Rare Pentamatic II Brochure from Japan

I’m always, and I mean always, chasing anything to do with Yashica’s Pentamatic series of 35mm SLR cameras from the early 1960s. I was taken by its simple modern lines the first time I laid eyes on one.

Here is a wonderful Pentamatic II sales brochure (almost a catalog) from Japan that I’m guessing was published around the Summer of 1960 which was when the camera was introduced in Japan. I believe this is the first (and only) full-length brochure for this model.

The front cover introduces us to the Yashica Pentamatic II.

The lens was a new addition to this camera and was likely made for Yashica by Zunow Optical.

The back cover summarizes the features and specs of Yashica’s newest camera and lens set. The address (bottom) is listed as Yashica Co., Ltd., Nihonbashi Muromachi, Tokyo 1-8.

The ‘Yashica Girl’ started appearing on sales brochures around 1958 or so and continued here in this brochure. I don’t know her origins or purpose but she has two co-workers that often appear with her on other brochures. Here is a peek inside (it reads right to left) –

Unfortunately for Yashica, the Pentamatic II was not well received so it had a shortened production run of just over 5,300 units from August 1960 to January 1961 with breaks in production during that time. January 1961 is when Zunow Optical went bankrupt or was absorbed by Yashica (not well documented). Either way that put an end to this unique lens on a Yashica camera. It’s likely though that the lens design transferred over to Tomioka Optical (which was owned by Yashica) and Tomioka may have made this same lens for Mamiya in 1962.

One of my original Pentamatic II cameras with the Auto Yashinon f1.7 5.8cm lens.
One of the hardest cameras to chase down in Yashica’s entire lineup with just over 5,300 made with a vast majority only available in the Japanese domestic market.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Follow me on Instagram @ccphotographyai

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
All rights reserved.

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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

Happy SUNday! – Yokohama then and now.

What a lovely surprise to be contacted by a gentleman who currently lives in the same neighborhood that Carol and I lived in back in the late 1970s. His name is Miguel and he was kind enough to share a current picture of the area.

The first image below was taken by me in the summer of 1978 from a hill overlooking the US Navy housing area looking east towards Tokyo Bay in the distance. The early photograph was taken on Kodak Kodachrome and hasn’t aged well as it’s lost most of its original color. Back in the 1970s, this part of Yokohama was very industrialized and on a hot hazy summer day the visibility was often restricted to less than three miles or so.

Summer 1978, Yokohama, Japan – Honmoku

This current picture below shows the vast changes that have occured since the Navy left the area. In the mid-1980s the original houses were torn down to make way for a wonderful upscale neighborhood and elementary school. If the smokestack (far right side) is the same one then these two pictures were taken in about the same place. How wonderful is that!?

Image taken by Miguel Patiño González, Summer 2020

My understanding is that the Honmoku Elementary School seen in the above image (lower left) is on the site where our government house stood.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day! – 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.

Awesome photographs – 1972

Titled “Fantasy”. This image is by Hiroki Hayashi, an acclaimed professional photographer using a Yashica TL ELECTRO-X ITS and Auto Yashinon-DX 28mm f/2.8 lens f/8 at speed setting 1/30 second.

Taken with a Yashica TL ELECTRO-X ITS and Yashinon-DX 21mm f/3.3 lens at f/5.6 at 1/60 second. Image by acclaimed professional photographer Takeji Iwamiya. Titled “Solarization”.

Thanks for stopping by and have a fantastic day! – 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.

Interesting Portrait – 1974

Unknown models and photographer. Scanned from a Yashica sales brochure.

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Scanned from a Yashica Electro AX sales brochure dated 1974. The translated caption is “Auto Yashinon-DS super wide-angle 20mm aperture f 11 automatic exposure”. The lens has a maximum aperture of f/ 3.5
The photographer and models are not credited. A quality image in an excellent brochure.

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The Yashica Electro AX. The last M42 screw mount lens camera made by Yashica (starting in 1973 and ending in early 1974).

