Rare Yashica Pentamatic S Box – c1961

The Yashica Pentamatic S was the last camera in the Pentamatic series of Yashica’s first ever 35mm SLR. We believe that the S model was first produced (by serial number) in April 1961. Approximately 3,200 units later, Yashica stopped producing the S in March 1962.

The Pentamatic S was sold in the US as we have a sales brochure (in English) that features the model S along with the Yashica Penta J and Yashica J-3 (Yashica’s first m42 mount bodies). We’ve never seen an advertisement for the model S in any of the major camera magazines of the period. We aren’t aware of any sales brochures in Japanese either for the model S and we’re not sure that it was available in Japan. No solid proof one way or another yet.

So with all of that said, the Yashica Pentamatic S was produced for an extremely short period of time in very limited quantities (about 3,200 total worldwide). That alone makes finding the original box for the model S quite a rare find. So here it is –


It’s also one of the few Yashica camera boxes that feature a photograph of the camera on the box.



Back of the box specs for the model S.

Another interesting item (to us) is the lens that’s pictured on the box. By serial number, it was made by Tomioka Optical for Yashica in October 1959 and it would have been first used on the original Pentamatic ’35’. The model S went back to using the original lens on its newest model – all part of the general confusion at Yashica during an extremely busy period in the history of the company.

If you have anything relating to the Yashica Pentamatic S, please feel free to share it with us. In addition to being Yashica researchers we’re buyers of almost anything relating to Yashica. Contact us here or at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for your visit! Chris ^.^

Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.


Canon Sure Shot Zoom S – S AF (1989)

Part of the “Modern Classics” series of our collection. This one is from mid 1993. One of the more sophisticated AF point and shoot (click) plastic fantastic 35mm cameras of the 1990s. There were two versions of this camera – this one, the Sure Shot Zoom S and the Sure Shot Caption Zoom (with removable remote control).


As released from the factory – still new in the box.

The zooming range covers 38-60mm. Other features include auto focus, auto film load, advance wind, auto flash and auto macro. Canon claims it has an improved autofocus control – ‘Evaluative Active System’  that looks at the entire frame and recognizes the main subject based on its distance to the camera (sounds pretty standard to me). Anyway they made a big deal about it in the owner’s manual.


The Canon lens is Spectra-coated and is constructed with 6 elements in 6 groups. I assume it’s glass.

Canon recommends using DX-coded film. The camera automatically sets ISO 50-3200. Non DX-coded film will set to ISO 100.


Well placed shutter release button and large LCD. The auto flash feature can be turned off. What I found surprising was that there was no “Red Eye” reduction system available. Probably too early for that.

The Canon Sure Shot Zoom S features a 3-zone metering, AE programmed system that focuses from about 60cm to infinity. It uses one 6V lithium battery (2CR5) which is still readily available (I just purchased one for $7 with free shipping).


Nice centered viewfinder that is bright and well marked. Super simple back with easy to find and use on-off button.


The TILT lever is pretty cool – it has two positions when you pull it out. When setting the camera down on a flat surface (like a table) for taking selfies, it tilts the camera slightly upward so as not to get the table or whatever in the pic.

The camera is large for a point and shoot – weighs in at 384 grams with the battery and compared to the 1980 model Canon A-1 35mm SLR, almost as large!


The Sure Shot is a large camera – it fits very nicely in my hands and feels solid. The buttons are all recessed so it does take a bit of finger olympics to push them all the way in. By the way, the A-1 with my FD 24mm lens weighs in at 934 grams!


As you hear us say all the time, if you want to collect modern film cameras from the 1980s and 1990s, the best way is if you can find a complete original set, new in the box. Why not if they’re still out there and available. They don’t make them anymore and some of these cameras are quite capable of outstanding images – some would spend crazy money on the more well known cameras for almost unnoticeable differences in the final image (especially since most people don’t enlarge and print images anymore) and scanned to a PC they’ll look just fine on a high quality monitor.

Pick up one of these Sure Shots and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with it.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W


Yashica Half 17 – Classic mid 1960s design

Many thanks to our friend and fellow blogger Peggy at Camera Go Camera for sending us this wonderful classic Yashica. It needs a little work on the slower shutter speeds but it’s super clean and a fun sized camera to boot. We look forward to running a roll through it soon.


