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.

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.

Vintage Japanese Leather Camera Cases

Here’s a small sample of some pretty rare (or at least super hard to find) leather cases from the late 1930s to the mid-1950s.

DSCF8410

Coolest camera logo ever! Pluto 7

DSCF8375

From Konishiroku (later became Konica) Semi-Pearl 4.5x6cm folding medium format 120 roll film camera – ca. 1938

The Semi-Pearl was the first camera made in late 1938. As I understand, there were other models made during the war, and after that became somewhat popular. Still, finding a leather case from the thirties is super rare as most have fallen apart.

DSCF8388

Konishiroku Konilette (later became Konica) 35mm compact film camera – ca. 1953

This Konilette used a 35mm film without sprocket holes so the image was just a tad larger than a traditional 35mm image size.

DSCF8400

Shichiyo Kogaku of Tokyo Pluto Six P medium format folding 120 roll film camera – ca. 1955

As I understand it, there were only two camera models made by Shichiyo – the Pluto Six P and the Pluto Six L. The cameras are super rare so finding an intact leather case after all these years is hyper rare. The “Pluto 7” logo derives from the Japanese word for seven – shichi which is part of the company name and is considered good luck.

These are currently available in my online (Etsy) camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

If you have one (or all) of these cameras then you’ll appreciate just how rare it is to find the cases in excellent condition. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend! – 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.

Happy SUNday! – bluejeans and cameras

Happy Sunday everyone – I hope y’all are safe, happy, and with your families.

Yashica PS on jeans

This was taken in early 2015 shortly after a walkabout with my Yashica Pentamatic S and Yashica 135mm lens. There’s nothing quite like an outing with a favorite camera (c. 1961) and an old pair of comfortable jeans (c. 1999).

Shot with my then Samsung Galaxy S4 in natural light. This pic was recently favored on my Flickr photostream by a visitor to my site. It reminds me that we leave a long electronic trail on the internet (so be careful what you post).

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by 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.

Yashica 635 – shoot 6×6 cm and 35 mm all in one TLR

Back in 1958 (May-June) Yashica released or introduced the inventive model 635 twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera to the export markets. It would be a short while before the camera would make its debut in Japan.

yashica 635 brochure close

The only film it couldn’t shoot was movie film!

DSCF8030

This one is from one of the first batches of cameras made in June 1958. Its serial number puts it at the 231st made.  It was purchased new by the original owner at the RAF Changi base in Singapore.

DSCF8051

Close-up view of the 35 mm conversion kit that originally came with the camera.

DSCF8045

A general idea of how to install the 35 mm film cartridge and kit.

DSCF8032

DSCF8026

A gem from 1958.

As Carol and I continue to downsize our camera collection we’ve made this camera and kit available in our online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

If you’re looking to get into medium-format film photography and still want to use 35 mm film to make color transparencies (slides) this is a perfect combo camera to invest in.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to hit us with an offer if you’re so inclined. Chris & Carol

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 Tower Type-3 35mm Rangefinder Camera made by Nicca

Made by Nicca for the Sears, Roebuck and Company for sale in the United States and Canada under the Tower brand. This beautiful camera set is from 1951.

Collectors “Dream Set”.

NiccaTower T3 Logo

The Tower Type-3 is a 35mm rangefinder camera made by Nicca in 1951. The design is based on the original camera from Leica Many people call these types of cameras “Leica Clones or Leica Copies” but I like to refer to them as Leica inspired as many of the cameras made by Nicca were equal to if not superior to the Leica.

The camera is fully working at all speeds and the rangefinder is bright and accurate. There’s no dents, no marks, and no corrosion. It’s nearly perfect even after all these years.

DSCF7382

The camera body accepts all M39 / L39 screw-in mount lenses. This camera is fitted with its original Nikkor-H.C f/ 2 5cm lens made by Nippon Kogaku.

DSCF7384

The camera features a clean simple design on the top plate. The shutter’s top speed is 1/500th of a second.

DSCF7391

Cameras made in Japan prior to April 1952 were required to be marked “Made In Occupied Japan” somewhere on the baseplate. This camera is properly marked.

DSCF7393

Not many presentation boxes from the early 1950s still exist and few exist in such good condition as this one. A nice find and its the proper box for the camera.

Below is another amazing survivor from the early 1950s – the original leather camera case and strap. I can’t begin to explain just how rare it is to find an intact leather case from Japan made over 65 years ago. Usually, they come apart at the stitching and the leather separates at the joints. This case looks as though it was just made. A beauty.

DSCF7395

The original instruction booklet and guarantee-registration card are included with this amazing set. 

DSCF7396

DSCF7400

The aperture blades look great – they function smoothly and show little wear. The optics are also free of distracting marks such as scratches or cleaning marks. The rear element does have some whitish fungus which means the lens would need to be cleaned in order to use it fully.

Below is a test picture that I took using the lens on my Fujifilm mirrorless digital camera. You can clearly see the “haze” from the fungus but you can see that it’s not a total loss either. I believe the fungus can be cleaned if you know how to service these types of lenses or if a professional camera repair facility does the work.

DSCF7102

Test image taken with the Nikkor lens mounted on my Fujifilm X-A10 mirrorless digital camera.

