The Yashica TL Electro-X. It would not be an overstatement to say that this camera was Yashica’s most successful 35mm SLR – ever! I’m not sure what the total sales record is for this camera but success is measured beyond just the number of cameras sold. It was the first SLR with full electronic control of the shutter and it used an innovative LED display in the viewfinder to help adjust the camera for the proper exposure.
From Yashica: Electronically operated metal focal plane shutter with speeds from about 2 seconds to 1/1000 with in-between shutter speed settings possible, and B. Thru-the-Lens (TTL) light measuring system with IC computer and electronic exposure readout. It had a “brain”.
This gorgeous example is from my personal collection and it’s available for purchase in my Etsy camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com
It includes the famous Tomioka Optical designed and built Auto Yashinon 50mm f1.4 DS-M lens. The camera and lens are in collector quality condition – full mint condition and the camera works as new. The lens is perfect and the glass is crystal clear. Adding to the uniqueness of this set is that the camera was built at Yashica’s new factory in Hong Kong in September 1973. The baseplate is appropriately marked “Hong Kong”.
Assembled in Hong Kong with parts made in Japan.
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check it out in my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com
There’s plenty of awesome cameras available in the shop with more being added from my collection almost daily.
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Yashica TL Electro-X ITS with Tomioka Auto Yashinon 55mm f1.2 – the best SLR of its time (1968-1972).
Yashica sales brochure with ‘fake’ serial number on the lens. There’s a possibility that it may have been a prototype lens and was given an odd serial number.
One of our all-time favorite SLRs with one of the fastest 55mm lenses made. The Tomioka designed f1.2 is an exceptional lens and we’re happy to have it in our collection. This lens is in the batch of the first 1000 made and carries a low serial number.
A super early lens in this German sales brochure – SN 5520124
Thanks for stopping by!
A recently acquired Yashica Pentamatic for our collection. This one came to us from a fellow collector here in the southeast US.
This one includes the Auto Yashinon 5.5c f/1.8 lens that puts the lens as a very late production model (maybe mid 1961). Here’s a chance to check out our Pentamatic from many angles.
The angled shutter release button is in a perfect position for maintaining a solid grip on this heavy body while releasing the shutter.
The lens serial number, No. 60521000 is unique in the fact that it’s a whole number (21000).
The cold shoe is mounted on the camera’s left side top plate. Actually a very good spot for it.
This unique lever controls the rewind knob which pops up from under the cold shoe (it moves from the “A” position).
The body serial number, NO. 126013189 decodes to: 12 = December, 60 = 1960, 13189 = 13,189th made since December of 1959.
The lever is now in the “O” position which allows the back to be unlocked.
Pulling up the rewind knob completes the opening.
Our love affair with this fine camera continues. We just can’t get over the clean lines and excellent design.
If you want to acquire a nice Pentamatic for your own collection, they come up occasionally on US online auction sites and infrequently on auction sites in Japan. Nice examples can be had for under $50. Super nice examples will go closer to $100 with some guarantee of functionality from the seller.
Success! After literally years of searching and countless missed bids, we’ve acquired a Yashica Pentamatic II. One of Yashica’s lowest production cameras – ever. Estimated at less than 5 thousand – and since it failed in the marketplace and wasn’t distributed outside of Japan, it wasn’t considered a collector’s camera and many were simply dumped whenever they broke. It’s hard to estimate how many exist today, but a wild guess would be around 1 to 2 thousand (and that may be high). Production started in August 1960 and for the most part ended in very early 1961 (late January) when the Pentamatic S came out worldwide.
Yashica Pentamatic II – the hardest Pokemon of all to catch!
Our camera has the original short lived Auto Yashinon f1.7 5.8cm lens. It also has the correct leather strap and strap hangers and comes with the original Yashica metal lens cap and lower leather case.
This has been a long chase – but fun! The camera was sold as “junk” – Yahoo Japan Auction speak for a camera that is not functioning properly or has not been fully tested. Sometimes junk cameras are little gems and sometimes they are as the word junk implies.
We’ll have more about our exciting find in the next few weeks as our little Yashica sails or flies across the Pacific to our studio (at many thousands of yen).
Thanks for your visit and stay tuned!
Here’s one of our nicer S models outfitted with the “no name” add on light meter (clip on exposure meter) from Yashica.
Another in Yashica’s short lived series of the Pentamatic 35mm SLR. This one c1961. Yashica’s first SLRs had a steep learning curve for the company. Groundbreaking for Yashica to be sure but a miss overall against the competition. Yashica’s best was still to come. We happen to appreciate the rock solid construction of this often overlooked camera… the Tomioka Optical “normal” lens focal length of 5.8cm was a bit odd but the bayonet mount lenses were sharp and attached very solidly to the body. This was not the lens that was supplied with the S – Yashica went back to the 5.5cm, f/1.8 lens. No batteries needed for either the camera or meter.
The Pentamatic S wasn’t made in large quantities over a long period of time. Nice working examples are still available and some very nice collector quality examples are still out there. You are much more likely to find a Pentamatic S for sale than a Pentamatic II – probably by a 4 to 1 margin.
Why did Yashica bring out the Pentamatic II less than a year after releasing the original model?
The only difference we can tell between the original Yashica Pentamatic ’35’ and the Pentamatic II (which came out around September 1960), is the standard lens that was mated with the camera body. The original Pentamatic came with the Auto-Yashinon, f/ 1.8, 5.5cm fully automatic 6 element lens. Of course it has the unique Pentamatic bayonet mount and not the M42 screw mount. The Pentamatic II came with the Auto-Yashinon, f/ 1.7, 5.8cm lens (pictured below). Both lenses were made for Yashica by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo. We imagine the 58mm, f/ 1.7 lens was a bit faster than the f/ 1.8… but we don’t see why Yashica changed from the model I to the model II and why they changed the lens… we may never discover the reason either.
The standard lens for the Pentamatic II – 5.8cm, f/ 1.7
Gorgeous lens for the Pentamatic II.
The first sighting of the Pentamatic II in a sales brochure for the Japanese home market.
We’ve yet to find an advertisement for the Pentamatic II in English and along those same lines, have yet to find the Pentamatic II in a sales brochure in English. The Pentamatic S replaced the model II less than a year after its release. The model S went back to using the original 5.5cm, f/ 1.8 lens that was on the original Pentamatic.
That makes the Auto-Yashinon 5.8cm, f/ 1.7 lenses one of the rarest of the early Pentamatic bayonet mount lenses.
We were finally able to get the Pentamatics together for a photoshoot. These cameras range from a March 1960 build date to January of 1961. The lenses are made by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo for Yashica. The lower left camera has both the Super Yashinon-R name and Yashica Tominon (kinda rare). The other three are Auto Yashinons, f/ 1.8, 5.5cm normal lenses that were supplied with the first Pentamatics.
Yashica’s first single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras.
No changes were made to the original Pentamatic ’35’ through its production run. Small (slight) changes were made with the introduction of the Pentamatic II which made its way to dealer’s shelves in the Fall of 1960. The Pentamatic II was never strongly advertised – as late as 1962, large camera dealers were still advertising the original Pentamatic.
1958 Kodak Kodachrome film in our 1961 Pentamatic.
The January 1961 Pentamatic from Arizona is getting (already completed) a ‘new’ baseplate to replace the engraved one (with Arizona driver’s license number). The first owner purchased it in June of 1962 and promptly engraved his DL number. Oh well… that was the norm back then. We’ve seen cameras with Social Security numbers engraved!
Please check out our more detailed posts about this uncommon camera from Yashica.
Thanks so much for the visit! C & C