Chasing Classic Cameras 2020

2020 was a pretty dynamic year as far as our camera collection was concerned. Lots of outgoing cameras and lenses and a few (well more than a few) additions. Here’s my top 6 new members of the hoard.

An eclectic mix of cameras presented in no particular order.

Canon EOS-1N RS. The Superman of Canon’s 35mm SLR film cameras. This one is from about 1998. The high-speed motor drive is built-in and at its fastest its capable of shooting 10 fps! Here it has a gorgeous Canon EF AF 50mm f1.4 USM lens mounted.
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa from 1951 is a 35mm interchangeable lens rangefinder film camera. A fully operational Contax IIIa from early 1951. Here it’s pictured with the exposure meter flap in the closed position. The Carl Zeiss Sonnar f/1.5 50mm lens is in excellent condition as is the camera. Even the exposure meter is working!
The last in the long line of Leica L39 (LSM) interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras. This is the famous Leica IIIg with the Leicavit winder attached. The lens is a wonderful and sharp Ernst Leitz Summaron f3.5 35mm wide-angle lens.
I didn’t need to add this full-frame monster to my collection but when the opportunity came along to own it I couldn’t pass. At 36 MP it will laser etch your eyes with it’s resolution. Here it’s got a sharp AF Nikkor 50mm f1.4 lens. The only downside to this camera is no built-in image stabilization so you need a tripod (at least I do) for any shot with a lens over 135mm.
My favorite Yashica hands down. This classic 35mm SLR film camera is in mint condition and came with its original box. From May 1970.
Yashica-Nicca YF – August 1959. Mated with a sharp Yashinon f1.8 5cm lens. This Yashica is a 35mm interchangeable lens film camera that uses L39 (LSM) lenses.

Believe it or not but there’s a few more not listed here. I’ll blog about those soon. There were many more outgoing cameras in our collection in 2020 which is always a good thing. You can’t keep them all.

Thanks for stopping by and a big thanks to all of my new followers that joined the blog in 2020. Also a very big thanks to all of my followers since day one back in 2015. I couldn’t have ever imagined over 700 followers in my wildest dreams. Thanks!!! – 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 © 2015-2021 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Happy SUNday! – Nikkor Lens Test

Nippon Kogaku W-Nikkor C F3.5 2.8cm wide angle lens (1954).

One of the best and most useful features of having a mirrorless digital camera like this Fujifilm X-A10 is the ability to test and use some of my vintage lenses by using an adapter between the lens and the body.

It was a generally cloudy day with the sunlight filtered through some cirrus clouds so no harsh shadows and low contrast images.

Maidenhair ferns and cypress needles.
My trusty boulder and gravel test subjects.
Bald cypress in its autumn glory.
Here’s where a 28mm wide angle lens comes in handy.
I’m very happy with the resolution and detail of this vintage Nikkor glass.

I used a Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter M39 – FX to mount my Nikkor lens to my Fujifilm camera body. Fotodiox makes a wide range of quality adapters for use on almost any mirrorless body and vintage lens. You can find them at https://fotodioxpro.com/collections/lens-mount-adapters

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.

In the Shop – New Arrivals for May

Hi all! I hope you are doing well and staying safe. Here are some items that I’ve listed in my camera shop recently which can be visited by popping over to http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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Lots more in the shop and a big thank you all 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.

In the Shop – Rare Fuji Photo & More!

New in the shop this week at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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Stop by my camera and photo gear shop hosted by Etsy for some really interesting items. I ship almost anywhere in the world quickly and securely. Give my shop a look! Thanks

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If there’s something you don’t see that you have been looking for give me a shout – I may already have it in my collection or I know where to get it. Email me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

Thanks, Chris

When lens hoods “attack”!

Here’s something you don’t see every day – if ever. What happens to a rubber lens hood (lens shade) when left on for two decades? You get this…

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When I saw this lens my first impression was that it had been in a fire. I had to pry it out of the leather camera bag it was in. Not very pretty at first glance.

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Step 2 – Peeling the “melted” hood away from the lens body. What a gooey mess!

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Success! No damage to the lens and I was able to unscrew what was left of the hood.

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The lens suffered no permanent damage and after a good cleaning looks new.

I imagine that over time the “rubber” deteriorated through some chemical process with the air. Hiding out in a dark leather camera bag probably didn’t help. Lesson learned – if you own one of these monsters go check your camera bag now and toss it before it “attacks”!!!

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

 

Monster Glass! Tomioka 55mm f1.2

Yashica TL Electro-X ITS with Tomioka Auto Yashinon 55mm f1.2 – the best SLR of its time (1968-1972).

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Yashica sales brochure with ‘fake’ serial number on the lens. There’s a possibility that it may have been a prototype lens and was given an odd serial number.

