Yashicaflex Rookie 1956
All of our ‘Rookie Stuff’ together for this display. As a Japanese domestic market only camera, the Rookie is a rather unique find outside of Japan.
Wonderfully fun camera to use… always gets strange looks whenever it’s out and about.
1959 gray Yashica-A and 1956 Yashicaflex Rookie. Two wonderfully simple twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras from Yashima-Yashica. These two have held up very nicely over these many years.
Probably one of the oddest names for a camera from Yashica (and they’ve had a bunch). If we use our western definition of the word “rookie” it would appear that Yashica was naming a simple to use camera that first-time photographers would be comfortable with. The Rookie was not available outside of Japan.
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Often overlooked and most likely an unknown 35mm rangefinder from Yashica. This example is an early version from June 1959. Very similar to Yashica’s first 35mm camera the Yashica 35 but with fewer features. It listed for $39.95 and the leather case could be had for an additional $7.95
Handsome camera from Yashica. It features a bright viewfinder, easy to operate controls and a high-quality Yashinon f/2.8 lens.
A view from above – simple layout and big easy to use controls. Note the distance scale is only in feet (typical of the time period) and the Copal-SV shutter ranged from “B” to 1/300
An ASA/DIN reminder dial, the eyepiece and the company name grace the back of the camera.
Side-by-side comparison with the Yashica 35 “F” (left). Yashica didn’t deviate much from the basic foundation of the 35 model which was first built in April 1958. The Yashica 35 pictured here is actually from December 1960 which puts this YK a full year and a half earlier than the 35.
If you’re interested in trying out an early Japanese rangefinder then the Yashica YK is certainly a worthy camera to go after (whenever you can find one). We were lucky to find this wonderful example recently as it makes a nice addition to our collection.
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On the left is the Fujicaflex Automat by the Fuji Photo Film Company – Fuji’s first and only twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera. On the right is the Yashica Flex S (aka Yashicaflex S) by Yashima Kogaku Seiki Company.
Yashima (later to be known as Yashica) went on to build TLRs until 1986 producing thousands encompassing over thirty models.
The Fujicaflex was under development by Fuji since around 1948 and the direction they took was to build a high-quality camera geared to the serious amateur and semi-professional photographer. By all accounts, it was a bust in the marketplace (way too expensive) as Fuji never attempted to follow it up with a second model and ending production in just about a year.
The Fujicaflex is noticeably larger than the Yashica Flex S – the Fuji weighs 1,323 grams and the Yashica comes in at 1,117 grams. Both cameras were weighed with a roll of 120 film loaded.
The Yashica Flex S was the first ever TLR with an attached exposure meter. I imagine you could say built-in as the meter’s cells were located behind the nameplate flap and were connected to the meter on the camera’s left side via wires. The non-coupled selenium cell meter was built by Sekonic and was marked “Sekonic CB-1”.
We’ll continue to feature the Fujicaflex in upcoming posts and hopefully soon we’ll be able to post some images taken with it. I’ve got a roll of Fujichrome Velvia 100 in it now.
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Two heavyweights from the Yashica Company, Limited.
Yashica 35 (left) & Pentamatic (right)
The Yashica 35 was a 35mm rangefinder camera first introduced in early 1958. The Pentamatic was Yashica’s first 35mm single-lens reflex camera first released in early 1960.
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The Yashica 35 was produced starting in April 1958. This camera (above) is one of the last of the series to roll off the assembly line at Yashica’s factory in Shimosuwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan in December 1960. Little changed from its original design – minor tweaks here and there but never anything major.
The lens was made by Tomioka Optical and was produced in two models – the f/1.9 and f/2.8, 4.5cm fixed lens.
Close-up of the front group removed.
Very similar to other Tomioka made lenses of the period.
With the front lens group removed we can see the Copal shutter assembly – here a mix of parts produced a hybrid. Is it an MXV or SV shutter? It would appear that Yashica was cleaning out its parts bins when this late model was built. Notice that the focus scale is in feet.
10 blade aperture.
Original early sales brochure – the sharp-eyed will notice that the name on the lenses is “Yasinon” vice “Yashinon”. Changes were made even as the brochure went to press.
About $47.00 USD for the f/1.9 and $32.00 for the f/2.8 – add another $2.77 for the leather case.
The 35 “F” variant. Not a new model just a changeover to a different style of serial numbers. The serial number decodes as follows: 6 = 1960, 12 = Dec, and 1150 = sequence number for that month’s production.
From this point of view, it looks just like it did in April 1958.
A beauty in black & white.
Yashica 35 & Yashica Pentamatic 35 – Yashica’s first rangefinder and first SLR.
The Yashica 35 is certainly a worthy addition to any early 35mm rangefinder collection. If you like to collect “firsts” then may I recommend that you check out the Yashima Pigeonflex, Yashimaflex, the Yashica 35 and the Yashica Pentamatic 35 – each of these wonderful cameras was a major milestone in the development of the Yashica Company.
So there you have it, a brief visual tour of the Yashica 35. If you would like to know more, much more, cruise on over to my good friend Paul’s website.
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Happy Sunday everyone! Here are some interesting items we’ve added to our shop over this past week – you can see them in more detail at http://www.ccstudio2380.com
Argus C3 Match-Matic 35mm film camera from the 1800s – just kidding, 1960s. It has such a distinctive style it’s sure to get some looks when you’re out and about with it. Made in Michigan.
