(almost) wordless wednesday

yashica a cam and box

From 1964 – Yashica model A twin-lens reflex film camera still new in its original factory wrapper (and box).

*I know, pretty wordy for a Wordless Wednesday.

It’s available for purchase in my camera 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

The Fujicaflex Automat- a monster TLR from Fuji Photo Film Company, Tokyo

Here’s another look at this wonderful camera. I’ve recently found the time to shoot a roll of film with it and the film will be developed soon. I’ll be sure to post the scans when I can.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Fuji’s only attempt at a twin-lens reflex camera – 1954

DSCF8012 logoThe Fuji Photo Film Company of Tokyo has a long history of making some very desirable cameras – from simple point and shoot models to high-quality professional medium format film cameras covering most types of film formats (Fuji Photo, after all, is in the business of selling film). Along the way, there have been a few cameras that have stood out for their technical achievements and innovations and one of them is the Fujicaflex Automat (for much more about this model please check out Mr. Koyasu’s wonderful site).

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We’ve wanted to add this camera to our collection for many years and the right combination of events led us to this one. It was for sale in Japan a short while back and we missed it – it became available again from a collector in Thailand so we went for it.

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Yashima Flex Inspection Tag – update 2

Yashima Flex Insp Tag 2

Earliest known inspection tag from Yashima Kogaku Seiki Company (Yashica) – 1954

It seems at first glance to be nothing important, but to a fanatic Yashica collector, this is golden. It’s the earliest known tag from Yashima complete with serial number and inspector’s stamps.

What it is. Most cameras from Japan came with some sort of inspection tag, form or sticker. This one says it’s an Inspection Form (across the top). What makes this find special is that it was included with the first twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera that bore the company name – Yashima. The Yashima Flex TLR camera was produced between 1953 and 1954 before changing the name to Yashica Flex in subsequent models and the company became known as Yashica in 1958.

This would have hung from the camera body and the serial number of the camera is recorded on the tag (here the last two numbers are blocked). The inspector would have entered a date next to the word Showa – or that would have been entered by the camera store at the time of sale. Here’s a scan of the reverse side of the tag.

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Super cool inspection stamp!

Yashima Flex Green Book

This could be the instruction book (leaflet) that would have come with the camera but since none have been documented yet it could be something else entirely. ***My good friend Paul Sokk has suggested that it could be filled with a pad of papers for recording data about your photographs.***

Update August 22, 2019 – Paul was correct! A+ for him. It is a pad filled with forms for recording your exposures (images).

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The form that is inside the green booklet. You would record the date, time of day and even the weather!

Kanji on Green Book

“Store​ the​ record​ of​ your​ photo​ data.​ Print​ your​ photos​ on​ this​ paper​ to​ better​ preserve​ your​ photos”.

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This is the set I just purchased from Japan. It shows the size of the green booklet as it relates to the camera box. It is not an instruction booklet.

More about this exciting find soon!

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.

Minolta’s First 6×6 Camera – 1936

We were lucky enough to acquire this lovely camera from a local collector recently. Historically it’s a significant camera in the long history of Minolta as it’s the first camera they produced to use 120 roll film in the 6×6 cm format.

It’s also a groundbreaking camera that did not use traditional leather bellows or a metal body – the body and bellows are made of Bakelite which is an early plastic. I’ve read some conflicting information about the release date (some say as early as 1935) but it seems like November 1936 is where Minolta puts its introduction. Either way, it’s the oldest camera in our collection by a couple of years and the oldest Japanese camera we own by far.

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The Crown C shutter was made by Minolta (earlier names of the company apply) and features a leaf shutter with a top speed of only 1/150th of a second. Not fast by any stretch of the imagination. Couple that to a maximum aperture of f/5.6 and you’d better be taking pictures in bright sunlight and using fast film. But wait, in 1936 fast film would be ASA 25 – so break out the tripod.

Another interesting feature is the not yet standardized aperture scale – here we have f/5.6, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18, and f/25

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The view from above shows the three Bakelite segments fully opened. In lieu of a fragile leather bellows, this seems like a great idea but obviously never caught on with Minolta or other manufacturers.

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I gave the camera a good cleaning inside and out but for the most part, it wasn’t really that dirty. The shutter sounds accurate and the aperture blades are behaving themselves – not bad for an eight-decade-old camera. It’s generally free of corrosion as the body is mostly Bakelite and the few metal pieces on the body are brass. The metal lens board is typically where some corrosion and paint loss would occur but this one is holding up well. The leatherette is starting to crack and peel but again, that’s to be expected.

We plan on shooting a roll of film with this soon. I do have to address some minor fungus filaments in the lenses but I’ve seen much worse in much newer lenses. I believe that I’ll be able to get the optics back to a good clarity with just a tad more cleaning.

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Advertisement from 1938

Notice the selling price of the f/5.6 was listed at ¥ 46.00 which in 1938 1 yen was worth about U.S. 30 cents. So this camera in USD would have been $13.80 – I used this site to see a historic yen rate chart.

By the way, a partial machine translation of the ad reads like this – “Minolta six card business roll film should also be considered as a popular version of so-called 6×6 cm camera to make a sheet of 12 6 cm square film, the machine depends on the Baby and the Vest. Made of Bakelite, which has already been tested, and fine-grained Moroccan leather, it has a fresh Western silver metal fittings, and the three-stage sliding-type rigid bellows made of stainless steel has durability for long-term use. The Corona f/5.6 and f/4.5 both offer excellent performance in landscapes and figures.” 

The Baby and Vest were two cameras that proceeded the Minolta Six. We think it’s a fantastic bit of design and engineering and we’re excited to add it to our collection.

