Yashica’s Ultra Rare “Yasinon” Lenses

Are these previously unknown lenses made by Zunow Optical?

My good friend Paul Sokk (www.yashicatlr.com) spotted a rather unique lens name in a Yashica catalog that I sent him. The catalog is from 1958.

yasinon lens box

Look closely at the two boxes in the lower center part of the scan. Plainly marked is the name “Yasinon” and Yashica. Just to the right are two boxes made in the same style that displays the lens maker “Zunow”.

yasinon zunow lens

From the same year Yashica catalog here’s a grouping of three 8mm movie camera lenses – two marked made by Zunow and one marked with the name “Yasinon”.

What’s the most interesting about this discovery is that the name Yasinon was unknown to us prior to seeing these catalogs.

yasinon yashica 35 bro 1

Yashica’s first 35mm camera – the Yashica 35. If you look closely at the camera lenses you’ll see that they’re marked with the Yasinon name.

yasinon yashica 35 bro

Yashica incorrectly labels the lenses as Yashinon in the banners even though the lenses in the pictures say Yasinon.

Shortly after the marketing people put these catalogs together someone made the decision to change from Yasinon to Yashinon. It appears that some of these lenses have made it into the marketplace as Paul has shared some findings of such from Japanese auction sites. Of course, Yashica stayed with the Yashinon name from this point onward. Does this make the lenses marked Yasinon rare? In my view it does. Does it mean these lenses were made for Yashica by Zunow? Yes, in my mind it does. Do I have solid proof? No, but the circumstantial evidence points strongly towards Zunow as being the manufacturer.

yashica zunow cine lens

Further proof as to how close Yashica’s relationship with Zunow was.

The box above in my mind is super unique – it places Zunow’s logo with Yashica’s logo on the same box – not something that was seen during the late 1950s in Japan.

Comments? Do you have a rare Zunow hiding in your closet? If you do let me know – I am actively looking to add some to my collection.



Yashica Super 60E Movie Camera

Yashica Super 60E Super 8 Movie Camera

Yashica super 8 movie camera – fully working. Power zoom Yashinon-DX 48mm f1.8 lens is one of Yashica’s best lenses for a movie camera. This offering includes the original instruction booklet, Yashica branded lens cap and Yashica guide ‘How to take better pictures with your Yashica’ c1969. The camera is clean and in excellent condition. It features TTL exposure, 6-1 electric zoom, uses super 8 film – it originally sold for $225.00


Time to move this very nice Yashica movie camera to another collector. It’s been a while since I shot film with it but its been very well taken care of and short of testing it with film it’s fully operational. It has a fast Yashinon-DX f1.8 lens that looks almost spotless – certainly no issues that I can see with the camera.

I’ll mail it worldwide – contact me for a shipping quote.




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Yashica Catalog from 1958

We’ve recently acquired a rather rare catalog from around 1958 – I think early 1958 as Yashica was still Yashima Optical at the time of the printing. It’s a large format catalog with practically everything Yashica offered at the time.

yascatalog logo

yascatalog logo 1

yas 635 logo 2

yas635 logo

Just a small sample of what’s inside. We love collecting these catalogs and brochures from Yashima-Yashica’s early days.

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Monster Glass! Tomioka 55mm f1.2

Yashica TL Electro-X ITS with Tomioka Auto Yashinon 55mm f1.2 – the best SLR of its time (1968-1972).

yashica tl its 1.2 logo

yashica bro 1.2

Yashica sales brochure with ‘fake’ serial number on the lens. There’s a possibility that it may have been a prototype lens and was given an odd serial number.

yashica tl its 1.2

One of our all-time favorite SLRs with one of the fastest 55mm lenses made. The Tomioka designed f1.2 is an exceptional lens and we’re happy to have it in our collection. This lens is in the batch of the first 1000 made and carries a low serial number.


A super early lens in this German sales brochure – SN 5520124

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Olympus 35 SP Brochure

Here’s a nice sales brochure from Olympus – published May 1969

olympus 35sp brochure collage

Take note of the camera store’s stamp in the lower right corner. Our translation app isn’t doing a good job at translation at the moment so we’re not quite sure which camera shop this is from.

Carol and I love to collect vintage sales brochures for the cameras in our collection. This one came to us recently from a collector in Japan. The date of publication is 0569 which we assume is May 1969. The young man’s clothing certainly screams the 1960s!

olympus brochure logo

The Olympus 35 SP is considered by many to be a nearly “perfect” 35mm rangefinder camera – with a host of automatic exposure controls plus full manual shooting. The 42mm lens is considered to be the perfect focal length for 35mm photography as it closely matches the field of view of the human eye.

