Yashica’s TL Series of 35mm SLRs

Yashica’s evolution during the 1960s and beyond started with their first TTL (Thru-the-Lens) exposure metered cameras – the much loved TL Series which were introduced right after the successful J Series (Penta J, Reflex 35, J-3, J-5, J-P, J-4, J-7).

It began with the exceptional TL-Super in April 1966. The chronology is as follows based on serial numbers and not based on advertised or previously known release dates.

  • TL-Super          Apr 1966
  • TL                      Nov 1967
  • TL Electro-X    Oct 1968   Type 1
  • TL-E                  Jun 1969
  • TL Electro X    Jul 1969     Type 2
  • ITS                    Dec 1970
  • Electro AX       Mar 1972
  • TL-Electro       Apr 1972
  • FFT                   Jul 1973

The TL Series ended in 1978 with the last TL-Electro made. All of these Yashicas used the M42 screw-in lenses which were made by a variety of lens makers.

It’s easy to decode your camera’s serial number as Yashica used a 3 or 4 digit date code at the beginning of the serial number. As an example, here’s a serial number on a TL-E (90607952)  9 = 1969, 06 = Jun, 07952 = 7,952nd made that month in sequence from 00001.

Here’s a TL (2816946)  2 = Feb, 8 = 1968, 16946 = 16,946th made that month in sequence.

If you’ve got a serial number that you can’t quite decode send it to me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

Thanks, 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 TL Electro-x

One of the best cameras that Yashica made – in 1968 Yashica produced an exciting 35 mm SLR with a built-in computer! Well, integrated circuits and an electronic “brain”.

It was my first SLR and I fell in love with its looks and the feel of it in my hands. This one is from my rather silly large collection of Yashica cameras and I’ve decided to make it available in my online shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

This one is from around 1970 and besides being in stunning mint condition it works like new!

dscf8890 logo

Gotta love the gothic “Y” on the pentaprism – pure Yashica!



The battery for this camera is still readily available today and isn’t very expensive.


I’ve always felt that the satin silver finish on this model was the best – it holds up well and it’s easy to keep clean.

The camera will come with a fresh (new) battery, the original leather case, an unopened vinyl strap, a roll of Fujicolor film and an instruction booklet. The beauty of this Yashica is that it accepts a wide array of M42 screw mount lenses which are available everywhere for very fair prices.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Studio camera – Fujifilm X-A10 with a Fujinon Aspherical Lens – Super EBC XC 16-50mm f3.5 OIS II

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 TL Electro-X & the Danish Ads

One of our favorite cameras from Yashica (and my first) is the famous and highly popular Yashica TL Electro-X. Yashica had a major hit on their hands when it was introduced to much fanfare in the late 1960s. A fully electronic camera that featured a “IC Brain” that controlled exposure settings and shutter speeds could be timed from 2 seconds to 1/1000 second with infinite in between settings. The TL Electro-X was sold around the world for many years – actually up through the mid 1970s.


The TL Electro-X seen here as the ITS model.


Top plate spare part. The gothic ‘Y’ on the pentaprism was/is synonymous with the TL Electro-X body whether it was in pro black or traditional silver.

Yashica TL electro x 1972 8

Recently discovered Danish ad for the TL Electro-X. As the ads says, the “world’s most advanced SLR”.

The ad above was recently sent to me by my good friend Paul Sokk from Australia – http://www.yashicatlr.com – The ad is from June 1972 and what’s interesting to us is the missing gothic ‘Y’ on the pentaprism. Up until now we weren’t aware of any models without the ‘Y’. No big deal – it’s just a curious variation. We’ve also discovered that Yashica (for whatever reason) also had models that the traditional red ‘X’ was changed to black. See below.


Camera on the left with what appears to be a black ‘X’ vice traditional red ‘X’.

Our best guess as to why the Danish ad has a TL Electro-X without the ‘Y’ would be that the local trading company or distributor wanted Yashica to supply cameras that were different than what was for sale in let’s say France or Germany. It’s not unheard of that Yashica supplied different distributors with slightly different body and lens sets. The Yashica J-P and its odd little 5cm f2.8 preset lens from 1964 comes to mind.

1969 April, Yashica TL Electro-X

April 1969 ad from a Danish photography magazine.

As always we endeavor to bring you the most accurate information about Yashica and its cameras. We welcome comments and of course, if something we’ve said is incorrect please let us know – or simply share additional info if you have some. Thanks

Chris & Carol

Cocoa Beach Firefighters – 1972

Cocoa Beach, Florida firefighters, May 1972

As part of my college ‘Photographic Documentation’ classes at Hydrospace Technical Institute (a mouthful), I decided to join the Cocoa Beach Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter trainee in the Spring of 1972. The highly trained professionals at the station agreed to train me and allowed me to document their activities for my class. Since Cocoa Beach is so close to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, the firefighters at Cocoa Beach had access to better personal gear (Lexan helmets and other high tech safety equipment) than other departments that were not expected to respond to a rocket related mishap. I hope to post a series of images over the next few weeks as more will be discovered in my archives. I’m sorry to say that I do not have the names of the brave firefighters I have pictured. I will be sharing my images with the current personnel of the Cocoa Beach Fire Department via their Chief.








My favorite truck. 1970 Chevrolet 4×4 Suburban Rescue Unit. Way cool!


Me and my favorite truck!

Camera:  Yashica TL Electro-X

Lens:  Auto Yashinon 50mm f1.7

Film:  Kodak Plus X Pan

Processing:  Self processing

Scanner:  Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II

From a collection of recently ‘found’ negatives from 1972.

Many thanks to the personnel of the Cocoa Beach Fire Department for their expert training and friendly advice. They took the more than a few of us college kids in and it was a great experience for all. When I went on to join the U.S. Navy in 1975, I put my background in firefighting to good use aboard the three aircraft carriers that I served aboard.


Kamakura Daibutsu

My wife and I lived in Yokohama, Naka-ku (Honmoku) from the Summer of 1977 to early Spring of 1980. We totally enjoyed our time in this wonderful country and are hopeful we will be able to return again. We had our favorite spots – Sankei-en and Kamakura being two of our most favorite. As with any well known attraction, the Great Buddha at Kamakura has been photographed from every angle imaginable. I’ve always enjoyed exploring angles that may not have been tried before.


July 1979. Canon F-1 with FD 24mm lens on Kodachrome 25.


Kodachrome 25. Bright sun. Canon F-1 with FD 24mm lens. It’s what film photography was (is) all about.


More traditional view of the Great Buddha. Steaming hot July day on the Kanto Plain. Yashica TL Electro-X on Kodachrome 64.


Gotta have a tourist shot! We love the antennas on top of Mt. Fuji!

So many things will have changed in Japan since we were last there but they’ll be plenty that will stay the same… forever. Kamakura is one of them.

Thanks for the visit!