You never know.

Collecting is a powerful motivator. When I first listed this wonderful collection of boxes for the Canon AE-1 Program I thought it would be a perfect fit for someone looking to round out their Canon collection. I know I try very hard to collect classic cameras with their original boxes as I like the look of a camera with its box. Silly I know but fun!

Whenever I buy large collections locally I’m always looking for orphaned boxes – boxes that their cameras are long ago sold or in some cases, stolen. I picked up this super clean box set and listed it in my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com with the hope that it would find a new home. It did and what surprised me the most is that it was sold to a collector in France. Postage and VAT were incredible (nearly $75) on top of the sale price I had it listed for. Powerful motivation. But I’ve done the same purchasing nice boxes from Japan to add to my collection. Actually, when you think about it I’m just a worldwide recycler! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! – Chris

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, is this blog’s property 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
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Minolta Maxxum 7000i aka Dynax and a-7000i

Hello all! The next camera from my collection is headed to my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Everything was still Made in Japan with this model.

Released in 1988.

Everything has been tested with a fresh Panasonic 2CR5 battery and all is good. The flash “talks” to the camera controls making nearly automatic flash photography simple and easy. The Minolta bag is like new and so is the camera – only a few scuffs here and there on the outside finish. It’s super clean inside and out (just like all of my cameras). The AF Minolta 50mm f1.7 lens is optically clean, clear, and sharp. Two Minolta camera straps are included as is the front and rear lens caps and body cap. The eyepiece, hot-shoe cover, and 2 expansion cards are also included. What I like is just how simple this camera can be to operate in full automatic mode or go old school and go full on manual.

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.

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saturday shots – spotless spotmatic

Classic from Asahi Pentax.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

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.

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New to me Ihagee Exakta Varex – 1950

I’ve had the good fortune to acquire this lovely camera and lens from a neighbor who gifted it to me. The camera was purchased new in West Germany in the early 1950s (the exact date is unknown) by her father, US Army Colonel Marshal C. Winton (Ret.).

The Varex was the model sold outside the United States between 1950 and 1951. In the US the model is known as the Exakta V. The Varex and for that matter the V are not common cameras today and are quite difficult to find on the many online auction and selling sites. The follow on models made by Exakta are quite common and are easy to find online and I’m sure locally in thrift shops and at swap meets.

If you’re interested in exploring the Exakta line of cameras you’ll find an array of uniquely styled cameras. Exakta did not manufacture their own lenses so you’ll find a variety of German made lenses available in the Exakta bayonet mount (early Topcon cameras were made with this mount). Zeiss, Schacht, Schneider, and Kilfit to name just a few. If you’re interested to dive deeper may I suggest you pop on over to https://www.wrotniak.net/photo/exakta/lenses.html

The lens on my Varex is the rather rare Meyer Gorlitz (sometimes Goerlitz) Primoplan f/1.9 58mm. This lens was first released in 1952. Shown here with the waist level finder in the open position ready for picture taking. The finder is removable and can be replaced with an eye-level pentaprism finder.

If I may ask for help, I’m having a great deal of difficulty finding an owner’s manual or instruction book for the Varex model either in German or English. Even the Exakta V instructions will do in a pinch. Consistent with the short production run of this model almost anything associated with it is hard to chase down. Please contact me if you have or know of someone who has the instruction book. Thank you!

To the left is the high-speed dial with shutter speeds up to 1/1000th second and on the right is the slow-speed dial with timed exposures up to 12 seconds.
Pictured here with its waist level finder closed.

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.

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Minolta Magic SR-1 at Paul Sokk’s Yashica TLR.com

My good friend Paul Sokk from Australia has complied a wonderful site dedicated primarily to the history (in great detail) of the Yashica TLR and its place in the overall history of this great Japanese company. Paul’s research has many branches and this is one of his latest.

Comparison of Yashica and Minolta SLRs

Yashica Pentamatic S
Minolta SR-1

(1961 Pentamatic S and 1962 Minolta SR-1, same body as 1958 SR-2 but with 1/500 top speed and by now, exposure meter mount like the Yashica plus fully automatic aperture.)

Why Minolta models? Similar specs, some parallels in market positions but an SLR success story at the time. Minoltas were made by Chiyoda Kōgaku (adopting its camera’s name in 1962) which was a much older photographic company than Yashica with it’s origins dating back to 1928. Yashica was Japan’s largest TLR maker, since 1958 looking to expand further into 35 mm. Chiyoda Kōgaku was probably Japan’s second largest TLR maker, a little more upmarket than Yashica but significantly lower volumes. On the the other hand, it was involved with other formats and had been making 35 mm rangefinder cameras since 1947. Neither were top tier makers at Nikon/Canon level but both had aspirations in that direction.

