Yashicaflex A-II made by Yashima

A bit of a confusing title so let me explain. Yashica started off as Yashima and although they called their first twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera the Yashimaflex they quickly changed to Yashicaflex with their subsequent models. Yashima became Yashica in 1958 when the company name matched the camera’s name.

Here’s a rather rare presentation box for the A-II. This box was for the export version of the camera – the domestic market box was slightly different.

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This box is original to the camera and it’s from 1955.

I’ll have more about this interesting early camera from Yashima 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

Rare Shinano Pigeon 35 Model IIA

Made by the Shinano Camera Company and distributed by Endo Photo Supplies Company of Tokyo in late 1952 or early 1953. First off, this camera is a survivor when you factor in just how old it is and the fact that this type of camera was never made in vast quantities.

It’s a 35mm viewfinder camera with an NKS shutter with speeds from bulb to 1/200 of a second plus a built-in self-timer. The 4.5cm Tri-Lausar lens is made by Tomioka Optical Company of Tokyo and has a maximum aperture of f/ 3.5

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When these types of cameras were made in the early 1950s they were never intended to be collector cameras in the future and they were up against stiff competition in a crowded marketplace. They were built well and they were designed to be affordable cameras for the masses.

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A beautiful top plate that is free of dents, dings, and corrosion.

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I like the way Pigeon is embossed into the covering.

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Removing the entire back and bottom plate makes loading film super easy and fast.

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The film pressure plate is in excellent condition with very little wear. Once again, the camera is free of corrosion and rust. Japan’s climate is very hot and humid during the long Summer months followed by intense cold Winters – with little indoor climate control it’s hard to find cameras from this era in such good condition.

Another remarkable aspect of this set is that the original leather case is also in nearly perfect condition.

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If you enjoy collecting vintage cameras from Japan then this Pigeon would make a wonderful addition to any collection. I haven’t tested it with film lately but the shutter operates at all speeds and sounds accurate, the aperture blades are clean and oil-free and with the exception of some dust specs in the lens I see no fungus or mold and it’s free of distracting cleaning marks or scratches. Optically the Tomioka lens is clean and clear. This is not a coupled rangefinder camera so you focus based on distance and you meter separately as there is no built-in exposure meter. Basic film photography just as it was intended.

If you’re interested this camera is available in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – Thanks, 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 Type 33 Brochure – 1958

One of the last cameras made by Nicca just before the takeover by Yashica was this simple 35mm rangefinder camera – the Nicca Type 33

Nicca Type33 Logo

The Nicca Type 33. Released around May 1958 just as Yashica was taking over the company. As best as I can tell, Yashica had no part in the design of this camera or the first-ever Nicca lens.

Although the top plate isn’t engraved “Type 33” there are markings inside on the bottom plate that identifies it as the Type 33. If you look closely at the lens pictured it’s marked as a Nicca f/2.8 50mm lens with an interesting serial number of No. 8002. The first-ever Nicca branded lens of any type. Origins of this lens are not known as Nicca had never produced a lens on their own.

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The front and back covers of this rather rare brochure.

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The inside of the brochure showing the available accessories.

The Nicca Type 33 is a worthy addition to any collection that features Japanese made 35mm rangefinder cameras – it’s not often available for sale outside of Japan and it can be rather hard to find (in good condition) on Japanese online auctions. Finding one in collector condition and with its original Nicca lens and box would be an interesting challenge and would test your collecting skills.

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.

 

 

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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Yashica Flex S Instructions

Yashica Flex S Inst (1)

Ultra rare and very early Yashica Flex Model S instructions. Not many of these leaflets survived their journey through time. This one is barely holding on to life. A small peek at Yashima’s early days before becoming Yashica. By the way… this camera was the first Japanese made TLR with a built-in exposure meter! A pretty modern concept in 1954!

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 Flash Unit from around 1953

As you may have guessed by now if you casually follow this blog that I also have a passion for collecting bits of camera gear made by and for the Nicca Camera Company. Nicca was acquired by Yashica in 1958 and that acquisition led directly to Yashica developing (with lots of help from Nicca designers) its first 35mm single-lens reflex camera the Pentamatic 35 by early 1960. Yashica was a bit slow to the marketplace with an SLR as Canon, Asahi Pentax and Canon (among others) had already introduced SLRs by then.

Because of this relationship, Nicca has always held a prominent spot in my collection and the Nicca 3-S remains one of my favorite 35mm rangefinders to shoot with. Recently I’ve added this wonderful flash set to my collection.

From the instruction booklet, it describes this as “an automatic rechargeable flash gun specifically designed for Nicca cameras”.

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Considering its age (1953) it’s in outstanding condition. Hey, it’s as old as me!

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All set to go. The Nicca B.C.B. flash unit attached to my Nicca 3-S.

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Viewed from above the pilot lamp is visible on the top center of the flash head. It lights up when the flash is ready to fire.

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The red-tipped bulb ejector button. You don’t want to handle a hot bulb.

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As part of the set, I received the original instruction booklet and a pamphlet for the flashbulbs which were made by West Electric Company of Tokyo and Osaka – later to become or at least partner with National-Matsushita.

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A closer look at the “Exposure Guide Numbers” card pictured in the previous image above.

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The reflector is about 5.5 inches across. The bulb looks tiny compared to the reflector but believe me, it puts out some light!

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Advertisement from late 1951 0r 1952.  The flash looks like it used a slightly different connector cord than the one in my set. Hinomaruya ( ひのまるや ) was the Domestic General Agent for Nicca in Japan.

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Details from the instruction booklet. Shown in this image is a capacitor and 22.5-volt battery to power the flash but it could also be powered by two “D” cell batteries or three “AA” penlight batteries with an adapter.

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Size comparison between the flash handle and two D-cell batteries. As can be seen, the optional add on handle extension would need to be used. 

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Front view without the reflector. My guess is that the “BC” means battery-capacitor and the “B” is for battery (I don’t know for sure about the last “B” at this point).

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Camera side view with the shutter cord connector and “L” bracket connector visible. The red-tipped bulb ejector button is also visible.

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Parts detail minus the reflector and the capacitor/battery.

Nicca only made 35mm rangefinder cameras (maybe a lens or two but unproven) during its existence so the flash unit was made by another company. It’s likely that the West Electric Company, Limited, of Osaka and Tokyo was the manufacturer although no part of the flash is marked with the name “West”. Only the included pamphlet mentioned West. As stated earlier in this post, it’s likely that West merged or partnered with National-Matsushita Electric to build additional models of flash units during the second half of the 1950s.

Thanks for stopping by! If you know what “B.C.B.” means please share it with me. – 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.

 

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.

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

graphic 35 with border

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