Yashica Auto Focus Motor – Friday Fotos!

Also known as the Yashica 5-Star Auto Focus Motor – 1981. It featured a sharp 38mm f/ 2.8 lens that was more than likely made by Tomioka.

Yashica Auto Focus Motor

A nice sales brochure (above) from October 1981. The cameras featured in this brochure are the Diary, Flasher, Snap, and the Auto Focus Motor.

Yashica Auto Focus Brochure

Yashica Auto Focus, Auto Focus Motor, and Motor-D. These were technological breakthrough cameras for Yashica in the early 1980s. Of course, at this same time, Canon had the A-1, AE-1, AE-1 Program, and of course the Canon F-1. These cameras from Canon were all SLRs so not a fair comparison but Canon made similar compact rangefinder cameras. It was a tough go for Yashica at this time and a takeover was on the horizon.

yashica playing cards

Promotional playing cards featuring the Yashica Sailor Boy and the new Auto Focus Motor.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful (and safe) day! – Chris

BTW, I’ve added some new items in my Etsy shop – check it out 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.

 

Yashica’s Tokyo Headquarters – 1974 and 2019

Yashica opened its new Tokyo headquarters officially in the Summer of 1974. Here’s a before and after picture.

Shibuya Yashica HQ (1) (1)

Yashica’s headquarters as it appeared in August 1974.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yashica headquarters building from April 2019. Photos courtesy of Paul Sokk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The current building is known as the Kyocera Harajuku Building located at 6-27-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Kyocera acquired Yashica in 1983 and for the most part, Kyocera continues to operate in many of Yashica’s former properties.

For more about Yashica’s history please check out Paul’s excellent site here.

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.

The Yashica Okaya Factory – New View 1974

As I’ve previously reported here, Yashica’s last factory before the Kyocera acquisition was this modern sprawling complex in the town of Okaya, Nagano Prefecture.

I’ve recently purchased documents that show what I believe the complex looked like in the summer of 1974.

IMG_20190517_0001 (1)

This is the only detailed color photograph of the factory that I’ve seen. For my previous post about the factory and to see the original view from 1972 click here.

Another related post can be found at https://wordpress.com/post/yashicasailorboy.com/8052

Additionally here’s the text about the factory taken directly from the Yashica publication ‘A New Horizon’ that contained the color image of the factory pictured above.

IMG_20190517_0002 (1)

The introduction page from the 14-page booklet ‘Yashica A New Horizon’.

IMG_20190517_0003 (1)

Of interest, Kyocera still operates from this same location today. For the most part, it looks only slightly changed from 1972. Yashica was purchased by Kyocera in 1983 and was gone by the mid-2000s. A great company and a great name wiped out by Kyocera shortly after what would have been Yashica’s Golden Anniversary.

I’ll be posting more from this very interesting and informative booklet from Yashica soon.

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 Dental-Eye III… is it worth another look?

I had this camera briefly and just couldn’t get it to produce the quality images I was hoping for so I passed it on. If you’re interested in purchasing one, do your homework first to make sure it’s the right camera for your needs. I bought mine back in November 2010 and it was gone by December. It’s a handsome camera and mine came complete with its original case and all of the accessories. The model III is a Kyocera-Yashica model.

DSC01524

The Dental-Eye III is a 35mm SLR with a fixed 100mm f4 macro lens with a built-in ring flash at the end of the lens barrel.

DSC01527

It’s basically a point and shoot automatic exposure camera – so easy to use even a dentist could use it.

DSC01542

The ring flash is made up of three separate flashes that operate together. I have seen where one or more of the flashes have stopped working. Ask the seller if they have tested it first.

DSC01539

The databack can imprint date and time info on the film.

They can be had for not a ton of money – on auction sites they’re all over the map price wise. If you’re interested in one, buy the best condition camera that fits in your budget. Did I mention, do your homework first?

(3-21-2019) Reader Kurt Ingham sent me some pics that he took with his Yashica – I’d say he captured some pretty decent images with his (see below).

