New reflex mirror in my Rolleicord Ia Type 3 from 1938

After 80 years of use, the original mirror had lost most of its reflectivity and the view available in the viewing hood was greatly diminished.

I ordered a replacement mirror from hugostudio.com and I couldn’t be happier with the service and the quality of the product.

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With the viewing hood and focusing screen removed the view internally shows an abundance of the dirt and grime from 80 years of use. It’s pretty nasty in there!

There are only 4 screws to remove to be able to access the mirror chamber. The mirror essentially slides out from the 4 tabs that hold it in.

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Old and new mirrors side-by-side.

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The mirror chamber with the original mirror removed. A quick dusting and it was ready for the new mirror installation.

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Before and after. What a difference the new mirror makes.

I highly recommend that you change out the original reflex mirror in your TLR if it shows signs of significant deterioration – the view in the focusing hood will be made much brighter and that will lead to more accurate focusing on your part. Most mirrors can be had for around $10 and there are a few sellers on eBay to choose from. The key is the accuracy of the cut as there’s little room for error. If in doubt trace the outline of the mirror that you are replacing and send that (or just the measurements) to the seller.

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Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your project! – 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.

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Yashica L AF vs. Kyocera T Scope

Round 1 – The Introduction

The Yashica-Kyocera L AF from 1986 and the Kyocera T Scope (Japanese name, T3 elsewhere). The L AF was assembled in Hong Kong with parts made in Japan and the T Scope was made in Japan.

Key feature – waterproof (more like weatherproof) – not a dive camera.

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N.A. Scope = “New Angle Scope”

The scope is just like a waist-level finder – pretty cool actually.

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I’ll be doing a side by side field test of these two cameras shortly. Is the T3 really worth the extra money over the Yashica? The T Scope features a Carl Zeiss T* Series Tessar f/2.8 35mm lens against the Yashica (Tomioka?) f/3.5 32mm lens. I have a hunch that the Yashica’s lens was also made by Zeiss at the Tomioka factory in Tokyo. We’ll see if the vaunted T* coating makes a noticeable difference.

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Not often seen outside of Japan – the Kyocera T Scope box. Not one mention of Yashica!

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris

Yashica’s L AF – good things come from plastic rectangles

A true plastic fantastic from Kyocera-Yashica. Released around 1986, this little gem is a modern classic. It gives much better-known (and much more expensive) point & shoots a run for the money.

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Poor man’s T* Series with Zeiss lenses (I’m pretty sure these lenses are Zeiss without the coating).

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Not much control over this camera – it was designed to take pictures without much fuss – and do it well.

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It says Yashica lens but I’m sure it’s a Zeiss – why wouldn’t it? By the way, the 32mm f/3.5 lens is as fast as the other T* Series lenses – with the exception of the Kyocera T Scope (Japanese market T3) which is f/2.8

Good condition Yashica L AF’s are not common on online auction sites but nice ones still go for less than $40 or so. This nearly mint one went for $20!

Sharp contrasty lens – quick but not super quick AF but excellent auto exposure – perfect pics nearly every shot!

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Images were taken on Fujicolor Superia color negative film. No post-production on any of these outside pics.

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Headed our way from Japan!

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris

The Curious Case of the Yashica ‘Olympic’* Camera

*No, not those Olympics.

New to us, this neat little Yashica L AF 35mm compact point and shoot film camera is from 1986 and sports an Olympic theme. In all the years that Carol and I have collected Yashica cameras we’ve never run across a Yashica that featured a logo not directly related to Yashica – until now.

We’re big fans of the L AF and we’ve reviewed it before. Field Test of the L AF

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We haven’t been able to find anything that relates to this logo – no other Yashica-Kyocera camera has one. And what exactly is “Camera America”? It looks like (somewhat) an official Olympic logo but without the 5 rings. Did Yashica-Kyocera invent it purely for a marketing campaign? The timing is off as the previous Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1984 and the next wasn’t scheduled until 1988. Releasing an Olympic camera in 1986 just doesn’t make sense.

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The colors and fonts match in our opinion (see below) – the reds and golds match so it most likely was applied by the factory. As was typical with Yashica and Kyocera, no documentation exists for a “Camera America” version of anything nevermind an “Olympic Edition”.

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As we’ve said before the Yashica-Kyocera L AF is a low priced version of the more recognizable T* series of 35mm compacts and is a great camera for the money. If you run across one in working condition, by all means, give it a try.

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This one is a tad beat up and it hasn’t been tested yet but we expect it to do well. Once we squeeze some time out of our busy schedule we’ll have a go at it.

By the way, here’s a clip from the instruction booklet for the L AF – more than likely the date depicted matches the release date of the camera (or pretty close to it).

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A sticky 1986 Yashica-Kyocera case for the L AF

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Our first Yashica-Kyocera L AF

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The image was taken with the L AF on Fujicolor film

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The much more expensive version

Thanks for your visit. Have you ever seen an Olympic Yashica? Please share your comments if you have!

Chris and Carol ^.^

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.

 

 

 

 

(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