Minolta’s First 6×6 Camera – 1936

We were lucky enough to acquire this lovely camera from a local collector recently. Historically it’s a significant camera in the long history of Minolta as it’s the first camera they produced to use 120 roll film in the 6×6 cm format.

It’s also a groundbreaking camera that did not use traditional leather bellows or a metal body – the body and bellows are made of Bakelite which is an early plastic. I’ve read some conflicting information about the release date (some say as early as 1935) but it seems like November 1936 is where Minolta puts its introduction. Either way, it’s the oldest camera in our collection by a couple of years and the oldest Japanese camera we own by far.

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The Crown C shutter was made by Minolta (earlier names of the company apply) and features a leaf shutter with a top speed of only 1/150th of a second. Not fast by any stretch of the imagination. Couple that to a maximum aperture of f/5.6 and you’d better be taking pictures in bright sunlight and using fast film. But wait, in 1936 fast film would be ASA 25 – so break out the tripod.

Another interesting feature is the not yet standardized aperture scale – here we have f/5.6, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18, and f/25

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The view from above shows the three Bakelite segments fully opened. In lieu of a fragile leather bellows, this seems like a great idea but obviously never caught on with Minolta or other manufacturers.

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I gave the camera a good cleaning inside and out but for the most part, it wasn’t really that dirty. The shutter sounds accurate and the aperture blades are behaving themselves – not bad for an eight-decade-old camera. It’s generally free of corrosion as the body is mostly Bakelite and the few metal pieces on the body are brass. The metal lens board is typically where some corrosion and paint loss would occur but this one is holding up well. The leatherette is starting to crack and peel but again, that’s to be expected.

We plan on shooting a roll of film with this soon. I do have to address some minor fungus filaments in the lenses but I’ve seen much worse in much newer lenses. I believe that I’ll be able to get the optics back to a good clarity with just a tad more cleaning.

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Advertisement from 1938

Notice the selling price of the f/5.6 was listed at ¥ 46.00 which in 1938 1 yen was worth about U.S. 30 cents. So this camera in USD would have been $13.80 – I used this site to see a historic yen rate chart.

By the way, a partial machine translation of the ad reads like this – “Minolta six card business roll film should also be considered as a popular version of so-called 6×6 cm camera to make a sheet of 12 6 cm square film, the machine depends on the Baby and the Vest. Made of Bakelite, which has already been tested, and fine-grained Moroccan leather, it has a fresh Western silver metal fittings, and the three-stage sliding-type rigid bellows made of stainless steel has durability for long-term use. The Corona f/5.6 and f/4.5 both offer excellent performance in landscapes and figures.” 

The Baby and Vest were two cameras that proceeded the Minolta Six. We think it’s a fantastic bit of design and engineering and we’re excited to add it to our collection.

Thanks for stopping by and remember that we’re still running a 15% off sale in our camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

 

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Yashica Pentamatic II – The Phantom

A new Pentamatic joins the family – this one was made in September of 1960.

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Seldom seen in the wild, Yashica’s “Phantom” camera – the P2

The Pentamatic II was fitted with a limited production lens made by Zunow Optical – a 5.8cm f1.7 Auto Yashinon with 10 aperture blades. It’s a massive camera with a ton (1,028 grams) of brass and glass.

It’s a distinctive design – very modern but classic at the same time. A clean pentaprism without the cold shoe mounted on it – in fact, the cold shoe (accessory shoe) is mounted on the camera’s left shoulder just above the hidden rewind knob.

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The serial number (NO. 96000944) indicates the “when” of this camera. The “9” is for September and the next digits, “60” is for 1960. The last 5 digits are the sequence number or production number. This one is the 944th made since production began in August 1960.

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A rather unique lens for its time – I feel that the lens was made by Zunow Optical for Yashica and was only produced in an extremely limited number for the short run of the Pentamatic II (about 6 months). This is one of Yashica’s hardest cameras to acquire – there may only be less than 500 of these (if that much) left in the wild.

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris

Pentax IQ Zoom 105WR – Weather Resistant 35mm Compact Camera

Are you looking for a compact 35mm camera with a powerful 2.8x electronic zoom (38-105mm) and the ability to be able to plunk this camera into water, sand, snow, and mud? Of course you are!

Too many compact 35mm film cameras have to be babied – can’t take them out in the rain, snow or down to the beach and definitely a no-go for white water rafting! Not so for this super tough compact from Pentax!

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The gray portion of the body is a rubberized grip which makes this fun compact easy to use when it’s wet. A powerful 38-105mm Pentax zoom lens with zoom macro is super sharp.

