Yashima Pigeonflex – my oldest Yashica

Confusing title to be sure.

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Before Yashica there was Yashima and before that, there was a Pigeonflex. Yashima 1953. That’s 65 years of Japanese dirt, dust, and fuzz – purchased from a collector from Sapporo, Japan. In my eyes… it’s beautiful! The Tomioka lenses are clean and clear. The camera works great too! Made by the wonderful craftspeople of Yashima / Yashica in beautiful Nagano Prefecture along the shores of Lake Suwa.

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The original Pigeonflex on the left and the first ever TLR to bear the Yashima Flex name on the right. The Pigeonflex has been left in its “as found” condition… proudly showing its 65 plus years of dirt and grime. The Yashima Flex is also in its “as found” condition but it has lived a more protected life. Basically, these are the first two cameras that Yashica (as it has come to be known) manufactured.

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Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com as you may see something that strikes your fancy! – 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-Mat 124G

The Yashica-Mat 124G was Yashica’s last TLR in a long line of twin-lens reflex cameras dating back to 1953. The likely end date for the 124G was 1986. That’s a phenomenal run for a TLR.

Think about the cameras that were being marketed in the 1980s – the Canon New F-1N, the Canon T90 and EOS 650, a gem from Nikon like the F3, autofocus and autoexposure 35s from Fujifilm, Canon, Olympus and a host of others. TLRs were dinosaurs in a George Jetson world but there was Yashica plodding away building 124Gs for a world that didn’t need or want them.

To be fair, Yashica was also making some modern cameras too during this period that were very well received building on the successes of their pioneering electronic cameras from the late 1960s and the 1970s. But all was not well for Yashica. 1983 saw the takeover by Kyocera and except for a few surprising winners now and then, Kyocera was not committed to advancing the Yashica brand.

I believe that the Yashica-Mat 124G during this period did not suffer from its association with Kyocera. Early 1980, 1981 and 1982 124s look and feel just as good as the later 124Gs that were made during the later Kyocera years.

The “G” in the 124G indicates that Yashica used gold plated contacts in their electronic CdS light meter connections implying that it was a better way to make a more reliable connection.


With the viewfinder hood closed power to the light meter was shut off conserving battery power. Here the shutter speed is set at 1/250 and the aperture at f16. The red meter needle is deflected to the left.


With the hood opened, the meter is now powered and with the shutter set at 1/30th and the aperture opened up to f3.5 the red meter needle is deflected to the right. The ASA is set a 400.


In my opinion, there’s nothing cheap about the Yashica-Mat 124G. I think it’s actually quite modern looking given that a TLR is far from advanced design and technology. Yes, Yashica switched from using chrome metal trim items in favor of black plastic pieces but have you ever looked closely at Canon’s T90 and EOS 650? Even the F3 uses plastic – done well there’s nothing wrong with it. The weight difference between my venerable mid-1960s Yashica-Mat EM and my 124G is about one ounce.

In summary, if you want to experience medium format photography at its best you can’t go wrong with either a classic from Yashica like the Yashica D, EM or Mat or this modern classic the Yashica-Mat 124G. The Tomioka made optics are sharp, the Copal shutters are accurate and the build quality from Yashica was second to none (millions made).

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit my 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 © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

New in the Shop – Yashica-Mat 124G

Perfectly operating Yashica-Mat 124G twin-lens reflex (TLR) 6×6 cm medium format film camera. Whew!

The last TLR in a very long line of innovative and quality made cameras by Yashica. The last 124G rolled off the assembly line at the Okaya factory in 1986 (Kyocera was in “control” and was about to kill off the Yashica name. Yashica’s first TLRs? The Pigeonflex and then the Yashima Flex (1953, 1954).

This model’s serial number is 164216 (roughly 1983) and it’s never been offered for sale before. I purchased it directly from the original owner who kept it unused as part of his collection. It’s been thoroughly tested – the light meter is spot on (I’ve installed a new battery), the shutter is accurate at all speeds, the lenses are crystal clear, and the aperture blades are snappy and oil free. I see only the slightest specs of dust on the reflex mirror inside which is typical (even straight from the factory there was dust as the mirror chamber is not sealed). It’s a joy to use and all controls operate as they should – smooth and precise. I’ve installed new light seals after carefully cleaning away the old ones. The CdS meter is built-in and coupled. BTW, these later model 124Gs are built as rugged as any of Yashica’s previous models – you get the benefits of a newer TLR with a fresher CdS meter with gold contacts. You should be able to use this camera with proper care for another 30 years or more!

