The Unremarkable Yashica FFT

The rather hard to chase down Yashica FFT – the last of its kind. I give this bugger a high chase factor of CF 9 not because it’s a sophisticated 35mm SLR with tons of features, it earns a CF 9 because Yashica just didn’t make a bunch of these things and when they were for sale I believe most of them stayed in Japan.

The serial number on this one is 41001738 (1974, October, and number 1,738 for that month up to that point).
HTF instruction booklet for a HTF camera.

No auto exposure or auto focus, no built-in power winder, and little to no style.

So what’s this gem’s claim to fame? It was the last m42 screw mount lens body in the Yashica family. Big deal. Something’s got to be last and this guy was it.

Yashica m42 lens mount bodies began in the Spring of 1961 and ended (maybe with this one) in the Autumn of 1974. Along the way such classics as the TL Electro X was made which was one of the first SLR’s with an IC “brain”.

I’ll test and review this camera soon (I know, you’ve heard that before!). BTW, I have no earthly idea what ‘FFT’ stands for if anything. Any ideas?

Uncluttered and unremarkable top plate. Simple.

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.

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Happy SUNday!

Happy Sunday all! Here’s three classic Yashicas that are certainly worth the chase. The only one that I’d consider rare or hard to find is the pro-black body J-3.

The Yashica J-3 in black was never advertised as best as I’ve been able to find out after years of searching and for the most part flew under the radar in sales and marketing. Fewer than 2,000 were made (unofficial count) and few remain today in mint or near mint (working) condition. It was Yashica’s first black 35mm SLR until the TL Electro X in black came along in 1968. There were chrome versions of both cameras that sold alongside the black models. Conversely, the TL Electro X ITS (Integrated Technology System) was only available in black and featured the gold electron symbol on the pentaprism. BTW, the Yashica Sailor Boy advertising figurine pictured here is the taller 20 cm dealer model and no, he’s not naked.

Yashica’s advertising figurine, ‘Sailor Boy’ (1962).

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.

Thursday’s Camera – Yashica TL Super

A handsome no frills 35mm Single-Lens Reflex camera.

A camera worthy of a good chase – we were lucky enough to find this one complete with its original box back in 2016. Nice examples are out there but don’t rush into just any one you find. Remember, cameras this age will need some attention especially the light seals (an easy fix) and possibly a good cleaning. Avoid cameras with lots of external corrosion or pitting on the chrome finish and peeling leatherette. Signs of a moist environment which is death to older electronics.

This one we’re thinking is from about late 1967. It was first introduced in 1966.

It’s a beautiful camera… the silver paint from the factory is a bit smoother than later finishes which tend to be grainy.

Yashica’s first TTL metered SLR so it is an important camera in Yashica’s evolution to even more sophisticated 35mm SLRs in 1968. The next major camera in the line was the famous TL Electro X.

Made by Tomioka Optical, the super sharp 50mm f1.4 lens has a great reputation for producing quality images at all apertures.

The Yashica TL Super with a Auto Yashinon lens can be an affordable camera set to start your adventures in film photography. Look for clean and damage free bodies and always buy the best your budget will allow.

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.

Wednesday’s Camera – Yashica Pentamatic

The original Pentamatic 35 with a rare Tominon branded lens.

In the field.
In the studio.

The Yashica Pentamatic is a very worthy camera to chase after. About 20K were made but since it wasn’t considered a collectors camera not many were saved in mint condition. The next camera was the Pentamatic II and it was only available for purchase in Japan. The final model was the Pentamatic S and only about 5K were made.

I’ve always loved the lines of the Pentamatic – so modern and uncluttered but so retro at the same time. BTW, there’s no self-timer on this model and the shutter button was mounted on the front – right where your pointer finger naturally wants to be.

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.

Tuesday’s Camera – Yashica A Twin-lens Reflex

We love Yashicas here on the blog and I can’t tell you how many enjoyable hours have been spent chasing these classic beauties from the 1950s.

This one was made in 1962 and features Yashikor lenses (the bottom lens is the “taking lens” and the top lens is the “viewing lens”.

As simple as simple gets so you’re likely to find one of these in a fully functioning condition. Not much can go wrong with these unless they’ve been abused or stored improperly.
The focus knob is on the right and the film advance knob is on the left. Simple.
The little door on the back has a red plastic window under it so that you can see which exposure you’re on as you’re advancing the film. Simple.
An accessory shoe and the two film spool knobs.
Opening and closing the camera is done by this rather large knob on the bottom.
You’ll get 12 exposures from a roll of 120 roll film, either color negative, color transparencies, or black and white negatives in a large 6 x 6 cm (2 1/4 x 2 1/4″). BTW, that is the backside of the taking lens. If you look closely you can see the leaf shutter inside the lens.
What a deal! $29.95 and the leather case for 1/5th the cost.
One of the easiest instruction booklets to follow. The Yashica A was made for beginner photogs on a budget.

