Tripod Mystery

Yashica sold a line of excellent tripods in the late 1950s and ’60s which I always assumed were in fact made by Yashica. The ones that I own are of high quality and functionality and are a source of pride in my Yashica collection. Oh, there were moments of doubt when I would ask myself why a major camera maker like Yashica would “mess around” with something as small as a tripod when there were more important things to make. I guess one could argue that since Yashica already possessed machinery and forging capabilities why not make some branded tripods to sell alongside your cameras.

But it seems unlikely to me that someone who had just purchased a Canon or Nikon camera would then go on to buy a Yashica branded tripod unless there was something unique about it or it was a better value over the others. The marketplace during this time period was flooded with inexpensive tripods from an array of sellers. Why bother making something that has a slim profit margin? But who really made these tripods? I don’t have the answers to those questions yet but it’s been a fun little discovery up to this point. Here’s a look at something I thought was uniquely Yashica.

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The Yashica MY-15 tripod from the late 1950s

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A wonderful little gem of engineering from Yashica – but is it?

It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see that these three tripods are related.

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The Yashica MY-15 far left, the Manon center and the Velbon Deluxe far right.

The Manon claims to be the model 400 but that’s hasn’t been verified by me yet. It’s an exact match to the Yashica except for the legs being black. The Velbon is marked “V” and “Deluxe” but I’ve also seen them without the “V”. It’s an almost exact match to the other two except the center elevator shaft is round vice triangular.

So my question is who really made these? Velbon was founded in Japan in 1955 and was primarily a tripod maker. They’re still going strong today and make a wide array of tripods. Yashica was acquired by Kyocera in the early 1980s and then promptly killed Yashica. I believe Manon no longer exists.

So, did Yashica make their MY-15 tripod for the others? Unlikely as that wasn’t their core activity then. Manon could be a player as tripods were right up their alley. But my best guess ATM is that the model MY-15 that Yashica sold was made for them by Velbon. Companies such as Gold-Crest, Holmar, Bogen, Sunset, Vivo and countless others could have been the makers too but these three are the only perfect matches so far.

Have you got a tripod that looks like one of these but it’s branded by another company? Please let me know as I’d love to find more. Thanks

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
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Fujicaflex Automat – Fuji Photo Film’s 1st TLR – 1954

Vintage camera wish list item 101.

The Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd., Fujicaflex 

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Designed to incorporate the best features that were available in the medium format twin-lens reflex camera market, the Fujicaflex debuted in 1954 – at a very premium price, we might add. While surfing today, we stumbled upon this wonderful site from Fujifilm Europe. You can check it out here

It’s nice to see a large corporation like Fujifilm blog about some of the really cool cameras that helped make their company great. In another blog, they go on to talk about the amazing Fujipet from 1957.

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For more about this wonderful camera, take a trip here too to see Mr. Yoshinobu Koyasu’s camera collection… it is not to be missed!

It’s certainly interesting to read (Fujifilm Europe’s blog) – the older posts that pay tribute to the cameras of their roots are so interesting.

Enjoy!

Chris

Hit the Road 2016! Hello 2017!

Thank goodness 2016 is almost history! I’ve heard from friends in Australia that 2017 is going well (so far). Let’s not muck it up!

On a positive note – here on our blog, we’ve seen a significant increase in activity over last year (2015). Visitors to the site and views are through the roof! We (Carol and I) are thrilled that what started out as a repository of bits and tidbits of Yashima-Yashica information would gain the traction that it’s had. We thank you!

We enjoy the feedback we get and I can say that I’ve learned more than a few things from it. We’ve met some super talented people – photographers and bloggers that are out of this world amazing! We hope our readers got a little something special in return too. That was the goal of the ‘Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic’ -a sharing of knowledge about a silly camera that Yashica invented in 1959 that most people have never heard of.

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This year’s favorite.

In looking through the hundreds of film and digital images that we shot in 2016, this one turns out to be our favorite. We believe that every vintage camera is worth preserving (in some way or another) – we think of cameras as holding the heartbeats of all who may have gazed through its lenses, pressed its buttons and then anxiously awaited the results. We can imagine the thousands of faces and smiles that were captured and the thousands of important events in people’s lives that were saved for the future. Classic cameras do that for us.

Don’t get us wrong… we love the  world of digital photography but we also embrace the beautiful, often awkward analog machines of our past. We hope that photographers in the future will remember (every now and then) to pick up a classic camera, load some film into it and then set out to capture images with a camera older than yourself. Enjoy!

Happy New Year… we wish only the best for all!

Chris and Carol ^.^