Japanese Pentamatic II Brochure

Sales brochure from early 1961. Rather rare (here in the US and I’m sure everywhere now) sales brochure for the Yashica Pentamatic II. It appears now, after much research and blind luck, that the Pentamatic II was for sale only in Japan and only for a few months. Studies of the body serial numbers and of the serial numbers of the exclusive lens for the Pentamatic II (many thanks to my friend Paul Sokk of http://www.yashicatlr.com fame) confirms this finding.


The Japanese market sales brochure from February 1961. Also pictured is the Pentamatic S from our collection.

It’s still a mystery to us as to why the Pentamatic II never made it to markets outside of Japan and why it was only available for a short time before the model S was released. Short of being able to interview a former member of Yashica’s marketing team, we may never know. We’re still searching for a Yashica sales brochure in English with the Pentamatic II featured. Obviously we’re also interested in sales brochure from any country outside of Japan for proof. Do you have one? We’d love to see anything – even an ad would be nice.

Many thanks!

Chris & Carol

Studio Sunday – Fujifilm X-Series

We recently found a slightly used Fujifilm X-A10 mirrorless camera with the APS-C sensor (without lens) on eBay for a very good price. Our goal was to use it, with an adapter, with some of our vintage Canon FD lenses in the studio. 

We couldn’t be happier with the results – the adapter (FotodioX PRO) is solidly built and fits both the Canon lenses and the Fuji body nicely.


Our favorite lens in the studio at the moment is our Canon FD 24mm f2.8 SSC lens that we purchased in Japan in 1978. It is our “go-to” lens for film photography and it stands to reason that it would work out in the studio as well. With the APS-C sensor on the Fujifilm X-A10, the 24mm focal length is a 36mm equivalent so we get the nice wide view close-up we love.





In the two images above, the difference in the depth-of-field between f16 and f2.8 is dramatic – in the lower image the DOF is about 2 inches! The front of the lens is in sharp focus while the camera body is out of focus. Focussing is critical.




The Yashica is the rather rare (outside of Japan) model A-III in gray on gray from 1959.

If you can find the X-A10 (body only) it makes the perfect poor man’s mirrorless set-up. 16.3 MP and the APS-C sensor is well suited for general photography and works extremely well in the studio.

Thanks for your visit and Happy SUNday y’all.


Canon FD 24mm f2.8 and the Fujifilm X-A10


Canon A-1 from 1980

The Fujifilm X-A10 with the FotodioX Pro adapter mated with our Canon FD 24mm f2.8 wide angle lens. Makes a nice 36mm on the APS-C sensor.


Yashica A-III from 1959

The Fujifilm X-A10 mirrorless camera body is performing well under studio conditions. The Canon FD 24mm (36mm) handled these two classics very well. Just the right amount of view and fantastic depth-of-field.


Seen here with the Canon FD 50mm f3.5 macro lens.

We highly recommend this set-up if you’re wanting to experience the Fujifilm X-series cameras and their APS-C sensors and Fujicolor film simulation modes.

Chris & Carol

Studio Fun – Fujifilm X-A10 and Canon FD 50mm Macro Lens (75mm APS-C Sensor)

Still playing with our new addition. Our slightly used Fujifilm X-A10 (16.3MP) mirrorless camera mated with one of our favorite Canon lenses – Canon FD 50mm f3.5 macro lens.

It was the most inexpensive way to get one of Fujifilm’s X series bodies and to make use of our collection of Canon FD lenses from the late 1970s and early 1980s.


f8 ISO 1000


f5.6 ISO 800

Shallow depth-of-field at f5.6 (above). At f32 almost the entire spool is in focus (greater depth-of-field) below.


f32 ISO 1000

The Canon FD 50mm lens 35mm equivalent is 75mm on the APS-C sensor.


The camera… $189, adapter… $59.95, lens $75


f8 ISO 800

Shot with Fujifilm film simulation mode Velvia Vivid. Little to no post production. We’re happy campers (and photogs)!

Chris and Carol ^.^


Fujifilm X-A10 and Canon

We’ve been wanting to get our hands on one of the Fuji X series mirrorless cameras for some time now. We enjoy our Fuji S9900W bridge camera very much – we use it almost exclusively as our studio camera.

We have so many classic film lenses in our collection that we never get a chance to use them. The first adapter we decided on was the Canon FD to Fujifilm X mount.

