Leotax Merite Camera Case – 1959

Here’s a beautiful leather camera case for the Leotax Merite and Elite. The quality of its construction is evident even after 60 years of use (gentle use). The Merite was a 35mm rangefinder camera built by the Leotax Camera Company in the Leica style.

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A beautiful leather camera case from around early 1959.

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Excellent materials and attention to detail.

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Quality stitching throughout.

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The bottom half of the case was attached by a patented hinge assembly that quickly detached from the top half.

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Advertising flyer for the Leotax Merite. The camera and lens sold for 42,500 JPY which was about $118 in 1959. The case went for an additional 1,800 JPY which was $5

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.

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Yashica On Ice

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Yashica Rookie TLR from 1956. Also known as a Yashicaflex Model R.

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Warranty or service guarantee card that was issued with the Yashica Rookie verifying that it was known as the Model R in Japan.

The Rookie was only available for sale in Japan and was released in 1956.

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.

Nicca Bits

I love finding “new” bits of vintage photo gear especially when you’ve been hunting for them for years.

These bits may seem like no big deal but if you collect hard to find items in their original boxes and cases it’s rewarding when it all comes together.

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Nicca-Hinomaruya Y2 filter and lens hood. Both are from at least 1955 but likely earlier.

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Hinomaruya was the exclusive distributor of Nicca cameras and accessories.

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Using a Y2 yellow filter is a must when shooting with black and white film. It will generally darken a blue sky and provide more contrast between the sky and clouds. It can also help add better definition when shooting landscapes where haze and light atmospheric fog is present. When using a Y2 filter on a camera such as this one you must compensate by a factor of two when taking your meter readings. If you’re using an SLR with TTL metering then the camera’s built-in meter will compensate for you.

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Nicca Type 33 sales brochure showing a slightly different box for the hood and for a color filter along with the older style filter box. The Type 33 was one of the last Nicca cameras produced by the company and was released in 1958 so this would represent the last style of filter and hood boxes. As with everything else, these items were distributed by Hinomaruya.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm X-A10

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.

 

New in the Shop – Graflex Graphic 35

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In my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – it’s on sale for $31.27 + shipping

Vintage from the 1950s

Classic Graflex Graphic 35
35mm Rangefinder Film Camera
Rodenstock Graflar 50mm f3.5 Lens
Prontor SVS Shutter

*One Owner
*Smoke and Pet Free Home
*Tested without Film

All shutter speeds sound accurate
with the exception of 1 second which
is sluggish. Bulb does work nicely.
I did not test the flash connection but it looks great.
I do not test the self-timer
on vintage 1950s cameras so it
may work or it may not.
The aperture blades look good and
are snappy. The lens is generally clear
but I do see some dust and specs of dirt.

The rangefinder is sharp – it focuses easily.
The viewfinder is bright and clean but with
a light haze (no fungus) and the haze
is very slight.

Overall it is a very nice example of this
classic camera from Graflex. I believe it
would do well as a user camera again. It is
from my personal collection.

I’ve provided clear, accurate pictures of
the camera so that you may judge its
condition for yourself. Some minor dust
here and there but no corrosion, dents, or
engravings.

I mail daily and often and it will be well
packaged for a safe journey to you.
It will be mailed in the USA via USPS Priority
Mail with tracking and insurance.

Please check out my other great listings here in
this Etsy shop and at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Hinomaruya ひのまるや and Nicca Camera

Nicca camera made one of the better 35 mm rangefinder cameras in the 1950s. The style of camera is typically referred to as a Leica copy or Leica clone which is an unfair label to attach to the cameras of this design. One could argue that all cameras are copies of some previous camera – someone had to be first.

Here’s one of my favorite cameras in my collection – the Nicca 3-S rangefinder from about 1955.

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Seldom seen outside of Japan, here’s a nice lens hood with Nicca branding. It was distributed by Hinomaruya Co., Ltd. of Tokyo, Japan. The hood (or lens shade) was designed to be used with the Nikkor 50 mm f/2 lens and had a mount size of 40.5 mm.

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The attention to even the smallest details is what makes collecting these vintage bits of photo gear interesting and fun. The Yashica branded lens shades from this period look exactly the same so I will assume that the same manufacturer made them all. Could it have been Hinomaruya? No proof that they actually “made” things.

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The back of the leather case carries the Hinomaruya (in Japanese it’s ひのまるや) logo in a similar font as the Nicca logo (or at least close to it).

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Side view of the box – the translation is “Nicca Lens Hood”.

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There’s very little about the company Hinomaruya available on the web. It’s last known address was Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 4-3 (which was just around the corner from Yashica). The company was the exclusive distributor of Nicca up until 1958 when Yashica acquired Nicca. They also distributed the rather cool Melcon 35 mm rangefinder camera and the Nikkor lenses used on both the Melcon and Nicca.

Hiromaruya in hiragana is ひのまるや

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Here’s a bag that has Nicca and Hinomaruya on it. Another direct link between the two of them.

I’m not sure if they made this slide projector or if they distributed it but this item is from about 1959 – interesting because it’s a year after the Yashica acquisition of Nicca.

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There are a few (very few) advertisements floating around on the web from Hinomaruya and I haven’t seen that name anywhere on paperwork from Nicca associated with the camera. It’s unknown if they handled warranty registrations and related paperwork for Nicca or Nikkor.

Thanks for stopping by and BTW, if you have additional information about Hinomaruya or Nicca please feel free to share it with me! Thanks – Chris

Studio Camera: Fujifilm X-A10

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.

Pigeon 35 by Shinano Camera Co., Ltd.

