My first post…

First Look!

CHRIS AND CAROL

The exciting first look (in print) of the Pentamatic…

First official appearance of the Pentamatic occurs in the May 1960 issue of Modern Photography magazine. In the June 1960 issues of Modern PhotographyU. S. Camera and Popular Photography, the first full-page ads appeared for the Pentamatic ’35’ reflex camera. The actual release date in the United States has almost always been considered by many to be March of 1960.

As of yet, I haven’t found evidence in print to support the March date. I do know that the Pentamatic was shown at the 36th annual ‘Master Photo DeaIers & Finishers Association’ trade show (MPDFA) held in St. Louis from March 21-25, 1960. I don’t know if the Pentamatic was released in Japan at an earlier date. From the progression of the serial numbers, by March 1960, about 1,500 cameras had been produced since production began in December 1959 at the Yashica Suwa factory. I doubt that there were enough cameras by March to support any widespread release in Japan or in Asia at that time. By June 1960, about 6,000 cameras had been built. There may have been enough to ship to the world markets starting in April and May. At their peak of production (summer 1960), it looks like Yashica was rolling out about 1,200 to 1,400 cameras each month.

Have a “Camera Holiday” in Japan. May 1960 magazine ad.

Part two of the “Camera Holiday” in Japan promotion. Very nice mention of Yashica’s factory in Suwa and the wonders of Japan!

Yashica provided this first ever look at their new Pentamatic SLR at the March 1960 MPDFA trade show in St. Louis.

First published look at the new Pentamatic from Yashica. May 1960

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

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, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Buy Me A Coffee

Rare Zunow 35mm SLR Set

A very rare, no let me say, ultra rare Zunow camera and lens set is for sale via an online auction in Japan. The Zunow was made in extremely limited numbers in 1959 and few remain this complete in the present collector world. Yashica’s first 35mm SLR was designed in early to mid-1959 shortly after Yashica acquired Nicca camera in 1958. The Yashica Pentamatic ’35’ started production in December 1959 with the first units reaching the US market in the Spring of 1960. The Pentamatic and the Zunow share some similar DNA as Yashica purchased lenses from Zunow (mostly cine lenses) and they were for a time dual branded.

Not often seen together original box, lens cap, case with strap, camera body and lens.
Beautiful together.
Here’s a snip of a completed auction for just the brochure.
Here’s my first Pentamatic ’35’ with a super-rare Tominon and Yashica branded wide-angle lens.

Looking at the Zunow and the Pentamatic it’s not hard to let your imagination run wild that maybe Zunow, Nicca, and Yashica all shared some design features with one another over a drink or two at a local bar on the outskirts of Tokyo.

This could be another sales brochure or brochure and instruction booklet combination.
Zunow and Yashica branded box for an 8mm cine camera lens.
An advertisement for a rare dual offering from a well-known Japanese camera dealer a few years back.

If you’re so inclined to bid on the current set online, here’s the link https://www.easyauctionjapan.com/YahooAuction-Yahoo-607566-j736361126.html

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your day and please feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Chris

Inside a 1960s transistor radio from Japan

With the back cover removed full 1960s hi-tech is on display. The western looking “Y” was Yashica’s logo during this period. I believe it’s stamped on the back of the speaker.

Yashica Model YT-300 Transistor Radio

Yashica even put their name on the battery connector cap.
Inside the back cover. In addition to making great cameras, Yashica also made some electronic devices such as movie projectors and editors, radios, tape recorders, and even a record player!
The radio with it’s original goodies still intact. It’s a gorgeous piece of electronics that does not power up. I would love to get it fixed if it is even fixable.

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

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, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Buy Me A Coffee

Yashica’s YT-300… a neat little radio from 1959

It’s time to revisit this early post on my blog. Did you know that Yashica made electronics like radios and even a tape recorder?

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

Yashica produced more than just cameras during its boom years. As a leader in the field of electronic photography in the middle to late 1960s, Yashica’s early electronic devices ranged from such diverse items as transistor radios, record players, movie projectors, editing equipment and tape recorders to name but a few.

Most of the earliest electronic devices are rather rare now (as one would expect after 50 years) and only occasionally does something come up in auctions both on the web and in estate sales. I suspect that the more common electrical items such as projectors and editing equipment are still flooding eBay and other on-line auction sites.

Finding an early radio such as the YT-300 and YT-100 is a bit harder. Here we share some of what we’ve been able to collect over the years.

20150716_203028_Richtone(HDR) Nice complete set from around 1960.

Yashica YT-300 Radio Brochure Not a bad price for such a sophisticated…

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Chasing Classic Cameras – Yashica TL Electro X 1973 Hong Kong Model

We enjoy collecting and sharing our Yashica cameras with our readers, especially if they tend to be a little hard to find and in such outstanding condition. I say this is hard to find just because not many were made at Yashica’s new factory in Hong Kong during 1973. As the saying goes, this was assembled in Hong Kong from parts made in Japan.

