Burke & James 4×5 Press Camera Kit – 1952

Hi all! Thanks for stopping by. I wanted to share this wonderful camera kit that I’ve recently acquired from the original owner’s family. I’ve done some minor restoration on the rare original leather and wood case and I’ve gone through the camera and cleaned and inspected (tested) everything.

The complete kit with sheet film holders (5), rare lens shade, instruction booklet, flash bulbs, and the camera.
The case is made from wood that’s been covered with leather. Some of the edges showed some wear so I did some minor restoration. The aluminum lens shade is made by Tiffen and uses a Kodak adapter. An original unused lens board is also included.

The camera was originally owned by noted New Mexico writer and photographer Ken Cobean. Ken’s work has appeared in magazines such as Life, Time, and National Geographic and Ken received two prestigious awards from Kodak at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.

This beautiful set is now available in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – pop on over and check it out. There’s even a short video that you can watch.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! – 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.

SUNday Spotlight – Chasing Classic Cameras – Arco Colinar Lens

From 1952, a little known Japanese lens maker produced this super nice Leica screw mount telephoto lens. The Arco Colinar 13.5cm f/3.8 short telephoto.

DSCF2163 (1)

It was one of the first lenses produced by this start-up company. The serial number, No. 27559 gives a clue as to when it was made. The ’27’ is the Showa year and when converted to our Western calendar is 1952 (27 + 25 = 52). The remaining numbers would indicate the number made up to that point. In this case, it is the 559th made.

DSCF2169

I believe it is a chromed brass bodied lens as it weighs 615 grams. Lots of brass and glass in a small package.

DSCF2171

DSCF2165

Test image from about 10 feet at f/11.

DSCF2159

Test image from about 15 feet at f/11.

The lens is designed for 35mm rangefinder cameras that use the Leica LTM/L39 screw mount – Leica, Nicca, Canon, Leotax to name just a few.

The lens was mounted on my Fujifilm X-A10 mirrorless digital camera using a Fotodiox M39-FX adapter. I’m very happy with the performance of this classic and a rather rare lens that’s still going strong after 68 years of service.

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

Be sure to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – lots of new old stuff added this week – check it out.

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.

 

Leica IIIg – 1956

Hello all! Happy Saturday.

Today’s spotlight camera is the Leica IIIg which was the last Leica rangefinder camera that used L39 (LTM) screw-in lenses. This lovely camera set is from 1956.

DSCF0319

The camera’s serial number indicates that it was in production in the latter half of 1956 while the lens looks to be from 1955. The Leicavit winder is appropriate for the models IIIf and IIIg so I believe it’s original to this camera.

Typical to cameras that are over 60-years-old, this one will need a complete CLA (cleaning internally, lubricating, and adjustment) professionally. The shutter is way out of adjustment so the shutter curtains are not operating properly and the speeds are off. The winder will need internal cleaning (mostly removing old lubricants) and installing fresh lubricant. Hopefully, that will enable it to operate as designed at about two frames per second (a stretch).

The lens works as it should and appears to have escaped the dreaded fungus and mold. The front and rear optics are clean and scratch-free but internally it does suffer from haze on all the elements. This appears to be typical with Leitz lenses from this era.

This camera set has a wonderful history and it would be nice to be able to shoot with it again. Here’s hoping.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day! Please feel free to visit 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.

Leotax ‘Silhouette’ – a French Connection?

Here’s an advertisement that appeared in the Asahi Camera Yearbook 1958.

leotax silhouette

Leotax TV advertisement from Asahi Camera Yearbook 1958. Other than this ad, I haven’t seen any other mention that the TV was also known as the Silhouette. Leotax went on to name two other cameras – Merite and Elite.

It’s important to point out that Leotax, for the most part, did not engrave the names of their cameras on the top plates so you won’t find cameras that have Silhouette, Merite, or Elite on them. So far I’ve seen these names in advertisements, in a sales brochure, and on a box.

leotax merite box with logo

My box with the name Merite vice Merit as it is incorrectly known.

leotax merite ad

Flyer from 1959 clearly shows the camera as being the Merite.

