Kamakura, Japan 1977

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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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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Rare State of the Union images of Reagan by Eastman Kodak – 1987

Until I was asked to sell these framed images by a client I never realized just how uncommon (rare?) pictures of the State of the Union were. Google it and you’ll find virtually nothing. They’ll be some screen grabs from C-Span and a stray shot here and there but these types of images (seen below) are just not there.

From a historical point of view, President Reagan addressing the 100th Joint Session of Congress was pretty significant as it marked a major milestone in our country’s history and the history of our style of government.

Vice-President George Bush (left) and Speaker of the House Jim Wright sit behind Reagan.

Some background as it was passed on to me by my client. These images were photographed by professional Kodak photographers who were given exclusive access to document the address to Congress on that historic night. The Kodak photogs worked out of the Georgetown offices of Kodak during the 1980s. Only a few of these special edition images were ever produced (I believe only six) and none were released to the public or press. This special set was presented to and owned by a now-retired Kodak executive that worked at the White House during the Reagan and Bush administrations. These are original color prints made from the negatives as I understand it, the negatives were given to the White House historian.

If you’d like to own this framed 26 x 22 inch pop on over to my Etsy camera shop and I’ll put something together for you.

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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1950s Kodak Verichrome Safety Film

Kodak Verichrome Safety Film was produced between 1931-1956 when it was replaced by Verichrome Pan. It’s a orthochromatic black and white negative film. This rather rare unopened “Duo-Pak” expired in January 1957 which means it was probably made around two years prior.

Verichrome was made in 116, 120, 616, and 620 formats.

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.

Friday Fotos! – Testing my Nikkor f/2 85mm portrait lens

My recently acquired classic lens from Nippon Kogaku Japan – Nikkor-P C f/2 85mm (8.5cm) LTM / L39

Using my Fotodiox M39-FX adapter on my Fujifilm X-A10 mirrorless digital camera. What better test than to shoot a portrait.

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f/11

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f/2

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f/2

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f/11 with indoor lighting.

I’m very happy with its performance across the spectrum. For a nearly 70-year-old lens pretty impressive. BTW, the lens stops down to f/32!

Thanks for stopping by – have a beautiful day! – Chris

Be sure to visit my camera shop hosted by Etsy at 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.

Minolta SR-T 201 35mm SLR

One of the workhorses of the mid to late 1970s – the Minolta SR-T 201 is built like a tank (and weighs just slightly less) and its design shouts basic but functional. A perfect camera for a beginning film photographer.

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Natural light from a north-facing window softened the look of the vintage chrome.

The Minolta SRT 201 was in production between 1975 and 1981 which is a pretty long run for such a basic camera. The competition at that time was fierce between Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and even Yashica for solid SLRs that wouldn’t break the bank. Minolta had a good reputation for delivering value and its Rokkor lenses (this one takes the MD mount) in a wide range of focal lengths. maximum apertures, and budgets. Excellent quality used Rokkor lenses that would fit this camera are plentiful in online auction sites.

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It comes in a black and white version too!

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A simple top plate with easy to adjust controls.

So why is this Minolta perfect for a first-time film shooter? It’s pretty much as manual as you can get – the button type battery powers the built-in TTL (thru-the-lens) exposure meter but the shutter is completely mechanical with speeds from ‘B’ (bulb) to 1/1000th of a second. If you choose to meter with a phone app or hand-held exposure meter then you don’t even need the battery. The viewfinder is bright and it displays the selected shutter speed across the bottom and a match needle indicator along the right side.

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Thanks for stopping by and be sure to pop on over to my camera shop to see what I’ve got in stock. Visit 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.

Camera matchmaker – Canon Model 7

A rather odd title for an odd post about cameras. Let me explain. Recently I purchased a rather large collection of camera manuals, user guides, sales brochures and whatnot from a seller in Japan. Mixed in with all the stuff that I wanted and knew about was some surprising finds.

Here are the original warranty-registration papers that would have been included with a Canon Model 7 (or simply the Canon 7) 35mm rangefinder camera that was produced between 1961 and 1964. The paperwork contains the camera and lens serial numbers as they were recorded by the factory.

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A close-up of the registration card (below) shows the body and lens serial numbers.