The flash unit is actually very well designed and has a few neat tricks hidden inside. Affectionally was known as “the Brick”.
From 1958 the Wollensak Eye-Matic Model 46 (C-46) 8mm movie camera. Featuring a three lens turret with a normal, wide-angle, and telephoto lens. Direct from Chicago to the world.
Classic Kodak Tourist 620 roll film medium format camera from the late 1940s. Proudly made by the good folks of Rochester, New York. You can still buy 620 film in both black and white and color.
The Tourist takes eight exposures from 620 film each a big 2 1/4 by 3 1/4 inches (6 x 9 cm).
Made in Boston in 1936. The Keystone Model K-8. This fully functioning 8mm movie camera is a real classic – it features a Wollensak f3.5 Cine Velostigmat lens with a rare Bell & Howell yellow filter.
Talk about old school movie making. This camera is 82 years old and runs perfectly.
Beautiful “Hippie” style woven cloth camera strap from 1971. Far out man!
From 1972 – a classic from Polaroid. The Model 420 features a 2 element, 114mm f/8.8 lens and Polaroid Focused Flash (a GE flashcube in a louvered box). This Polaroid uses Fujifilm FP-100C film (2 1/4 by 3 1/4 inch) which is still available (although no longer made) so supplies will eventually run out.
Not made in the U.S.A. but sold by Montgomery Ward in 1955. Made by what was to become the Beauty Camera Company of Tokyo.
The Ward 35 was the same camera as the popular Beauty 35 sold in Japan. A simple 35mm viewfinder camera with a fast f/2.8 45mm lens.
So there you have it – all new in our online store this week. You can find them at https://www.ccstudio2380.com
It’s a great way to get into film photography or add to your collection of vintage cameras at very affordable prices.
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Nice mid-1950s technology – an outstanding 35mm rangefinder camera paired with a cutting edge Nicca flash.
Here the flash handle is attached to the leather camera case via the left side metal bracket on the case. It does put a bit of a strain on the case so probably not the best way to tote it around.
Nice textured vinyl bag for the set.
The case has held up nicely over the years. I’m missing the connector cord and of course the 22.5v Type 015 battery (they are still available). The cord will be difficult to find but that’s half the fun!
If you happen to have the connector cord please let me know – I’m a buyer!
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Unique – Odd – Quirky – Ugly – Gorgeous – Cool – Modern – Sexy – Sophisticated – Clunky – a failure?
Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. – Tokyo
Fuji’s first 35mm SLR
Originally released as the Fujicarex in 1962 and sold only in Japan (it listed for ¥25,000). An updated model was released in the United States in July 1964 (in Chicago) as the Fujicarex SLR 35 and for other overseas markets as the Fujicarex II. It listed for around $150 USD without a case. It came with a Fujinon-S f/1.9 5cm lens with an additional f/4 35mm wide angle lens and a f/2.8 80mm portrait lens available.
Billed (advertised) as the “World’s easiest-to-use SLR 35mm camera” – Electric Eye with Cluster Control!
What do you think of its design?
According to a very reliable Japanese source, the Fujicarex II was available in Japan as a replacement to the original model and that the model II was destined for other overseas markets beyond the U.S. (like Europe). This would lead one to believe that the Fujicarex SLR 35 was only available in America. I haven’t been able to verify that as I’ve never seen the “plain” Fujicarex logo.
So was it a failure? Well, it got Fuji Photo moving in the right direction but I think overall it was just overdesigned and a bit hard to use. A bit like the Yashica Pentamatics – neat cameras that didn’t catch on. From what I understand it was only sold for about three years or so. The next 35mm SLR from Fuji didn’t appear until 1971.
No matter what, this unique camera is seldom seen in today’s collector marketplaces. It would make a wonderful addition to any vintage Japanese SLR collection since it was Fuji’s first SLR. Thanks for stopping by!
I’m thinking that this is the original Fujicarex logo (close to the cold shoe).
This should be the U.S. Fujicarex SLR 35 as there isn’t the “II” under the “Fujicarex”.
Round 1 – The Introduction
The Yashica-Kyocera L AF from 1986 and the Kyocera T Scope (Japanese name, T3 elsewhere). The L AF was assembled in Hong Kong with parts made in Japan and the T Scope was made in Japan.
Key feature – waterproof (more like weatherproof) – not a dive camera.
N.A. Scope = “New Angle Scope”
The scope is just like a waist-level finder – pretty cool actually.
I’ll be doing a side by side field test of these two cameras shortly. Is the T3 really worth the extra money over the Yashica? The T Scope features a Carl Zeiss T* Series Tessar f/2.8 35mm lens against the Yashica (Tomioka?) f/3.5 32mm lens. I have a hunch that the Yashica’s lens was also made by Zeiss at the Tomioka factory in Tokyo. We’ll see if the vaunted T* coating makes a noticeable difference.
Not often seen outside of Japan – the Kyocera T Scope box. Not one mention of Yashica!
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Two 1970s heavyweights battle it out (well sort of).
The Canon is from 1978 and the Nikon is from 1972. To me, the clear winner is the F-1. It’s a more robust camera body and the Canon FD lenses are as good as if not better than the Nikkors. Besides, you have to remove the entire baseplate and back (they are one unit) to be able to load film – not the easiest of things to do while bouncing around in a small boat or a safari vehicle. Just sayin’.
Which camp are you? Canon or Nikon? Or Olympus or Minolta?
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