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.

Fun Brochure! Konica Kanpa!

A fun little sales brochure from Japan. The Konica Kanpa! (Kanpai) is a party camera – it was designed to be used on a motorized tripod that would swivel the camera to the sound of someone yelling “Kanpai” (Cheers!) or other sounds and then the camera’s microphone would pick up that sound and the camera would focus in on that person or group and take a picture “hands-free”.

collage kanpai

Check out the cute little shoes for the tripod!

Stop by our store – https://www.ccstudio2380.com – lots of new and interesting things!

This just in!!! Our good friend Peggy from CameraGoCamera is sending us her Konica Kanpa! Cheers!

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.

Rare First Edition Canon F-1 Book – 1971

Rare first edition of the Canon F-1 instruction book. This one was printed in Japan in September 1971. It features a unique cover shot of the F-1 – all other books after this one are different.


The Canon F-1 featured in this book carries a super early serial number – 100251


Comparing this book to some of our others there are quite a bit of changes which would be typical of a first edition book.

It’s available for purchase at https://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

Early Yashica Sales Brochure & the Debut of Miss Yashica – all 3!

We’re always trying to determine exactly when Yashica did something – whether it’s exactly when Yashica released a camera or when Yashica printed a sales brochure – we always want to know when.

Sales brochures can be a great source of information for uncovering some of the “whens” associated with Yashica – unfortunately Yashica’s marketing folks weren’t big fans of dating their pamphlets, booklets or brochures (almost never).

Another way to date a brochure is to look at the cameras featured in them. Below is a good example. The cameras featured (front bottom to back right) are: Yashica Minister f/2.8, Nicca-Yashica YF, Yashica YK and the Yashica 35. The “newest” of the four cameras pictured here is the Minister. It was released in February-March 1960. The camera pictured (still on the Minister) was made in January 1960 (going by its serial number). The other cameras were released from late 1958 to middle 1959.

So the earliest date that this brochure could be is the January to March 1960 time frame.


Early sales brochure from Japan. Take note of ‘Yashica Girl‘ on the bottom right of the brochure. 
My translation of the title – ‘Yashica 35mm Camera Group Guide’. The bottom left translation – ‘Yashica Products That Always Make Full Use of Your Dreams’. The “newest” model featured (bottom front) is the Yashica Minister (Feb-Mar 1960)

So was this the first appearance of Miss Yashica? She does appear on what may be a few earlier brochures but we’re going to say she made her first public appearance in January 1960 (new year, new decade and Yashica had a ton of new products to introduce). Plus she looks like a girl of the 1960s!


Not one but three Miss Yashica’s! The one on the far right appears frequently in sales brochures during 1960 and early 1961 while the two on the left are variants that we’ve never seen before (clearly different). The ladies pictured here appear on the side of a vinyl shopping bag – Of the camera… ‘Camera Matsue Ota Weight Shop Izunokuni’? Not completely sure about the translation here.


Could be the very first flyer/ad released in Japan for the original Yashica Pentamatic.

It would appear that in this flyer/ad Miss Yashica was paired with the Pentamatic shortly after the release of the Pentamatic in Japan (early 1960). We don’t have the flip side of this flyer/ad so we don’t know if it was a one page presentation or two pages or part of a brochure. Since it has the address of Yashica’s headquarters in Tokyo on the bottom, one could assume that it’s the back page.

Thanks for stopping by! If you can provide a better translation or have more information please let us know!

Remember, Carol and I are always interested in buying interesting items for research and for our collection. If you have something to sell, please contact us at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com

Please stop by our online store at https://www.ccstudio2380.com

Chris & Carol ^.^

Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

The Yashica Penta J – aka Yashica Jaguar

To us, a super find!

To others, a big “oh, okay”. The Yashica Penta J was Yashica’s first 35mm SLR camera to use the common m42 screw-in lens mount. Released around September (?) 1961, it was basically a continuation of the Pentamatic series but with the different lens mount. The Penta J appears to have at least 3 versions – Version 1 (image below) retains the closest design to the Pentamatic S (minus the self timer lever below the shutter release button, the small lens release button and the neck strap lugs discussed below).

pentaj snip

Yashica Penta J version 1.