So there you have it, our pick of the day. If you’re looking to get into medium format film photography then give this Yashica model a try. Use my example as a guide as to what to look for when you’re looking at purchasing one for yourself. No corrosion, complete leatherette coverings, clean and clear lenses, and no missing parts. Good luck!

May I suggest a visit to my good friend Paul Sokk’s site at http://www.yashicatlr.com/66ModelsPage1.html for some of the best information you’ll find anywhere about all things Yashica, Nicca, Leotax, and more.

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.

Chasing a Classic from Yashica – Yashica Flex AS-II

I first spotted this lovely camera on Etsy way back in November 2020. At that time the seller was in a bit of a funk and we couldn’t put a deal together. Now after four short months of watching it sit I made an offer and they accepted. Yeah! Chasing classic cameras is as much of a hunt as it is a waiting game.

This TLR was made by Yashima Kogaku Seiki Company, Ltd. (later Yashica) around November 1954 based on its early serial number.

The selenium cells are located behind the nameplate flap.
Flap in the open position. The cells inside sent a small electric current to the built-in exposure which is mounted on the left side of the camera.
A close-up view of the exposure meter which was made by Sekonic (Seiko Electric Instruments Industry, Company).
The lens on the bottom is called the taking lens and the one on top is the viewing lens. Both lenses were made by Tomioka Optical for Yashima. The shutter was made by Copal and as I mentioned earlier, the exposure meter was made by Sekonic.
A view inside the film chamber shows the serial number – No.31147. The serial number in the first edition of the user’s guide is 30126 and another AS-II that I own is 30302. BTW, there was a roll of unexposed Kodak film inside as a nice bonus.
My first and earliest AS-II showing the lowest serial number found in the wild. Take notice of the “Made in Japan”.

If you would like to know more about Yashica’s earliest days then my good friend Paul Sokk’s site is the place you want to go – you can find Paul’s site at http://www.yashicatlr.com

Back to the chase. I wanted this AS-II but the seller didn’t offer much information about its overall condition or whether it even worked. It was listed with the complete contents of an old leather camera case so there were lots of goodies inside along with the camera. Sometimes you’ve got to follow your instincts and go for it. A lack of info can add some excitement to the chase! The camera also had it’s original case which was sort of welded to the camera. The case even left some of its green crud behind as you may be able to see on the exposure meter housing.

Bonus! A roll of unexposed Kodak Verichrome Pan (VP-120) film inside.

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.

Yashima Flex TLR – 1954

Made by Yashima which later changed its name to Yashica. This is one of the earliest TLRs made by them and this one is in mint condition inside and out.

The lenses were made for Yashima by Tomioka Optical which would later be acquired by Yashica.

A beautiful machine from another time – made by the talented craftspeople in Nagano Prefecture (on the shores of Lake Suwa). It’s getting close to celebrating its 70th anniversary.

This gem was worth chasing all the way to Japan. I was very lucky to buy this directly from the original collector.

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.

New items in my camera shop for April 21, 2021

Hello all… I’ve been busy adding new items for sale in my online camera shop, CC Design Studios, which can be found at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

I’m offering a very nice 10% discount on almost everything in the shop plus some with free shipping! I have many more items not pictured in my collection so if there’s a particular camera or lens that you’re looking for I just may have it. You can contact me here or at ccphotographyai@gmail.com – Chris

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.

Yashica TL Electro X – one of Yashica’s most popular 35mm SLRs – ever!

The venerable TL Electro X

Far left is the TL Electro X in silver chrome (it also was available in all black) and on the right the TL Electro X ITS which was only available in pro-black with the gold electron symbol on the pentaprism.
Not to overlook the quality of the lenses from Yashica which were made in-house by Tomioka Optical. Here’s an Auto Yashinon DS-M 50mm f1.4 – super sharp lens (and fast).

If you’re looking to acquire a true classic 35mm SLR that will ease you into film photography, then I highly recommend getting this model Yashica. They were produced in rather large quantities during the late 1960s through the mid-1970s and if you find one that looks as nice as this one (and is a one owner) then the likelihood of getting one in fully working condition goes way up. Avoid online sellers that provide fuzzy pics and vague descriptions – look for sellers that will answer your direct questions as to the functional condition of the camera. The good news is that this Yashica uses a very common battery – I’m using an Energizer A544-6V alkaline (also known as an LR44). The battery provides the correct voltage with no drop-off over time.

BTW, this one was made in the then newest Yashica factory in Hong Kong and is marked “Hong Kong” on the bottom plate vice “Japan” which would be marked on the right side back of the top plate. This one will be leaving my collection soon as I am currently downsizing my camera collection. You can watch for it in my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

New in my Camera Shop – March 26

Hi all! We’ve been very busy adding items from our collections of things into our camera shop (CC Design Studios) at http://www.ccstudio2380.com this past week. Here’s a little peek at what’s been added.

Plus lots more!

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.