Help solve another mystery… who is she?

Help! She’s been driving us crazy for years trying to identify what type of uniform she’s wearing.

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Is she a stewardess, cruise ship officer, tour bus guide, train hostess? The uniform is certainly not a military uniform (but could be). This instruction booklet is from the late 1950s. Her cap is keeping with the style of the airlines at the time but definitely not JAL. Take note, she has a gold stripe on her right sleeve which wasn’t consistent with airlines unless you were in the cockpit. There is a hint of what looks like a pin (wings ?) on the left side of her jacket and of course there’s the emblem (logo) on her cap.

We’ve tried to place her by her looks. She doesn’t appear to be Asian… we think she looks northern European or from the UK… just don’t know.

We’re open to any and all ideas… just for fun since this is the only time Yashica used an image with a model wearing a uniform on the cover of their booklets. It was replaced rather quickly with a plain cover on later booklets.

Many thanks! We’ll take any and all guesses too.

Chris and Carol

 

Yashima Yashicaflex A-II

Our Yashicaflex A-II is headed for the finish line – soon! These images were from day one and day 100 (just kidding about the 100). There have been so many issues to deal with restoring this 63 year old camera that it’s been a slow go. While this restoration has been an ongoing process for us, we’ve used some of our time to address some of the other cameras in our collection that needed only small repairs and a good cleaning.

Day one is pictured below. After prying the camera from its leather case (literally), the rust and corrosion were widespread and had eaten deep into the metal. Dirt everywhere! But the camera functioned! Glass was mold and fungus free but dirty and the shutter was accurate.

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The die cast aluminum body and back door were corroded big time. The thin metal parts were rusty and pitted. The leatherette was dry and brittle with many missing pieces.

Below the same area after 3 coats of etching primer and filler putty to “replace” the missing aluminum due to the depth of the corrosion.

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By this point some of the final finish coats of primer and filler could be applied. Lots of sanding between coats. At least the corrosion was gone and something of a finish could be imagined.

The camera will be re-imagined and restored. Since it’s not a rare Yashica model, Carol and I feel free to express some creativity in the re-build. Stay with us as I believe we’ll be able to have the finished product ready to show by early spring. The Yashima Yashicaflex A-II ‘Sakura’.

Thanks for your visit!

Chris and Carol

Hit the Road 2016! Hello 2017!

Thank goodness 2016 is almost history! I’ve heard from friends in Australia that 2017 is going well (so far). Let’s not muck it up!

On a positive note – here on our blog, we’ve seen a significant increase in activity over last year (2015). Visitors to the site and views are through the roof! We (Carol and I) are thrilled that what started out as a repository of bits and tidbits of Yashima-Yashica information would gain the traction that it’s had. We thank you!

We enjoy the feedback we get and I can say that I’ve learned more than a few things from it. We’ve met some super talented people – photographers and bloggers that are out of this world amazing! We hope our readers got a little something special in return too. That was the goal of the ‘Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic’ -a sharing of knowledge about a silly camera that Yashica invented in 1959 that most people have never heard of.

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This year’s favorite.

In looking through the hundreds of film and digital images that we shot in 2016, this one turns out to be our favorite. We believe that every vintage camera is worth preserving (in some way or another) – we think of cameras as holding the heartbeats of all who may have gazed through its lenses, pressed its buttons and then anxiously awaited the results. We can imagine the thousands of faces and smiles that were captured and the thousands of important events in people’s lives that were saved for the future. Classic cameras do that for us.

Don’t get us wrong… we love the  world of digital photography but we also embrace the beautiful, often awkward analog machines of our past. We hope that photographers in the future will remember (every now and then) to pick up a classic camera, load some film into it and then set out to capture images with a camera older than yourself. Enjoy!

Happy New Year… we wish only the best for all!

Chris and Carol ^.^

 

Yashima Yashicaflex A-II… 1955 – A restoration like no other!

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Restoration challenge! Six decades of dirt, grime, soot and corrosion have taken their toll on this once beautiful Yashicaflex. There isn’t a part that escaped the corrosion – except the workings. The glass is just fine, shutter works, aperture blades are problem free – film advance works as does the focus. 

