Another Yashica Sailor Boy

Those of you who follow this blog know that our main collecting passion lies with most everything from Yashica. The Yashica TL Electro X was my first 35mm SLR and since then my collection of all things Yashica has grown substantially.

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On the left is the original Yashica Sailor Boy (1962) – to the right is the Wee Willie Winkie version from around 1966 or so. Yashica has never officially named these guys so we’re assigning them names just to make identification easier.

Recently this version popped up for sale in Japan and although we didn’t purchase him I’d like to at least show another side of this collectible figurine.

YSB 35

All three of these versions were made in Japan by Modern Plastics during the 1960s. The football guy wearing number 35 was more than likely promoting Yashica’s line of 35mm cameras but little else is know about him. He is the same height as the other two at around 4 inches.

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Here’s the dealer display version. He’s about 10 inches tall.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by my camera shop 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashima (Yashica) Brochures – 1956

Yashica Bro 1956

Cover image from a Yashica brochure dated December 1956. The brochure introduces the Yashicaflex model C (pictured), Yashica Rookie (also know as the Yashicaflex R), and the Yashicaflex model A-2. I’m sure this lovely model was photographed in the mountains just north of the Yashima factory in Nagano Prefecture. I believe it was shot on Fuji color film. The brochure contains about 23 pages and covers all aspects of medium format (6×6) photography. It also highlights the modern production facilities at their factory in Suwa. One of the best vintage photographic brochures I have ever seen!

Yashima Bro 1956

This is a different brochure from 1956 – it’s actually been dated by a previous owner in the upper left corner.

Both of these brochures are quite rare outside of Japan and I would hazard a guess that they are becoming quite rare even in Japan.

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Macro Monday – Monster Glass

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One of the finest fast lenses ever – well pretty close anyway. Made by Tomioka Optical for Yashica (and others) this ultra-fast 55mm f/1.2 lens is a perfect match for the Yashica TL Electro X ITS that it’s mounted on.

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

A rare Yashica Pentamatic II instruction booklet surfaces.

Every now and again something new turns up in our never-ending search for the complete history of the Yashica Pentamatic series of 35mm SLR cameras. The first model of the Pentamatic was dated (by serial number) in December 1959 and the last, the Pentamatic S ended in March 1962. In between the Pentamatic II had a short run from August 1960 to January 1961. Fewer than 26,000 Pentamatics were made (of all models) during its brief run which makes the Pentamatic one of the hardest to find models in Yashica’s historical line-up of SLR cameras.

A recent online auction featured this never before seen instruction booklet (below).

Yashica P2 book lolo

It’s not much to look at as the cover is devoid of any attempt to market the camera.

My best guess is that the booklet is an English edition of the Pentamatic II instructions. The Japanese edition (below) is much more in keeping with the style of the other books. My good friend and Yashica collaborator Paul Sokk and I agree that the Pentamatic II was never released for sale outside of Japan which makes the discovery of this white cover booklet for the Pentamatic II that much more interesting.

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Front and back covers of the Pentamatic II instruction booklet. It’s the only manual found so far that’s printed in Japanese.

Here are all three of the instruction booklets for the Yashica Pentamatic (below).

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Up to this point, these were the only known Pentamatic instruction booklets.

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Here’s a scan of the first page inside the white covered booklet – pictured is a Pentamatic II with it’s Zunow sourced 5.8cm f/1.7 lens. The camera is still identified as the original Pentamatic in this image, however.

So the big question is why did Yashica print this instruction booklet in English when from all evidence the Pentamatic II wasn’t released for sale outside of Japan? A secondary question is why did they choose to not title the booklet as being for the Pentamatic II? Our best guess is that a few Pentamatic II models were in fact sold in Japan possibly in military exchanges and in duty-free shops and an English version was needed. It’s also possible that a few Pentamatic II’s were sold outside of Japan and the booklet was produced to supplement the camera. Nothing yet to prove that the Pentamatic II was sold outside of Japan but the existence of this book adds a new wrinkle to the history of this camera.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, if you have additional info about any of the three Pentamatic models please share it with us. Thanks, 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Happy SUNday! – Black, Silver & Fire

Yashica J3s and book

The book is ‘A Day in the Life of Japan’ published in 1985. The image is of a Buddhist monk illuminated by the burning of prayer sticks. Original image by Matthew Naythons and was taken on Mount Hiei near Kyoto.