Thanks for stopping by! If you’re interested in my set it’s available in my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com which is hosted by Etsy. – 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-5 35mm Rangefinder Camera – 1955

The Nicca Camera Company was well known during the 1950s as producing high-quality Leica inspired 35mm rangefinder cameras often of better quality than what Leica produced.

The Nicca Type-5 was released in March 1955 and it was the first Nicca camera to feature a rear film door that opened from a hinge on the right side of the body. This made it easier to load film as the film path was accessible directly from the rear. It was the only Nicca to open this way until a top-hinged model was introduced with the release of the Nicca 5-L (the L added a film winding lever vice dial shown here).

Nicca Type 5

Another feature of this Nicca is the added high-speed shutter which has a top speed of 1/1000 of a second.

The film back (rear cover) is side-hinged which is a unique feature of the Nicca Type-5.

Nicca T 5

From the front, an easy way to identify the Type-5 is by the black band that runs around the body just above the leatherette.

Nicca Ty 5

The film cassette is inserted on the left side of the camera and the film leader is drawn across the shutter curtain and is wound around the take-up spool on the right side. When the rear cover is closed the film pressure plate will keep the film flat. In the above picture, the bottom plate is reversed from its mounted position.

Nicca T5 apart

Another feature of the Type-5 is that the film door can be removed for even better access to the camera’s interior to facilitate film loading. The film take-up spool is on the far right.

The Type-5 is not a common Nicca today although it appears that nearly 6,500 were made during its run based on the thought that the serial numbers ran consecutively with no breaks in production. The earliest serial found is 125001 which is the camera depicted in the instruction book and the latest serial number found in the wild is 131531. My camera depicted here has a serial number of 130109.

Here’s an ad from May 1955 for the Type-5.

Ad_07

The advertisement is dated May 1955 which is a few months after the initially reported release date of March 1955. The distributor’s name is Hinomaruya ひのまるや which can be seen just below the Nicca name on the lower right of the ad. Scan courtesy of Paul Sokk.

For more, much more, please check out my good friend Paul Sokk’s wonderful site. 

Thanks for stopping by and please visit 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.

 

 

Happy SUNday! – Black, Silver & Fire

Yashica J3s and book

The book is ‘A Day in the Life of Japan’ published in 1985. The image is of a Buddhist monk illuminated by the burning of prayer sticks. Original image by Matthew Naythons and was taken on Mount Hiei near Kyoto.

Yashica J3 on book

Yashica J-3 single-lens reflex 35mm camera from 1962. Satin chrome finish contrasts nicely with the black leatherette. The lens is a Tomioka Optical made Auto Yashinon f/ 2.0 5cm beauty.

Yashica J3 black on book

A rather rare camera as it is Yashica’s first pro-black body in a 35mm SLR. Uses a CdS exposure meter located behind the small ‘light-gathering lens’ on the camera’s upper left side. The taking lens is gorgeous… super smooth focus and as clear as a bell. Made by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo for Yashica… Auto Yashinon 5cm f/ 2.0
Bonus pieces include the original black metal lens cap and Yashica lens shade.

The book, ‘A Day in the Life of Japan’ published in 1985 and printed in Japan, contains hundreds of images all taken on the same day on 7 June 1985. If you have a chance to find this book it is a fantastic documentation of the people and places of modern Japan.

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.

 

 

Nikon F Instruction Manual – 1971

Here’s a super nice all original instruction manual for the Nikon F. This one is in near-mint condition with only the slightest signs of having been in a camera bag with the camera. No missing pages, no writing, no folds, and no not so funny smells!

My shop is at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

DSCF6974

These manuals are getting harder to find in this condition. This is a one-owner book that’s been stored away properly all these years.

DSCF6975

Dated (71.7) which is July 1971

DSCF6976

The Nikon F

DSCF6978

English Edition with about 35 pages.

Add this very collectible book to your Nikon collection. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com where you’ll find this book for sale or buy it direst below. – Chris

Nikon F Instruction Manual – 1971

In near mint condition, one owner, about 35 pages, English Edition dated 1971. I'll mail it for free within the USA but it's available for mailing almost worldwide. Please ask for a quote to your country. Chris

$28.75

 

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.

Another Time, Another Place – Sears Tower Camera Manual 1950

IMG_20190919_0006

Sears, Roebuck and Company sold an extensive line of cameras and photo accessories under the Tower name. Here’s a scan from an instruction booklet from around 1950.

IMG_20190919_0007

Sears refers to the camera as the TOWER 35 but the camera’s top plate is engraved with Tower Type-3. The booklet also calls the camera the TYPE III. The camera was made for Sears by the Nicca Camera Company of Tokyo starting in the late 1940s through at least 1952 or so. Nicca also sold the same camera under their own name as the Nicca Type-3 or simply the Type III. They’re beautiful examples of craftsmanship that survive today as not only awesome cameras but works of industrial art.

612964_019

The Tower logo as it appears on the lid of the camera box. It’s a super cool design.

45474788302_2c3708d6f3_o

A gorgeous early example of this wonderful camera.

IMG_20181027_0001

The cover of an original Nicca Type-3 instruction booklet – 1950

If you’re looking to collect an early example of these wonderful cameras they are readily available on various online auction sites both here in the United States and in Japan. Be advised that if you plan of actually taking pictures with it most if not all will require a complete service by a qualified technician (about $200 to $300). If you’re just looking to add one to your collection then expect to spend in the vicinity of $200 for one that shows well.

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.