A reblog of an earlier post about this amazing and seldom seen 35mm rangefinder camera made in Japan in the early 1950s.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Why show a 35mm viewfinder camera on a blog about the Yashica Pentamatic? Well, Shinano and Yashima-Yashica share a common history. The first camera that carried the Yashima name was the Pigeonflex… a twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera!

Anyway here’s a nice example of a gorgeous 35 mm viewfinder camera that we acquired recently. The lens is made by Tomioka… a sharp (we hope) Tri-Lausar f/ 3.5 4.5 cm lens. NKS shutter B – 1/200.

It’s a nice heavyweight camera that has a good feel to it. In our opinion, it’s far from being a cheaply built camera as some would say. In fact, it still functions as intended after 6 decades of use. Most leather cases would be a complete mess after this amount of time but the leather is nice and the stitching is intact.

20160801_183736 1952 Pigeon 35 by Shinano.

20160801_183800 Nice view of the Tomioka lens.

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View original post 68 more words

Graflex Graphic 35 – The other camera made in Rochester

Call it space age or mid-century if you wish, the Graphic 35 is a love it or hate it design that was the style of the 1950s. The Graphic 35 featured push-button focusing – how modern was that!?

We think it’s a good looking camera given the era that it was designed in and compared to other cameras from the fifties, it’s rather slick.

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The two push-button focusing buttons are visible just above the lens on either side.

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It’s a coupled rangefinder – a separate viewfinder from the rangefinder.

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The camera was assembled in Rochester, New York with some components (lens and shutter) from West Germany – the 50mm lens is a three element design made by Rodenstock with the Graflar name and has a maximum aperture of f/3.5. The shutter is a Prontor-SVS model with a top speed of 1/300. Although I haven’t used this camera (yet) I’ve read that the lens is very capable in the f/8 and f/11 range but it wasn’t touted as a fast lens for low light or fast action photography. There was also an f/2.8 model.

graphic 35 ad

It looks like an interesting camera to use and from what I can gather with a fine grain film like Neopan 100 and bright sunlight it should produce some fine images.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit our camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com as we are running our big 15% off everything sale! ^.^

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.

Yashima Pigeonflex – my oldest Yashica

Confusing title to be sure.

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Before Yashica there was Yashima and before that, there was a Pigeonflex. Yashima 1953. That’s 65 years of Japanese dirt, dust, and fuzz – purchased from a collector from Sapporo, Japan. In my eyes… it’s beautiful! The Tomioka lenses are clean and clear. The camera works great too! Made by the wonderful craftspeople of Yashima / Yashica in beautiful Nagano Prefecture along the shores of Lake Suwa.

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The original Pigeonflex on the left and the first ever TLR to bear the Yashima Flex name on the right. The Pigeonflex has been left in its “as found” condition… proudly showing its 65 plus years of dirt and grime. The Yashima Flex is also in its “as found” condition but it has lived a more protected life. Basically, these are the first two cameras that Yashica (as it has come to be known) manufactured.

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Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com as you may see something that strikes your fancy! – 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 Yashica YE & YF – a definitive history

My good friend Paul Sokk would argue that nothing about the history of Yashica could ever be “definitive”. Yashica no longer exists and its previous owners (Kyocera) could care less about the history of the company that it killed off back in the late 1980s. But that’s where Paul really shines – he’s always researching and searching for that extra crumb of information that leads to the next crumb that eventually leads you to the cake.

The cake, in this case, is the latest addition to his amazing website. Paul deftly guides us through the complicated maze that was Yashica and details its relationship with the Nicca Camera Company and the wonderful Leica copies that were produced during the 1950s. Many of the conclusions that Paul describes are found nowhere else on the web and to his credit, no detail is too small or unimportant to look at.

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The family – Yashica YE, Nicca 3-F, Tower Type-3 (top to bottom)

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The Yashica-Nicca YF (the lens is not the standard lens for this body)

Please stroll on over to Paul’s site (be sure to bookmark it) for everything you ever wanted to know about the early days of the Yashica-Nicca collaboration. Paul quickly puts to rest many bits of intentional and unintentional misinformation that’s been floating around the web about this subject.

Paul’s site can be reached here.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Be sure to visit the “gift shop” before you leave today for some great deals on some vintage cameras and equipment – 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

 

Happy SUNday! – Have you been flashed lately?

It’s easy to forget that at one time getting the right amount of light on your subject was no easy task…

Every one of us with a smartphone carries around a powerful “photo machine” in our pockets or purses. Not that long ago, well really a long time ago now when you think about it, these monsters were the epitome of high tech flash units and cameras in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Yashica Mat EM – 1964

Pictured above are a fully functional Yashica-Mat EM and Yashica PRO 40 Quick-Lite electronic flash. This was “as-simple-as-it-gets” with a medium format camera in that era. The EM has a built-in exposure meter (not a thru-the-lens type) and the PRO 40 was a straight forward light machine. Both units together with the 8 AA batteries and a roll of 120 film weigh in at nearly 4 pounds! Yikes!

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A close-up view of the exposure meter and scales on the Yashica Mat EM.

Going even further back in time, this Yashica Flex S is mated with a Minicam flash unit.

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Yashica Flex S – 1956 with Minicam flash. Powered by two “D” cell batteries.

The Yashica Flex model S also has a built-in selenium cell light meter made by Sekonic (that little thingy attached to the side of the camera). The cells are located behind the nameplate flap which can be opened to gather more light in low-light situations.

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The attached light meter made by Sekonic for Yashica. Here pictured on a Yashica AS-II camera.

The Minicam flash advertised itself as “sunlight at night”! If you can remember back to the days that these types of flash units were used you can agree – they did make “sunlight at night” as you were often blinded for quite some time afterward.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for some great vintage cameras and photo gear. – 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.