We choose the Fujifilm X-A10 body. It’s simple (inexpensive) and has the APS-C CMOS sensor and since we’ll be shooting with an adapter with manual focus lenses, we’ll shoot in aperture priority mode anyway. No need for all the other bells and whistles.

The Fuji X-A10 has 6 film simulation modes – PROVIA, Velvia, ASTIA, Classic Chrome, monochrome and sepia. My only wish was that it had ACROS.


The adapter we choose is the Fotodiox Pro (B&H $59.50 free S&H). It has a removable tripod mount which we like. Well built and it feels solid – mounts easily and securely.


This Canon Macro Lens FD 50mm is one of our favorite lenses for macro work. Below are a few sample shots.




16.3MP, APS-C CMOS sensor and under $200 lightly used. Great way to experience Fujifilm X Series cameras.


Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W


Yashica Penta J and the J-P

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.





Now fast forward to 1965 ish… Yashica introduces the new J-5 AND the J-P! In between those years Yashica had introduced the J-3 and J-4. Why would Yashica go back in time and bring out another 35mm SLR in 1965 that was the cousin to the 1961 Penta J? Notice we say cousins… not brothers. They shared the same platform with one another but as you can see in the image below the top plates were of a different design.





Yashica J-P 6-27-15 Papers

Stay tuned… more to come on these Yashica classics.

Many thanks, Chris and Carol

Yashica Penta J – the Pentamatic that wasn’t!


Clean design and simple controls. A stunning camera.

Released in 1962, the Penta J (Reflex 35 J in other markets) was Yashica’s first 35mm SLR designed to accept the popular M42 screw mount lenses vice Yashica’s exclusive Pentamatic bayonet mount that preceded it. The Penta J shared more body parts and took its design cues from the Pentamatic S (1961-62). Interestingly the Penta J lost the self-timer lever that the Pentamatic S fought so hard to get.


The Penta J was designed to accept a clip-on exposure meter that coupled to the shutter speed dial. No TTL metering – that was a long way off!


The ASA/DIN dial was not coupled to anything. It was a reminder to the photographer as to what the speed was of the film that was loaded in the camera.


The standard lens for the Penta J was the semi-automatic Yashinon 5cm f2 lens.

The Yashica Pentamatic S (below)… the Penta J’s cousin.


The Pentamatic S pictured with the standard lens for the Pentamatic II.


So there you have it. The Yashica Penta J and the Pentamatic S. Cousins in the Yashica family.

Comments? Please feel free to share what you know and what we may have missed. Thanks

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W


Fuji Fail-ed… Discovery S700 Zoom Date

It was bound to happen. One klunker out of a bunch of good ones isn’t bad. We think it isn’t so much a bad build as possibly improperly stored… maybe.


Another in the long line of plastic fantastic Fujifilm cameras from the late 1990s.

Part of the Discovery series of compact 35mm point and shoots from Fuji Photo Film. This one came to us still new in the box, unused but maybe stored in a too hot environment. Some of the plastic bag protecting the camera became stuck to the back film door (see below). This one is, using a nautical term, dead in the water. Despite a new battery, the camera won’t fire the flash and the shutter works intermittently or not at all. The power zoom works but beyond that, nothing else. Possibly a short in the circuitry caused by the hot storage (pure speculation).


Sticky residue on the film door from the factory plastic bag. So far it’s resisted all attempts at cleaning it off.

When the battery was first inserted for the date mode, this is the programmed date that popped up. We’re thinking it may be the build year. Why not?


Talking about the date mode battery, what a pain to change it! Number one, it’s not even mentioned in the owner’s manual for starters. It takes a CR2025 3V lithium button battery but it wasn’t mentioned. Take a peek at what it takes to get at it… ⇓


Remove 6 screws and the film pressure plate, the battery cover and then peel up 2 felt light seals!


That baby was buried and stuck down with the light seals!


Back together.

Anyway, it’s a good looking camera and may have been fun to use.



Oh and the remote control (below), no mention of that battery either.


Another CR2025 button battery.


We’ve had great results with our other Fujifilm Discovery series cameras in the past. No reason to believe the series is not worthy of a look. Having said that, this is a new camera that’s never been used and still failed – but that’s why there’s warranties.


Quick specs: Lens Fujinon 35-70mm electronic zoom, 5 elements in 5 groups. DX coded for ISO 100/400. Continuous shooting at 1 frame per second. Weight 235 grams with battery and data back.

Can we recommend the S700 Zoom Date? Well no. There are much better models out there from Fuji. Stick with the longer zoom models still built in Japan.

Thanks for your visit! Comments always welcome.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W