This stunning image (above) was taken through a lens that was made in Japan in the 1950s. What I love about using these well-cared for bits of photographic history is that they produce a level of clarity and sharpness but without the razor sharp and sometimes unnatural look you get with today’s best digital cameras and modern lenses. In my opinion, vintage glass mounted on a mirrorless digital camera is the best of both worlds.
Let me introduce the star of this post. A wonderful 135mm short telephoto lens made by Sankor for Spiratone. It’s a fast f2.8 lens of a sonnar design with multi-coated surfaces (Tc).
If you own or have been thinking of purchasing a digital mirrorless camera then definitely look into shooting with these classic lenses. I think you’ll find its an interesting diversion from the world of autofocus (and image stabilized) modern lenses. It tends to slow you down and makes you appreciate the photographic process.
Besides my Etsy camera studio shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com, I have a smaller shop that specializes in non-photographic items from my “world travels”. Almost everything is on sale at 70% off and many items include free or reduced USA shipping. I ship worldwide too at very fair rates.
I saw this camera on Instagram and I was smitten. Look at it, LOOK!! Can you see it? It is very well camouflaged. I searched on eBay and low, there was one, just one…and it was in Japan. But it is an APS, dwindling film supplies. Then along came Asographic and there was new hope […]
Yashica’s first 35mm single-lens reflex camera with the Praktica-thread (M42) mount lenses was the Yashica Penta J… at least here in the United States and in Japan. Elsewhere (most of the world) the camera was known as either the Yashica Reflex 35 or Reflex J (Australia and possibly the U.K.). As best we can tell, they were all the same cameras with different top plates to accommodate the different names (logos).
Part of the demise (lack of sales success) of the well-built Pentamatic series of cameras that preceded the Penta J, was that Yashica decided to go with a Pentamatic exclusive bayonet mount lens system. Sturdy and well designed to be sure, but being unique limited the available lenses that could be swapped between cameras. The Praktica design M42 screw thread mounting system was in widespread use at the time and Yashica’s bayonet design just went against the flow.
Now fast forward to 1965 ish… Yashica introduces the new J-5 AND the J-P! In between those years Yashica had introduced the J-3 and J-4. Why would Yashica go back in time and bring out another 35mm SLR in 1965 that was the cousin to the 1961 Penta J? Notice we say cousins… not brothers. They shared the same platform with one another but as you can see in the image below the top plates were of a different design.
Stay tuned… more to come on these Yashica classics.