000044560002.jpgR

GTTBU6RY

Thanks, Kurt for sharing your pics!

This is a direct quote from the instruction manual.

*Please note – “Normal prints obtained at your photo dealer will have the edges cropped slightly narrower than the actual 35mm frame size. To prevent edges of important photographs from being cropped in this way, allow for some extra area around the periphery of the subject when composing in the viewfinder”.

In my experience, all of the prints came back significantly narrower.  Save the hassle when using this camera and do not get the negatives printed from the lab. Scan the negatives and then crop and print.

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’s New Factory – 1972

Yashica opened a modern factory in Okaya, Nagano Prefecture in October 1972. They moved from their previous factory location in Shimosuwa (within 2 kilometers or so).

Here’s a picture of the factory taken on or near opening day. This image was “found” inside a Photax Catalogue from 1973/1974. Photax was the exclusive importer for Yashica products in the U.K.

DSCF9431

Image captured from the catalog (by me).

kyocera map

Google Map Image

Current view of the same location which is now occupied by Kyocera. If you look closely you’ll notice that the overall boundaries of the complex haven’t changed or expanded past the original walls. The front drive and entrance to the Kyocera facility are basically the same as it was back in 1972. Of course, Kyocera purchased Yashica in 1983 and by 1986 the Japanese brand Yashica was killed off.  The present-day users of the name Yashica have no ties to the once proud Yashica Company.

For more about the history of Yashica’s factories please visit my previous post here.

As always, thanks for stopping by! Be sure to also stop by the “gift shop” at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for some amazing deals on some vintage photo gear.

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’s L AF – good things come from plastic rectangles

A true plastic fantastic from Kyocera-Yashica. Released around 1986, this little gem is a modern classic. It gives much better-known (and much more expensive) point & shoots a run for the money.

yashica l af logo 1212

Poor man’s T* Series with Zeiss lenses (I’m pretty sure these lenses are Zeiss without the coating).

yashica laf 2121

Not much control over this camera – it was designed to take pictures without much fuss – and do it well.

yaslaf 33

It says Yashica lens but I’m sure it’s a Zeiss – why wouldn’t it? By the way, the 32mm f/3.5 lens is as fast as the other T* Series lenses – with the exception of the Kyocera T Scope (Japanese market T3) which is f/2.8

Good condition Yashica L AF’s are not common on online auction sites but nice ones still go for less than $40 or so. This nearly mint one went for $20!

Sharp contrasty lens – quick but not super quick AF but excellent auto exposure – perfect pics nearly every shot!

78690020

78690013

Images were taken on Fujicolor Superia color negative film. No post-production on any of these outside pics.

kyocera t scope

Headed our way from Japan!

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris

The Curious Case of the Yashica ‘Olympic’* Camera

*No, not those Olympics.

New to us, this neat little Yashica L AF 35mm compact point and shoot film camera is from 1986 and sports an Olympic theme. In all the years that Carol and I have collected Yashica cameras we’ve never run across a Yashica that featured a logo not directly related to Yashica – until now.

We’re big fans of the L AF and we’ve reviewed it before. Field Test of the L AF

DSCF7338 logo

We haven’t been able to find anything that relates to this logo – no other Yashica-Kyocera camera has one. And what exactly is “Camera America”? It looks like (somewhat) an official Olympic logo but without the 5 rings. Did Yashica-Kyocera invent it purely for a marketing campaign? The timing is off as the previous Olympics were held in Los Angeles in 1984 and the next wasn’t scheduled until 1988. Releasing an Olympic camera in 1986 just doesn’t make sense.

DSCF7339 logo

The colors and fonts match in our opinion (see below) – the reds and golds match so it most likely was applied by the factory. As was typical with Yashica and Kyocera, no documentation exists for a “Camera America” version of anything nevermind an “Olympic Edition”.

