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.

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

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
All rights reserved.

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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.

Chasing Classic Cameras – Canon EOS Rebel G

A very simple 35mm SLR camera with outstanding features that hold up well even today. The EOS Rebel G was released in late 1996 featuring the latest in Canon’s autofocus and auto exposure technologies. The Cano EOS cameras also used Canon’s well respected EF family of lenses which could be switched to manual focus in an instant. I’ve always found these cameras to provide excellent results without the crazy weight of a more traditional SLR. I also have the Canon EOS Rebel 2000 that immediately followed the Rebel G in late 1999.

I believe that the Canon EOS Rebel G and EOS Rebel 2000 are underrated cameras in today’s marketplace. If you can find one-owner, gently used cameras and matching lenses they make great 35mm film cameras that are perfect for the beginner and the seasoned film photographer.

Here’s an interesting link from Canon – https://global.canon/en/c-museum/product/film190.html

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.

Canon’s Technological Wonder EOS-1N RS

Back in late 1994 Canon released the newest member of their EOS 35mm SLR film camera family, the EOS-1N. This hyper-talented camera series would be the last 35mm film cameras made by Canon on the dawn of the digital age.

The motor drive in the RS was non-removable and was capable of up to 10fps in the high-speed continuous mode!!
Scan from the Canon EOS-1N sales brochure for the RS – 1994
Scan of the instruction manual – Japanese Edition 1995
Pictured with its standard lens – Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM
Fast lens, fast camera.

Do I need the high-speed function of a 35mm SLR film camera that goes through film like it’s a movie camera? Heck no, but it’s a blast owning it (kinda like a Corvette). You don’t need it but it’s fun to drive.

As the weather turns more favorable for out and about shooting I hope to take this marvel for a spin around town (pandemic appropriate of course).

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

High-Speed Film Eaters from Canon

The original Canon F-1 35mm SLR film camera was capable of up to 3.5 frames per second (fps) when mated with the Canon Motor Drive MF (shown below left). My F-1 is from 1978 and at that time I didn’t purchase the motor drive. The drive was added within the last 5 or so years. The Canon EOS-1N RS (lower right) is the latest addition to my Canon collection and although I haven’t run a roll of film through it yet I have no reason to doubt that it’s fully operational.

The motor drive on the F-1 is removable thereby saving the extra weight of carrying it around when its not needed. The motor drive on the EOS-1N RS is built-in so there’s no option to save a bit of weight. The EOS weighs in at 1,476 grams which is 3 lbs 4 oz with batteries installed (8 AA) but without film and without a lens.
The Canon EOS-1N RS in all its glory. With its fixed, semi-transparent pellicle mirror the RS is capable of shooting film at up to 10 fps! A fun way to eat through a roll of 36 exposures in under 4 seconds!

Since the pellicle mirror doesn’t move when shooting the 10 fps with quick and accurate autofocus and auto exposure can be achieved. I can’t imagine ever holding the shutter button down to eat up 10 exposures in a second but who knows, it’s nice to think that I’ll someday use it if needed.

The two cameras are about the same width and height but they differ greatly in bulk.

I’m still up in the air as to which EF AF lens I want to get. I do know that as I’ve aged my ability to hold a steady shot has diminished so the lens will have to have image stabilization.

Canon’s EF 24–105mm f/3.5–5.6 IS STM lens is at the top of my wishlist as it falls within what most people would call the normal range for 35mm photography.

$599.99 new. I’ll have to save up a bit to get this one.

Thanks for stopping by. I would recommend looking at the Canon EOS-1N RS or Canon EOS-1V which is a bit newer ( I think 2000). I would say that these cameras represent the best (most sophisticated) film cameras that Canon made just before going digital. The good news is that the EOS-1N RS is not all that expensive via online auction sites, in fact it’s quite a bit less expensive than the EOS-1V which in some cases goes for double the cost of the RS. Have a great day and if you own this camera please drop me a comment about what your impression with the camera has been. – 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

No Love Fuji? The Discovery 90 Date

This wonderful Fuji deserves another look.

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

The plastic fantastic wonders of the 1980s and 1990s generally receive no love – especially looking back on them with our digitized eyeballs in 2017. These overlooked (even when new for the most part) cameras were the bridge cameras for many photographers that were moving away from their bulky SLRs from the 1970s and looking for something easy, carefree and light to take with them on short outings and family get togethers. The 35mm format was the clear winner in the format wars, now manufacturers wanted think-free 35s that were as easy to use as falling outta bed (?).

DSCF5081

This Fuji Discovery 90 Date was introduced in May 1993 to an already crowded plastic 35mm marketplace. So how to stand out? Drop-in loading, auto focus, auto exposure auto rewind and auto wind was a good start. A big bright viewfinder centered over the lens – and macro capability (23 1/2…

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