this image. We took it out of its box and it still had its unique “aroma”.

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The wonderful lady that I’m negotiating with was very funny and as I tell everyone she was able to get me to pay “too much” – JK

I’ve visited Hong Kong and the surrounding regions and territories three times in the late 1970s and I’ve always enjoyed myself. My best Navy buddy, Jim Abrisch took this photograph on one of our many walkabouts. Jim and his lovely wife passed away in an airplane crash in December 2001. I still miss him very much.

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Mr. James Abrisch – Hong Kong 1979. On our way to another adventure.

Be sure to check out my previous post about Hong Kong and Jim here.

Thanks for stopping by! – 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 © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

The Curious Case of the Yashica ‘Olympic’* Camera

*No, not those Olympics.

New to us, this neat little Yashica L AF 35mm compact point and shoot film camera is from 1986 and sports an Olympic theme. In all the years that Carol and I have collected Yashica cameras we’ve never run across a Yashica that featured a logo not directly related to Yashica – until now.

We’re big fans of the L AF and we’ve reviewed it before. Field Test of the L AF

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We haven’t been able to find anything that relates to this logo – no other Yashica-Kyocera camera has one. And what exactly is “Camera America”? It looks like (somewhat) an official Olympic logo but without the 5 rings. Did Yashica-Kyocera invent it purely for a marketing campaign? The timing is off as the previous Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1984 and the next wasn’t scheduled until 1988. Releasing an Olympic camera in 1986 just doesn’t make sense.

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The colors and fonts match in our opinion (see below) – the reds and golds match so it most likely was applied by the factory. As was typical with Yashica and Kyocera, no documentation exists for a “Camera America” version of anything nevermind an “Olympic Edition”.

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As we’ve said before the Yashica-Kyocera L AF is a low priced version of the more recognizable T* series of 35mm compacts and is a great camera for the money. If you run across one in working condition, by all means, give it a try.

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This one is a tad beat up and it hasn’t been tested yet but we expect it to do well. Once we squeeze some time out of our busy schedule we’ll have a go at it.

By the way, here’s a clip from the instruction booklet for the L AF – more than likely the date depicted matches the release date of the camera (or pretty close to it).

yashica l af booklet



A sticky 1986 Yashica-Kyocera case for the L AF


Our first Yashica-Kyocera L AF


The image was taken with the L AF on Fujicolor film

yashica t af

The much more expensive version

Thanks for your visit. Have you ever seen an Olympic Yashica? Please share your comments if you have!

Chris and Carol ^.^

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 © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.





My friend Jim… Hong Kong 1979

I’ve wanted to share these images for quite some time now here on this blog. They’ve been posted to my flickr page in an album titled ‘Liberty Call Hong Kong’- so time to move some of them over and provide a bit of a backstory.

I don’t consider myself a portrait photographer, in fact I’m highly critical of most of my attempts at portraiture over the years. It’s not that I don’t like it, I’m not good at it. I enjoy big vistas and wide open spaces way too much to be trapped in a studio taking pictures of people. Taking pictures of things (cameras, lenses, stuff) in the studio I do enjoy.

Other than portraits of my family, the image below not only means a lot to me but I think it’s one of my better people pics. It’s an image of my friend Jim while we were travelling north out of Hong Kong to the Chinese border by train in January 1979. It was a difficult shot – low light (and I was using Kodachrome 64), hand holding a Canon FD 80-200mm zoom lens and all while the train was moving. The sky was overcast so the light was at least uniformly dim.


North out of Hong Kong… 1979

My friend Jim was not only a US Navy Sailor like myself, he was also a very accomplished professional photographer and the most outgoing person I had ever met. Jim was a Nikon guy when shooting 35mm – Bronica and Mamiya medium format in the studio. I’m a Canon guy and that was always a source of friendly ribbing between us. Since Jim was a pro, he wasn’t the easiest to trap into having his picture taken. I remember he was saying that this shot will never turn out well because the Canon F-1 had a crummy exposure meter and used crummy (not his real word) glass in their lenses. I don’t think he ever saw this image come to think of it. He may have liked it. I still think the image has problems – shallow depth of field means I missed nailing the focus and the exterior of the train is a tad over exposed. I don’t have fancy post production software so for the most part this scan is exactly what appears on the original slide. Here again I’m being hard on myself and it’s likely the reason I don’t try more portraits.

Another photographer that I met here on WordPress is an outstanding photographer and blogger- her portraits are amazing and always so creative. She said I give her a bit of confidence with my positive comments on the quality of her portfolio, but in reality it’s me who has been given a little nudge to go out and try some portrait photography again.

This was my second port visit to Hong Kong and both times Jim and I were out shooting together from sunrise to well after sunset. Here are but a few of the many that I like the most…


Image by Jim. Me negotiating a better deal with this sweet vendor. She was funny and a pleasure to deal with. I bought a fan for my wife Carol.


Jim negotiating a good deal with some nice ladies in Aberdeen, Hong Kong. We had a great boat ride around the harbor. Canon F-1 on Kodachrome 64.


Cute little girl waiting (with grandma) for the train out of Hong Kong.


Star Ferry sailor catching up on the morning’s news. Canon F-1 on Kodachrome 64.


Busy day on the docks of Aberdeen, Hong Kong. Canon F-1 on Kodachrome 64.


Very difficult shot. Canon F-1 with FD 80-200mm f4 zoom lens on Kodachrome 64 hand held while on a moving boat! 


Hong Kong night life… 1979.


Bar hostess… Hong Kong. Canon F-1 on Kodachrome 64. Shutter set at 1 second f1.4


Not exactly Mickey. Watchful man and dog (lower left) couldn’t figure out why two photographers would be interested in his Mickey.

Jim and I were great friends – my wife Carol was great friends with his wife and children. As US Navy Sailors, Jim and I got to visit many interesting ports while stationed on our ship which was home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. He taught me a lot about photography and to be more outgoing while photographing people. Jim returned to the States before me and his professional studio really took off and was a great success through the 1980s and 1990s.


Jim doing what he liked best – making people smile and taking pictures! Late 1980s in his studio in Florida.

This is the last photo I have of Jim. It was taken by his wife who was his assistant (you can see why she was)… Jim and his lovely wife died in 2001 in a terrible plane crash. Not the ones in September of that year, but theirs were just before Christmas 2001. A horrible situation for his two grown children and all who knew them.

Every December I remember Jim and all the good times we had. I can still hear him tell me that my F-1 stinks! And I remember all the tips he shared with me on taking people pics.

Thanks Jim!