DSCF7341 logo

As we’ve said before the Yashica-Kyocera L AF is a low priced version of the more recognizable T* series of 35mm compacts and is a great camera for the money. If you run across one in working condition, by all means, give it a try.

DSCF7346 logo

This one is a tad beat up and it hasn’t been tested yet but we expect it to do well. Once we squeeze some time out of our busy schedule we’ll have a go at it.

By the way, here’s a clip from the instruction booklet for the L AF – more than likely the date depicted matches the release date of the camera (or pretty close to it).

yashica l af booklet

 

20180416_181216_001

A sticky 1986 Yashica-Kyocera case for the L AF

dscf3464

Our first Yashica-Kyocera L AF

78690012

The image was taken with the L AF on Fujicolor film

yashica t af

The much more expensive version

Thanks for your visit. Have you ever seen an Olympic Yashica? Please share your comments if you have!

Chris and Carol ^.^

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 © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Yashica L AF – Field Test v2.0 – Can this Yashica hold its own against the T* Series?

A fun little point and shoot camera from Yashica-Kyocera (1986). This lovely camera was kindly donated to us from a blogger friend and photographer who lives in Japan. She tests cameras that strike her fancy and often processes her film at home. We think her test shots are extremely interesting – and always well composed too. You can find her at https://cameragocamera.wordpress.com/

Field test v1.0 was done in Japan.

She typically hunts around in second hand shops and picks up cameras for well under $10 (I think this one was only $3).

dscf3464

The Yashica gets a fresh roll of Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400 and a new finger strap (in almost matching red).

dscf3481

This Yashica uses a 32mm f3.5 lens. The camera features a simple drop and go (well almost) film loading. It is a DX coded camera so it sets the ASA (sorry, old school). It produced 26 exposures from a 24 exposure roll.

dscf3466

Pull the film leader to mid point on the orange line and between the white marks.

The real test – can this inexpensive Yashica L AF deliver the same image quality as its highly regarded cousins – the Yashica T3 Super with Zeiss T* 35mm f2.8 lens or the more closely related Yashica T AF?

s-l1600-33

The T3 – often sells for over $200 on eBay. The L AF – well under $20!

yashica t af

Yashica T AF. Yashica’s first in the T* Series of cameras (1985). Probably the most closely related to the L AF.

I won’t post all 26 images here. I will pick a broad representation of the photographic challenges that I threw at the Yashica L AF.

78690001

First image overall – strong back lighting. A challenge for any simple AE camera. First sign of a red spot (far left).

These next two images were focused at infinity. Strong mid day lighting so deep shadows. The Fujicolor rocks some nice vivid colors and contrast!

78690002

78690005

First real test of the auto-focus and AE in dim lighting below. It did well considering the strong sunlight in the background.

78690008

I know right – crazy dark blue sky! No filters, just Superia X-TRA 400 and a contrasty lens.

78690012

Nice detail. Sharp focus too on this sign below. The Yashica employs center weighted metering. Most AE cameras would be thrown off by the bright sky.

78690013

Tough AE situation for a simple point and shoot (deep shade below). Post production would help but I like it as it is.

78690016

Back in the bright Florida sun!

78690020

78690021

Day 2 below at home. I was about 3 feet from the carp. Looks good.

78690023

78690024

The attack of the red bar! Not sure the why of it.

78690006

The AE handled this situation well – I blocked out the sun with the palm tree which allowed the Yashica to get a good reading on the building.

As I said at the top. All 26 images were excellent with about 4 experiencing the mystery red spots and bars.  I’m thinking that the red marks are from a processing error – it’s way too random to be a light leak. No post production on any of these images. They’re presented just as they were scanned by the processing lab. Maybe the CD will be even sharper.

We’re impressed! The camera has a solid feel – it has some weight and is actually as big as our Fujifilm FinePix S9900W.

So does this inexpensive Yashica L AF beat the Yashica T* Series? Don’t know yet – now all we need is someone to donate a T3 or T4 to test it!!! ^.^

For the money, if you can find a decent Yashica L AF and want a great point and shoot 35mm camera that produces better than expected images – the L AF more than delivers and at a price that won’t break the bank!