If you’d like to know more about the Leotax Camera Company please visit my good friend Paul Sokk’s site at http://www.yashicatlr.com/Leotax.html. Paul’s done an excellent job at compiling some of the best information anywhere about Leotax (and a bunch of other things too).

Thanks for stopping by and if you have anything you’d like to share with me about Leotax please do so in the comments. I would especially like to see more examples of Leotax boxes and advertisements (and brochures). – Chris

Be sure to visit my camera shop hosted by Etsy 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.

Shinano Camera Company Ltd. – Pigeon Model III

From around 1953 or late 1952.

35mm viewfinder camera with non-interchangeable lenses.

Asahi53_Page_38 pigeon 35 III

Asahi Camera magazine advertisement from 1953. Download courtesy of Paul Sokk http://www.yashicatlr.com

DSCF0231

A very clean and streamlined design gives this camera a rather modern look even by today’s standards.

DSCF0241

The standard lens is a Tomioka Optical Company Tri-Lausar f/3.5 4.5cm

DSCF0232

A simple top plate features a film advance lever (far right) tucked into the upper right corner of the backplate. Maybe a first for a Japanese made 35mm camera.

DSCF0235

A closer view of the film advance lever. Advancing the film did not charge the shutter.

DSCF0244

Below is a scan of the original instruction sheet supplied with the Model III.

IMG_20200711_0001

IMG_20200711_0002

DSCF0240

Pigeon Model III

pigeon 2

My Pigeon Model IIA from 1952. This gorgeous camera is no longer in my collection.

These Shinano Pigeon 35 cameras are an interesting collectible but so far after owning two of them I’ve yet to be able to shoot a roll of film. The Model IIA pictured above had a non-functioning focus lever that somehow became detached internally. I didn’t catch that it wasn’t right until after I sold it. The Model II that I recently acquired at auction has two major problems. Again the focus lever did not work as it was frozen in the infinity position probably from lack of use and the second problem was that although the film advance lever moved it did not advance the film. That might have been a simple fix but since the focus lever wasn’t working I won’t try to get it repaired. The Tomioka lenses on both cameras were clean and clear and the shutters sounded accurate.

My advice is to proceed with caution before purchasing these early cameras as they are approaching nearly 70 years since they were made. Things happen over time and unless you’re a talented repairperson expect these to simply look good in a collection of early Japanese 35mm cameras.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

SUNday Spotlight – Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

Happy SUNday and thanks for stopping by!

Today I’d like to show you a new addition to our collection. While on one hand, we’re downsizing the collection while on the other hand, we continue to add classics – especially rather hard to find classics like this one.

The Yashica-Nicca 35 YF or as it was known in Japan, the Yashica 35 Fair-Way.

DSCF0203

The first and only dual-branded camera from Yashica, the YF is a 35mm rangefinder camera that uses interchangeable L39 screw-in mount lenses (made by a variety of lens producers). Here it’s mated with its original Yashinon f/1.8 5cm lens.

DSCF0217

The Yashica YF is rather unique in its design and a break from the more traditional Leica-like cameras of the 1950s. The YF was first produced in July 1959 and according to the serial numbers, ended its run by September 1959 with just a little over 6,200 made.

DSCF0212

The camera back features an easy to open film door that made loading 35mm film cassettes a breeze. Very similar to the Nicca Type-5 but its door swung to the right.

DSCF0216

Shown with the film door and baseplate completely removed.

DSCF0223

The serial number shown here decodes to August 1959 number 1,603rd made since the start of production in July.

DSCF0208

Another neat feature of the YF is that the film advance lever was located in a slot on the upper right of the top plate which made advancing the film and cocking the shutter super easy.

DSCF0210

The single eyepiece is late and provides a clear view through the rangefinder.