Please note as to where the neck strap lugs are on this version of the Penta J (pictured above). The strap lugs are on the sides of the camera vice on the front as in later Yashica SLRs. Notice where the strap lugs have been moved to on the Pentamatic S (pictured below).

yashica ps

The strap lugs have been moved to the front of the top plate on the Pentamatic S. This was a departure from the first two Pentamatic models (pictured below).


The original Pentamatic ’35’ (left) and its Japanese market only cousin the Pentamatic II. Note that the strap lugs are just like the first version of the Penta J.

One of the things that’s been troubling us about the Penta J, is where did Yashica come up with the “J”? Were they following a progression of the alphabet? Did they just like the sound and look of the “J”? We can guess that the “Penta” was lifted from the camera it was replacing, the Pentamatic. As it turns out, the answer as to what the “J” stands for has been in a Japanese ad that we’ve had for years (image below) and never noticed until now!

pentaj ad japan

We think this is one of the first ads for the Penta J anywhere. We don’t know if the camera pictured in the ad has the “filled-in J” like the Penta J version 1 camera above. The clue as to what the “J” stands for is circled in red and underlined in green.

If you look closely at the Japanese characters that I’ve circled in red,  ジャガー  they represent the word “jaguar”. If you then go to either Google Japan or Yahoo Japan and search for “Yashica Jaguar”, you’ll see at least 3 different blogs that refer to the Penta J as the “Jaguar”.

With that mystery (to us) solved, I believe that the Penta J fits in nicely to another camera that Yashica released in the summer of 1960 – the Yashica Lynx-1000 which is a 35mm fixed lens rangefinder camera (image below).


The Yashica Lynx. Released about a year before the Penta J = Jaguar.


The ad states that the camera goes by the nickname of the “wildcat” hence the name “Lynx” and that it “catches the moving body agility like its name”.

So there you have it – a minor mystery solved… and the answer was staring us right in the face!

Thanks for your visit! Remember to check out our e-commerce store at https://www.ccstudio2380.com

Some of our art prints are available at https://society6.com/ccstudio2380

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Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashica’s Penta J and the J-P

Some minor updates… November 8, 2017

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Yashica’s first 35mm single-lens reflex camera with the Praktica-thread (M42) mount lenses was the Yashica Penta J… at least here in the United States and in Japan. Elsewhere (most of the world) the camera was known as either the Yashica Reflex 35 or Reflex J (Australia and possibly the U.K.). As best we can tell, they were all the same cameras with different top plates to accommodate the different names (logos).

Part of the demise (lack of sales success) of the well-built Pentamatic series of cameras that preceded the Penta J, was that Yashica decided to go with a Pentamatic exclusive bayonet mount lens system. Sturdy and well designed to be sure, but being unique limited the available lenses that could be swapped between cameras. The Praktica design M42 screw thread mounting system was in widespread use at the time and Yashica’s bayonet design just went against the flow.

IMG_20160102_0007 No…

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Rare Yashica Pentamatic S Box – c1961

The Yashica Pentamatic S was the last camera in the Pentamatic series of Yashica’s first ever 35mm SLR. We believe that the S model was first produced (by serial number) in April 1961. Approximately 3,200 units later, Yashica stopped producing the S in March 1962.

The Pentamatic S was sold in the US as we have a sales brochure (in English) that features the model S along with the Yashica Penta J and Yashica J-3 (Yashica’s first m42 mount bodies). We’ve never seen an advertisement for the model S in any of the major camera magazines of the period. We aren’t aware of any sales brochures in Japanese either for the model S and we’re not sure that it was available in Japan. No solid proof one way or another yet.

So with all of that said, the Yashica Pentamatic S was produced for an extremely short period of time in very limited quantities (about 3,200 total worldwide). That alone makes finding the original box for the model S quite a rare find. So here it is –


It’s also one of the few Yashica camera boxes that feature a photograph of the camera on the box.



Back of the box specs for the model S.

Another interesting item (to us) is the lens that’s pictured on the box. By serial number, it was made by Tomioka Optical for Yashica in October 1959 and it would have been first used on the original Pentamatic ’35’. The model S went back to using the original lens on its newest model – all part of the general confusion at Yashica during an extremely busy period in the history of the company.