Camera(s): Yashica L AF Date, Fujifilm FinePix S9900W and Samsung Galaxy S4

Final shout out goes to the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida! Thanks for never messing with the Historic District – it looks the same (for the most part) as it did 120 years ago! 

Many thanks for your visit! Comments – please do. Donating a T3 or T4? – email us ASAP!

Chris & Carol

Colorful Yashica Brochures… 1980s

A small collection of some 1980s Yashica and the Yashica-Kyocera sales brochures. We enjoy collecting brochures as they usually capture a slice of life for that period (at least in the marketing folks view of things). Enjoy!

Cute brochure from around 1980 featuring the Yashica Auto Focus. Yashica’s home office was still in Shibuya-ku Tokyo at this time. Kyocera was in Yashica’s near future and it would signal the beginning of the end!

25896400900_c2437ce7ec_o

Another nice sales brochure from October 1981. The cameras featured in this brochure are the Diary, Flasher, Snap and the Auto Focus Motor.

25898856450_44fee70d1d_o

Yashica Auto Focus, Auto Focus Motor and Motor-D. These were technological breakthrough cameras for Yashica in the early 1980s. Of course at this same time, Canon had the A-1, AE-1, AE-1 Program and of course the Canon F-1. These cameras from Canon were all SLRs so not a fair comparison but Canon made similar compact rangefinder cameras. It was a tough go for Yashica at this time and a takeover was on the horizon.

25899033730_558e532eaf_o

What a cutie! Full color sales brochure from Yashica dated 1 March 1980. Features the Flasher, Auto Focus, Snap and the Diary.

26079349032_07ccb458cd_o

Neat sales brochure from September 1980. In the early 1980s Yashica promoted its auto focus and auto exposure cameras extensively. This brochure featured the Yashica Snap, Diary, Flasher and the Auto Focus which listed for ¥41,000.

26169339505_b055f64250_o

The dark days of Yashica begin with this very cute sales brochure from February 1984. Yashica by this time was taken over by the Kyocera Corporation which was headquartered in Kyoto. Yashica was now a just a division of Kyocera…Yashica was still in its long time office in Shibuya-ku. This move (Kyocera ownership) was the beginning of the end for the Yashica we knew.

When Kyocera killed Yashica (about 1991) they kept the optical portion of the company which was originally the Tomioka Optical Co., Ltd. of Tokyo. That division is still part of Kyocera and is now called Kyocera Optec Co., Ltd. and is still headquartered in Tokyo.

26103094971_52ab0e9630_o

There you have it. A nice collection of some of the best of the 1980s Yashica sales brochures. As we mentioned, the Kyocera ownership was just on the horizon and the final days of the once great Yashica were coming to an end. We do own a few cameras from the Kyocera (Kill-a-Yashica) period and some were received as excellent point and shoot compact wonders.

dscf3456

A lovely Yashica-Kyocera L AF Date from 1986. Very nice lines and we’ll be running a roll through it very soon!

This good looking camera (above) was sent to us from a blogger friend and photographer living in Japan. She was very kind to donate it to us for sharing it on our blog. You can see excellent reviews of all sorts of cameras and awesome photographs too at https://cameragocamera.wordpress.com/

Another donated camera comes to us from a friend in Virginia and a fellow Flickr poster.

26295606350_65700d54b4_o

25965272473_a80d24519c_o

We haven’t run film through this beauty yet – it’s on our “catch up” list of things to do. Thanks to Ken for sharing his lovely camera with us so that we could share it with y’all here on the blog.

By the way, if you’ve got a nice Yashica, Kyocera or Fujifilm camera from this period (1980s to mid 1990s) and would like to see it featured here, just contact us through WordPress and we’d be glad to do it.

Many thanks for your visit – comments are always welcomed.

Chris & Carol ^.^