Yashica’s Little Gems


Pentamatic’35’ and J-3.

They couldn’t be more different – the Yashica Pentamatic was Yashica’s first 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera and the J-3 was Yashica’s first SLR with a built-in exposure meter. In this example, the black J-3 was Yashica’s first SLR in what we call ‘Pro-Black’ finish – all black body with matching black lens.


Lovely little gem from Yashica – the J-3 in Pro-Black. Made in limited quantities and came with the matching black Auto Yashinon lens.


The Pentamatic’s clean simple lines makes it one of the most attractive cameras of the early 1960s in our opinion.

As was the case during the early 1960s, both cameras would be quickly replaced with upgraded models with more advanced features and a wider array of available lenses. Not all of these changes were for the better… in the case of the Pentamatic, the model II and the model S, the changes did little to attract more buyers as their upgrades were too few and too late.

In the case of the J-3, it was the building block to Yashica’s success throught the mid 1960s and beyond. The ‘J’ series of SLRs, which included the J-5, J-4 and finally the J-7, were respected cameras with excellent optics at a great price which sold in the ten’s of thousands. Quantity meant that Yashica could afford to advance its technology and deliver some groundbreaking SLRs by 1968 and beyond.

As always, thanks for your visit and your comments are appreciated. To see more about Yashica, stop by our flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/127540935@N08/


Chris and Carol Photography

Yashica ヤシカ J-3 in Pro-Black

Another of our favorites in the Yashica family. This limited edition J-3 is rather rare to find in nearly new condition these days. We haven’t found evidence from Yashica of the when and why they chose this model to be their first SLR in black (with matching lens). In all the brochures and pamphlets we’ve been able to read, nothing has ever been written about it and no pictures from Yashica either. We’ve checked Japanese home market sales brochures and of course those available in English. Not one word! The serial numbers (both the bodies and lenses) run within a small time period of mid 1962 (we believe).

***Please if a reader has more information about this elusive J let us know!


J-3 finished a roll of Sakura film.


Not quite the heavyweight the Pentamatic is but still a beast at just over 900 grams!


Same family but very distant cousins! Yashica made countless changes in its SLR line-up in just under three years.

As always… thanks for the visit!

Chris & Carol