Being a half frame 35mm camera means that you can get up to 72 exposures from a standard 36 exposure film cartridge!


One of the more unique and modern looking Yashica logos. We like it better than the western style font that Yashica used for years.


Certainly a nice camera to add any collection of 1960s 35mm cameras. It has such smooth lines and an exceptionally nice finish to the satin chrome.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W


Wish List Camera – Fuji Fotorama

Our camera wish list is quite extensive – over the years you get to see a bunch of cameras and of course, if you’re an ardent photographer and camera collector, they’ll be some cameras you desire.

We have no reason to want this Fuji other than it’s just so cool!

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First time we’ve seen the original box and a new unused FP-1.

The Fotorama (crazy cool name) is a rather large format instant film camera made by Fuji Photo Film Company. Released June 1987 –

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Beautiful set that was available for sale recently.

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Just a super cool looking big gun from Fuji!

The Fuji FP-1 Pro features a Fujinon 105mm, f/ 5.6 lens – 4 elements in 5 groups and a shutter that has B, 1 to 1/500 second. It uses FP-100 film and makes an image that is 89 x 118mm. The camera weighs 1,280g and sold for ¥ 69,800


The camera depicted here in this post is not ours. We’ve curated a group of images of beautiful cameras over the years. This nice set went for $1,000.00 – which in our humble opinion, was very fair given how few new in box cameras still exist.

Thanks for stopping by!


Nicca 3-S… Quality Rangefinder from 1955

A beautiful example of a mid 1950s 35mm rangefinder camera – made by Nicca Camera Company, Ltd.DSCF5405

Mated with a sharp Nippon Kogaku Nikkor f/ 2, 5cm lens.


Main shutter speeds of 1/25 to 1/500th of a second.


Added bonus on this Nicca – marked <E.P> for exempt purchase. Normally marked for purchases made at military facilities and duty free shops.




Nicca cameras were considered to be well made cameras during the 1950s. This example is at least 62 years old and the fit and finish is almost flawless. Nicca was acquired by Yashica in 1958 and the merger of the two companies helped Yashica to design and release their first 35mm single lens reflex camera in 1960 – the Yashica Pentamatic.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W


Original Pentamatic Accessories

Some of the original accessories that were available for the new Pentamatic…

When Yashica’s first single lens reflex (SLR) 35mm camera hit the world markets in the May-June 1960 time period, they were ready with a host of well designed accessories. From simple screw-in filters to extension tubes and the new bayonet mount lenses, Yashica had a nice selection to choose from. Here are just a few examples…

Pentamatic Right Angle Finder for low angle and close-up photography. This simple finder mounted securely to the camera's eyepiece and had adjustments for focus and could be rotated 90 degrees to the left for vertical copy work. The image is reversed so it does require some getting used to. Here it's mounted to my Pentamatic-S.

Pentamatic ‘Right Angle Finder’ for low angle and close-up photography. This simple finder mounted securely to the camera’s eyepiece and had adjustments for focus and could be rotated 90 degrees to the left for vertical copy work. The image is reversed so it does require some getting used to. Here it’s mounted to our Pentamatic-S.

A small collection of boxes gives some idea as to the diversity of the early accessories. Note the general theme of the design... each shows-off the "pentaprism" design of the camera. The right angle finder box appears to be from a slightly later design as it has a different look from the other two.

A small collection of boxes gives some idea as to the diversity of the early accessories. Note the general theme of the design… each shows off the pentaprism design of the camera. The right angle finder box appears to be from a slightly later design as it has a different look from the other two.

Pentamatic Extension Tubes mounted on my Model-S Pentamatic camera body and Auto-Yashinon 5.8 cm (58 mm) f/1.7 standard lens. The lens is super bright and is super heavy! Camera and lens weigh-in at 2 lbs 5 oz (1056 g)!

Pentamatic ‘Extension Tubes’ mounted on our Model-S Pentamatic camera body and Auto-Yashinon 5.8 cm (58 mm) f/1.7 standard lens. The lens is super bright and is super heavy! Camera and lens weigh-in at 2 lbs 5 oz (1056 g)!



