Taken with a Yashica TL Electro-X and Yashinon-DX 21mm f/3.3 lens at f/5.6 at 1/60 second. Image by acclaimed professional photographer Takeji Iwamiya. Titled “Solarization”.
As you can see in the above scan, as late as late 1973 Yashica was still marketing their 21mm lens alongside the newer and certainly more modern 20mm ultra-wide lens. The 21mm is a retrofocus lens meaning that the mirror on a 35mm SLR would have to be in the up position as the rear element of the lens was just millimeters away from the film plane. A separate matching viewfinder would need to be mounted on the accessory shoe in order to frame your image. Fortunately an ultra-wide lens usually has such a wide view that parallax error would only be a factor at extreme close-up imaging.
Do to the relative scarcity of the 21mm lens, prices are much higher than one would expect to pay for a ultra-wide lens of a more modern design. If you find the lens in excellent physical and optical condition with its matching viewfinder and original lens case, expect to see asking prices generally north of $500 USD. If you’re lucky, you may get a good one with no issues at around half that price. I give this lens set a Chase Factor of 8 (CF-8) for the reasons stated above. I certainly don’t need it in my collection but it would be a nice to have.
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.
A very simple 35mm SLR camera with outstanding features that hold up well even today. The EOS Rebel G was released in late 1996 featuring the latest in Canon’s autofocus and auto exposure technologies. The Cano EOS cameras also used Canon’s well respected EF family of lenses which could be switched to manual focus in an instant. I’ve always found these cameras to provide excellent results without the crazy weight of a more traditional SLR. I also have the Canon EOS Rebel 2000 that immediately followed the Rebel G in late 1999.
I believe that the Canon EOS Rebel G and EOS Rebel 2000 are underrated cameras in today’s marketplace. If you can find one-owner, gently used cameras and matching lenses they make great 35mm film cameras that are perfect for the beginner and the seasoned film photographer.
Hello all! I’ve added a couple of very nice Nikons in my shop recently – both film and digital.
This Nikon D80 (pictured below) was recently purchased by me from the original local owner. They’ve kept in in excellent condition and I’ve fully tested it. The D80 was released in 2006 and features a 10.2 MP CCD imaging sensor in the DX format. It’s a true DSLR and uses all Nikon F-mount lenses.
The camera only has 8,475 shutter actuations which is considered to be about 18% of the cameras capability.
Test images (see below) with the Nikon D80 and AF Nikkor 28-80mm f3.5-5.6D lens.
If you’re a fan of Nikon and Nikkor lenses then these cameras are for you. I’ve been very impressed with the ruggedness of the N60 as it was built with a metal frame. The lens mount is a metal Nikon F-mount (not plastic).
The D80 is a joy to use as it doesn’t feel like a rock hanging around your neck. The color LCD screen is super bright and clear as is the optical viewfinderwhich features a diopter adjustment and padded eyepiece.
OK, what’s a WINTU? A crazy little right angle viewfinder that Leica-Leitz made between 1933 to 1948. I imagine it could have assisted with close-up copy work but having used it on my Nicca 3-S I can say that it works but it seems to have been made as just another gadget to buy. It was advertised as being able to “look around corners” and to take pictures without being noticed (stealth street photography).
It doesn’t fit completely onto the accessory shoe of my Nicca 3-S from around 1955 but the eyepiece does line up and I was able to use it. In reality the best way to take street pics without being detected is to place your camera on a table at a cafe along the street and prefocusing it and presetting the exposure. Then just press the shutter whenever something strikes your fancy.
Still, a nice bit of German engineering that’s stood the test of time.
The plastic fantastic wonders of the 1980s and 1990s generally receive no love – especially looking back on them with our digitized eyeballs in 2017. These overlooked (even when new for the most part) cameras were the bridge cameras for many photographers that were moving away from their bulky SLRs from the 1970s and looking for something easy, carefree and light to take with them on short outings and family get togethers. The 35mm format was the clear winner in the format wars, now manufacturers wanted think-free 35s that were as easy to use as falling outta bed (?).
This Fuji Discovery 90 Date was introduced in May 1993 to an already crowded plastic 35mm marketplace. So how to stand out? Drop-in loading, auto focus, auto exposure auto rewind and auto wind was a good start. A big bright viewfinder centered over the lens – and macro capability (23 1/2…
A very clean and streamlined design gives this camera a rather modern look even by today’s standards.
The standard lens is a Tomioka Optical Company Tri-Lausar f/3.5 4.5cm
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.
A closer view of the film advance lever. Advancing the film did not charge the shutter.
Below is a scan of the original instruction sheet supplied with the Model III.
Pigeon Model III
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.
35mm rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses. Considered by many to be better than a Leica from the same time period.
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.