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One of our all-time favorite SLRs with one of the fastest 55mm lenses made. The Tomioka designed f1.2 is an exceptional lens and we’re happy to have it in our collection. This lens is in the batch of the first 1000 made and carries a low serial number.

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A super early lens in this German sales brochure – SN 5520124

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris

Yashica Super Yashinon-R Lens… by Tomioka Optical

Another look at an early lens from Yashica for the Yashica Pentamatic.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Nice little addition to our Pentamatic family of lenses. Purchased in Japan and was with an early model Pentamatic’35’ set in “well used” but stable working condition. It came with the original Yashica brown leather case, unbranded plastic rear lens cap, Yashica front metal 52mm push-on lens cap, unbranded lens hood and a very nice looking Walz chrome metal and glass Skylight C. (cloudy) 52mm filter.

dscf2868Pentamatic bayonet mount 13.5cm short telephoto lens… f/3.5 with super low serial number. Early Yashica lenses were often given a serial number that starts with the focal length of the lens. In this example, ‘135 0722’ shows it to be a 135mm lens with a sequential production number of 722. Best guess is that this lens was made in late 1959. We have another Super Yashinon-R 13.5cm lens with a serial number of ‘135 0927’.

The above image shows the lens partially disassembled…

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E.P Marked Photo Gear. Is it really worth more?

Photo gear made in Japan will sometimes carry a strange marking  <E.P>

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In the above example, the <E.P> mark is engraved on the rewind knob of this Nicca camera. This camera is from the 1955 to 1957 period.

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In the example above, this Nikkor 13.5cm lens has the <E.P> mark engraved on a small lever near the base of the lens. On the lens case below, the <E.P> mark is stamped into the leather just below the JAPAN stamp. The case belongs with the lens pictured above.

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First time we’ve seen the mark on a lens case. To us that implies that the case was mated with that lens from the factory (or wherever the mark was applied).

So what’s up with the <E.P> mark anyway?

As we understand it, the Japanese government needed a way to identify which pieces of photo gear were sold through military facilities and duty free shops in Japan. We feel that the mark means “Exempt Product” – cameras or electronic gear purchased without paying taxes to the government of Japan and purchased by authorized personnel (military members and their families, tourists and by diplomatic members and their families). We’ve seen alternate meanings as “Post Exchange” (military base stores) but U.S. Navy stores are called “Navy Exchange – NEX” and U.S. Army/Air Force stores are “BX/PX or Base Exchange/Post Exchange”. It’s hard to make “NEX or BX” into “EP”.  Other explanations of <E.P> include: Export Permitted (or Export Permit), Exchange Program and Export Production.

The “Black Market”.

The majority of the photo gear we have in our collection that bears the <E.P> mark, was in fact purchased through military facilities and not at duty free shops. Another cause for concern after the War, and we know this first hand from having lived in Japan in the late 1970s, was the so called black market that may have existed (it did) in Japan. The difference between what a service member could buy a camera for at the Navy Exchange (reduced cost and no taxes) and what that same item sold for at a Japanese camera store was just too great not to tempt some selling on the black market. The military stores kept tabs on the amount of tobacco and liquor that a family could purchase and big ticket items (cameras and stereo equipment) included a statement on the receipt that the service member would check and then sign that the item was for their personal use. A direct reminder that you were not to resell the item to unauthorized individuals. Our guess would be that if a Japanese citizen had a camera in their possession with the <E.P> mark it would be easy to question where it was purchased. However, the <E.P> marks were normally on parts of the camera that could be removed and replaced with non marked parts. No system is perfect so if there’s a will they’ll be a way.

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The <EP> mark on a Yashica-Mat from 1960.

So, does the mark make my photo gear more valuable? Yes. Collectible? Yes. Desirable? Yes. But to whom?

Like anything that’s collected, if someone wants it just because of the mark (in this case), then the <E.P> mark makes your item more desirable. In the real world, the gear is no different except for the mark. But – and it’s a big but – there are fewer of them out there. In the case of the nice Yashica-Mat pictured above, let’s say that Yashica sold 1,000 of them in 1960 throughout Japan. Maybe 5% were marked <E.P> (and that may be way high). So if you want to collect a mint condition Yashica-Mat made in 1960, there may be, let’s say only 10 available worldwide at any one time, and if one of those has the mark, well that adds a nice bonus of rarity to the mix. Another way to look at the mark is that the gear was less likely purchased by a professional photographer and therefore may have been better taken care of by its owner. Lots of exceptions to that line of thinking but it does have some merits.

So there you have it. Something of an explanation. If you have photo gear from the 1950s, 1960s and sometimes from as late as the early 1970s and you have the mark, well now you know a bit more about it. If you’d like us to appraise it for you we will be more than happy to. Just contact us here on the blog and we can get something going for you.

