In the Shop – new listings this week

I’ve listed some new and interesting cameras and photo gear in my shop this week (more to come this weekend so check back often). My shop is hosted by Etsy and can be found at – since it’s hosted by Etsy I can accept pretty much any type of payment and I can send your purchases almost anywhere in the world… stop by and check it out! Thanks, Chris

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I’ve got lots more in the shop so stop on by. Everything is on sale at 10% off and many include free USA shipping.

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.



In the Shop – new listings added this week

New in the shop this week is (as always) an interesting mix of classic cameras and vintage photo gear. Take a peek at some of what’s new at

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Everything’s on sale at 10% off my already value priced items. I ship pretty much worldwide and typically get your item in the mail in one day or less.

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There’s many more items not shown so stop by to see the entire inventory. 

sale today

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.

Single Shot Focus on the Canon AV-1

Introduced in 1979 into an already crowded family of super slick Canon 35mm SLRs, the AV-1 has always been kicked around in the world of auto exposure cameras. Most question the need for such a camera that only features aperture priority AE. Whereas its much more famous siblings like the AE-1 and A-1 have gone down in history as two of the best 35mm AE cameras of all time (my opinion), almost no one has seen an AV-1 let alone use one. Probably the only other lesser known Canon is the AT-1.

Why aperture priority? Simple, you select the aperture (f-stop) on your Canon FD lens based on the lighting available and the depth-of-field that you want in your image. The camera selects the proper shutter speed based on the film’s speed (ASA, ISO, DIN) and the f-stop that you selected. If there’s not enough light to hand hold the camera it’s up to you to know your limitations. If you’re a steady shooter then you may be able to squeeze off a shot at let’s say 1/30th of a second with a wide-angle or normal lens. If you’re like most people you’ll more than likely be much more successful staying north of 1/60th of a second. The AV-1 will auto expose accurately down to (or up to) 2 seconds! You’d better be on a tripod for that shot or have your camera perched on a flat, stable surface.

The other reason for the AV-1’s existence is that it cost significantly less than the other A series cameras – much lower but with no real drop-off in build quality IMO.

Here’s my AV-1 in the pro-black finish. It’s a beautiful camera and it accepts all of Canon’s FD lenses (which is a major plus) plus it was designed to operate with the Canon Power Winder A and the A2 and it provides full auto flash with the Canon family of Speedlites like the 133A, 155A, 177A and the 199A (all are dedicated electronic flash units for the AV-1). One final plus, it uses the still very easy to find and afford No. 544A silver oxide 6v battery.

So here’s the “Single Shot Focus” of my AV-1


This one was made in June 1982 (date code is W628K)

Studio Camera: Fujifilm X-A10 set on aperture priority AE

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.

A Surprising Find Under All That Dirt – A Hidden Gem Emerges

Recently a client of mine asked me to help him sell some of his vintage cameras from his collection. It’s not a collection in the true sense of the word, more of a gathering of cameras he had acquired over the years. Bob had become interested in photography as a kid in New York in the 1940s and ’50s but lacked the resources to buy cameras until he graduated from law school in the late 1960s.

His first purchase was a good one – a brand new Leica M4 in black lacquer (only 800 or so made in black that year) with a gorgeous Leitz-Leica Summicron 35mm f2 wide angle lens. Both were purchased together in 1969. I was able to arrange a sale of that set within two days of posting it.

The next camera that Bob showed me I wasn’t impressed with at all – a Canon II 35mm rangefinder with a terrible looking lens that looked like Fred Flintstone may have owned it at one time.

The Canon before its “refreshing” ⇓


The Canon II from around 1954 with its odd little lens. Dirty little thing.

I was familiar with the Canon – one of the dozens of Leica “copies” or “clones” of the venerable Leica III that were made in Japan in the late 1940s and ’50s – the lens, well not so much. I knew that Leica made collapsible Leitz lenses that were extremely popular due to their outstanding quality and compact size, but I was unaware that other companies did so too. One such company was Schneider-Kreuznach of Germany.


The diamond in the rough.

The Schneider-Kreuzbach Xenon f2 5cm lens (pictured above) was produced for Leitz during World War II. By serial number (1830715) the lens was produced around 1942 to 1943. Schneider Optics has this incredible list of all of its serial numbers – check it out here.

Here’s my write-up from my Etsy shop ( listing.

Rare Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon f2 5cm
Collapsible Leica LTM Screw Mount Lens
– Vintage Germany 1942 – Wartime Lens! Limited Production!
– Excellent Functionality!

This is an extremely hard to find Leica screw mount lens made
by the world-renowned German optical company
Schneider-Kreuznach (Schneider Optics).

The lens is in beautiful vintage condition with a lovely
patina on the chrome metal lens barrel. I have inspected
and tested this lens on my Nicca rangefinder and it works

History has it that the Leitz factory could not meet the demands 
made on it by the German government during the height
of World War II and so the Schneider Optical Company
took on the task of building these lenses for Leica-Leitz. They
were made in very limited numbers.