It’s available for purchase in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com or you can buy it directly from here by clicking on the PayPal payment button and get free USA shipping!

Vintage 1983 Yashica-Mat 124G Twin-lens Reflex (TLR) Medium Format Camera (120 or 220 Roll Film) Producing 6×6 cm Negatives & Slides

Nearly new Yashica-Mat 124G TLR that's been completely tested and is in 100% fully operational condition. Open the box, load some film and you're a medium format square shooter! I've installed a new battery and new light seals. It comes with the original plastic Yashica lens cap (correct for this model). This camera is perfect for the discriminating collector or an active photographer. They don't come nicer than this well cared for beauty. It will ship FOR FREE within the USA via USPS Priority Mail and I'll mail it worldwide with some exceptions. Please contact me first for a quote. Thanks, Chris


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!


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.


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.


The Yashica 44 – A ‘Tiny’ TLR

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The 44 uses 127 roll film


The easier to handle Yashica 44 TLR (4×4 cm negatives and slides vice 6×6 cm) from early 1959 or so. The leatherette is “dove gray” while the metalwork is “machinery gray”. Yashica made these in about 8 different colors if you count black as a color. From the look of this sales brochure, the 44 was designed with women in mind as an alternative to the bulky and unstylish 66 models that were in use. Many of the Japanese ads from that period feature stylish modern women posing with their new cameras.

This camera has managed to travel to the present in a rather nice condition and the original light gray leather case is intact as is the original box. Many thanks to the good people at the factory in Shimosuwa for their good design and quality construction.


A sales brochure from 1959

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The 44’s colorful original box hints at the wide variety of colors available (although not quite these colors).

Yashica also made the 44 LM which featured a built-in exposure meter (light meter) which you can read about here.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit 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 © 2015-2019 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 –


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.




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).




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


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


New reflex mirror in my Rolleicord Ia Type 3 from 1938

After 80 years of use, the original mirror had lost most of its reflectivity and the view available in the viewing hood was greatly diminished.

I ordered a replacement mirror from hugostudio.com and I couldn’t be happier with the service and the quality of the product.

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With the viewing hood and focusing screen removed the view internally shows an abundance of the dirt and grime from 80 years of use. It’s pretty nasty in there!

There are only 4 screws to remove to be able to access the mirror chamber. The mirror essentially slides out from the 4 tabs that hold it in.

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Old and new mirrors side-by-side.


The mirror chamber with the original mirror removed. A quick dusting and it was ready for the new mirror installation.

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Before and after. What a difference the new mirror makes.

I highly recommend that you change out the original reflex mirror in your TLR if it shows signs of significant deterioration – the view in the focusing hood will be made much brighter and that will lead to more accurate focusing on your part. Most mirrors can be had for around $10 and there are a few sellers on eBay to choose from. The key is the accuracy of the cut as there’s little room for error. If in doubt trace the outline of the mirror that you are replacing and send that (or just the measurements) to the seller.

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Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your project! – 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.

Yashica LM -1956

Made by Yashima Optical – my first model LM

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This Yashica LM was the first camera that I posted on my Flickr site back in December 2013

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The selenium cells were hidden under the nameplate – it was a highly accurate light meter

Yashica LM twin-lens reflex (TLR) 6×6 cm medium format film camera. This is one of my most favorite TLRs from Yashica. It features a built-in light meter (LM) and sharp Tomioka made lenses.

These two images were the first two that I posted on my Flickr site back in 2013. I was fond of using two different backgrounds – a dark blue (pictured above) and a softer light blue. I use a stark white background now but I’m getting a bit tired of it. I may go back to using a light blue (see below).

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Thanks for stopping by! BTW, my Flickr site can be found here 


Happy SUNday! – Vintage Cameras –

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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.

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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