If you have anything relating to the Yashica Pentamatic S, please feel free to share it with us. In addition to being Yashica researchers we’re buyers of almost anything relating to Yashica. Contact us here or at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for your visit! Chris ^.^

Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.


Was this beautiful lens, which was made exclusively for the Pentamatic II designed by Zunow Optical?

Simple Answer – Yes


Yashica Auto Yashinon f/ 1.7 5.8cm lens designed exclusively for Yashica’s Pentamatic II. It appears for the first time in August 1960 and disappears from use by Yashica in January 1961. There’s no documentation about the lens and no hard evidence that Zunow made the lens. Hard evidence would be sales brochures or advertisements that specifically link Yashica and Zunow. Co-branding on the lens ring would have been nice but never happened. Unfortunately our claim that it was made by Zunow is, at this point in time, circumstantial and coincidental. Much more digging around needs to be done on our part.

The lens features the unique Pentamatic bayonet mount that couldn’t be used on any other SLR of the time without an adapter. That in and of itself could have been a major reason for the quick demise of the Pentamatic series of cameras.


Two “clues” that link this lens to Zunow – the serial number style with its unique “No xxxxxx” vice the more typical serial number style that Tomioka used “No. xxxxxxxx” at the time (as did most lens makers). Another clue, the style of the lowercase “a” in Japan. Most Zunow lenses used a fat “a” vice the keyboard style lowercase “a”. We know, these are hardly the type of clues needed to link the two but they’re good ones for now.

zunow font

Close-up of a Zunow made f/ 1.8 4.5cm lens for the Yashica Lynx-1000 (1960). Note the fat “a” and distinctive serial number style.

Could the f/ 1.7 5.8cm lens have been made by Tomioka Optical? Of course, Tomioka was the almost exclusive lens supplier to Yashica since the beginnings of Yashica in 1953. We feel that Tomioka had their hands full making nearly 1,500 lenses per month for Yashica’s first Pentamatic model (which was still very much in production at the time), and then taking on this lens at about 1,000 lenses per month for the Pentamatic II may have been a bit much for Tomioka.

This lens is so radically different in design and function of other Tomioka made SLR lenses of the time (Tomioka only started making lenses for an SLR in September 1959 with no known examples found before that).

Here’s a peek inside of this lens –


It features quality construction throughout and what we feel is another Zunow cue, 10 aperture blades. The Tomioka f/ 1.8 5.5cm lens for the original Pentamatic has only 6 blades. We’ve yet to take one apart (soon).


Pictured above is the f/ 1.7 5.8 Pentamatic II lens with its 10 aperture blades. Below, the front lens group removed from the lens barrel.


Original sales brochure (below) dated February 1961 featuring the Pentamatic II and its very unique lens.


Is All of This Enough to Prove a Connection to Zunow?

No of course not. Our claim is a merely a starting point for further discussions and discoveries. We hope to disassemble the Tomioka f/ 1.8 5.5cm lens that was made for the first Pentamatic and compare it to this f/ 1.7 5.8cm lens for the Pentamatic II. By the way, the Pentamatic II was only available for sale in the domestic markets in Japan. There’s no evidence that it was ever exported. We do know that Zunow Optical and Yashica did have a working relationship by the mid 1950s with Zunow supplying high quality D mount cine lenses for Yashica’s 8mm movie cameras (see below).

yashica zunow cine lens (2)

Thanks for your visit! Comments are always welcome and your input is important to us. This post is designed to stimulate discussion as to the validity of our assertions. Heck, we may have missed significant clues along the way that would either prove or disprove our claim.

By the way. A special shout out to my good friend and fellow Yashicaphile, Paul Sokk! Our frequent correspondence on this subject first planted the seed that this lens could have been made by Zunow. Paul rightly reminded me that the bankruptcy of Zunow in January 1961 coincided with Yashica stopping production of the Pentamatic II. Yashica is thought to have acquired Zunow after that and one would assume all of Zunow’s assets and debts.


Be sure to stop by our online store CC’s Studio Twenty-3 Eighty at https://www.ccstudio2380.com for some neat items of photographic interest! Thanks, C&C