If you can imagine how hard it is to find this lens in the present day
after all these years having survived the war and its aftermath.

This lens made it to a large camera dealer in New York City from the
original owner and was purchased by my client in 1969.

The lens is in perfect function – the aperture blades are clean (a bit worn)
and complete, the focus is smooth and was tested on my Nicca.
The rangefinder focused accurately. The mount (L39) is excellent and
the lens mounts securely to the camera body. The collapsible portion
is smooth and the lens locks in place. The aperture ring is also smooth and
without binding.

The glass elements (I think only the front elements) have a slight fog/haze
but not so much as to diminish the view. There are spots inside the
lens – they look more like dirt and dust spots but they could be
mold. With a bright light, I do not see any fungus filaments however.

The lens is rather rare and apparently very collectible and valuable ($900 to $1500). Who knew? The fact that it was made during WWII in Germany only adds extra interest to its rariety. The Leica lens cap is from the mid 1930s and as the story goes it has been on the lens since new. It would make sense that the Leitz factory supplied these to Schneider Optics to affix to their lenses.


The Canon all cleaned up and ready to go – the lens is shown in its collapsed position.


Looking much better after its bath – the cap is extra special too as it is from a very early design. By the way, the cap is padded inside with red felt.


As a set it makes for a very interesting camera. Canon, Schneider, and Leitz coming together.

schneider lenses 1

For more about Schneider Optics stop by their website.

Thanks for stopping by! If you find vintage Schneider lenses from the 1940s certainly give them a closer look. The popular Kodak Retina line of 35mm SLR cameras used Schneider lenses and some of those are quite valuable too.






Canon AE-1 Program – An alternative to the more costly A-1

Canon’s A Series of cameras were among the best in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Often overlooked, the Canon AE-1 Program (it was also available in a pro black body) was a fun and accurate SLR during its heyday. Of course the Canon A-1 and the AE-1 were the most popular of all.



The AE-1 Program, like all of the Canon A Series of bodies, used the Canon FD lenses – here with the popular and super lightweight 50mm f/1.8 lens.




AE-1 Program in pro black and Olympic Edition.



If you get a chance to pick one of these up for a fair price we think you’ll be surprised at how well the auto exposure modes do under challenging lighting situations. It’s not built as robustly as the A-1 but can be had for much less.

The AE-1 P makes a nice addition to any Canon collection and certainly would look good in any collection of early Japanese SLRs.

Thanks for stopping by!

Camera: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170


Photo Gear No More – the ones we regret.

As collectors, Carol and I have to make some tough decisions from time to time (actually a lot). While we would love to own every camera, lens and photo thingy that strikes our fancy, we, like most people, have a budget. Well not really a budget per se as a budget requires planning and thought – something we rarely do. What we have in reality is limited space (and funds) just like most people. Compromises must be made – negotiations entered into and decisions rendered.

So our collection is a dynamic thing – a living, breathing thing that must be fed and then purged. Buy – play with – cherish and then sell. Here (in no particular order) is some of the gear that we wish we still owned…

Canon FD 17mm f4 super wide angle lens ⇓

Why? It was in mint new condition with no issues. The glass was pristine and we had the proper Canon lens hood and both Canon lens caps (and case). It just didn’t wow us! I had always wanted it since day one (1978) and had to settle on a Canon Fd 24mm wide angle instead due to the silly cost of the thing. I LOVE the 24mm – it is one of my most widely used Canon lenses. When we finally got this 17mm in 2014 and shot with it, well, nothing special. The images weren’t dramatic enough to justify owning it so it was sold. Why the regret now? We didn’t give it a fair shot. Maybe we shot a roll and a half with it. Not enough time really. The other reason – when it’s mint you freak out all the time about messing it up and messing with the resale value. Stupid reason but it happens.


Asahi Pentax Spotmatic with the Takumar f1.4 lens ⇓

Why? Beautiful camera in nearly perfect condition. We’ve always appreciated the early Asahi Pentax 35mm SLRs and this one fell into our hands. We would have rather had a working H2 or something along those lines but none were available at that time. Why the regret now? See above. Another case of a mint camera (for the collection) and unlikely that we’d ever shoot with it. Now we wish we had kept it to at least shoot some film with it. Oh well, it’s gone and unlikely to be replaced.


Nikonos II ⇓

Why? It was my first ever 35mm camera! Purchased new by me in 1971. I took it everywhere and used it both above and below the surface of the water constantly. She was in great shape when I sold it in 2011- my SCUBA diving days were over and no reason to keep it. Right? Wrong! My regret is purely nostalgic. My first 35mm camera! What was I thinking!!! It’s still the only Nikon I’ve ever bought!


Canon T70 35mm SLR ⇓

Why? Built-in motor drive, multiple auto exposure modes and drop dead simple to use. Uses the complete family of Canon FD lenses and exposures were as accurate as our A-1. Why the regret? We’ve owned about 10 of them over the years and have used them extensively. We’re just used to the little beasts and this happens after each acquisition and sale. We begin to miss that goofy style and its other quirks. (This one was sold to a collector in Australia).