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Body number 806188 and the lens’ serial number 38115

The Canon 7 was produced in rather large quantities and it was considered a fairly capable camera especially with the 50mm f/1.2 lens attached. An impressive f/0.95 lens was also available. As I understand it, production started at 800001 or 800000 – the camera pictured in the instruction booklet was numbered 800022 (see below).

Canon 7 SN close

So the papers that I have are from an early production model (6,188) which I would guess is from late 1961.

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All of the papers are in excellent vintage condition and show very nicely. Just some slight yellowing with the passage of time.

The Matchmaker Part – If you own this camera or lens – then heck, contact me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com and we’ll get the two of them back together. If you own a Canon 7 and would like to add these papers with your camera or to your collection then head on over to my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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
All rights reserved.

Yashica 35 – Yashima’s first 35mm camera!

Yashima Optical Industries Company, Limited (Yashima) released their first 35mm rangefinder camera in April 1958. The camera was in development for at least a year (no proof of that but it seems reasonable to assume that an established TLR camera maker didn’t just pull this camera out of thin air). It could have been developed totally in-house as there is only speculation that Yashima received outside assistance in its development.

Here’s my earliest example of this historic camera. Note that the lens is marked “Yasinon” vice “Yashinon”. Yashima released at least two months of cameras (April and May 1958) with those markings before changing to what we now know as Yashinon.

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My recently acquired Yashica 35 with 60 or more years of dirt! Straight from an online seller in Japan. Note the unfamiliar “Yasinon” lens. These super early examples are rather hard to find since there were only two months of production.

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The good news is that it appears the camera lived most of its life in its leather case so there’s no damage to the surfaces of the body and lens. The bad news about living in a leather case is that it tends to support the growth of mold and fungus on the glass elements of the lens and in the rangefinder.

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The dirt is mostly made up of dust and fibers from the felt lining of the leather case and not soot and finger grime – which is a good thing. Sometimes this type of dirt actually keeps the surfaces protected from metal corrosion as long as it’s been stored in a dry environment.

Yashica 35 Japan

What it looked like on the Japanese auction site.

After some initial cleaning of the exterior (see below) with a bunch of Q-tips and some Windex, the camera is looking a whole lot better.

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I use Q-tips and a bit of Windex to gently clean the surfaces of the camera. The Windex leaves no residue and doesn’t harm the leatherette, metal or glass (I’ve safely used that for years). I use the super soft toothbrush to gently clean those hard to reach crevices and to polish the surfaces to a nice sheen.

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Looking sharp but not perfect. If I want a totally clean and usable camera I’ll have to remove the top plate and clean the rangefinder and viewfinder elements. The rangefinder is accurate and focus is easy to obtain but it’s just a little dim inside. If you look closely at the center of the lens you will see the patch of fungus. Unfortunately, that is not cleanable.

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The serial number, No. 843945, decodes to 8 = 1958, 4 = April, 3945 is the production sequence number 3,945 since production began in April.

This is one of the earliest examples of this fine camera having been built sometime in April 1958. Yashima used quality materials and production techniques as the fit and feel of the camera are of a much more expensive camera.

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Earliest sales brochure for the Yashica 35. The serial number of the camera pictured is just a bit earlier than my new camera. Here it’s No. 843002 and mine is No. 843945.

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Same brochure as pictured above. The f1.9 lens model is on the left. The serial number on the lens is No. 18275. Mine is No. 20254.

If you look closely, the lens is described as a Yashinon F1.9 even though the lens says Yasinon. Yashima was in the process of changing over or was it them catching a mistake?

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BTW, 17,000 JPY was about $47 USD in April 1958

By the way, it’s generally believed that these two lenses were made for Yashima by Tomioka Optical. Yashima did have a relationship with Zunow Optical by there’s no proof that these lenses are from Zunow.

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
All rights reserved.

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

In case you missed it, here’s another look at our post about the “J” Series from Yashica.

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

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).

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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.

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16358708177_7df772c4d4_o The J-5 was super popular in the mid 1960s.

15954848841_c16d47ab60_o Another tough one in the series to find complete and in mint condition.

17389471134_d7a33a381e_o One…

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