Like a Leica, or better? Nicca

My good friend Paul Sokk has authored one of the most comprehensive sites dedicated to all things (I mean all things) related to and about Yashica twin-lens reflex cameras you’ll ever see. As if cracking Yashica’s history wasn’t enough, Paul then went on to research pretty much everything there is to know about Nicca and the cameras they made and their contribution to Yashica and their development of the Yashica Pentamatic.

Nicca 3-S 35mm rangefinder from 1955.
All decked-out with its 28mm W-Nikkor lens and matching viewfinder.

I could go on and on about Paul’s site or just give you the link – it will be well worth a visit and your time. http://www.yashicatlr.com/Nicca.html

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.

https://www.buymeacoffee.com/chasingacoffee

Yashima Flex TLR – 1954

Made by Yashima which later changed its name to Yashica. This is one of the earliest TLRs made by them and this one is in mint condition inside and out.

The lenses were made for Yashima by Tomioka Optical which would later be acquired by Yashica.

A beautiful machine from another time – made by the talented craftspeople in Nagano Prefecture (on the shores of Lake Suwa). It’s getting close to celebrating its 70th anniversary.

This gem was worth chasing all the way to Japan. I was very lucky to buy this directly from the original collector.

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.

Saturday Spotlight – My favorite RF

Whenever I reminisce about classic cameras from the 1950s it’s hard not to think of this Nicca camera inspired by the iconic Leica 35mm rangefinder (RF).

* Nicca 3-S from 1954 *

By today’s standards there’s nothing easy about using a camera from this era. Some of the “negatives” – manual focusing using a rangefinder (not thru the lens like an SLR), manual exposure and shutter speed settings, difficult film loading, and lots of add-ons just to be able to shoot with a wide angle or telephoto lens to name just a few. The positives – this is considered to be a miniature camera (compared to other film cameras), interchangeable lenses, rugged construction, excellent lens choices, and portability. I like this camera because it just feels right cradled in your hand.

Tiny 2.8cm (28mm) wide angle lens made by Nippon Kogaku (Nikkor-Nikon).
Optical viewfinder that provided the correct angle of view of the 2.8cm lens.
Nippon Kogaku W-Nikkor.C f3.5 2.8cm lens.
Optical viewfinder mounted on the Nicca’s accessory shoe.

If you want to experience film photography in its purest form then check out one of these amazing machines from the 1950s. Leica, Nicca, Yashica, Canon, Nikon, Leotax, and dozens more.

Totally random here but I wanted to give a shout out to my friend Peggy’s WordPress site at https://cameragocamera.com/ It’s a lot of fun to visit and she’s tested nearly every camera on the planet (almost) nearly every camera. Pop on over for a read and be sure to click follow while you’re there.

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

Be sure to stop by my camera shop 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.

Happy SUNday! – Zunow Magic

Recently ended Yahoo Japan Auction for a Zunow SLR sales brochure – super rare!

The snip above is from a recently completed auction for a rather rare, no check that, super rare sales brochure for the famous 35mm SLR made by Zunow in the late 1950s. The final sales price for the brochure was an amazing $180 USD!

Pictured above (not my image or camera) is the first and only SLR made by Zunow. It’s rare to find one for sale as well less than 1,000 were ever made (maybe only 500). It’s a beautiful design but it was plagued with numerous build quality issues. I believe the most recent sale of a complete Zunow SLR went for around $15,000 USD.

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

Be sure to stop by my camera shop 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.

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.