This camera is brand new, never used but fully tested by us – the complete set is still new in its original boxes with all paperwork including the operating manual!

This camera is guaranteed by us to be ready to use right out of the box! Just add film and your creativity!

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One of the more sophisticated 35mm compacts of the late 1990s, this Pentax features a 5-point multi autofocus system, auto exposure, power zoom lens with zoom macro, power winding, and multi-mode flash with red-eye reduction.

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This Pentax features a large true view viewfinder and big LCD. Easy to operate controls even when your hands are wet or gloved. The date/time feature is super easy to set and we’ve even installed a new lithium button battery to power that function.

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This set includes a brand new Pentax soft case to protect your IQ Zoom 105WR while traveling.

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Some of the many outstanding features of this fine camera. Still made by Asahi Optical too!

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Also features an adjustable diopter eyepiece with an easy to use thumbwheel – something not normally found on a camera of this type. The on-off switch is easy to grip and the camera switches easily to the panorama mode.

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Easy loading and positive closure of the film back to seal out water, sand, snow, and mud!

This wonderful camera set is available through our online store at https://www.ccstudio2380.com

If you’re looking at trying your hand at film photography then this is a perfect camera to start off with. If you’re getting back into film photography then you’ll be satisfied with what this camera can do for your creative spirit.

Thanks for your visit and we think you will be surprised at the great price we have it listed for. All of the cameras we sell are guaranteed to work right out of the box! We’ve installed brand new Panasonic batteries in this one – just add your 35mm film and you’re good to go!

C&C ^.^

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.

Yashica Day! ヤシカ

Hey, it’s Yashica Day every day!

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Still one of our all-time favorite Yashicas – the Yashica J-3 in pro-black. Just a handsome camera. It was Yashica’s first SLR in black.

Thanks for your visit!

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.

Yashica FR II by Camera Go Camera!

I have been exchanging emails with the owner of a great website about Yashicas. As I live in Japan I sometimes see hard to find models and have sent him a few. He wanted to do something in return, so I suggested he send me a camera in return. He did, and this is the […]

via Yashica FR II — Camera Go Camera

A must visit blog with great camera reviews and excellent photography! Check out her wonderful posts! Chris ^.^

Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 Lens –

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I hadn’t used my Canon A-1 in quite some time – months if not a year or more in fact. I had two rolls to send off for processing but needed to shoot the last few exposures. I threw on my favorite lens – my Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 S.S.C. from 1978 – Fujicolor Superia 400.

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I enjoy using this 24mm lens over the 20mm and the 17mm. It could be that I’m just so used to it that the other lenses haven’t had a chance to grow on me. Great perspective, relatively fast and good depth of field. Easy to focus too (and forgiving).

Chris

Pentamatic S – 1961

Yashica Pentamatic S with its no name clip-on light meter.

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S fitted with its light meter, lens hood and the standard 5.8cm f/1.7 lens that came with the Pentamatic II.

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Pentamatic S

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Standard lens for the Pentamatic II here fitted to the S – Auto Yashinon f/1.7 5.8cm made by Tomioka Optical.

The Yashica Pentamatic S was available in 1961 and came with the Auto Yashinon f/1.8 5.5cm lens.

Chris

The often underappreciated Canon T70

One of Canon’s little gems! The T70 (1984) was a giant leap forward for Canon and for the entire 35mm camera industry. Coming off the success of the Canon ‘A Series’, the T70 (yes there was a T50 first but the T70 blew it away) was a giant departure from the norms established by Canon. Firstly, it didn’t look like any previous Canon SLR – distinctive style and color, built-in winder, multiple program AE exposure and two metering modes. If you wanted to add a data back, then Canon had a Command Back 70 ready to go.

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This one is from April 1984… still, in our opinion, one of the neatest Canons of all time!

The rubberized right hand grip made the body super easy to hold and the incorporated power winder made manually advancing film a thing of the past. The ‘T’ bodies accepted all of Canon’s FD lenses without exception. Mated with the Canon FD (N) 50mm f/ 1.8 lens made the T70 a rather compact and user friendly camera.

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Simple layout and clean design.

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Optional accessory – the Command Back 70 replaced the often bulky data backs found on the F-1 and A-1. This one can date images until the year 2029! Of note – the common fault with these data backs are you’ll often find that the LCD will sometimes “bleed” the LC in the display. This one, for whatever reason, has escaped that fault.

If you want a great, and we mean great 35mm film camera to use, then by all means find a good T70 and fire away.

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One of our all time favorites from Canon.

Thanks for your visit… your comments are always welcomed and so are your questions.

Chris and Carol ^.^