Canon’s high-speed film eater – 1995

If you were looking for a way to eat through a roll of 35mm film back in 1995 Canon had the answer. Capable of continuous shooting at 10 fps, it was billed as the fastest AF SLR at the time.

We take high-speed shooting for granted today with modern mirrorless digital cameras but 27 years ago it wasn’t easy to get quality images that were in focus and at this kind of speed. I’ve never tested it at that speed as I’m content with single frame shooting and with the cost of film and processing I won’t be eating film with it any time soon.

Thanks for stopping by! Do you have a film eater at home that you don’t use? – Chris

Follow me on Instagram at @ccphotographyai

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 © 2015-2022 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Crazy hard to find Yashica J-3

Yashica J-3 with Auto Yashinon 5cm f2 lens (and Yashica’s ‘Sailor Boy’).

One of the hardest cameras in Yashica’s line-up by far is the J-3 in pro-black with a matching all-black lens. Released in 1962 in limited quantities this was Yashica’s first-ever all-black 35mm SLR. As best as I’ve been able to find out, Yashica never advertised the black model or even acknowledged it in any brochure or catalog. I currently have two and I sold the one pictured here in this post a few years back (I kept the lens, hood, and cap).

Both of my cameras are in fully working condition right down to the meters. The meters aren’t accurate but they’re not TTL meters anyway so no big deal. Currently, there are two black J-3 cameras for sale on eBay but neither one is in collector condition from what I can see.

That’s my classic camera fix for today. Thanks for stopping by and if you happen to have one of these classics consider yourself lucky. – 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 © 2015-2022 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Yashica’s ‘Stealth’ Camera

I know, sounds like clickbait. By stealth, I’m referring to a camera that few have heard of so it flew under the radar and avoided potential buyers back in 1972, 1973, and 1974. I don’t know how many Yashica sold but I do know it’s a difficult camera to find in working condition that isn’t beat to heck. So, if you’re looking for a challenging chase may I add this camera to your list.

It looks as though the first cameras rolled out in March 1972 and ended around February 1974.

The Yashica Electro AX. It’s a hard one to chase down and still get a working model that isn’t beat to heck.
It’s the same model but pictured with three different lenses. It’s also the only M42 lens mount body with the two leatherette patches on either side of the pentaprism.
A scan from the inside of the brochure.
The date code on this brochure is either 1974 or July (07) 1974 (lower right numbers).
My Electro AX was made in November 1973. Takes M42 screw-in lenses.

Here’s an earlier post I wrote about this camera https://yashicasailorboy.com/2020/01/31/yashica-electro-ax-yashicas-goofy-automatic-exposure-slr/

Thanks for stopping by! – 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 © 2015-2022 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Ihagee Exakta Varex – rare European model, 1950

As the title states, this is a rather rare (very hard to find at least) European model of this popular camera. In the United States, this model was simply marked “V.” on the body and it was sometimes referred to as the Varex V.

35mm single-lens reflex film camera with interchangeable lenses.

The camera’s place in history is it was the first or at the very least, one of the first 35mm single-lens reflex cameras made beginning in the late 1930s in pre-war Germany and picking up again after the war in what would become East Germany (Dresden).

Here it is viewed from behind with the waist-level pop-up viewfinder opened. The small rectangular opening is an eye-level “sports finder”.
Pictured here with the prism removed. Ihagee also made an eye-level pentaprism that could be swapped out.
With the lens removed the Exakta bayonet mount is visible. The lever locked the lens flange securely to the body.
With the back film door removed. This particular camera uses yarn as a light seal. The serial is located inside just above the shutter curtain.

A few words about the serial number. As best as I’ve been able to tell, the serial numbers range from around 667000 to 692000 for this Varex. I’ve seen other estimates of somewhere between 670000 to 684000. If a reader has more definitive information I’d love to see it.

Heat stamped on the bottom plate is “Made in Germany”.
My nearly complete set with some hard-to-find accessories.

The lens. It’s a well-respected lens by Meyer Gorlitz – Primoplan Red V f/1.9 58mm. It has an impressive 14 aperture blades and is claimed to be constructed with 5 elements in 4 groups. Collectors today still chase after nice examples of the lens, especially in the M42 mount. As seen pictured above, I have an aluminum lens hood (shade) made by Cenei in its original leather case, an Ihagee Dresden 42mm slip-on blue filter in its original box, a Heliopan yellow slip-on filter in its original plastic case, and finally a 42mm push-on plastic lens cap (unmarked but made in Germany).

I’ve come to the decision that my collections of cameras have grown a bit beyond my original intent so this gorgeous set is available for purchase in my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com where additional images can be found and a more complete description of its features. It can be purchased directly through Etsy and it ships nearly worldwide!

Thanks for sticking around to the end of this post and as always, have a fantastic day and evening! – 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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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
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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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