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For more “good stuff” please stop by our online store at http://www.ccstudio2380.com


Yashica Pentamatic S Sales Brochure

As was typical with Yashica sales material, this brochure is undated. Our best guess would put it around late 1961. It’s fairly complete with all of the major accessories and lenses that were available for the Pentamatic line of cameras – the original Pentamatic ’35’, the Pentamatic II, and the final camera the Pentamatic S.

IMG_20180325_0004 logo

The Pentamatic S was available in the US but received only limited press – few advertisements and only 3 different brochures in English are known to exist.

IMG_20180325_0003 logo

The Pentamatic S was made starting in August 1961. By that time, the Pentamatic family of cameras were starting to show their age and lack of sophistication and were already having trouble in the world marketplace.

IMG_20180325_0005 logo

The Pentamatic is a well-made camera but was lacking in some important basics that were addressed with the S. Adding a coupled exposure meter and a self-timer were but a few steps Yashica took to make the camera more competitive. The original lens for the Pentamatic ’35’ was made by Tomioka Optical and the S went back to using it. The middle camera (Pentamatic II) was only released in Japan and was equipped with a Zunow made 5.8cm f1.7 lens.

yashica 7-31 ad

The first known advertisement for the new Pentamatic – Spring 1960. Take notice that the lens serial number 59100581 is very close to the serial number on the lens in this late 1961 brochure (59100521). The Yashica marketing team must have held onto some of the first lenses made for them by Tomioka.

Thanks for stopping by! If you want to add a truly unique camera to your collection take a look at the Yashica Pentamatic S – if you can find a nice, clean working model go for it!

Please check out our online shop at https://www.ccstudio2380.com for some neat vintage cameras and some brand new modern classics!


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.

Konica Kanpa! – A fun ‘Party Camera’ that takes your picture when you yell, “Kanpai!”

Confused??? Don’t be. Here’s a fun little 35mm film camera made by Konica in 1989. It’s called the Kanpai – essentially “cheers”. It’s a voice-activated camera that was designed to attach to a special mini tripod that allowed the camera to swivel (up to 100 degrees) and would take a picture whenever someone at a party yelled “cheers!” or whatever.

Part of our “Modern Classics” and “Plastic Fantastics” collection of film cameras.



The microphone on the front of the camera (the 3 little holes next to the microphone icon) adjusts to the ambient sounds of a party and would then “listen” for when someone yelled “cheers” or whatever – it would then operate a small motor in the base which would turn the camera (when attached to the dedicated tripod) towards that sound and snap a picture. The lights above the microphone indicate the level of ambient sound and some degree of sensitivity.


The “framing monitor” is simply an optical waist level finder. The LCD indicates the selectivity and sensitivity (little Pac-Man looking thingy) of the microphone and how far the camera rotates to capture an image when attached to the dedicated tripod.


Not the original tripod – no cute shoes (yet).

konica kanpai 1

From a Konica press release: “One of three sound-level settings can be chosen. When used on low, the shutter is automatically released after 11 minutes and every three minutes thereafter even if no sound is detected, or when it detects a moderate noise level lasting at least 0.2 seconds. On medium and high sound-level settings, however, the camera fires only when responding to sounds with durations of 0.3 and 0.5 second or longer respectively (a single clap of the hands, for instance, won’t trip the shutter).

Although exposure interval times will vary with the camera’s sound-activated setting and noise levels, a 24-exposure roll of film typically will be fully exposed in 20 to 40 minutes. When mounted on its exclusive tabletop tripod, which couples to the camera’s film-wind motor, the Kanpai rotates left or right after each exposure (in a panning range of approximately 80 degrees) to capture action throughout the room. However, a tripod-mounted camera can also be fixed in one position. When not in its sound-activated release mode, the Konica Kanpai becomes a straightforward, fully automatic compact camera, featuring programmed auto-exposure, a fixed-focus 34mm lens, automatic film transport and ISO film-speed settings (100 & 400), and built-in flash. A clever framing monitor, located on the top of the camera, allows the photographer to take low or high-angle shots without having to look through the viewfinder.”

collage kanpai

The camera has a Konica 34mm f/ 5.6 fixed focus lens and an electronic programmed shutter capable of 1 to 1/200 sec. Designed to be used mostly indoors with the flash, I could see it being used as a street camera with its waist level finder.