Fujifilm XP100 FinePix go anywhere digital camera ⇓

Why? Fun little Fuji that we often took to the beach for some awesome surf shots – plus it’s a cool green! We made some neat videos with it too – great images and sound. I decided to sell it as we didn’t need a closet full of seldom used digital cameras. They become relics quickly in the fast paced world of pixel capturing. We regret it now whenever we’re at the beach and the waves are killer!


Asahi Pentax 6×7 medium format camera ⇓

Why? A gem of a camera! Mint condition and it took some stunning pics! Eye-level finder with meter and we had the big wooden hand grip and at least 2 new lenses for it too. Weighs like 2 kilotons or close to it! The 6×7 format can enlarge very nicely and the Super Takumar lenses were sharp. Why the regret? We can’t find one as nice to replace it without spending crazy money and we let ours go for too little. We have a Fujica GW-690 now so the need for the 6×7 format is lessened. Besides, the Fujica is as beat to hell as anything we own and that’s a good thing. No worries about scratching it up so we actually use it.


Canon FD 300mm f4 telephoto lens ⇓

Why, why, why? We bought it because we’ve always wanted that focal length and couldn’t afford what we really wanted – the FD 300mm f2.8 L white lens. Another case of a mint condition lens that looked like it was made yesterday. In reality it was a dark lens (f4) and a bit clumsy to use. We used it mostly on a tripod and our little town is not a telephoto town. What we mean by that is that our town is made for wide angle shots (old buildings with lots of details) and not tripod mounted lenses. Plus I’m just too old to hand hold 300mm lenses anymore and don’t want to be bothered straining my neck with it. The regret? I wish I could still hand hold a 300mm lens damn it!!! Actually I still want the f2.8!


So there you have it. Certainly it’s not all the gear we miss – just a small sample. If we can round up the images of some of the others there may be a part two.

Do you have a favorite piece of gear that you regret selling (or heaven forbid, gave away)? Let us know. Thanks

Chris and Carol ^.^

Canon AZ 1014 Super 8 Movie Camera… 1977


Purchased new by us in 1977… wow, 40 years ago! It’s still going strong – the automatic exposure is accurate, the Canon electronic zoom lens is flawless, and all controls and gizmos are doing their things. Why? Well number one is it was designed and built super well and it uses readily available double A (AA ‘penlight’) batteries. No out of manufacture mercury batteries and their modern replacements to deal with! Thank you Canon!


The business side of this gem. It’s a TTL Servo EE electronic exposure system using still available Super 8 film. It operates like an SLR in the sense that you focus and adjust zoom and exposure through the lens. Canon’s 7-70mm f/ 1.4 Macro Zoom (10x) Lens C-8 is razor sharp and produces vivid colors and delivers exceptional contrast.

Macro capabilities are incredible – as close as 10mm from the front of the lens! Slow motion, fades, interval shooting and time lapse plus the ability to manually control the aperture!




The camera loaded with a Super 8 cartridge and the six AA batteries weighs in at nearly 2 kg! I can tell you that lugging it through Walt Disney World was no picnic… but fun!


Carol exploring her plants via the Canon AZ 1014. This is so 1977! Our home in Yokohama.


The photographer observed! The young lad was friendly and couldn’t figure out what in the world I was filming! Olongapo City, Philippines 1978.


Bug hunting in Yokohama… 1978.

Playing with the camera again makes me want to start filming again… well maybe not. 50 feet of Super 8 movie film disappears quickly and so does the money in your wallet. The camera is amazing but outdated – but, for the money, you can’t beat the quality of the Canon optics that cost thousands today.

Carol and I have so many cameras that we can’t ever use them all before we pass on. So we are documenting our cameras just before they go to auction via eBay and Etsy. So sad but the time’s come to thin out the heard.

Photographed with our Fujifilm FinePix S9900. Carol (photo by me) with my Canon F-1 and me (photo by Jim) was taken with some junky old Nikon! Can you imagine!

Thanks for your visit!

Chris ^.^

Canon F-1


First version Canon F-1 with its gorgeous chrome nosed FD 50mm f/ 1.4 lens.

Canon F-1 from April 1972. This was the first version of the F-1 and it sports a rather low serial number. We’ve held this one back all these years with just occasional use (mainly in the studio). Our field tested F-1 (not pictured) was acquired new in 1978 (2nd version F-1) and it’s the one that’s traveled the world – getting seriously wet in Hong Kong, Japan and the US- dropped in a photographic safari bus in Kenya – slid off a train seat in Tokyo – and was briefly “lost” in Diego Garcia!


All original stuff from 1972.


Note that this super early FD lens does not have the SC or SSC markings on the lens ring.

I started 35mm SLR photography with a Nikonos II and then purchased my first Yashica (TL Electro-X) and then into Canon we went. We need to find some time to take this one out and put that classic glass to good use! Nothing like holding an old friend again.

Thanks for stopping by!