Mamiya C33 TLR – 1969

1969 was a great year, I went on my first date, we landed on the moon, the NY Mets won their first World Series and this wonderful camera from Mamiya was made.

Mamiya C33 twin-lens reflex camera with Mamiya-Sekor f3.5 105mm lens.

As it turns out, the little gold two-letter round stickers on most Mamiya cameras and lenses are date codes. Apparently not much can be gained by looking at Mamiya’s serial numbers but the date code stickers will tell the year and month according to Bill Rogers who is a Mamiya repair technician. His post about the stickers can be found at https://mamiyarepair.com/mamiya-production-date-codes/ – awesome info!

If you own Mamiya equipment (beyond their 35mm cameras and lenses) the stickers should be on almost all lenses and camera bodies (unless they’ve fallen off or were removed). You can just barely see the sticker on the side of the top lens in the picture above. In my case, the sticker is ‘IE’ which decodes to 1969 May. The body date sticker will be in the film chamber. Mine is ‘IF’ which decodes to 1969 May. If you read Bill Rogers’ site you’ll discover the secret to dating your photo gear. Thanks for stopping by today and be sure to follow me on Instagram at @ccphotographyai – Chris

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, is this blog’s property and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2022 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Yashica macro photography gear in the 1960s

Yashica’s first pro-black 35mm SLR.

Yashica J-3 with Yashica extension tubes and right-angle finder (1962).
Auto Yashinon f2 5cm lens.
A few years later here’s a gorgeous Macro Yashinon f2.8 60mm Tomioka lens set (1964).

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

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, is this blog’s property and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2022 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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Fuji K-28

Fujifilm Fuji “Construction” camera.

Sealed against moisture and dirt and features a sharp 28mm Fujinon lens.

Part of the heavy-duty series of 35mm cameras from Fujifilm.

Released in 1991.

If you can find one of these unique cameras from Fujifilm by all means get it. It’s a fun little camera to “explore” with its bank vault-like construction. Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, is this blog’s property 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
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Revisiting a classic – Yashica Flex model S

Yashica Flex Model S. Maybe from 1955 or early 1956. First Yashica TLR with built-in exposure meter. Made by Yashima Kogaku Seiki Co., Ltd. Tokyo, Japan, which later became Yashica. The leather case is in excellent condition given its age. The camera is a gem and is a joy to play with.

A close cousin, the Yashicaflex AS-II (below).

This lovely camera dates from around 1954.
The Dark Knight

Yashima Flex twin-lens reflex camera from the talented craftspeople of Yashima Kogaku Seiki Co., Ltd.

Thanks for stopping by and have a terrific day! – Chris

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, is this blog’s property 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.

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Yashica 635 – Yashica’s dual format camera

In my opinion, Yashica was the hands down leader in producing twin-lens reflex cameras starting in the early 1950s right up until the mid 1980s when the last TLR rolled off the assembly lines. In between there were some very important milestones achieved by Yashica. One of which is the Yashica 635. My good friend Paul Sokk has an excellent site dedicated to everything you’d ever want to know about Yashica so I’d invite you to visit his 635 pages at http://www.yashicatlr.com/66ModelsPage6.html#yashica635

Yashica 635 Instruction Booklet cover.
Yashica 635 Instruction Booklet back cover.
Yashica’s date code.

One way to figure out when Yashica may have printed an instruction booklet is by the date code in this case printed on the lower left on the back cover. Not all instruction booklets released by Yashica had an obvious date code but in my experience quite a few did especially from the mid-1960s onward. In this example the 691 D 5Y 16 contains the date. I have high confidence that the 691 indicates the year and month 1969 January.

In this example, the serial number begins with 9 and the date code is 691 from the cover pictured above.

Here are a couple of additional examples (below).

In the example above, 673 is simply decodes to 1967 March which the hand written serial number 7041480 bears out. The first digit 7 is the year that camera was made. Typically cameras sat around in camera shops or distributer’s warehouses for a while before they were sold. This camera wasn’t sold until January 1969. TLRs were not as popular by the late 1960s as the rise in popularity of the 35mm SLR cut into sales in a big way. I’m sure this camera was heavily discounted by the time it sold.

