Hi! Mickey Mouse – Fuji Fun

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Fujifilm Hi! Mickey Mouse MD – released March 1995 for sale in Japan.

The camera set sold for ¥6,300 and this one was purchased at Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo in December 1995.

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Fixed focus Fujinon f8 33mm lens with a shutter speed of 1/100

This was one of the early officially licensed Mickey cameras from Fuji Photo Film Company. It sold for ¥5,800

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Fuji Hi! Mickey Mouse – released in December 1989 for sale in the home market. This simple point and shoot 35mm camera is based on the Fuji Bene camera that was also only available in Japan.

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Not autofocus but fixed focus – Fujinon f9.5 35mm lens with a shutter speed of 1/100

They are both as simple as simple can be – load film, compose, click. As with most all of the basic Fuji cameras, it produces an acceptable image especially under full sun with fast film or with the flash.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for a nice assortment of classic cameras and vintage photo gear. – 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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Nicca Pentamatic!?

Stay with us and we’ll try to make our case. Recently discovered information has filled-in some of the missing links in the development of our favorite obsession camera. The mysterious and seldom seen Pentamatic ’35’… Yashica’s first SLR.

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A few interesting bits of info have come to our attention recently. We were alerted to an auction by our friend Paul Sokk (http://www.yashicatlr.com) that listed a 13.5 cm f/ 2.8 lens made by Taiho Optical Company –  Nicca Lens. Having never heard of the company, Taiho Optical, and knowing about Nicca’s history, we couldn’t figure out where and how there could be a Nicca connection.

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Let’s backtrack a bit with a quick history lesson. Yashima-Yashica was a very successful maker of high quality, low-cost twin-lens reflex cameras but hadn’t moved into the 35 mm market as of early 1957. It appears that the president and founder of Yashima-Yashica, Mr. Yoshimasa Ushiyama could see that although Yashica was successful building TLRs, the market for them would slowly diminish as new, smaller and easier to use 35 mm cameras would grab the marketplace. He wanted in but how?

Yashica had no experience with 35 mm cameras, especially rangefinder cameras with cloth focal-plane shutters. There were dozens of Leica copy cameras in Japan (and the world for that matter) but possible patents protected specific manufacturer’s shutter designs. If he could buy into an established company then he could use their shutter design and incorporate it with early Yashima-Yashica designs. In May of 1958, an opportunity presented itself. Nicca Camera Company was apparently experiencing financial difficulties and may have been on the brink of bankruptcy. Nicca cameras were well known and well respected – they made high quality 35 mm rangefinder cameras with focal-plane shutters. They used Nikkor lenses with the L39 screw mount. Mr. Ushiyama was in a rush to purchase Nicca before they went belly up. Advisers cautioned to wait until Nicca went bankrupt arguing that they would be able to acquire it for a better price. Mr. Ushiyama knew that that outcome of a bankruptcy could take longer than he was willing to wait and there would certainly be more suitors to compete with. So the deal went through… sort of. As best as we can glean from our research, a “religionist” “admonished” Mr. Ushiyama for rushing into the deal and cautioned that Yashica itself would suffer a “decline” if all of the transfer were made immediately.

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OK, OK! We give!!! We share your feelings dear reader –  what’s the connection between Nicca and the Pentamatic? Taking the advice of the religionist, Mr. Ushiyama created a new company. Nicca would become Taiho Optical Company. Say what? Nicca wasn’t absorbed into Yashica in May of 1958, instead, they became another company that could continue to operate with Yashica but without becoming Yashica. Simple. Confused? Mr. Ushiyama listened to his adviser so nothing bad happened. It appears that the former Nicca employees were now free to develop new processes and designs with the financial and technical support of the much larger Yashica. What did Yashica get for its money? Plenty it would seem. Access to years of 35 mm rangefinder manufacturing experience and access to a proven focal-plane shutter. Important steps in building a 35 mm single-lens reflex camera. We don’t know (yet) which one of the two companies came up with the design of what would become the Pentamatic. Was it mostly a Yashica design that had been kicking around for a while lacking a focal-plane shutter, or was it mostly a Nicca design that lacked the financial means to bring it to market? We feel that it was more than likely a 60 – 40 split with Nicca as the 60%. Just a hunch, no facts at the moment.