DSCF0227

The perfectly placed rangefinder windows afforded a bright view and easy focusing.

yashica 35 fair way brochure

An original sales brochure from late 1959.

IMG_20200618_0001

The original instruction booklet in English.

IMG_20181016_0004 logo

From a Yashica sales brochure from around mid-1960.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Zeiss Ikon IIIa with Box – 1951

We were lucky enough to collect this wonderful Contax with an original box (we love old cameras and their boxes)!

The Contax IIIa (and IIa) are interchangable lens 35mm rangefinder cameras.

DSC_0028

The Contax IIIa was made by Zeiss Ikon AG. Stuttgart, West Germany.

DSC_0032

We haven’t run a roll of film through it yet but we hope to soon. The lens is a Carl Zeiss 50mm f/ 1.5 and the exposure meter (top) appears to be working after all these years.

DSC_0023

Exposure meter flap in the open position. The meter has selenium cells that are powered by light – no batteries necessary. The only downside is that over time they do give out and they can be a bit fragile after nearly 70-years-old.

The Carl Zeiss f/ 1.5 lens is considered to be fast even by today’s standards.

IMG_20200524_0016

Here’s the Contax IIa – same features but without the built-in exposure meter.

Here’s another camera in our collection that’s available to purchase. From 1955, the Minolta A2 (or A-2) 35mm non-interchangeable lens rangefinder camera.

DSCF8447

DSCF8451

The Minolta is available in our Etsy camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful day! – 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.

Zeiss Ikon Contax IIa – 1954

IMG_20200524_0019

Zeiss Ikon Contax brochure from 1954.

IMG_20200524_0016

35mm rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses. Considered by many to be better than a Leica from the same time period.

IMG_20200524_0017

The Contax IIa and IIIa from the early 1950s. If you run across one in your travels definitely pick it up – you’ll be very pleased. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit 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.

Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – 1951

A wonderful classic 35mm rangefinder camera made in Stuttgart by the Zeiss Ikon company in 1951. The Contax was for a time a strong competitor and innovator with the likes of Leica.

DSCF8782

This lens shade is an A42 slip-on hood.

IMG_20200511_0001

This brochure was printed in February 1954.

IMG_20200511_0002

Outstanding features for its time. The date is the last 3 digits on the lower left side 2-54.

DSCF8792

Zeiss Ikon AG Stuttgart A 42 1115 lens shade for the Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/ 1.5 50mm lens.

IMG_20200511_0010

Only $2.50 originally back in April 1954.

Thanks for stopping by and if you’re looking for an underappreciated 35mm rangefinder with an awesome lens then give the Contax IIa and IIIa a try. – Chris

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.

 

1951 Classics – Contax & Tower (Nicca)

DSCF8164

Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa and Tower (Nicca) Type-3

Two extremely different cameras that accomplish the same thing – recording an image on 135 film. The Contax is a much bigger camera and for the most part, it is an original design by Zeiss Ikon of Stuttgart. The Tower was made by Nicca Camera for the Sears, Roebuck Company for sale in the US and Canada. The Nicca was inspired by an original design by Leica and it’s often considered to be one of the better Leica “copies”.

Both cameras feature interchangeable lenses and both are rangefinders. The Contax has an attached exposure meter (non-coupled) and with the Tower, you would use a separate meter for determining proper exposures.

DSCF8165

The Contax is a slightly larger camera and it’s a tad bit heavier due to the additional weight of the exposure meter. The Contax weighs 773 grams and the Tower weighs 591 grams.

DSCF8172

The standard lens on the Contax is a Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/ 1.5 50mm and the Tower has a Nikkor H.C f/ 2 5cm.

DSCF8174

What’s interesting is that back in 1951 these cameras were considered to be “miniature” 35mm cameras per their advertising of the time.

contax iia clip 1

contax IIIa and IIa

Tower Ad Page Logo

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.