A rare Yashica Pentamatic II instruction booklet surfaces.

Every now and again something new turns up in our never-ending search for the complete history of the Yashica Pentamatic series of 35mm SLR cameras. The first model of the Pentamatic was dated (by serial number) in December 1959 and the last, the Pentamatic S ended in March 1962. In between the Pentamatic II had a short run from August 1960 to January 1961. Fewer than 26,000 Pentamatics were made (of all models) during its brief run which makes the Pentamatic one of the hardest to find models in Yashica’s historical line-up of SLR cameras.

A recent online auction featured this never before seen instruction booklet (below).

Yashica P2 book lolo

It’s not much to look at as the cover is devoid of any attempt to market the camera.

My best guess is that the booklet is an English edition of the Pentamatic II instructions. The Japanese edition (below) is much more in keeping with the style of the other books. My good friend and Yashica collaborator Paul Sokk and I agree that the Pentamatic II was never released for sale outside of Japan which makes the discovery of this white cover booklet for the Pentamatic II that much more interesting.

pentamatic 2 collage

Front and back covers of the Pentamatic II instruction booklet. It’s the only manual found so far that’s printed in Japanese.

Here are all three of the instruction booklets for the Yashica Pentamatic (below).


Up to this point, these were the only known Pentamatic instruction booklets.


Here’s a scan of the first page inside the white covered booklet – pictured is a Pentamatic II with it’s Zunow sourced 5.8cm f/1.7 lens. The camera is still identified as the original Pentamatic in this image, however.

So the big question is why did Yashica print this instruction booklet in English when from all evidence the Pentamatic II wasn’t released for sale outside of Japan? A secondary question is why did they choose to not title the booklet as being for the Pentamatic II? Our best guess is that a few Pentamatic II models were in fact sold in Japan possibly in military exchanges and in duty-free shops and an English version was needed. It’s also possible that a few Pentamatic II’s were sold outside of Japan and the booklet was produced to supplement the camera. Nothing yet to prove that the Pentamatic II was sold outside of Japan but the existence of this book adds a new wrinkle to the history of this camera.

Thanks for stopping by and as always, if you have additional info about any of the three Pentamatic models please share it with us. 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.

Yashica M42 Timeline – update 9.23.19

Yashica’s M42 screw mount 35mm SLR cameras were super successful and in some cases, groundbreaking. Yashica was known as a “Pioneer in Electronic Cameras” during the 1960s and 1970s with the TL Electro-X being the first electronically controlled SLR camera. My good friend and fellow Yashica collaborator Paul Sokk ( YashicaTlr.com ) and I have studied Yashica’s serial numbering system as it applies to their 35mm SLRs that used the universal M42 screw-in lens mount.

These dates represent the earliest finding of an individual model based solely on their serial numbers – not necessarily their release date. In some cases, the dates are still fluid as there is still the possibility of finding a stray in the wild that would prove an earlier production date.

Yashica often included a month and year in the first 3 or 4 digits of the camera’s serial number. By decoding these numbers Paul and I have come up with the following list.

  • Penta J            6/1961
  • Reflex 35        3/1962
  • J-3                    2/1963
  • J-5                    3/1964
  • J-P                    8/1964
  • J-4                    4/1965
  • TL-Super        4/1966
  • J-7                  11/1966
  • TL                  11/1967
  • TL Electro-X Type 1    10/1968
  • TL Electro X Type 2      7/1969
  • TL-E                 6/1969
  • ITS                 12/1970
  • TL-Electro     4/1972
  • Electro AX     3/1972
  • FFT                 7/1973

In some cases, the dates are from cameras that appeared in sales brochures and user manuals. We have a high degree of confidence that these dates are correct and that they reflect a true chronology of these cameras as of this post.

Here’s an example of a Yashica serial number during this period –

(81200636)   8 = 1968, 12 = DEC, and 00636 = 636th made that month.

Yashica Type 1 Back Logo

The serial number on my Yashica TL Electro-X Type 1

If you’ve found a camera that exists outside of these start dates, please feel free to let me know and if you have a serial number that you’re unable to decode send it my way. You can contact me at ccphotographyai@gmail.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.

Canon T50 and T70

Overlooked 35mm SLRs from the early 1980s. They feature built-in power winders and have auto exposure too. Both cameras accept all of Canon’s FD lenses which are still available in bunches!



If you find these for sale in like-new condition and working then definitely snatch one up. They make great basic film cameras to develop your film photography skills.

These two were part of my ever-changing Canon collection over the years. I believe I sold these in 2011.

I’m always on the hunt for quality Canon, Yashica and Nikon cameras. Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested in selling yours. We are very active buyers of almost all types of photo gear. Contact us at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

Thanks – C&C

Canon F-1 35mm SLR

Canon F-1 35mm single-lens reflex camera from 1975.