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Earliest known sales brochure for the Pentamatic ’35’. The best guess is that it was printed in the Spring of 1960.

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A machine translation of this page from inside of the brochure states clearly that Nicca and Yashica developed the Pentamatic.

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But what did the Taiho Optical Company make? Yashica didn’t make their own lenses, Tomioka Optical of Tokyo did. Was the former Nicca, now that it had become Taiho Optical, going to suddenly start making lenses? At the start of this blog, we mentioned that we were alerted to the existence of a 13.5 cm lens for sale with the Taiho Optical Company-Nicca Japan markings. Other than that, nothing.

So when did Mr. Ushiyama merge the two companies? He apparently listed to his adviser and waited eight long years before merging the two. From 1960 (when the Pentamatic was released) until 1968, when he not only made Yashica whole, but he also acquired long time lens supplier Tomioka Optical.

Now we know how the Pentamatic came to be and why it could be called the Nicca Pentamatic.

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Thanks for sticking with us. – 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.

Vintage Bewi Automat “A” Exposure Meter

Straight from the desk of a mid-century designer, this super cool (and fully working) selenium cell exposure meter is a joy to use and play with.

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The first thing I noticed about it is that unlike typical meters from this period (the 1950s) there’s no visible meter needle or pointer. Everything that moves does so inside. I know, I took it apart to see what was going on and there was the needle being “busy” reacting to light. Maybe this ad will do a better job at describing just what makes this meter so special.

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Semi-transparent cover over the selenium cells allows for incident light readings.

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Selenium cells exposed for full reflected light readings.

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In its case, it’s about the size of a deck of cards but it fits nicely in the palm of your hand. I have it available in my shop as it’s time to pass it along to the next collector. You can see additional pictures of it and a complete description at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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.

Zoom Cardia 900 – SLR Slayer from Fuji

Released in Japan in February 1990, this powerful (and not so little) point and shoot 35mm film camera was designed to bring all of the best auto features into one small package. It listed for ¥ 43,800 ($300 at that time) and compared to other P&S compacts of that period that wasn’t a bad price.

It’s a good looking camera in my opinion and its got some heft to it with all of the micromotors built-in and that big Fujinon zoom lens (400 grams with the CR-P2 battery installed).

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Excellent coverage from this sophisticated Fujinon zoom lens – wide-angle to a perfect portrait and short telephoto focal length.

The Cardia Zoom models are considered to be one of the best of the best in the compact 35mm film camera segment – certainly worthy of being called a Modern Classic!

Some of its impressive specs:

  • Fujinon Z 38-85mm f/3.8 (2.2x zoom) glass lens with 7 elements in 7 groups
  • 1/8 to 1/250th Shutter
  • (1) CR-P2 6V Lithium Battery (powers both the camera and date/time function)
  • Built-in Auto Zoom Flash
  • Drop-in Film Loading with Pre-Winding
  • Uses DX Coded Film ISO 100, 200, 400, 1600
  • Date and Time Encoding
  • Back Light Compensation (BLC)
  • Multi Auto Focus with AF Lock
  • Fill-in Flash Mode
  • Auto Exposure Mode
  • Mid-roll Rewinding
  • Self-timer

LCD Window displays zoom lens focal length, frame counter, modes and a host of other data.

In actual use, the camera performs exceptionally well delivering better than expected consistently accurate exposures in a wide variety of situations. I would use ISO 400 as my daily film to be able to handle less than ideal lighting conditions. Of course, with the accurate fill-in auto flash, it would be hard not to take a great image.

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You’ll get this complete set as pictured – the film is expired (07/2010) but we typically get great results with it. Please buy a fresh roll of film before you take those “once in a lifetime” pictures.

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Simple to use date and time databack.

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Matching serial numbers. That’s the original purchase date (November 28, 1991)

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The zoom flash adjusts with the focal length of the lens.