I’m finally on the home stretch of this year plus project. My desire to re-imagine this camera into the modern age has been the biggest holdup. Actually I’m calling it an “interpretative restoration” – that allows the artist and designer in me to reconcile with the fussy photographer that I am.

Watch the blog over the next two weeks or so as I bring it all together for the final reveal.

Thanks – Chris

Shooting in squares…

It’s tough to think square again! I’m spoiled (aren’t we all) by the ease of digital photography – nice proportions – wide screen – big images – bold colors – lots of megapixels. Exposures? Shutter speeds? Composition? No worries – the technological gems we hang from our necks will think for us. I’m as guilty as anyone – I love what digital can do and what it can’t.

Now try to think of the world in little squares – 6 x 6 centimeter squares to be exact. It’s hard to do – modern formats are always elongated squares. Who loads square images on their blog? The square format went out with the Instamatic! But if you’re lucky enough to own (or have access to) a medium format (6×6) camera then you too can shoot in squares.

I recently took one of my Yashica TLRs out on a date – threw in some fresh Fujifilm and off I went. I must confess – I love color! Sure I like an occasional fling with some black and white (Neopan 100 Acros) but color gets me going. Not “computer generated color” – the subtle color you see only on film. It’s there (just like in real life) but it doesn’t tackle you to the ground like some overly saturated digital image. Just nice and easy color.

These following images were taken with my Yashica-Mat EM twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera. Exposures were determined (suggested actually) by the EM’s on board exposure meter. Yashica claims that it’s built-in but it’s really just attached to the left side of the body by three screws and a wire. No TTL or coupled metering here… just a bunch of tiny numbers on top of more tiny numbers with an almost invisible pointer pointing at those tiny numbers. I chose Fujifilm’s Fujicolor PRO 400H color negative film because I enjoy shooting with Fujifilm and usually like the results. I will point out that no post production was done on these images. No cropping, no color adjustments – they’re just as they were when developed and scanned by the lab (which was The Darkroom).

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This is actually image 12 on the roll. Taken on day 2 of my travels. Perfect small town America shot. I lost my bright sun from the day before but the Fujicolor 400 made up for the dull sky. Is it properly exposed? Probably not. Off by about 1 stop or so.

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Day 1 – image 7 on the roll. The Fujicolor handled the strong contrast between the sky and building. The Yashica’s meter did a fantastic job. About 1/500 at f/ 16-22.

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Faded Florida – along U.S. Highway 17 in North Florida. High contrast with strong shadows. f/ 16 at 1/500.

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A nice test for the Tomioka 80mm lens. No flare and some nice highlights on the water. 1/250 at around f/ 11-16. I metered to the left of the bridge. Looking south into Florida from Georgia. Highway 17 bridge over the St. Marys River.

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Looking north towards Georgia. The Yashica’s meter did a wonderful job suggesting the proper shutter speed and aperture setting. 1/250 at f/ 16.

Shooting in squares can be fun and challenging. Do I think some of the images would be better in a 6 x 4.5 or 6 x 7 format? Yes – definitely. Can I learn to enjoy squares again? Yes – definitely.

Comments are always appreciated and welcomed. Thanks for your visit!

Chris

 

More ‘Found Film’

We recently posted a short article about the good and bad sides of ‘found film’. It’s always exciting whenever we acquire a new camera and find film from the previous owner. We enjoy trying to figure out what year the film may be from. In this case, the 120 roll is Kodak Ektachrome-X – color slide film or reversal film if you prefer. It was found in a Yashica-A twin-lens reflex (TLR) medium format camera.

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Yashica-A TLR and some ‘found film’. In this case some Kodak Ektachrome-X color slide film.

The camera (Yashica-A) is from October 1959. Its general appearance would indicate that it saw limited use as the camera is in near mint condition with only a few small detracting marks. It works perfectly and the optics are sharp and clear. The shutter is accurate and it’s ready to shoot with again. It always amazes me how many cameras we find with half used rolls of film.