There’s really no difference between the models assembled in Hong Kong from the ones made in Japan that we’ve been able to detect. In our experience the fit and finish is the same with no known issues particular to the HK model. In fact, the HK models that we’ve owned seem to be in excellent condition overall with exceptionally nice satin chrome surfaces that hold up well over the years.

Typically ‘JAPAN’ would be on the top plate next to the serial number but on these models ‘HONG KONG’ is on the bottom.
The serial number is easy to decode. 3 = 1973, 10 = Oct, 01219 = the number built up to this point for that month.

The lens on this beauty is a fast and sharp Auto Yashinon DS-M 50mm f1.4 made for Yashica by the recently acquired Tomioka Optical. All Yashica camera bodies use M42 screw mount lenses up to the C/Y mount cameras made much later.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – 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 © 2015-2021 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Another Yashica Sailor Boy

Here’s another look at this post about Yashica’s Sailor Boy.

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

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…

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Mr. Ushiyama and Yashima / Yashica

Another look at these two camera pioneers.

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

Image is from what I gather is a visa to visit (or do work) in Brazil. I believe this image is from 1957. Yashica did set up a factory in Brazil and had established an address there. Image is from what I gather is a visa to visit (or do work) in Brazil. I believe this image is from 1957. Yashica did set up a factory in Brazil and had established an address there.

Mr. Yoshimasa Ushiyama…

Founder and president of Yashima Kogaku Seiki Company, Limited. He and his brother, Mr. Jisaburo Ushiyama started a small manufacturing business in their hometown of Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan in the late 1940s and transitioned to making cameras by 1953. In the 1950s, Yashima grew to one of Japan’s largest camera manufacturers and by the close of the decade of the fifties, they outsold many of today’s best know camera makers. Yashima became Yashica and the rest is history. I believe these images are of Mr. Ushiyama as they were scanned from the original camera instruction booklets from Yashica.

Mr. Yoshimasa Ushiyama and his brother Jisaburo c1959. Mr. Yoshimasa Ushiyama and his brother Jisaburo c1959.

Scan of the president and director of Yashica camera... Mr. Yoshimasa Ushiyama c1959. Scan of the…

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SUNday Spotlight! – Pigeonflex

Hello all! Happy Sunday and thanks for stopping by.

Before Yashica was Yashica they were Yashima and Yashima’s first camera was the oddly named Pigeonflex.

pigeonflex with dirt

Proudly displaying 67 years of dirt, dust, soot, and grime. I’ve since cleaned it up (which was super fun) and as you see it here it was fully working! Credit goes to those talented craftspeople in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan those many decades ago.

I purchased this from a Japanese seller from Hokkaido, Higashi-ku, Sapporo, Japan a few years back.

pigeonflex full dirt

Yashima’s Pigeonflex Twin-lens Reflex (TLR)

A short two years later, this was the first camera from Yashima to carry the Yashica name – confused yet?

yashicaflex s 1955

Yashica Flex S from 1955

Have a beautiful day and be sure to stop by my camera shop hosted by Etsy at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashica Auto Focus Motor – Friday Fotos!

Also known as the Yashica 5-Star Auto Focus Motor – 1981. It featured a sharp 38mm f/ 2.8 lens that was more than likely made by Tomioka.

Yashica Auto Focus Motor

A nice sales brochure (above) from October 1981. The cameras featured in this brochure are the Diary, Flasher, Snap, and the Auto Focus Motor.

Yashica Auto Focus Brochure

Yashica Auto Focus, Auto Focus Motor, and Motor-D. These were technological breakthrough cameras for Yashica in the early 1980s. Of course, at this same time, Canon had the A-1, AE-1, AE-1 Program, and of course the Canon F-1. These cameras from Canon were all SLRs so not a fair comparison but Canon made similar compact rangefinder cameras. It was a tough go for Yashica at this time and a takeover was on the horizon.

yashica playing cards

Promotional playing cards featuring the Yashica Sailor Boy and the new Auto Focus Motor.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful (and safe) day! – Chris

BTW, I’ve added some new items in my Etsy shop – check it out 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

Happy SUNday!

Yashica just like many other camera makers used a variety of marketing ideas to promote their line of cameras and company. Yashica employed the services of what I call him ‘Yashica Sailor Boy’ since around 1962.

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Yashica marketing used the ‘Yashica Sailor Boy’ and his new camera for a deck of playing cards.

From 1981, with the introduction of the new Yashica Auto Focus Motor (also known as the Yashica 5 Star Auto Focus Motor) 35mm compact point & shoot camera, came this version of their marketing icon. Here the ‘Sailor Boy’ is depicted as the nursery rhyme character ‘Wee Willie Winkie’ telling the world about Yashica’s newest camera.

yashica sailor boys 9

More about the camera can be found in a previous post.

Here’s another post with a detailed view of the various Yashica cameras in the early 1980s.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful (and safe) day! – Chris

Be sure to visit 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.