the Ugly Duckling

It isn’t a great way to start off a post about one of your cameras, but it’s appropriate. Especially a camera that I’ve been chasing for a long time and had an interest in since the late 1970s. My first 35mm SLR was a Yashica TL Electro X (purchased new in 1972) with an Auto Yashinon 50mm f1.7 M42 lens (screw mount). I loved that camera but wasn’t a fan of having to screw-in the lenses whenever I wanted to change focal lengths. I saw other photographers quickly attach and detach their lenses quickly (Canon, Nikon) and wanted a new camera that could do the same. But Yashica in 1977 wasn’t sexy enough sitting alongside the other SLRs for sale in the Navy Exchange store in Yokosuka, Japan. The Canon, Nikon, and Minolta reps were better prepared than the Yashica guy to present their products to cash flush Sailors looking to spend their hard earned dollars on new cameras, stereos, and watches. I vaguely remember looking at the then still new Yashica-Contax RTS in the Exchange catalog but wasn’t captured by its specs or looks. The Yashica FR and FR I versions didn’t capture my attention either. By this time I only wanted to get my hands of the Canon F-1 and Canon FD lenses not to mention all of the goodies you could add on to the F-1 (motor drives, a winder, finders, data backs…). So when I got to the store I didn’t even pick up the RTS.

Fast forward to the present and that RTS I didn’t think of much way back then I just purchased 44 years later. I want to see if the Contax RTS is a worthy camera that I missed out on or did I make the right choice. I still own that F-1 I purchased in 1978 and it’s held up beautifully over the years and followed me around the world.

Almost all present day RTS bodies share a common trait – peeling leatherette (or whatever that stuff was). A quick look at the online selling sites will show that it’s a rare camera that has complete original coverings and if it does look good and well attached then there’s a good likelihood it’s been replaced by aftermarket skins (I have some ordered).

My new to me RTS peeling skins and all. Most importantly, it works. Being an all electronic camera if something goes wrong it’s a paperweight. It uses the still easy to find A544 6V alkaline battery to power everything.
Not only does the leatherette peel away from the metal body but it dries out and shrinks a bit too which makes it nearly impossible to simply dab some glue behind the upturned edges.
It was super easy to peel away the covering on the film door – my guess is that it’s been reattached at some point before with contact adhesive. I cleaned any residual adhesive from the camera with isopropyl alcohol (70%) and some Q-tips and a rag.

Stay with me on this series of posts as I bring this ugly duckling back to life (appearance wise) and put it through some actual film tests. But first, I need to find a lens for it that won’t break the bank. The Carl Zeiss lenses designed to compliment this model are way over my paygrade so I’ll turn to the less expensive and maybe equally competent Yashica ML lenses in the C/Y mount. I have a sharp ML 50mm f1.7 on the way. BTW, RTS stands for Real Time System.

What the covering is supposed to look like.

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

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, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Buy Me A Coffee

Chasing Classic Cameras 2020

2020 was a pretty dynamic year as far as our camera collection was concerned. Lots of outgoing cameras and lenses and a few (well more than a few) additions. Here’s my top 6 new members of the hoard.

An eclectic mix of cameras presented in no particular order.

Canon EOS-1N RS. The Superman of Canon’s 35mm SLR film cameras. This one is from about 1998. The high-speed motor drive is built-in and at its fastest its capable of shooting 10 fps! Here it has a gorgeous Canon EF AF 50mm f1.4 USM lens mounted.
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa from 1951 is a 35mm interchangeable lens rangefinder film camera. A fully operational Contax IIIa from early 1951. Here it’s pictured with the exposure meter flap in the closed position. The Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/1.5 50mm lens is in excellent condition as is the camera. Even the exposure meter is working!
The last in the long line of Leica L39 (LSM) interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras. This is the famous Leica IIIg with the Leicavit winder attached. The lens is a wonderful and sharp Ernst Leitz Summaron f3.5 35mm wide-angle lens.
I didn’t need to add this full-frame monster to my collection but when the opportunity came along to own it I couldn’t pass. At 36 MP it will laser etch your eyes with it’s resolution. Here it’s got a sharp AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens. The only downside to this camera is no built-in image stabilization so you need a tripod (at least I do) for any shot with a lens over 135mm.
My favorite Yashica hands down. This classic 35mm SLR film camera is in mint condition and came with its original box. From May 1970.
Yashica-Nicca YF – August 1959. Mated with a sharp Yashinon f1.8 5cm lens. This Yashica is a 35mm interchangeable lens film camera that uses L39 (LSM) lenses.