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Nice little addition to our vintage film collection.

We’re not going to get this roll developed. Our experience with the most recent roll was basically a waste of money – and a bit scary as you never know if the previous photographer shot something bad. We’ll let this one alone.

If anyone can give us an idea as to when this style of film was in use we would love to know.

Many thanks for your visit!

Chris

You can visit us on flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/127540935@N08/

 

 

A beautiful sight…

Nothing like a fresh roll of film in your camera. The possibilities are endless – the results, well I’ll have to wait a week for those. Could be the reason digital became so popular so quickly. Could be why people still load cameras with instant film.

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Some Fujicolor Pro 400H color negative film.

It’s a beautiful sight…

Thanks for your visit! Now load up some film!

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Yashima Sales Brochure… 1956

In just 3 short years, Yashima beat the odds and became a Japanese camera company that lasted long enough to produce multiple models. In the case of this sales brochure from 1956 – the Yashica Flex B, A and Yashica-Mat twin-lens reflex cameras.

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Well designed sales brochure from the little company that became Yashica.

Not that we’ve seen a ton of sales brochures from other Japanese camera manufacturers from this era, but we think this was rather provocative for the mid 1950s (at least in the US we would think). This brochure was intended for the home market and the culture of Japan is a tad less uptight about things like this.

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Lovely model on the back cover of the brochure.

The first page inside the brochure in packed with information not typically found in a brochure. Yashima was, in our opinion, marketing itself beyond what such a young company would normally look like. These series of Yashica Flex Photography books were excellent creations that went far beyond a simple owner’s guide.

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You’ve got the year (1956), two examples of the Yashica Flex Photography books and some prices of the cameras.

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Last inside page of the brochure depicting Yashima’s new modern factory in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Yashima was a very proud company and they were eager to show how much they grew since 1953.

Thanks so much for your visit. The goal of our blog is to stimulate discussion and further the knowledge of all things Yashima-Yashica. Please share your comments with us… we’d be happy to read them. One final thought, we share our brochures with others and ask that you do not copy or post our images into your blog or post without permission. Thanks!

Chris & Carol

Yashima-Yashica Rookie – 1956

We were finally able to assemble our Yashicaflex Rookie ‘stuff’ for some studio shots. We’re still missing some items to make the set complete but so far the collection is looking good.

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The outer box (or shipping box) for the camera and its leather case is on the left. Of course the camera is in the center with the Rookie leather case to its right. The Rookie instruction booklet is in the lower right of this image and a colorful Rookie sales brochure is just below the lens cap. A warranty (service certificate) card identifying that this camera is a Yashicaflex Model R is just below the box and finally another sales brochure that features the Rookie is on top of the box.

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Original 1956 sales brochure.

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Sales brochure from 1956.

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Certainly an entry level twin-lens reflex camera with some nice features.

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The Rookie could take standard 6×6 cm images or with a accessory kit take 3 more images on standard 120 film and produce 6×4.5 cm negatives.

The Rookie wasn’t popular in Japan and Yashima-Yashica gave it a very limited run. I suspect that some popularity exists today just because it’s seldom seen here in the U.S. and it’s rather hard to acquire a really nice example. We like the camera, the name is goofy and didn’t play well in the marketplace.

As always… we appreciate your visit! Thanks, C&C

 

Yashima-Yashica Rookie

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Yashica-A in gray leatherette on left from 1959. The Yashica Rookie (on right) was a Japanese domestic market only model introduced in early 1956. In Japanese brochures and on the outer shipping box, the Rookie is also known as the Yashicaflex Rookie or simply the Yashicaflex Model R.

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The Yashica A and the Rookie share many of the same features and specs. The Copal shutters were the same and the Tomioka Optical made lenses were also the same in the beginning. Later models of the A (including this one) upgraded to a slightly different lens configuration.

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These outer shipping boxes are roughly from the same period. The Rookie is from mid 1956 while the A box is from early 1957 (or so). There are slight differences in the two boxes… the Rookie box is bigger but weighs less than the A box.