Pentamatic vs. Pentamatic S – Yashica’s Heavyweights

It’s time to revisit this post as it introduces new readers to the “wonders” of the Pentamatic series of SLRs from Yashica. Chris

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

The Pentamatic was Yashica’s first single-lens reflex (SLR) and was released in 1960 (May-June) timeframe. The Pentamatic S was released about mid to late 1961. Not much changed between the two – the S model added a built-in self-timer and most notably, a provision for mounting an exposure meter to the top right of the camera that coupled with the shutter speed dial. Other small changes were to add lugs for holding the neck strap (moving them from the extreme right and left sides of the body on the Pentamatic to a more typical front mounting on the S). Unseen from the exterior is a change to the focusing screen inside the pentaprism. The original fresnel screen in the Pentamatic was replaced with a split image screen in the model S. For me, that change makes the Pentamatic S much easier to focus and improves the brightness inside the viewfinder.

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Time Capsule – 1960

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A nice example of Yashica’s first 35mm SLR – the Pentamatic. Also known as the Pentamatic ’35’. This camera is from August 1960 – the same month that Yashica started production of the Pentamatic II – a model that was destined for the Japanese home market and not for world export. It’s my contention that the original Pentamatic was not available in Japan and that it was initially available only as an export model. By 1961 however, Yashica realized that the Pentamatic was not doing well anywhere so the decision was made to release the Pentamatic (original model) in Japan alongside the Pentamatic II. Odd marketing but that was how Yashica operated – oddly.

As always, 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 © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Canon AE-1 Program

 

Canon AE-1 Program 35mm SLR Film Camera

Canon AE-1 Program in super clean and fully working condition - a one owner camera (mine) since 1981. It will include a battery and a roll of Fujifilm Fujicolor 100 film (ex 07/2010). The AE-1 P is one of Canon's easiest to use compact 35mm film cameras. This SLR features full manual mode, shutter and aperture priority modes and full program (automatic) mode. Simply compose, focus and shoot! It accepts all Canon FD lenses (which is a bunch!) I'll mail this most anywhere in the world - please contact me for a quote. In the USA a flat $10.00 gets you USPS Priority Mail with insurance and a tracking number.

$69.00

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Thanks for stopping by! You can buy this outstanding Canon here or visit my store at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Thanks, Chris

Minolta SR-T 101 from 1969

We’ve got a wonderful vintage classic from Minolta – the venerable SR-T 101. Actually, quite a groundbreaking camera back in its day with many never before seen features and functions. This one was purchased by a young man serving in the U.S. Army in South Vietnam in 1969.

It was a combat camera having flown with him on several missions aboard a helicopter over the Mekong Delta region. He told me that he purchased it almost as soon as he arrived in country at a Post Exchange in Saigon. Despite its exciting beginnings, it’s made it to today with no dents and only a few bright spots in the satin chrome finish. It’s a fully mechanical camera – the shutter operates independently of a battery from Bulb to 1/1000 of a second. A battery is only needed to operate the TTL meter.

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This good-looking Minolta has received a complete inspection and has been meticulously cleaned inside and out by me. I tested it with a fresh 1.5v alkaline battery and the light meter works just fine. It will be off by about 1/2 to 1 full stop but when shooting with negative film the wide exposure latitude of film usually makes any exposure differences unnoticeable.

That’s a “fresh” roll of expired Fujicolor film (from 2010) and the original soft body cap from Minolta. For more details and to see additional pictures of it, visit our online store at https://www.ccstudio.com

Or you can purchase it directly from here – I’ll ship nearly worldwide. Please drop me a line for a shipping quote to your country. In the USA, I will ship it USPS Priority Mail for only $6.00  Just click on the “Pay with PayPal” button below.

Many thanks for stopping by! Chris

Minolta SR-T 101 35mm Film Camera

Vintage (100% fully working) 35mm SLR from Minolta - the SR-T 101

$49.00

Canon Sure Shot Zoom S – S AF (1989)

Part of the “Modern Classics” series of our collection. This one is from mid 1993. One of the more sophisticated AF point and shoot (click) plastic fantastic 35mm cameras of the 1990s. There were two versions of this camera – this one, the Sure Shot Zoom S and the Sure Shot Caption Zoom (with removable remote control).

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As released from the factory – still new in the box.

The zooming range covers 38-60mm. Other features include auto focus, auto film load, advance wind, auto flash and auto macro. Canon claims it has an improved autofocus control – ‘Evaluative Active System’  that looks at the entire frame and recognizes the main subject based on its distance to the camera (sounds pretty standard to me). Anyway they made a big deal about it in the owner’s manual.