Yashica J3 on book

Yashica J-3 single-lens reflex 35mm camera from 1962. Satin chrome finish contrasts nicely with the black leatherette. The lens is a Tomioka Optical made Auto Yashinon f/ 2.0 5cm beauty.

Yashica J3 black on book

A rather rare camera as it is Yashica’s first pro-black body in a 35mm SLR. Uses a CdS exposure meter located behind the small ‘light-gathering lens’ on the camera’s upper left side. The taking lens is gorgeous… super smooth focus and as clear as a bell. Made by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo for Yashica… Auto Yashinon 5cm f/ 2.0
Bonus pieces include the original black metal lens cap and Yashica lens shade.

The book, ‘A Day in the Life of Japan’ published in 1985 and printed in Japan, contains hundreds of images all taken on the same day on 7 June 1985. If you have a chance to find this book it is a fantastic documentation of the people and places of modern Japan.

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

 

Time Capsule – 1960

Another look at this post from last year. New evidence shows that the Pentamatic (original model) was released in Japan in January 1960 but as of this reblog still no instruction booklets found printed in Japanese – only English. The Pentamatic made its first appearance in the US around March-April 1960 with the first ads appearing in May.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

yashica pentamatic set The original Pentamatic.

A nice example of Yashica’s first 35mm SLR – the Pentamatic. Also known as the Pentamatic ’35’ in its earliest advertisements and sales brochures. This particular camera is from August 1960 – the same month that Yashica started production of the Pentamatic II – a model that was destined for the Japanese home market and not for world export. The Pentamatic II stayed in production only until January 1961 when it was replaced a few months later with the Pentamatic S. The original Pentamatic was first produced in December 1959 but widescale production didn’t begin until January 1960. As of this update (Oct 11, 2018), I still haven’t found evidence of an instruction booklet printed in Japanese – only English booklets so far. I would think that there must be booklets in Japanese and at least 2 or 3 other languages but none found. The Pentamatic II…

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Happy SUNday! – Silly Cool!

Under the heading of silly cool things to add to my collection, this one definitely fills the bill. Available during Expo ’70 which was held in Osaka, Japan between March and December 1970.

YSB Patch 1970

The “badge” is about 3 x 3 inches and is sewn onto a felt back with a pin for quick attachment.

Yashica was still promoting its first generation of electronic cameras in 1970. The famous Yashica TL Electro-X first hit the market in October 1968. The Electro 35 came out in 1966.

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The original Yashica Sailor Boy on the left (1962) and his undated cousin on the right. My best guess is that the guy with the camera was fashioned after ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ spreading the word about Yashica’s new camera (the Electro 35) in this case. The sleeping cap, the slippers and his hand up to his mouth (not ear) to better shout the news.

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I’m at a loss to explain the whys behind the apparent clown costume in this case. I get the partial reference to the previous Wee Willie Winkie design but can’t even begin to imagine why Yashica’s marketing folks took away his original sailor suit. This little figurine was pretty popular during the 1960s and 70s as the Sailor Boy was made in a wide variety of sizes from small 4 inch models up to a nearly 24-inch dealer model.

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Yashica’s possible inspiration. There are enough similarities to suggest that Yashica’s Sailor Boy was modeled after WWW.

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Large dealer display model. I had the opportunity to acquire this guy a short time ago but apparently, I missed out.

Anyway, happy Sunday to all! – 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashica TL-Electro

The TL-Electro was one of Yashica’s longest-running models in the very successful TL Series of 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. Don’t confuse this model with the better known TL Electro X or TL Electro X ITS. It’s a totally different camera but equally important to Yashica’s success during the 1970s.

By analyzing serial numbers my good friend Paul Sokk ( YashicaTlr.com ) and I have determined that the TL-Electro was in production from April 1972 to February 1978. There’s still a chance of finding a few cameras outside of these dates but at this time they look pretty accurate.

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Original undated sales brochure for the TL-Electro.

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Essentially the TL-Electro is an updated version of the Yashica TL which was first produced in November 1967. The TL used a meter needle centering system vice the lighted arrows in the TL-Electro (same side and location in the viewfinder display).

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Cover of the instruction booklet dated 1974.

