Yashima Pigeonflex – 1953

Before Yashica was Yashica it was Yashima. Yashima’s first camera was the oddly named Pigeonflex twin-lens reflex film camera (TLR). This was the first leather camera case for that camera.

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Actually the second version of the first case.

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Over the years I’ve taken several guesses as to what that little pocket is for. It’s not big enough to hold a lens cap but it would be a handy place for some lens cleaning tissue or to put a film box top as a reminder as to which film is loaded in the camera.

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This case is in remarkable condition given the fact that’s it’s 67 years old.

My case is available for your collection in my online shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com. For further in-depth reading about Yashima’s Pigeonflex please stop by my good friend Paul Sokk’s 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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashica Flex S Instructions

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Ultra rare and very early Yashica Flex Model S instructions. Not many of these leaflets survived their journey through time. This one is barely holding on to life. A small peek at Yashima’s early days before becoming Yashica. By the way… this camera was the first Japanese made TLR with a built-in exposure meter! A pretty modern concept in 1954!

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

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

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The 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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Of the many neat features that this camera has, one of the most useful is its close-up capabilities. Although we haven’t finished our first test roll of film we wanted to verify the reported 70cm close focusing feature. By pushing the little button above the thumbwheel you’ll be able to adjust the taking and viewing lenses for a closer focus (notice that the lens rings extend outwards about 4mm or so). The ability to bring the taking lens closer to the subject allows the camera to get closer to the subject without the use of cumbersome auxiliary lenses.

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Here the lenses are retracted back to their “normal” positions.

Thanks for stopping by! We’ll cover more of the camera’s features in future posts and we will post images from our first test roll soon. – Chris

Yashica Flex Model S… 1954 to 1957

The Yashica Flex model S (aka Yashicaflex) is one of Yashima’s most important early cameras… well maybe the second most important behind the first. Obviously Yashima’s first camera, the oddly named Pigeonflex one could argue, was the most important. The model S though was the first twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera (in the world!!!) that had a “built-in” exposure meter.

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The Yashica ‘Sailor Boys’ gather around the Yashica Flex model S. The boys are from 1962 and this TLR is from late 1956.

The Sekonic CB-1 exposure meter was attached to the camera’s left side and the light gathering cells were located under the nameplate flap. They were connected to one another but the meter was non-coupled to the camera settings. The user would lift the flap to expose the cells to light and then read the exposure index in the window on top of the meter. Then simply set the camera to the proper f-stop and shutter speed and snap away. No batteries required. But with the passage of time most of these meters failed in some way or another. If you find one with a working meter so much the better.

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Yashica-Mat EM from 1964. The exposure meter and light gathering cells were moved to the front and top… no more flaps to raise and we were a bit closer to being coupled. This EM has a working exposure meter which is pretty amazing after 50 plus years!

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Close-up of the Sekonic CB-1 exposure meter on the Yashica Flex S.

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Exposure meter scale for setting the f-stop and shutter speed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Exposure meter light gathering cells located under the Yashica Flex nameplate.

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Exposure meter on the Yashica-Mat EM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Close-up view of the aperture and shutter speed settings on the EM.

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Yashica-Mat EM exposure meter and exposure scale. Film speed is set at ASA 400.

So there you have it… a short (very short) history of some groundbreaking cameras from Yashima/Yashica. For more on Yashica’s awesome array of TLRs visit my friend Paul’s site at http://www.yashicatlr.com

Paul’s site is a labor of love and if you want to know anything about Yashima/Yashica that’s the place. We hope to bring some more Pentamatic blogs your way soon. We are of course, The Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic!

Thanks, Chris & Carol