Auto flash, self-timer, automatic exposure, and auto rewind. Date/time imprinting.


Fresh batteries were inserted (by the way, the date/time defaulted to 1-1-87 and stops at 1-1-19). It takes (1) 2CR5 6V lithium battery and (1) CR2025 button battery.

konica kanpai 3

List price in 1989 was ¥30,000 (about $215 USD) in “stone” finish (we think this one is stone).

We’re still on the lookout for the original tripod and shoes! Many thanks go out to our friend Peggy at Camera Go Camera for passing along this super cool camera! By the way, her site has some neat “STUFF” that she’ll be happy to send your way – check it out!

konica kanpai 5

Available in red.

konica kanpai 6

Party Animal!


“Let’s get the party started!”, “Kanpai!”, “Cheers!” – also works if you yell “BANZAI!”


BANZAI, Daniel-san!

Thanks for stopping by! Remember, if you have some neat film cameras for sale – we are buyers! Contact us at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com

C&C ^.^

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.

Yashica J-7 and Yashica TL – the last of a series and the start of a new era

The Yashica J-7 was the last camera in Yashica’s popular J-Series of 35mm SLR cameras that ran from about late 1962 to early 1968. They were: the J-3, J-5, J-4, and the J-7. You could throw in the J-P but the J-P was closer in design and function to the Penta J and not the J-Series. All of these SLRs featured the famous and common M42 screw mount lens camera bodies.

The J-Series featured a CdS exposure meter which was built into the camera body on the camera’s left front top plate (see images below). The disadvantage of this type of meter was that the exposure readings did not accurately reflect the amount of light passing through the lens. Adjustments needed to be made if filters were used. The Yashica TL was Yashica’s first SLR to feature an exposure meter built inside of the camera and took readings through the attached lens (hence the “TL” for through the lens). As Yashica stated in the instruction booklet for the TL – “The two CdS resistors measures the average degree of light entering through the lens and directed to the focusing groundglass. In other words, the average value of light directed to the film plane is accurately computed”. This was a giant step for Yashica and would lead them to pioneer the use of electronics in photography as each new SLR made major advances towards the goal of accurate “computer controlled” exposure readings. The Yashica TL Electro-X and the ITS were the pinnacles of these accomplishments by late 1969 and early 1970.


yas j-7 collage

A close-up view of the CdS exposure meter on the J-7.



yas j7 image

The last SLR in the famous J-Series of cameras.


yas j series

The J-Series of 35mm SLR cameras from Yashica. The J-3 was the only one to be released in a pro-black finish.

yas its

The “Best of the Best” – Yashica’s ITS model of the TL Electro-X.

And there you have it. A very short history of Yashica’s early 35mm SLR cameras.

Thanks for stopping by!

C&C ^.^

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.

Yashica J-3 Sales Brochure – 1962

We don’t have an exact date on this brochure – we’re mainly basing it on the recognized release date in the United States. Since this is a Japanese brochure it could have been earlier or later.

Of interest, the first M42 screw mount camera made by Yashica was the Penta J which was also known in Japan as the “Jaguar”. The name Jaguar never appeared on the camera body, just in advertising. It is possible that the “J” in the J-3 could have been for Jaguar but the marketers from Yashica decided to shorten it to just “J” at the last minute.

yashica j-3 collage

Front and back covers for the first J-3 brochure.

These images (below) are from two different J-3 instruction booklets that we have in our collection. The one on the left appears to be from a rare early version of the book with the image on the right from the later and more common book. Of note, the camera in the left image does not have a name on the body while the camera in the book on the right shows J-3. It’s an entirely different picture of the J-3. Our guess is that the book on the left has either a prototype or pre-production camera before Yashica finalized the name for the camera. They may have still been up in the air about naming it J-3 or possibly Jaguar something.

1 j-3 collage

The left camera appears without a name and very different (and rather odd looking) accessory shoe. The camera on the right carries the J-3 name and the “correct” accessory shoe that ended up in production.

2 j-3 collage


Same instruction booklet but with the “J-3” written in on the image. Look closely, notice how crude it is. Another clue that the camera was a pre-production or prototype camera.

Well, there you have a bit of Yashica controversy discovered 56 years after the fact! lol

Thanks for your visit!

Remember to stop by our store at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

C&C ^.^

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.