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From the instruction booklet. These exact batteries are no longer made (due to mercury) but there are replacements available that may do the job. The alkaline replacement is APX-640 or PX-640A (at 1.5v). The batteries only power the exposure meter system and not the shutter.

Yashica TL-Electro Box Logo

Original box that was with a camera that was produced in July 1973.

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Below is the Yashica TL from late 1967. The TL was the second camera in the TL Series right after the TL-Super (1966).

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The very basic but highly functional Yashica TL from an undated sales brochure.

The Yashica TL and TL-Electro are almost exact matches with the exception of a few placements of the dials and levers. Of course, the TL uses a mechanical meter display system where the TL-Electro gains the IC Brain and lighted arrows for metering. I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh each body to compare them yet but I would guess that they are pretty close.

When shopping for the TL-Electro or TL obviously choose the best looking and most functional cameras that your budget will allow. The TL, Electro AX and the FFT are the hardest to find in good condition even though plenty were made over the years. All of Yashicas cameras during this period used M42 screw-in lenses so it’s easy to mix and match.

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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashica’s TL Series of 35mm SLRs

Yashica’s evolution during the 1960s and beyond started with their first TTL (Thru-the-Lens) exposure metered cameras – the much loved TL Series which were introduced right after the successful J Series (Penta J, Reflex 35, J-3, J-5, J-P, J-4, J-7).

It began with the exceptional TL-Super in April 1966. The chronology is as follows based on serial numbers and not based on advertised or previously known release dates.

  • TL-Super          Apr 1966
  • TL                      Nov 1967
  • TL Electro-X    Oct 1968   Type 1
  • TL-E                  Jun 1969
  • TL Electro X    Jul 1969     Type 2
  • ITS                    Dec 1970
  • Electro AX       Mar 1972
  • TL-Electro       Apr 1972
  • FFT                   Jul 1973

The TL Series ended in 1978 with the last TL-Electro made. All of these Yashicas used the M42 screw-in lenses which were made by a variety of lens makers.

It’s easy to decode your camera’s serial number as Yashica used a 3 or 4 digit date code at the beginning of the serial number. As an example, here’s a serial number on a TL-E (90607952)  9 = 1969, 06 = Jun, 07952 = 7,952nd made that month in sequence from 00001.

Here’s a TL (2816946)  2 = Feb, 8 = 1968, 16946 = 16,946th made that month in sequence.

If you’ve got a serial number that you can’t quite decode send it to me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

Thanks, 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashica M42 Timeline – update 9.23.19

Yashica’s M42 screw mount 35mm SLR cameras were super successful and in some cases, groundbreaking. Yashica was known as a “Pioneer in Electronic Cameras” during the 1960s and 1970s with the TL Electro-X being the first electronically controlled SLR camera. My good friend and fellow Yashica collaborator Paul Sokk ( YashicaTlr.com ) and I have studied Yashica’s serial numbering system as it applies to their 35mm SLRs that used the universal M42 screw-in lens mount.

These dates represent the earliest finding of an individual model based solely on their serial numbers – not necessarily their release date. In some cases, the dates are still fluid as there is still the possibility of finding a stray in the wild that would prove an earlier production date.

Yashica often included a month and year in the first 3 or 4 digits of the camera’s serial number. By decoding these numbers Paul and I have come up with the following list.

  • Penta J            6/1961
  • Reflex 35        3/1962
  • J-3                    2/1963
  • J-5                    3/1964
  • J-P                    8/1964
  • J-4                    4/1965
  • TL-Super        4/1966
  • J-7                  11/1966
  • TL                  11/1967
  • TL Electro-X Type 1    10/1968
  • TL Electro X Type 2      7/1969
  • TL-E                 6/1969
  • ITS                 12/1970
  • TL-Electro     4/1972
  • Electro AX     3/1972
  • FFT                 7/1973

In some cases, the dates are from cameras that appeared in sales brochures and user manuals. We have a high degree of confidence that these dates are correct and that they reflect a true chronology of these cameras as of this post.

Here’s an example of a Yashica serial number during this period –

(81200636)   8 = 1968, 12 = DEC, and 00636 = 636th made that month.

Yashica Type 1 Back Logo

The serial number on my Yashica TL Electro-X Type 1

If you’ve found a camera that exists outside of these start dates, please feel free to let me know and if you have a serial number that you’re unable to decode send it my way. You can contact me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

Thanks – 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.