In 1958, Chiyoda Kōgaku released its first SLR, the Minolta SR-2. It offered no firsts but was noteworthy because it brought together all the advances in basic SLR camera design so far, except for the fully automatic aperture introduced by Zunow in the same year. In several ways, it was a more modern camera than the well-received Pentaxes from the period. Apart from including automatic film counter reset and a self-timer, the specifications were very similar to Yashica’s Pentamatic released in 1960 including a proprietary bayonet lens mount and the need to wind on the film to open the aperture again after it had automatically stopped down. In the late 1950s, even accomplishing the first half automatically was a major step so Minolta can perhaps be forgiven for initially calling their camera “automatic” but by 1960-61, it was marketing hyperbole for both makers.

Although well regarded and advanced for the time, it was expensive and competitors were challenging so Chiyoda Kōgaku followed up in 1959 with a budget version, the SR-1, which replaced the standard f/1.8 lens with an f/2 version (reverting to f/1.8 in 1962 as in the example above) and dropped the 1/1000 top speed to 1/500. Whilst the other specs and appearance remained the same, the lens line-up, particularly the auto lenses, was steadily increasing. The price of the SR-1 was much closer to the coming Pentamatic and whilst the sales of the flagship model were not earth shattering, the SR-1 sold truck loads. In 1961, the slightly updated SR-2 replacement, the SR-3, and the budget SR-1 both adopted fully automatic aperture diaphragms.

The table below compares features and price. In some respects the features are not all that different at first release. However, the Minolta SLR models had two years head start to establish themselves, as did other worthy competitors. In comparing the final 1961 cameras, the Minolta SR-3 with f/1.8 lens was the same price as the Pentamatic S. Both now had a self-timer and a mount for an external shutter coupled exposure meter (as did the SR-1 and Minolta even offered to upgrade earlier versions of the SR-1). The Minolta still had the advantage of the auto counter reset and later in the same year came the fully automatic diaphragm. It had 4 auto aperture accessory lenses and 7 preset lenses available, the Yashica just 5 preset lenses (the actual number of lenses is slightly rubbery depending on when they became available). The Yashica simply did not seem to offer enough at its price point to be a compelling newcomer.

FeatureMinolta
SR-2
Minolta
SR-1
Minolta
SR-3
Yashica
Pentamatic
Yashica
Pentamatic
II
Yashica
Pentamatic
S
Release195819591960196019601961
ApertureSemi-
auto
Semi, auto
in 1961
Semi, auto
in 1961
Semi
auto
AutoSemi
auto
Shutter1/10001/5001/10001/10001/10001/1000
Lensf/1.8f/2, f/1.8
from 1962
f/1.8
f/1.4
f/1.8f/1.7f/1.8
ResetAutoAutoAutoManualManualManual
Self-timerYesYesYesNoNoYes
Meter
Mount
NoFrom 1962YesNoNoYes
No. of
Accessory
Lenses at
Release
3 preset4 auto,
2 preset
4 auto,
7 preset
2 preset5 preset5 preset
Price USA$249.50$169.50$199.50
$229.50
$159.95n/a$199.95*

* guess, advertised at “under $200 plus case”

Paul’s entire site features this kind of detail with little known facts about some familiar and not so familiar cameras. Please give Paul a shout out by visiting his site at http://www.yashicatlr.com

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day!

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

the Ugly Duckling

It isn’t a great way to start off a post about one of your cameras, but it’s appropriate. Especially a camera that I’ve been chasing for a long time and had an interest in since the late 1970s. My first 35mm SLR was a Yashica TL Electro X (purchased new in 1972) with an Auto Yashinon 50mm f1.7 M42 lens (screw mount). I loved that camera but wasn’t a fan of having to screw-in the lenses whenever I wanted to change focal lengths. I saw other photographers quickly attach and detach their lenses quickly (Canon, Nikon) and wanted a new camera that could do the same. But Yashica in 1977 wasn’t sexy enough sitting alongside the other SLRs for sale in the Navy Exchange store in Yokosuka, Japan. The Canon, Nikon, and Minolta reps were better prepared than the Yashica guy to present their products to cash flush Sailors looking to spend their hard earned dollars on new cameras, stereos, and watches. I vaguely remember looking at the then still new Yashica-Contax RTS in the Exchange catalog but wasn’t captured by its specs or looks. The Yashica FR and FR I versions didn’t capture my attention either. By this time I only wanted to get my hands of the Canon F-1 and Canon FD lenses not to mention all of the goodies you could add on to the F-1 (motor drives, a winder, finders, data backs…). So when I got to the store I didn’t even pick up the RTS.

Fast forward to the present and that RTS I didn’t think of much way back then I just purchased 44 years later. I want to see if the Contax RTS is a worthy camera that I missed out on or did I make the right choice. I still own that F-1 I purchased in 1978 and it’s held up beautifully over the years and followed me around the world.

Almost all present day RTS bodies share a common trait – peeling leatherette (or whatever that stuff was). A quick look at the online selling sites will show that it’s a rare camera that has complete original coverings and if it does look good and well attached then there’s a good likelihood it’s been replaced by aftermarket skins (I have some ordered).

