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

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Yashima Flex Inspection Tag – update 1

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Earliest known inspection tag from Yashima Kogaku Seiki Company – 1953

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. I don’t have an image of the other side so I don’t know what additional info there would be.

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.

Kanji on Green Book

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

This is the best translation that I can ascertain at this time. My Google translate app did poorly so this was provided by a person in Japan. I can’t say that I understand but without a peek of the other side or a view of the inside of the booklet, I can only guess as to what it really means.

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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.

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Here’s a camera box from another set of mine and the instruction book from my Yashica Flex S. I’ve staged them to show how similar they are to one another in size compared to the green book. My instruction book is taller than the green book by about an inch and just a bit wider.

It finally got to me. After looking at this set in Japan and not knowing what the green book is I decided to purchase it. Oh well. I’ll know soon.

 

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

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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Happy SUNday! – Have you been flashed lately?

It’s easy to forget that at one time getting the right amount of light on your subject was no easy task…

Every one of us with a smartphone carries around a powerful “photo machine” in our pockets or purses. Not that long ago, well really a long time ago now when you think about it, these monsters were the epitome of high tech flash units and cameras in the 1950s and 1960s.

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Yashica Mat EM – 1964

Pictured above are a fully functional Yashica-Mat EM and Yashica PRO 40 Quick-Lite electronic flash. This was “as-simple-as-it-gets” with a medium format camera in that era. The EM has a built-in exposure meter (not a thru-the-lens type) and the PRO 40 was a straight forward light machine. Both units together with the 8 AA batteries and a roll of 120 film weigh in at nearly 4 pounds! Yikes!

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A close-up view of the exposure meter and scales on the Yashica Mat EM.

Going even further back in time, this Yashica Flex S is mated with a Minicam flash unit.

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Yashica Flex S – 1956 with Minicam flash. Powered by two “D” cell batteries.

The Yashica Flex model S also has a built-in selenium cell light meter made by Sekonic (that little thingy attached to the side of the camera). The cells are located behind the nameplate flap which can be opened to gather more light in low-light situations.

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The attached light meter made by Sekonic for Yashica. Here pictured on a Yashica AS-II camera.

The Minicam flash advertised itself as “sunlight at night”! If you can remember back to the days that these types of flash units were used you can agree – they did make “sunlight at night” as you were often blinded for quite some time afterward.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for some great vintage cameras and 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.

 

In the Shop – Fabulous Yashica D Set

In the shop today we’re offering this beautiful Yashica D twin-lens reflex set – complete as if it left the factory yesterday! A true time machine that’s in full working condition (tested) featuring crystal clear Yashikor (made by Tomioka) lenses. This wonderful set is available here first – it’s not available in the shop yet.

Payment button at the end of the post. I’ll mail this set anywhere in the US for free! That includes full insurance and tracking. I’ll ship worldwide with some exceptions. Please message me for a quote first.

What’s included –

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The Yashica D camera (1965 model), the original presentation box and the outer shipping box, the instruction booklet, the Yashica lens cap, all guarantee papers as well as the camera dealer’s customs forms, the inner packing material including the very hard to find plastic bag, a silica gel pack, and of course the Yashica brown leather camera case.

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The camera is a joy to use and unlike other more complicated medium-format cameras this one is “fall down” easy to shoot with. It features a simple to use knob for advancing the 120 film (12 exposures – 6x6cm), easy shutter cocking, and clear accurate focusing. The aperture and shutter speed is changed by the two thumbwheels on the front of the camera and the settings are visible from above in an easy to see window. This camera is perfect for the discriminating collector and/or the active photographer who enjoys using a vintage camera (54 years and counting). It does have a few small marks in the paint, some dust visible inside the viewing hood but absolutely no corrosion, no lifting of the leatherette and no issues with the optics. The presentation box does have one small tear in the cardboard and the lid is a bit discolored (see pic below).

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The camera and lens serial numbers match the box and the guarantee papers. The set was purchased in England in the summer of 1967.

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Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to own such a beautiful (and complete) set of this classic from Yashica.

Yashica D Complete Camera Set

Classic Yashica D twin-lens reflex camera set in nearly new condition. The set includes the camera, case, lens cap, the inner and outer boxes, all papers and the instruction booklet, and all of the factory packing materials. The camera is fully functional, the lenses are crystal clear, and the set is complete right down to the matching serial numbers. Shipping in the US is free. Shipping worldwide with some exceptions - please message me first. Thanks, Chris

$395.00

In the Shop – Yashica D Presentation Box

In the shop today we have a bit of a collector’s special. I’ve listed one of my early Yashica presentation boxes – those colorful boxes that were often tossed when new so 60 years on it’s getting harder to find these fun collectibles. They add instant appeal to your collection.

Stop by our shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com for complete details and additional pictures of the box. It can be purchased here or in the shop.

Vintage Yashica D Presentation Box

Vintage Yashica D presentation box from the first run of these iconic cameras (1958-1963 or so). Later boxes (1964 onward) were radically changed to a more modern style. This box represents the earliest days of Yashica. The colors are unique - a pinkish gray with the letter 'D' in yellow, green, and black. It is missing one of the lids end flaps which could be easily duplicated by the serious collector or left as is. The box is solid and complete otherwise. For additional details and pictures pop on over to the shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com You can purchase this item here by simply clicking on the payment button or buy it in our shop. Shipping in the US is via USPS Priority Mail for $8.50 and I'll ship basically worldwide - just ask for a quote before ordering. Chris

$19.75

Happy SUNday! – Vintage Cameras –

yashicaflex rookie set

Yashicaflex Rookie 1956

All of our ‘Rookie Stuff’ together for this display. As a Japanese domestic market only camera, the Rookie is a rather unique find outside of Japan.

Wonderfully fun camera to use… always gets strange looks whenever it’s out and about.

yashica a and rookie

1959 gray Yashica-A and 1956 Yashicaflex Rookie. Two wonderfully simple twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras from Yashima-Yashica. These two have held up very nicely over these many years.

Probably one of the oddest names for a camera from Yashica (and they’ve had a bunch). If we use our western definition of the word “rookie” it would appear that Yashica was naming a simple to use camera that first-time photographers would be comfortable with. The Rookie was not available outside of Japan.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to see what we’ve added to our online store at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Chris