Yashica Heavyweights – 1960s glass & brass

Here is a fun visual comparison between three early Yashica cameras.

Yashica’s first 35mm SLR released in early 1960. The Pentamatic 35 with its fast f/1.8 lens was a neck breaker to be sure.
Yashica’s first modern 35mm SLR released shortly after the end of the Pentamatic series in 1962.
First released in 1964, the Yashica Mat EM (Exposure Meter) was and still is a very popular TLR (twin-lens reflex) 120 roll film camera. It features a built-in exposure meter powered by selenium cells. The meter on mine is still working and is accurate when shooting negative films.

What’s the heaviest camera in your collection? Not pictured here I’d say my fully decked out Canon F-1 with a motor drive and big f/1.2 lens is crazy heavy. I’ll have to dig it out and post the results here soon.

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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Yashica’s last TLR – Chasing a True Classic!

Yashica’s (Kyocera by this point) last TLR model. This one was part of the last run of the model before production shut down in 1986. Yashica (originally named Yashima) started off in 1953 with the obscure Pigeonflex TLR followed by the Yashima Flex and then continued to build TLRs way longer than the market could bear (or need). The good news is that the 124G can be found today in great quantities and cameras as “young” as 35 years-old.
It’s a very affordable way to get into medium format photography and in the case of this model, be able to use both 120 and 220 roll film giving you either 12 or 24 exposures.

After about 33 years of making TLRs, this was Yashica’s best.
A beauty – here’s what a modern TLR looked like back in 1985.
The design of the last box that held the 124G (1985-1986).
This gorgeous camera was the first to carry the company name – Yashica Flex made in 1954.

For contrast, compare the Yashima Flex to the Yashica Mat 124G. Their excellent build quality remained throughout the decades. If you’re chasing one of these for your collection you’re in luck because Yashica made a bunch of 124Gs and there’s a bunch still out there. Expect to pay a premium for mint examples but be careful, they’re still older cameras and a host of bad things can happen to them from lack of use and improper storage. Ask lots of questions of the seller if you’re buying online and look for sellers with excellent reputations for selling quality classic and vintage cameras. BTW, not too many of the original Yashima Flex cameras will look like my example pictured above. I was so very lucky to buy mine from the original owner in Japan who obviously kept it in pristine condition both physically and mechanically.

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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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.

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 635 – shoot 6×6 cm and 35 mm all in one TLR

Back in 1958 (May-June) Yashica released or introduced the inventive model 635 twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera to the export markets. It would be a short while before the camera would make its debut in Japan.

yashica 635 brochure close

The only film it couldn’t shoot was movie film!

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This one is from one of the first batches of cameras made in June 1958. Its serial number puts it at the 231st made.  It was purchased new by the original owner at the RAF Changi base in Singapore.

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Close-up view of the 35 mm conversion kit that originally came with the camera.

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A general idea of how to install the 35 mm film cartridge and kit.

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A gem from 1958.

As Carol and I continue to downsize our camera collection we’ve made this camera and kit available in our online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

If you’re looking to get into medium-format film photography and still want to use 35 mm film to make color transparencies (slides) this is a perfect combo camera to invest in.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to hit us with an offer if you’re so inclined. Chris & Carol

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.