Contax RTS by Fujifilm X-A10

I haven’t used my Fujifilm X-A10 mirrorless camera in a bit so tonight I thought I would dust it off (only an expression as I keep my gear clean) and try some new settings. The lens is a Super EBC XC 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OIS II model which I believe is considered a kit lens. I did buy the body and lens separate though. It’s about the most inexpensive way to experience the Fujifilm X Series without breaking the bank. You can check it out in greater detail here.

My subject of the day is my recently acquired Contax RTS with it’s sexy new leather half-case from TP Original, color is “volcano”.

PROVIA film simulation mode, shallow depth of field, 5600K studio lighting.
Shallow depth of field (again) focused on the from of the Yashica lens. Black & White film simulation mode, 5600K studio lighting.

I use the Fujifilm mostly for testing vintage lenses by using the appropriate adapters to mount the lens to the mirrorless camera body.

Here’s my Canon FD 28mm f3.5 lens mounted to the Fujifilm X-A10 using an adapter from Fotodiox.

Since I take lots of images for my listings in my camera shop I believe I’ll go back to using this camera and take a break from the camera I normally use. (Fujifilm FinePix S9900W)

Final image. This time I focused on the CONTAX logo and the shallow depth of field throws off the focus on the front of the lens and the RTS. Maybe only the “TAX” is in true focus.

If you’re looking for a simple and potentially inexpensive mirrorless body than I highly recommend this camera from Fujifilm.

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

Studio Fun – A couple of first’s from Yashica

On the left, the Yashica ’35’ released in 1958 was Yashica’s first 35mm rangefinder (fixed lens) camera and on the right the Pentamatic ’35’ which was Yashica’s first 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. The Pentamatic was designed in 1959 and released by the Spring of 1960. Up to this point Yashica was know for building high-quality value priced twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras. These two handsome examples are proudly displayed in my collection. The good news if you’re chasing these classics are that the rangefinder model is readily available online with many excellent examples for sale. The Pentamatic is not hard to find but chasing down a solid working model is a bit harder.

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

Yashica’s first 35mm camera – 1958

63 years of dirt. Here’s the before image of my recently acquired Yashica 35 by Yashima. It was made in April 1958 which makes it one of the earliest known examples of this historic camera. Sharp eyed viewers will also notice that the lens says Yasinon vice the name that was eventually used, Yashinon.

Nice and clean now. This one was assembled in April 1958 at Yashima’s Shimosuwa factory on the shores of Lake Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

This one features the Yasinon (vice Yashinon) f/1.9 lens. It’s one of the earliest known examples still in the wild.
Earliest known advertisement.

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

Canon S.L.R. Series Brochure – Japan 1979

I wanted to share this gorgeous sales brochure from Canon dated 11/79. The cover (above) is one of the best images that I’ve seen on a Canon brochure from that period. Amazing shot! Awesome cameras and lenses.

The back cover with a nice list with prices of available Canon FD lenses.
The Canon F-1 and available accessories with prices.

I purchased this brochure directly from a collector in Japan. I hadn’t seen this brochure in an English version previously so I was happy to add it to my collection. Missing is the AE-1 Program and AT-1 as well as any of the cameras in the new T Series.

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

My first post…

First Look!

CHRIS AND CAROL

The exciting first look (in print) of the Pentamatic…

First official appearance of the Pentamatic occurs in the May 1960 issue of Modern Photography magazine. In the June 1960 issues of Modern PhotographyU. S. Camera and Popular Photography, the first full-page ads appeared for the Pentamatic ’35’ reflex camera. The actual release date in the United States has almost always been considered by many to be March of 1960.

As of yet, I haven’t found evidence in print to support the March date. I do know that the Pentamatic was shown at the 36th annual ‘Master Photo DeaIers & Finishers Association’ trade show (MPDFA) held in St. Louis from March 21-25, 1960. I don’t know if the Pentamatic was released in Japan at an earlier date. From the progression of the serial numbers, by March 1960, about 1,500 cameras had been produced since production began in December 1959 at the Yashica Suwa factory. I doubt that there were enough cameras by March to support any widespread release in Japan or in Asia at that time. By June 1960, about 6,000 cameras had been built. There may have been enough to ship to the world markets starting in April and May. At their peak of production (summer 1960), it looks like Yashica was rolling out about 1,200 to 1,400 cameras each month.

Have a “Camera Holiday” in Japan. May 1960 magazine ad.

Part two of the “Camera Holiday” in Japan promotion. Very nice mention of Yashica’s factory in Suwa and the wonders of Japan!

Yashica provided this first ever look at their new Pentamatic SLR at the March 1960 MPDFA trade show in St. Louis.

First published look at the new Pentamatic from Yashica. May 1960

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

Minolta Products Catalog – 1957

Wonderful cover artwork.
Newest models as of 1957.
Minolta A-2 that I briefly owned.

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 Sales Brochures

In addition to chasing after classic cameras I enjoy chasing down vintage sales brochures as they can be a great source of detailed information direct from the manufacturer. Often times it’s the only avenue for discovering which accessory goes with which camera. Here’s a great Canon brochure from Japan dated 05/1980 (PUB. CJ01 – 022).

Actually Canon refers to this as a catalog.

Although I have this same information in other brochures and catalogs they’re scattered around in different albums so it’s nice to have them all here in one place. Since this catalog was released in May of 1980, some early and discontinued accessories are not shown. Also missing from this publication is the Canon AE1-Program and the AT-1 and it predates the release of the T Series (T50, T70). I’ll scan and post some additional pages over the next few days. Stay tuned!

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

Contax RTS Data Back

I like collecting data backs for my 1970s 35mm SLR cameras because they were such a hot item when new. The idea of recording information on your image was kind of a novel idea back then and adding the date the image was taken could be useful. Do you want to know how many images I took back then with the date imprinted? Zero. Back in the 1970s and ’80s data backs were really expensive and money spent on one could be better spent on another lens or a year’s worth of film. But they’re fun to collect now and I have one for my Canon F-1, Canon A-1 and I had one for a Canon T-70 that I owned.

I thought adding a Contax Data Back for my RTS would add to its classic look. Notice that the first year that could be imprinted was 1975 and on this model of the data back it went up to 1993.

The good news is that this data back is fully working. It takes the same battery as the camera which is handy (A544 6V).

The back is covered in the same material as the RTS body which means it’s slowly peeling off just like 99% of all the rest. I may try and save the skin on this one since it’s only lifting around the Contax label ATM.

I imagine quite a bit of engineering went into designing these backs which explains why they were so expensive when new. This one came with its original box but no instruction booklet. Time to chase one down.

The data back pictured here will only work on the original RTS and not the RTS II or III. The Yashica branded back for the FR is very close in design but it’s not interchangeable with the Contax.

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

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
All rights reserved.

Buy Me A Coffee

wordless wednesday

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