Rare Pentamatic II Brochure from Japan

I’m always, and I mean always, chasing anything to do with Yashica’s Pentamatic series of 35mm SLR cameras from the early 1960s. I was taken by its simple modern lines the first time I laid eyes on one.

Here is a wonderful Pentamatic II sales brochure (almost a catalog) from Japan that I’m guessing was published around the Summer of 1960 which was when the camera was introduced in Japan. I believe this is the first (and only) full-length brochure for this model.

The front cover introduces us to the Yashica Pentamatic II.

The lens was a new addition to this camera and was likely made for Yashica by Zunow Optical.

The back cover summarizes the features and specs of Yashica’s newest camera and lens set. The address (bottom) is listed as Yashica Co., Ltd., Nihonbashi Muromachi, Tokyo 1-8.

The ‘Yashica Girl’ started appearing on sales brochures around 1958 or so and continued here in this brochure. I don’t know her origins or purpose but she has two co-workers that often appear with her on other brochures. Here is a peek inside (it reads right to left) –

Unfortunately for Yashica, the Pentamatic II was not well received so it had a shortened production run of just over 5,300 units from August 1960 to January 1961 with breaks in production during that time. January 1961 is when Zunow Optical went bankrupt or was absorbed by Yashica (not well documented). Either way that put an end to this unique lens on a Yashica camera. It’s likely though that the lens design transferred over to Tomioka Optical (which was owned by Yashica) and Tomioka may have made this same lens for Mamiya in 1962.

One of my original Pentamatic II cameras with the Auto Yashinon f1.7 5.8cm lens.
One of the hardest cameras to chase down in Yashica’s entire lineup with just over 5,300 made with a vast majority only available in the Japanese domestic market.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

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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

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