Thanks for stopping by and remember that we’re still running a 15% off sale in our camera 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

Yashica-Mat EM

My favorite go-to medium format camera with a built-in exposure meter (EM). This one is from 1964.

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Woodblock print by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858)

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

For more about the Yashica-Mat EM please visit one of my previous posts here.

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.

In the Shop – Yashica D Presentation Box

In the shop today we have a bit of a collector’s special. I’ve listed one of my early Yashica presentation boxes – those colorful boxes that were often tossed when new so 60 years on it’s getting harder to find these fun collectibles. They add instant appeal to your collection.

Stop by our shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for complete details and additional pictures of the box. It can be purchased here or in the shop.

Vintage Yashica D Presentation Box

Vintage Yashica D presentation box from the first run of these iconic cameras (1958-1963 or so). Later boxes (1964 onward) were radically changed to a more modern style. This box represents the earliest days of Yashica. The colors are unique - a pinkish gray with the letter 'D' in yellow, green, and black. It is missing one of the lids end flaps which could be easily duplicated by the serious collector or left as is. The box is solid and complete otherwise. For additional details and pictures pop on over to the shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com You can purchase this item here by simply clicking on the payment button or buy it in our shop. Shipping in the US is via USPS Priority Mail for $8.50 and I'll ship basically worldwide - just ask for a quote before ordering. Chris

$19.75

Yashica LM -1956

Made by Yashima Optical – my first model LM

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This Yashica LM was the first camera that I posted on my Flickr site back in December 2013

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The selenium cells were hidden under the nameplate – it was a highly accurate light meter

Yashica LM twin-lens reflex (TLR) 6×6 cm medium format film camera. This is one of my most favorite TLRs from Yashica. It features a built-in light meter (LM) and sharp Tomioka made lenses.

These two images were the first two that I posted on my Flickr site back in 2013. I was fond of using two different backgrounds – a dark blue (pictured above) and a softer light blue. I use a stark white background now but I’m getting a bit tired of it. I may go back to using a light blue (see below).

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Thanks for stopping by! BTW, my Flickr site can be found here 

Chris

The Fujicaflex Automat- a monster TLR from Fuji Photo Film Company, Tokyo

Fuji’s only attempt at a twin-lens reflex camera – 1954

DSCF8012 logo

The Fuji Photo Film Company of Tokyo has a long history of making some very desirable cameras – from simple point and shoot models to high-quality professional medium format film cameras covering most types of film formats (Fuji Photo, after all, is in the business of selling film). Along the way, there have been a few cameras that have stood out for their technical achievements and innovations and one of them is the Fujicaflex Automat (for much more about this model please check out Mr. Koyasu’s wonderful site).

DSCF8009 logo

We’ve wanted to add this camera to our collection for many years and the right combination of events led us to this one. It was for sale in Japan a short while back and we missed it – it became available again from a collector in Thailand so we went for it.

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Of the many neat features that this camera has, one of the most useful is its close-up capabilities. Although we haven’t finished our first test roll of film we wanted to verify the reported 70cm close focusing feature. By pushing the little button above the thumbwheel you’ll be able to adjust the taking and viewing lenses for a closer focus (notice that the lens rings extend outwards about 4mm or so). The ability to bring the taking lens closer to the subject allows the camera to get closer to the subject without the use of cumbersome auxiliary lenses.

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Here the lenses are retracted back to their “normal” positions.

Thanks for stopping by! We’ll cover more of the camera’s features in future posts and we will post images from our first test roll soon. – Chris

Happy SUNday! – Vintage Cameras –

yashicaflex rookie set

Yashicaflex Rookie 1956

All of our ‘Rookie Stuff’ together for this display. As a Japanese domestic market only camera, the Rookie is a rather unique find outside of Japan.

Wonderfully fun camera to use… always gets strange looks whenever it’s out and about.

yashica a and rookie

1959 gray Yashica-A and 1956 Yashicaflex Rookie. Two wonderfully simple twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras from Yashima-Yashica. These two have held up very nicely over these many years.

Probably one of the oddest names for a camera from Yashica (and they’ve had a bunch). If we use our western definition of the word “rookie” it would appear that Yashica was naming a simple to use camera that first-time photographers would be comfortable with. The Rookie was not available outside of Japan.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to see what we’ve added to our online store at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Chris

Heavyweights 1954-1955

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On the left is the Fujicaflex Automat by the Fuji Photo Film Company – Fuji’s first and only twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera. On the right is the Yashica Flex S (aka Yashicaflex S) by Yashima Kogaku Seiki Company.

Yashima (later to be known as Yashica) went on to build TLRs until 1986 producing thousands encompassing over thirty models.

The Fujicaflex was under development by Fuji since around 1948 and the direction they took was to build a high-quality camera geared to the serious amateur and semi-professional photographer. By all accounts, it was a bust in the marketplace (way too expensive) as Fuji never attempted to follow it up with a second model and ending production in just about a year.

The Fujicaflex is noticeably larger than the Yashica Flex S – the Fuji weighs 1,323 grams and the Yashica comes in at 1,117 grams. Both cameras were weighed with a roll of 120 film loaded.

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The Yashica Flex S was the first ever TLR with an attached exposure meter. I imagine you could say built-in as the meter’s cells were located behind the nameplate flap and were connected to the meter on the camera’s left side via wires. The non-coupled selenium cell meter was built by Sekonic and was marked “Sekonic CB-1”.

We’ll continue to feature the Fujicaflex in upcoming posts and hopefully soon we’ll be able to post some images taken with it. I’ve got a roll of Fujichrome Velvia 100 in it now.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out some of our unique photo gear in our shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Chris