Yashica 635 – shoot 6×6 cm and 35 mm all in one TLR

Back in 1958 (May-June) Yashica released or introduced the inventive model 635 twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera to the export markets. It would be a short while before the camera would make its debut in Japan.

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The only film it couldn’t shoot was movie film!

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This one is from one of the first batches of cameras made in June 1958. Its serial number puts it at the 231st made.  It was purchased new by the original owner at the RAF Changi base in Singapore.

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Close-up view of the 35 mm conversion kit that originally came with the camera.

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A general idea of how to install the 35 mm film cartridge and kit.

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A gem from 1958.

As Carol and I continue to downsize our camera collection we’ve made this camera and kit available in our online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

If you’re looking to get into medium-format film photography and still want to use 35 mm film to make color transparencies (slides) this is a perfect combo camera to invest in.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to hit us with an offer if you’re so inclined. Chris & 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Happy SUNday! – Minolta Six

Minolta’s first 6×6 medium-format camera. The body is made almost entirely from Bakelite. 1936

Minolta Six side

Minolta Six top

Minolta six ad

It’s kinda hard to find a pre-war Minolta especially one that has a working shutter. What a lovely picture machine from another era. It’s available in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Have a beautiful day and as always, 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.

wordless wednesday

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Camera: Fujicaflex Automat (1954) by Fuji Photo Film Company

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.

The Fujicaflex Automat- a monster TLR from Fuji Photo Film Company, Tokyo

Here’s another look at this wonderful camera. I’ve recently found the time to shoot a roll of film with it and the film will be developed soon. I’ll be sure to post the scans when I can.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

Fuji’s only attempt at a twin-lens reflex camera – 1954

DSCF8012 logoThe Fuji Photo Film Company of Tokyo has a long history of making some very desirable cameras – from simple point and shoot models to high-quality professional medium format film cameras covering most types of film formats (Fuji Photo, after all, is in the business of selling film). Along the way, there have been a few cameras that have stood out for their technical achievements and innovations and one of them is the Fujicaflex Automat (for much more about this model please check out Mr. Koyasu’s wonderful site).

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We’ve wanted to add this camera to our collection for many years and the right combination of events led us to this one. It was for sale in Japan a short while back and we missed it – it became available again from a collector in Thailand so we went for it.

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Fujica GW690 Professional – medium format photography on a grand scale

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The Fujica GW690 Professional from Fuji Photo Film Company – November 1978. It’s a rather hefty medium format 120/220 roll film camera capable of producing images at an amazingly large 6 x 9 cm.

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Loaded with Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros.

Its original list price was ¥143,500. The camera features a non-interchangeable EBC Fujinon 90mm f/3.5 lens (5 elements in 5 groups) and a Seiko #0 leaf shutter with settings for T, 1-1/500 second. It weighs “just” 1,430 grams. No batteries needed as there is no built-in exposure meter. Simply focus the easy to use rangefinder, meter via a handheld meter (or phone app), set your aperture and shutter speed and you’re good to go. By the way, this beast produces 8 super sharp images so you can eat through a roll of 120 film in a hurry.

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Original sales brochure – 1978.

●11FUJI GW690ⅡGOLD

Released in 1985, the now Fuji GW690II in GOLD.

To see all of the cameras in this series please check out this wonderful site.

Images were taken with my Fujica. All of the images are as exposed and as scanned. No post-production, really-really.

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The Fujica GW690 and Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros are an almost perfect combination. There’s always plenty of these available via online auctions with a majority of them listed in Japan.

GOOD NEWS!

Fujifilm Acros II

Fujifilm Acros II Box

Yeah! Neopan is not dead!

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.

 

Yashima Flex Box – revisited

As a die-hard collector of Yashica cameras and photo gear, I can’t pass up the opportunity to share interesting bits that represent Yashica’s history. Of course, Yashica started off as Yashima and this represents the only camera that bore the Yashima name. Subsequent cameras quickly were named Yashica while the company name remained Yashima (until 1958).

So the Yashima Flex is pretty unique as it is a one-off. Here’s a pretty rare find – an original box for the Yashima Flex from 1953. The box structurally is sound and the graphics are clear and still appealing. There is some embedded soil that stained the paper on the top of the box but that’s to be expected as the top receives the most fallout from pollutants.

YashimaFlex Box

YashimaFlex Box 2

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This is spot on to the actual color of the box (faded I’m sure after all these years).

These boxes are often called presentation boxes as they were inside of an outer cardboard shipping box. As best as I can tell, the boxes were never intended to be a place to store your camera when not in use so most were disposed of as soon as the camera was used. There’s no reason not to store your camera in its leather case in the box other than it wasn’t very convenient to do so. Finding an intact box for a camera made in Japan sixty-five years ago is pretty amazing especially considering that there weren’t many made.

Yashima was a startup just like hundreds of others in post-war Japan. How their boxes looked in a dealers display mattered so these early 1950s boxes often were made extremely well. To give an idea of its size here are its dimensions. About 7 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 4.25 inches deep ( 170 x 124 x 110mm).

Yashima Flex Box Set (1) with logo

Yashima’s pride and joy! Not quite as good a representation of the actual color of the box compared to pictures earlier in this post.