My new to me RTS peeling skins and all. Most importantly, it works. Being an all electronic camera if something goes wrong it’s a paperweight. It uses the still easy to find A544 6V alkaline battery to power everything.
Not only does the leatherette peel away from the metal body but it dries out and shrinks a bit too which makes it nearly impossible to simply dab some glue behind the upturned edges.
It was super easy to peel away the covering on the film door – my guess is that it’s been reattached at some point before with contact adhesive. I cleaned any residual adhesive from the camera with isopropyl alcohol (70%) and some Q-tips and a rag.

Stay with me on this series of posts as I bring this ugly duckling back to life (appearance wise) and put it through some actual film tests. But first, I need to find a lens for it that won’t break the bank. The Carl Zeiss lenses designed to compliment this model are way over my paygrade so I’ll turn to the less expensive and maybe equally competent Yashica ML lenses in the C/Y mount. I have a sharp ML 50mm f1.7 on the way. BTW, RTS stands for Real Time System.

What the covering is supposed to look like.

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.

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Hard working Canons past and present

I purchased this Super 8 camera from a friend way back in 1977 while stationed in Japan on the USS Midway. I ran quite a few reels of film through it before the video revolution took hold in the early 1980s. I’ve since sold the camera to another collector (a few years back) but I still miss not owning it. What a beast but man was it an awesome camera to use. It’s macro and slow motion capabilities were not to be believed.

Here I am in the Philippines (near the Subic Navy Base) using the Canon with a curious onlooker.

As time went by my original Canon F-1 became somewhat obsolete as new advances in technology and electronics could deliver a lot of camera features in a “compact” 35mm SLR.

The Canon A-1. Lots of stuff packed in a compact camera (compared to the F-1).

I still have a couple of A-1s in my collection – one for show and one for go. Pictured above is the go-to camera in my bag. My Canon F-1 pictured below. This was a beast to carry on a photo walk!

The monster F-1 with all of its goodies. This is my original F-1 that pretty much went with me everywhere in the 1970s and 1980s. See pic below.
Me with the F-1 while walking on the outskirts of Kowloon (Hong Kong) around 1978 or so.

I should mention that both images of me were taken by my very good Navy buddy and dear friend Jim. Sadly Jim and his wife were killed in an airplane crash in late 2001. Jim was a Nikon guy and it was always great fun to see who got the best from their cameras.

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.

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The Best of Yashica – 1972

All the goodies!

From the Yashica book The Creative System of Photography. Some of the lenses pictured here are nearly impossible to find today in mint or near mint condition. I do know some intrepid Yashica collectors that have come very close to owning all of this.

To chase down all of this is a pretty monumental task so I’d give it a Chase Factor of a solid 10 (CF-10). Good luck chasers!

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
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A tale of two boxes from Yashica.

From 1973, a box for the TL Electro-X ITS (Integrated Technology System). The box reflects the efforts of Yashica’s marketing division to create a more sophisticated looking box consistent with the new look to the TL Electro-X.
The original Yashica TL Electro-X box. This one is from mid-1970.

If you’re looking to add the correct box for your Yashica TL Electro-X be sure to match the proper box to the two different cameras. BTW, except for some external appearance differences, the ITS and the original Electro-X cameras are the same. The ITS was only available in an all black body whereas the original was available in both a satin chrome and black body.

If you look closely you’ll see that this box uses green for the “TL” and “35” logo where the true original uses a red “35” logo and a white “TL”. Oddly this variation of the box is from May 1970 which is right in the middle of the other boxes with the red logo. I haven’t decoded if it means anything changed in relationship to the camera or was it just a marketing exercise to see which looked better.

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.

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The Unremarkable Yashica FFT

The rather hard to chase down Yashica FFT – the last of its kind. I give this bugger a high chase factor of CF 9 not because it’s a sophisticated 35mm SLR with tons of features, it earns a CF 9 because Yashica just didn’t make a bunch of these things and when they were for sale I believe most of them stayed in Japan.

The serial number on this one is 41001738 (1974, October, and number 1,738 for that month up to that point).
HTF instruction booklet for a HTF camera.

No auto exposure or auto focus, no built-in power winder, and little to no style.

So what’s this gem’s claim to fame? It was the last m42 screw mount lens body in the Yashica family. Big deal. Something’s got to be last and this guy was it.

Yashica m42 lens mount bodies began in the Spring of 1961 and ended (maybe with this one) in the Autumn of 1974. Along the way such classics as the TL Electro X was made which was one of the first SLR’s with an IC “brain”.

I’ll test and review this camera soon (I know, you’ve heard that before!). BTW, I have no earthly idea what ‘FFT’ stands for if anything. Any ideas?

Uncluttered and unremarkable top plate. Simple.

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.

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