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Chris

Photo Gear No More – the ones we regret.

As collectors, Carol and I have to make some tough decisions from time to time (actually a lot). While we would love to own every camera, lens and photo thingy that strikes our fancy, we, like most people, have a budget. Well not really a budget per se as a budget requires planning and thought – something we rarely do. What we have in reality is limited space (and funds) just like most people. Compromises must be made – negotiations entered into and decisions rendered.

So our collection is a dynamic thing – a living, breathing thing that must be fed and then purged. Buy – play with – cherish and then sell. Here (in no particular order) is some of the gear that we wish we still owned…

Canon FD 17mm f4 super wide angle lens ⇓

Why? It was in mint new condition with no issues. The glass was pristine and we had the proper Canon lens hood and both Canon lens caps (and case). It just didn’t wow us! I had always wanted it since day one (1978) and had to settle on a Canon Fd 24mm wide angle instead due to the silly cost of the thing. I LOVE the 24mm – it is one of my most widely used Canon lenses. When we finally got this 17mm in 2014 and shot with it, well, nothing special. The images weren’t dramatic enough to justify owning it so it was sold. Why the regret now? We didn’t give it a fair shot. Maybe we shot a roll and a half with it. Not enough time really. The other reason – when it’s mint you freak out all the time about messing it up and messing with the resale value. Stupid reason but it happens.

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Asahi Pentax Spotmatic with the Takumar f1.4 lens ⇓

Why? Beautiful camera in nearly perfect condition. We’ve always appreciated the early Asahi Pentax 35mm SLRs and this one fell into our hands. We would have rather had a working H2 or something along those lines but none were available at that time. Why the regret now? See above. Another case of a mint camera (for the collection) and unlikely that we’d ever shoot with it. Now we wish we had kept it to at least shoot some film with it. Oh well, it’s gone and unlikely to be replaced.

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Nikonos II ⇓

Why? It was my first ever 35mm camera! Purchased new by me in 1971. I took it everywhere and used it both above and below the surface of the water constantly. She was in great shape when I sold it in 2011- my SCUBA diving days were over and no reason to keep it. Right? Wrong! My regret is purely nostalgic. My first 35mm camera! What was I thinking!!! It’s still the only Nikon I’ve ever bought!

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Canon T70 35mm SLR ⇓

Why? Built-in motor drive, multiple auto exposure modes and drop dead simple to use. Uses the complete family of Canon FD lenses and exposures were as accurate as our A-1. Why the regret? We’ve owned about 10 of them over the years and have used them extensively. We’re just used to the little beasts and this happens after each acquisition and sale. We begin to miss that goofy style and its other quirks. (This one was sold to a collector in Australia).

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Fujifilm XP100 FinePix go anywhere digital camera ⇓

Why? Fun little Fuji that we often took to the beach for some awesome surf shots – plus it’s a cool green! We made some neat videos with it too – great images and sound. I decided to sell it as we didn’t need a closet full of seldom used digital cameras. They become relics quickly in the fast paced world of pixel capturing. We regret it now whenever we’re at the beach and the waves are killer!

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Asahi Pentax 6×7 medium format camera ⇓

Why? A gem of a camera! Mint condition and it took some stunning pics! Eye-level finder with meter and we had the big wooden hand grip and at least 2 new lenses for it too. Weighs like 2 kilotons or close to it! The 6×7 format can enlarge very nicely and the Super Takumar lenses were sharp. Why the regret? We can’t find one as nice to replace it without spending crazy money and we let ours go for too little. We have a Fujica GW-690 now so the need for the 6×7 format is lessened. Besides, the Fujica is as beat to hell as anything we own and that’s a good thing. No worries about scratching it up so we actually use it.

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Canon FD 300mm f4 telephoto lens ⇓

Why, why, why? We bought it because we’ve always wanted that focal length and couldn’t afford what we really wanted – the FD 300mm f2.8 L white lens. Another case of a mint condition lens that looked like it was made yesterday. In reality it was a dark lens (f4) and a bit clumsy to use. We used it mostly on a tripod and our little town is not a telephoto town. What we mean by that is that our town is made for wide angle shots (old buildings with lots of details) and not tripod mounted lenses. Plus I’m just too old to hand hold 300mm lenses anymore and don’t want to be bothered straining my neck with it. The regret? I wish I could still hand hold a 300mm lens damn it!!! Actually I still want the f2.8!

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So there you have it. Certainly it’s not all the gear we miss – just a small sample. If we can round up the images of some of the others there may be a part two.

Do you have a favorite piece of gear that you regret selling (or heaven forbid, gave away)? Let us know. Thanks

Chris and Carol ^.^