Believe it or not but there’s a few more not listed here. I’ll blog about those soon. There were many more outgoing cameras in our collection in 2020 which is always a good thing. You can’t keep them all.

Thanks for stopping by and a big thanks to all of my new followers that joined the blog in 2020. Also a very big thanks to all of my followers since day one back in 2015. I couldn’t have ever imagined over 700 followers in my wildest dreams. Thanks!!! – Chris

Be sure to stop by my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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 © 2015-2021 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

New in the Shop – Amazing Cameras, Awesome Values!

Hi all!

We’ve added some really unique and hard to find cameras in our camera shop this week and we’re offering for the first time ever a 15% discount on almost everything in the shop – some with free shipping too! Visit the shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! – 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

New in the Shop – rare photogear!

Hi all! We hope your week is going well and that you and your family are staying safe. We’ve been very busy cataloging and testing a rather large collection of cameras, lenses, and cool bits and bobs that we’ve recently acquired from a local family. Some of these cameras have been in their family for over 100 years!

Here’s a small sample of some of the items we have in our camera shop right now at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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As with everything we sell in our online shop, we test, clean, inspect each and every piece before describing and depicting it accurately in our listings – always lots of clear, detailed, and well-lighted images to make it easier for you to feel comfortable with your purchase. We can ship almost worldwide through our Etsy partnership and we accept most forms of payment. See something you like and have a few questions? Contact us at ccphotographyai@gmail.com. If there’s something you’ve been looking for we may have it in our collection. Let us know what it is and we’ll be glad to share it with you.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! – Chris & Carol

http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

 

New in the Shop – neat stuff!

Hello all… I hope your day and weekend are going well. Here are some new items I’ve added to my Etsy shop this week. My shop can be visited at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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Everything is discounted at least 10% and many come with free USA shipping. I can mail almost anything worldwide and if there’s something that you’ve been looking for I just may have it. You can email me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

Have a safe and happy day and 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Zeiss Ikon Contax IIa – 1954

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Zeiss Ikon Contax brochure from 1954.

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35mm rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses. Considered by many to be better than a Leica from the same time period.

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The Contax IIa and IIIa from the early 1950s. If you run across one in your travels definitely pick it up – you’ll be very pleased. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit my camera shop hosted by Etsy 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

SUNday Shopping

Hello all! Here are some neat items that I’ve added to my online Etsy Shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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Everything in my shop is at a 10% discount with many items shipping for free and I offer nearly worldwide shipping. Is there something on your wish list? Send me a message with what you’re looking for as I may have it in my collection.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day! – 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

New In the Shop – 11.8.2019

Hello all! Lots of new items have been added to my camera shop this week which can be visited at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – everything is on sale and some come with FREE USA SHIPPING!

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Thanks for stopping by and feel free to check out my entire inventory at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – Thanks, 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.

New In the Shop – 10.17.19

Lots of new items in the shop this week and some old favorites. As always, my camera shop can be found 24/7 at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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My shop can be found at http://www.ccstudio2380.com and if there’s something specific that you’re looking for let me know what it is by dropping me a line at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

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Everything is on sale at 10% off plus there’s free shipping on some items too! Most everything that’s in my shop is kinda rare and in mint new condition. Check back often as I continue to add cameras and gear from my personal collection.

Thanks, 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.

New In the Shop – 9.20.2019

Happy Friday everyone! Some interesting items have hit the shelves in the shop this week at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Now everything’s 10% off! Special sale through the end of September!

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Visit http://www.ccstudio2380.com and see 10% savings on everything!

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There’s many more items listed in my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – some with free USA shipping!

If you have a question about something or if you’d like a shipping quote please contact me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

Thanks – Chris