Thanks for stopping by!


Early Yashica Pentamatic Brochure – US

Very early if not the earliest printed in the US sales brochure for the new Pentamatic.

We’re thinking the summer of 1960…

We haven’t found an earlier brochure that features the Pentamatic then this one – “Printed in the U.S.A.” on the back cover using the 234 Fifth Avenue, New York 1, N.Y. address. The cover is amazing in that other than Yashica’s name and an image of the camera, there’s no other writing. No “Pentamatic” – just an image of the camera. That was a first for Yashica as best as we can tell.

The first magazine advertisement was June 1960 in the US so we don’t believe this brochure was out before that. The only problem with our thinking is that most of the other cameras featured inside this brochure are 1959 model cameras and in some cases late 1958. There could even be a few that came out in early 1960. The two pages we’ve scanned (see below) contain an interesting wealth of info on the features and accessories for the Pentamatic. Of note, the lens serial number (No. 59100036) puts that lens to be one of the first lenses Tomioka made for Yashica with the new Pentamatic exclusive bayonet mount – 59 = 1959, 10 = October, 0036 = the 36th made in the production run.

We know from our research that the October 1959 date for the lens is 2 full months early from the first Pentamatic bodies (December 1960). Our best guess is that Tomioka Optical (the maker of the lens) needed to start production of the standard lens early in order to meet the demand for the camera body itself. No proof exists yet but it’s the best decoding of the lens serial number we can come up.

Page 1 provides a wealth of info for Yashica's first 35mm SLR.

Page 1 provides a wealth of info for Yashica’s first 35mm SLR.


Page 2 shows (with prices) a nice selection of accessories for the Pentamatic. It appears that at the time of this brochure that there were 5 lenses available in the Pentamatic bayonet mount.






Yashica Pentamatic II at a recent auction.

If you’ve been following our blog about the Yashica Pentamatic II, then you know that it had one of the shorter production runs of any 35mm Yashica SLR camera. Released in September of 1960 – only a few months after the original Pentamatic went on sale in May of 1960, the model II was replaced by the Pentamatic S by January 1961.

So few of these come up at auction that’s it difficult for a collector to find a good example of one to bid on. This Pentamatic II (pictured below), just sold on an online auction for ¥8,500 with fairly robust bidding activity. While that’s not an extremely high final sales figure, it was rather high in our opinion for a camera that may not be functional with a lens that may have some issues (fungus, mold). Having said that, given just how rare the Pentamatic II is, it is certainly undervalued by some collectors. The camera set looks to be in good condition overall – no major issues seen with the body and it looks complete.



The serial number (NO. 96001891) would indicate that this body was made in September 1960, and that it was number 1,891 in the production run. For one month that is actually a high amount produced compared to the monthly totals of the original Pentamatic. We will point out that the only change that we’ve been able to find between the two models is that the model II uses a different standard lens – 5.8cm, f/ 1.7 Auto-Yashinon vice the original’s 5.5cm, f/ 1.8 A-Y lens.

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So there you have it – a Pentamatic II with the correct lens, strap and a genuine Yashica filter sold for around $80. You should expect to pay in the vicinity of $100 for a clean version with certified working shutter.

Thanks for your visit and as always, happy hunting!


Yashica “J” Series of 35mm SLRs – 1960s

The Yashica ‘J’ series of 35mm SLR film cameras. Top body is the J-7, next is the J-4, then the J-5 and finally the first one in the series the J-3. These were heavyweight cameras in their day…the best (for the most part) that Yashica produced from their factory in Nagano Prefecture (Shimosuwa).


Produced in 1962 to around 1967 to early 1968. The black body J-3 was Yashica’s first 35mm SLR ‘Pro Black’ camera. They were released in the following order… J-3, J-5, J-4 and J-7. These cameras feature lots of brass and glass. They also represent Yashica’s first SLRs with built-in exposure meters. TTL exposure metering was just around the corner for Yashica after the release of the J-7 in the form of the TL Super.



The J-5 was super popular in the mid 1960s.


Another tough one in the series to find complete and in mint condition.


One of the harder ones in the series to find in mint condition.


A J-3 all set for just about anything.

Thanks for your visit.