Thanks for stopping by! Chris

Yashima Flex Inspection Tag – update 2

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Earliest known inspection tag from Yashima Kogaku Seiki Company (Yashica) – 1954

It seems at first glance to be nothing important, but to a fanatic Yashica collector, this is golden. It’s the earliest known tag from Yashima complete with serial number and inspector’s stamps.

What it is. Most cameras from Japan came with some sort of inspection tag, form or sticker. This one says it’s an Inspection Form (across the top). What makes this find special is that it was included with the first twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera that bore the company name – Yashima. The Yashima Flex TLR camera was produced between 1953 and 1954 before changing the name to Yashica Flex in subsequent models and the company became known as Yashica in 1958.

This would have hung from the camera body and the serial number of the camera is recorded on the tag (here the last two numbers are blocked). The inspector would have entered a date next to the word Showa – or that would have been entered by the camera store at the time of sale. Here’s a scan of the reverse side of the tag.

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Super cool inspection stamp!

Yashima Flex Green Book

This could be the instruction book (leaflet) that would have come with the camera but since none have been documented yet it could be something else entirely. ***My good friend Paul Sokk has suggested that it could be filled with a pad of papers for recording data about your photographs.***

Update August 22, 2019 – Paul was correct! A+ for him. It is a pad filled with forms for recording your exposures (images).

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The form that is inside the green booklet. You would record the date, time of day and even the weather!

Kanji on Green Book

“Store​ the​ record​ of​ your​ photo​ data.​ Print​ your​ photos​ on​ this​ paper​ to​ better​ preserve​ your​ photos”.

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This is the set I just purchased from Japan. It shows the size of the green booklet as it relates to the camera box. It is not an instruction booklet.

More about this exciting find 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.

Are TLRs a good way to discover medium-format photography?

I guess another way to pose the question would be “are TLRs still relevant”?

Film photography appears to be holding its own in this digital world but have twin-lens reflex cameras lost their appeal? Obviously, not all vintage and classic camera sales go to just collectors – many of these 40 and 50-year-old cameras are being purchased and used by today’s crop of film photographers looking for a way to explore medium-format images without breaking the bank.

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Typical twin-lens reflex (TLR) film camera.

I decided to take a snapshot of just completed sales of cameras that were listed as “TLR – Film Cameras – Sold” on eBay.

tlr sold list

The top six are –

  • Mamiya
  • Yashica
  • Rolleiflex
  • Lubitel
  • Rollei
  • Konica Minolta

This list goes back to the last few days of January 2019 and does include some accessories (lenses, lens caps, cases) that are not cameras. So the total numbers will be a bit skewed.

Here’s the list searching for “TLR Camera – Film Cameras – Sold” on eBay which removed accessories like lenses, cases and other minor parts.

tlr list

The top six are –

  • Yashica
  • Mamiya
  • Rolleiflex
  • Rollei
  • Konica Minolta
  • Minolta

This represents an unscientific look at the popularity of TLRs as a viable tool for enjoying medium-format (6×6 cm) photography. 120 roll film is still widely available and it’s easy to find online companies that develop the film.

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6×6 cm image taken with my Yashica-Mat EM TLR. Learning to compose and shoot this square format takes a bit of practice but the quality of the finished picture is worth it.

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Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

My camera shop is always open and it can be found at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – I’ve got a big sale in progress with some super savings… check it out!

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-Mat 120 Film Camera Set – 1960

For those who may have missed this post from two years ago here’s a reblog of it. This is one of the nicest sets we’ve ever come across in all our years of collecting Yashicas.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

dscf3786 Pretty close to the way it looked when it was unboxed back in 1960. This one was part of a short production run of only a handful of cameras. It was for sale at US Military Exchanges (stores) in Japan as it is marked *EP* which meant and exempt purchase. No taxes paid but it could not be purchased or sold on the Japanese domestic market. 

dscf3787 It was Yashica’s first crank film advance TLR and it had auto cocking of the shutter. First released in April 1957.

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The quality of the images taken with a Yashica-Mat are outstanding – Yashica used high quality Yashinon f3.5 80mm lenses made for them by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo.

They are a joy to use and it’s a great camera to get into medium format photography. It produces large 6 x 6 cm negatives or slides.

Thanks for your visit!

Chris and Carol  ^.^

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Yashica-Mat EM… on assignment… update 12.9.2016

Another look at one of my favorite Yashicas to use – my Yashica-Mat EM is still going strong (since 1964) and the meter is as accurate as ever. Take a peek at the original post – if you please.

Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic

This month’s assignment (actually from September) is to load some Fujifilm into our Yashica-Mat EM and enjoy the benefits that only medium format film photography can fulfill.

Oh the joys of composing 6 x 6 cm images through a pop-up viewing hood in bright sunlight. What I do find nice is that the focusing dial is on the camera’s left side… a natural place for it to me. The EM has a built-in exposure meter and a ‘computer’, slide rule actually, to adjust the aperture and shutter speeds which you then set by using the two thumb wheels. I’ve learned over the years to use the guess method of focusing – I’ve learned how to judge distances by eye and then I set the focus on the marked dial. If you’re shooting in bright light and use the smallest apertures then the dept of field will cover most inaccuracies in…

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