Here is an example from September 1966.

So pull out your Yashica Instruction Booklets and have a go at “dating” your camera. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn. Feel free to contact me here for a go at your camera and instruction booklet. BTW, Canon was fantastic at printing easy to decode dates on their booklets and in their cameras, lenses, and accessories.

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
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Canon Model 7s Instruction Book – 1966

I’ve decided that I’m unlikely to acquire the Canon Model 7s which was an upgrade to the original Canon 7 (1961-1964). I have ‘lots’ of 35mm rangefinders in my classic camera collection now and adding another would only confirm my diagnosis of ‘GAS’. So, I’d like to pass along this rather hard to find instruction booklet for the 7s.

The Canon 7s was produced between 1965-1968.

My instruction book is in great condition with no missing pages, no writing, and the staples are tight and rust free. There’s some marks on the covers (see pics) and some minor wrinkles here and there but the book overall is solid and would make a nice addition in a collection.

My booklet pictured here was printed in April 1966.
The inside front cover to the 7s instructions. The biggest change from the first Model 7 was the addition of a CdS exposure meter replacing the original selenium cell meter on the 7.

The booklet is available in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Thanks for stopping by and be safe.

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

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.

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wordless wednesday

Yashica Pentamatic II – The Phantom

The Yashica Pentamatic II is without a doubt the hardest camera to find in any condition in Yashica’s lineup. If you do find one, buy it at least for its standard lens. You won’t be disappointed.

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

DSCF7800 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.

DSCF7802

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…

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Yashica’s last TLR – Chasing a True Classic!

Yashica’s (Kyocera by this point) last TLR model. This one was part of the last run of the model before production shut down in 1986. Yashica (originally named Yashima) started off in 1953 with the obscure Pigeonflex TLR followed by the Yashima Flex and then continued to build TLRs way longer than the market could bear (or need). The good news is that the 124G can be found today in great quantities and cameras as “young” as 35 years-old.
It’s a very affordable way to get into medium format photography and in the case of this model, be able to use both 120 and 220 roll film giving you either 12 or 24 exposures.

After about 33 years of making TLRs, this was Yashica’s best.
A beauty – here’s what a modern TLR looked like back in 1985.
The design of the last box that held the 124G (1985-1986).
This gorgeous camera was the first to carry the company name – Yashica Flex made in 1954.

For contrast, compare the Yashima Flex to the Yashica Mat 124G. Their excellent build quality remained throughout the decades. If you’re chasing one of these for your collection you’re in luck because Yashica made a bunch of 124Gs and there’s a bunch still out there. Expect to pay a premium for mint examples but be careful, they’re still older cameras and a host of bad things can happen to them from lack of use and improper storage. Ask lots of questions of the seller if you’re buying online and look for sellers with excellent reputations for selling quality classic and vintage cameras. BTW, not too many of the original Yashima Flex cameras will look like my example pictured above. I was so very lucky to buy mine from the original owner in Japan who obviously kept it in pristine condition both physically and mechanically.

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
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Chasing Classic Cameras – Yashica TL Electro X 1973 Hong Kong Model

We enjoy collecting and sharing our Yashica cameras with our readers, especially if they tend to be a little hard to find and in such outstanding condition. I say this is hard to find just because not many were made at Yashica’s new factory in Hong Kong during 1973. As the saying goes, this was assembled in Hong Kong from parts made in Japan.

There’s really no difference between the models assembled in Hong Kong from the ones made in Japan that we’ve been able to detect. In our experience the fit and finish is the same with no known issues particular to the HK model. In fact, the HK models that we’ve owned seem to be in excellent condition overall with exceptionally nice satin chrome surfaces that hold up well over the years.

Typically ‘JAPAN’ would be on the top plate next to the serial number but on these models ‘HONG KONG’ is on the bottom.
The serial number is easy to decode. 3 = 1973, 10 = Oct, 01219 = the number built up to this point for that month.

The lens on this beauty is a fast and sharp Auto Yashinon DS-M 50mm f1.4 made for Yashica by the recently acquired Tomioka Optical. All Yashica camera bodies use M42 screw mount lenses up to the C/Y mount cameras made much later.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by my 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 © 2015-2021 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.