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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashima (Yashica) Brochures – 1956

Yashica Bro 1956

Cover image from a Yashica brochure dated December 1956. The brochure introduces the Yashicaflex model C (pictured), Yashica Rookie (also know as the Yashicaflex R), and the Yashicaflex model A-2. I’m sure this lovely model was photographed in the mountains just north of the Yashima factory in Nagano Prefecture. I believe it was shot on Fuji color film. The brochure contains about 23 pages and covers all aspects of medium format (6×6) photography. It also highlights the modern production facilities at their factory in Suwa. One of the best vintage photographic brochures I have ever seen!

Yashima Bro 1956

This is a different brochure from 1956 – it’s actually been dated by a previous owner in the upper left corner.

Both of these brochures are quite rare outside of Japan and I would hazard a guess that they are becoming quite rare even in Japan.

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.

Why the Pentamatic?

The Yashica Pentamatic has always fascinated me from the moment I first caught a glimpse of it while doing research on the Yashima / Yashica Company. It was (and still is) a strange-looking camera… so 1960s and it was Yashica’s very first 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. I love its sleek lines and simple design… and it was just a little bit “quirky”. My first 35mm SLR was the very popular and stylish Yashica TL Electro-X (in satin chrome finish) which I purchased in early 1972. That camera was big and heavy just like the Pentamatic… lots of brass and glass as they say. The exposure system was a through the lens (TTL) affair that used two red arrows to guide you in adjusting the shutter speed and aperture to obtain a properly exposed image. It was fairly accurate and easy to use but under some low light conditions the meter would be off as much as 1/2 to 1 full “f stops” especially when shooting with color slide film for transparencies. I used that Yashica through my first year of living in Yokohama before purchasing a Canon F-1 in 1978. Why the departure from Yashica? Simple, when comparing the new Contax RTS to the F-1, in my opinion, there was no contest. I also liked the system that Canon offered and the wide array of professional accessories and lenses.

So back to the Pentamatic. When I started to concentrate my research on the Pentamatic, I found nothing but confusing and contradicting information on the internet (as is typical of anything). No clear images of the camera, no images of its boxes or the accessories available. The release date was especially bothersome as it was all over the map and even now many sites still give the wrong introduction date in the U.S. The specifications of the cameras are often wrong or incomplete and when I did find solid proof of something, it made the existing entries even more out of line with reality. The Pentamatic series of SLRs (the original model I, model II and the model S) never sold in vast quantities (the original Pentamatic model I was produced at around 1,500 units per month at its peak of production) as best as I can tell, so finding a complete set was rare and finding sales brochures was even more daunting.

My quest was simple (I thought)… purchase a few Pentamatics and find a few instruction booklets and I would be all set. Wrong! Yashica normally does not date their cameras, lenses and publications (instruction booklets, warranty cards, accessory pamphlets and sales brochures) so I knew that I had my work cut out for me. On the other side of the coin, my Canon collection has dates everywhere! I can honestly say that I’ve never found something from Canon that was not dated in some way. Why didn’t Yashica do the same? I did discover eventually that from about 1956 or so onward Yashica (then Yashima) did date many of their photography booklets and featured pictures of their factories in Nagano Prefecture and of their headquarters in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Many of these early booklets even had pictures of the president and founder (Mr. Yoshimasa Ushiyama) of Yashima… not often seen in other camera manufacturer’s publications. The practice of dating publications slowly vanished around late 1958 and by 1960 was basically gone. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and early 1970s that Yashica would occasionally slip in a date on a publication (but never on the camera or lens).

In summary… I don’t have all the answers to my Pentamatic questions and I am constantly updating information as I receive it both here on my blog and on my Flickr page (Yashica Sailor Boy). My goal is to be as accurate as I can, fill in the blanks and share whatever I have with others. I encourage comments and would gladly receive any and all bits of info that you may want to share with me. Thank you for visiting my page!

Chris

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Nice Pentamatic model II page from a Yashica sales brochure from February 1961. Not a bad price in Japan at that time… about $110 (USD) with case. When introduced in mid 1960, the original model I was listed at about $159 (USD) here in the U.S.