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The Canon lens is Spectra-coated and is constructed with 6 elements in 6 groups. I assume it’s glass.

Canon recommends using DX-coded film. The camera automatically sets ISO 50-3200. Non DX-coded film will set to ISO 100.

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Well placed shutter release button and large LCD. The auto flash feature can be turned off. What I found surprising was that there was no “Red Eye” reduction system available. Probably too early for that.

The Canon Sure Shot Zoom S features a 3-zone metering, AE programmed system that focuses from about 60cm to infinity. It uses one 6V lithium battery (2CR5) which is still readily available (I just purchased one for $7 with free shipping).

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Nice centered viewfinder that is bright and well marked. Super simple back with easy to find and use on-off button.

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The TILT lever is pretty cool – it has two positions when you pull it out. When setting the camera down on a flat surface (like a table) for taking selfies, it tilts the camera slightly upward so as not to get the table or whatever in the pic.

The camera is large for a point and shoot – weighs in at 384 grams with the battery and compared to the 1980 model Canon A-1 35mm SLR, almost as large!

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The Sure Shot is a large camera – it fits very nicely in my hands and feels solid. The buttons are all recessed so it does take a bit of finger olympics to push them all the way in. By the way, the A-1 with my FD 24mm lens weighs in at 934 grams!

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As you hear us say all the time, if you want to collect modern film cameras from the 1980s and 1990s, the best way is if you can find a complete original set, new in the box. Why not if they’re still out there and available. They don’t make them anymore and some of these cameras are quite capable of outstanding images – some would spend crazy money on the more well known cameras for almost unnoticeable differences in the final image (especially since most people don’t enlarge and print images anymore) and scanned to a PC they’ll look just fine on a high quality monitor.

Pick up one of these Sure Shots and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with it.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

Yashica Pentamatic S – Phase 1

A long neglected (not by us) Yashica Pentamatic S is getting a much needed restoration and some re-imagineering  by us as a top-level professional SLR.

A few peeks before the color coats get applied. Stripped of its hardware and sanded to slickness – 2000 grit sandpaper – she’s ready to shine again!

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We love the hints of brass that are showing through the factory silver finish after the wet sanding. The Pentamatic family of SLRs have one of the sharpest looking pentaprisms around. Without a clunky accessory shoe on the top of the finder, the Pentamatics have a clean, modern design. This one is from early in the production run in 1961. It’s number 237 off the assembly line at the Yashica campus in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture.

Stay with us as we will post updates along the way!

Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Thanks, Chris and Carol Photography

 

(Nicca) Tower Type-3 35 mm Rangefinder Camera… 1953

Nice little Tower Type-3 (or Type III) 35 mm rangefinder film camera from the early 1950s – made by Nicca Camera for the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalog. The build quality of the Tower branded cameras are no different from the quality of the Nicca camera as best as we can tell. It appears that Sears didn’t ask Nicca to lessen the quality like one might imagine – Sears was known for good value but not necessarily the best quality in our opinion.

By the way, these images were taken with our Sony Cyber-shot  (model DSC-W170) from 2008. It’s a basic point and shoot but sports a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens and 10.1 megapixels. It adds a nice “softness” to our studio shots especially of vintage gear and it’s fun (and simple) to use.

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The Tower Type-3 (made by Nicca) is one of the best of the Japanese made Leica copies.

This camera appears to have been made in around 1953 – the serial number places it as a mid production model and the fact that the open-shut latch simply has ‘Made in Japan’ vice ‘Made in Occupied Japan’ engraved on it. The occupation of Japan ended with the adoption of the Peace Treaty signed in April 1952.

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Open shut latch.

This camera works perfectly – the shutter appears to be spot on and the rangefinder-viewfinder is clear and accurate. We hope to be able to run a roll of film through it soon.

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Super clean and free of significant signs of past use. A gem!

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Designed to take the L39 screw-in lenses made by any number of lens manufacturers of the period.

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Actually it’s an interesting logo – quite detailed and almost a retro look to it even for the early 1950s. 

As we’ve stated before, if you’re looking for a nice camera to experience the joy of using a vintage 35 mm rangefinder, then the Nicca and Tower cameras fit the bill nicely. Excellent fit and finish and they’re built like a tanks. You should be able to find well preserved models on various online auction sites for reasonable prices. If you see signs of corrosion or missing leatherette… run! Avoid these and buy the best you can afford. You’ll be happy you did.

Chris