This beautiful Canon is part of my extensive Canon camera collection. Having said that, it’s time to pare down some of my collection. Besides being super clean, this camera has been fully tested and is working perfectly. I’ve installed new film door light seals and a new mirror bumper pad. It has a fresh battery and it will come with its original Canon nylon neck/shoulder strap, the original Canon body cap, and two Canon books. The instruction book is a high-quality copy dated 03/1975 and the F-1 sales brochure is dated 03/1978 and it’s an original.

The camera. If you’ve never had the opportunity to shoot with an F-1 then you’d be very happy with this camera. The F-1 is a professional grade camera designed to last a lifetime. It’s a pleasure to use and of course, it accepts all of Canon’s FD and FL lenses and a ton of accessories.


It’s available at http://www.ccstudio2380.com and here in this post (see below).




The original Canon F-1 is a fully manual camera – you control the focus, you set the lens aperture and shutter speed, and you determine the proper exposure using the thru-the-lens (TTL) built-in light meter. It’s film photography at its purest.




This camera is available through my Etsy camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com of you can purchase it directly from this post.

Canon F-1 35mm SLR Film Camera

As described in the accompanying post. Fully serviced, tested and ready to roll. I'll mail it pretty much worldwide but please ask for a shipping quote for outside the US. Thanks, Chris


Yashica Pentamatic – 1960

Gettin’ its 1960s groove on with a little bit of fun in the studio.

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Yashica ヤシカ Pentamatic ’35’

The Pentamatic was Yashica’s first 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) camera. For a company known for building quality twin lens reflex (TLR) cameras, it was a big step forward for them. It wouldn’t have been possible without the combined expertise of the engineers, designers, and craftspeople from Nicca Camera Company which Yashica had acquired in early 1958.

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The Pentamatic with its placement of the cold shoe on the camera’s left top plate moved this clip on exposure meter away from the shutter button and film advance lever. A much more convenient location.

It’s a uniquely beautiful camera with all sorts of interesting angles and that forward facing shutter release button. (see below) The cold shoe (accessory shoe) wasn’t mounted on top of the pentaprism as was common (well most SLRs didn’t have a cold or hot shoe yet) but instead was located on the upper left side of the camera and combined with the rewind lever. (see above)

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That wonderful shutter release button – right where your “trigger” finger wants to be when holding such a heavy camera.


A crop of the full-page ad from the June 1960 issue of Modern Photography. Yashica’s first public advertisement of their new SLR.

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A complete set as it would have come from the factory with the exception of the lens. I swapped out the standard Tomioka made 5.5cm f/1.8 lens for this beauty.


Earliest known sales brochure (from Japan) for the Pentamatic. We’re unsure of its exact month of issue but it appears to be at least from the first half of 1960 as it talks about the cooperation between the designers at Nicca and Yashica to bring this camera to market. Many thanks to my good friend Paul Sokk for the kind use of his brochure. For more from Paul, stop by his amazing site at http://www.yashicatlr.com

Thanks for stopping by and hopefully you’ve learned a bit more about this wonderful camera from Yashica. – 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.

Minolta’s Gem from the 1970s

The Minolta SR-T 102 aka SR-T Super. In its day it was considered to be one of the best all-around 35mm SLRs.



With proper care, these well-built cameras (and Rokkor lenses) will deliver decades of use. The shutter is mechanically timed and the battery is only needed to use the TTL light meter.

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 LM -1956

Made by Yashima Optical – my first model LM

yashica lm first logo

This Yashica LM was the first camera that I posted on my Flickr site back in December 2013

yashica lm first 1 logo

The selenium cells were hidden under the nameplate – it was a highly accurate light meter

Yashica LM twin-lens reflex (TLR) 6×6 cm medium format film camera. This is one of my most favorite TLRs from Yashica. It features a built-in light meter (LM) and sharp Tomioka made lenses.

These two images were the first two that I posted on my Flickr site back in 2013. I was fond of using two different backgrounds – a dark blue (pictured above) and a softer light blue. I use a stark white background now but I’m getting a bit tired of it. I may go back to using a light blue (see below).

yashica sb logo

Thanks for stopping by! BTW, my Flickr site can be found here 


Yashica “J” Series of 35mm SLRs – 1960s

The Yashica ‘J’ series of 35mm SLR film cameras. Top body is the J-7, next is the J-4, then the J-5 and finally the first one in the series the J-3. These were heavyweight cameras in their day…the best (for the most part) that Yashica produced from their factory in Nagano Prefecture (Shimosuwa).


Produced in 1962 to around 1967 to early 1968. The black body J-3 was Yashica’s first 35mm SLR ‘Pro Black’ camera. They were released in the following order… J-3, J-5, J-4 and J-7. These cameras feature lots of brass and glass. They also represent Yashica’s first SLRs with built-in exposure meters. TTL exposure metering was just around the corner for Yashica after the release of the J-7 in the form of the TL Super.



The J-5 was super popular in the mid 1960s.


Another tough one in the series to find complete and in mint condition.


One of the harder ones in the series to find in mint condition.


A J-3 all set for just about anything.

Thanks for your visit.