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Yep, it’s an in the box original – just like we enjoy collecting them.

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This set includes the original unused custom case from Fuji but like all of these vinyl cases from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s they tend to get “sticky” and shouldn’t be used.

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Two batteries will come with this set – the original unopened (probably dead) lithium battery and a fresh new one. It will be ready to use right out of the box!

If you’re interested in adding this awesome like-new camera to your collection I’ll be putting it in my camera shop shortly at http://www.ccstudio2380.com or you can purchase it here by clicking on the payment (PayPal) button below. I’ll ship it anywhere in the USA for free using USPS Priority Mail with tracking and full insurance.

Fuji Zoom Cardia 900 Compact 35mm Film Camera Set

You’ll get everything as pictured and described in this post BEFORE it hits my shop. I’ll ship it in the USA for free! Please request a shipping quote for international sales. Thanks, Chris

$169.00

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.

 

Yashica-Mat EM

My favorite go-to medium format camera with a built-in exposure meter (EM). This one is from 1964.

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Woodblock print by Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858)

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

For more about the Yashica-Mat EM please visit one of my previous posts here.

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.

My Dad’s Polaroid Pathfinder 110

A camera that I hope stays with my family forever. So many great images were created using this camera over the years – it certainly qualifies as a keeper in our collection.

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Pathfinder 110 from 1953

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Do you have an “untouchable” camera in your collection? We have a few and I hope to share them over the next few weeks. – Chris

 

The Fujicaflex Automat- a monster TLR from Fuji Photo Film Company, Tokyo

Fuji’s only attempt at a twin-lens reflex camera – 1954

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The Fuji Photo Film Company of Tokyo has a long history of making some very desirable cameras – from simple point and shoot models to high-quality professional medium format film cameras covering most types of film formats (Fuji Photo, after all, is in the business of selling film). Along the way, there have been a few cameras that have stood out for their technical achievements and innovations and one of them is the Fujicaflex Automat (for much more about this model please check out Mr. Koyasu’s wonderful site).

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We’ve wanted to add this camera to our collection for many years and the right combination of events led us to this one. It was for sale in Japan a short while back and we missed it – it became available again from a collector in Thailand so we went for it.

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Of the many neat features that this camera has, one of the most useful is its close-up capabilities. Although we haven’t finished our first test roll of film we wanted to verify the reported 70cm close focusing feature. By pushing the little button above the thumbwheel you’ll be able to adjust the taking and viewing lenses for a closer focus (notice that the lens rings extend outwards about 4mm or so). The ability to bring the taking lens closer to the subject allows the camera to get closer to the subject without the use of cumbersome auxiliary lenses.

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Here the lenses are retracted back to their “normal” positions.

Thanks for stopping by! We’ll cover more of the camera’s features in future posts and we will post images from our first test roll soon. – Chris

Hi! Mickey Mouse Camera

Our super cool Hi! Mickey Mouse camera from Fujifilm.

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Carol made a cute custom camera case for the Fujifilm Hi! Mickey Mouse camera.

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You can find this and many other interesting cameras in our online store at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

We’d love to see you there!

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.

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.

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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.

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AE-1 Program in pro black and Olympic Edition.

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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

Chris

FIFA World Cup 1986 Canon T50

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Probably not many of these floating around in the U.S. – this was in our collection of ‘all things Canon’ for awhile but has since moved on to another collector. We thought it deserved a spot on the blog if only because few people know of its existence.

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The Canon T50 is one of the simplest cameras (35mm SLR) that Canon ever produced. It accepted all Canon FD lenses, took 2 AA batteries, had a power winder built-in and had programmed automation!

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Cool logo!

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Simple Simon! Shutter button, function dial, hot shoe and rewind lever.

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Nice bright graphics!

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Bold hand grip and clean design.

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If you want a simple, and we mean simple, 35mm SLR film camera to play around with, then the T50 and its cousin the T70 are just the ticket. Both take all of Canon’s FD lenses – and that’s worth the price of admission any day!

Camera: Sony Cyber-shot W170

Chris