Wordless Wednesday

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Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

BTW, my camera shop is always open at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – lots of specials!

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.

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Pentamatic Microscope Adapter – 1960

I have yet to use a microscope adapter in nearly 50 years of 35mm photography – but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t collected them and enjoyed the thought of someday using one. I’ve had a few Canon adapters over the years too.

The first step would be actively looking for a microscope to purchase on one of the many online auction sites. Something I will do.

Here’s a nice adapter from Yashica with the Pentamatic bayonet mount. It’s one of the first accessories to appear in the early Pentamatic instruction booklets from 1960. List price was ¥2,500 which was fairly expensive back in the day.

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The adapter mounts directly to the body of the camera – no lens needed.

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A scan from an early Pentamatic sales brochure.

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These instructions are from a later booklet featuring the adapter for the M42 screw mount.

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I believe that the microscope depicted here is a Yashima microscope but it’s not made by Yashica. Yashima was the first name that Yashica went by in the early 1950s.

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Not made by Yashica but still a super cool vintage microscope.

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Typically you’d use a right angle finder such as this one to make it a bit easier to use the adapter on a microscope.

What’s always amazed me is just how many different camera manufacturers made microscope adapters – Canon, Olympus, Nikon just to name a few and how many are still available for purchase online from various auction sites that are unused, still new in their boxes.

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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.

Yashica Pentamatic – 1960

Gettin’ its 1960s groove on with a little bit of fun in the studio.

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Yashica ヤシカ Pentamatic ’35’

The Pentamatic was Yashica’s first 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) camera. For a company known for building quality twin lens reflex (TLR) cameras, it was a big step forward for them. It wouldn’t have been possible without the combined expertise of the engineers, designers, and craftspeople from Nicca Camera Company which Yashica had acquired in early 1958.

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The Pentamatic with its placement of the cold shoe on the camera’s left top plate moved this clip on exposure meter away from the shutter button and film advance lever. A much more convenient location.

It’s a uniquely beautiful camera with all sorts of interesting angles and that forward facing shutter release button. (see below) The cold shoe (accessory shoe) wasn’t mounted on top of the pentaprism as was common (well most SLRs didn’t have a cold or hot shoe yet) but instead was located on the upper left side of the camera and combined with the rewind lever. (see above)

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That wonderful shutter release button – right where your “trigger” finger wants to be when holding such a heavy camera.

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A crop of the full-page ad from the June 1960 issue of Modern Photography. Yashica’s first public advertisement of their new SLR.

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A complete set as it would have come from the factory with the exception of the lens. I swapped out the standard Tomioka made 5.5cm f/1.8 lens for this beauty.

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Earliest known sales brochure (from Japan) for the Pentamatic. We’re unsure of its exact month of issue but it appears to be at least from the first half of 1960 as it talks about the cooperation between the designers at Nicca and Yashica to bring this camera to market. Many thanks to my good friend Paul Sokk for the kind use of his brochure. For more from Paul, stop by his amazing site at http://www.yashicatlr.com

Thanks for stopping by and hopefully you’ve learned a bit more about this wonderful camera from Yashica. – 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-Tomioka Pentamatic Lens – Available for Purchase

We’ve decided to make one of our nicest Yashica Pentamatic lenses made by Tomioka Optical available for purchase. This is a special lens from our personal collection. The Super Yashinon-R f/ 2.8 3.5cm wide angle lens is from the earliest production of these hard to find lenses. It is marked Yashica Tominon and a relatively small number were produced in late 1959 and very early 1960.

This lens set is extra special as it includes the original Yashica brown leather case with strap and original metal Yashica front lens cap (52mm). The lens features a super low serial number and a fast f/ 2.8 aperture. The world famous Tomioka made glass is crystal clear and the lens barrel is factory fresh looking. No issues with this beauty – everything works as it should and frankly the lens looks new.

If you’ve been a regular reader here at the ‘Fanatic’ you’ve come to appreciate just how rare high-quality Pentamatic lenses, cameras, and accessories are. We’ve seen prices slowly creeping up on these rarities as more people realize that they’re just aren’t that many lefts in near perfect condition.

Please note: this lens can be used on modern digital camera bodies. There is an adapter to convert the unique Pentamatic bayonet mount to M42. Then use an adapter to mount M42 to your camera. You’ll love the results!

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The lens barrel is flawless – the markings are bright, sharp and clean.

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As you can see, the lens is marked Yashica and Tominon. The first run of these lenses featured the Tomioka Optical ‘Tominon’ name. Also note the extremely low serial number, 309. The first two digits are ’35’ which is the focal length. The next four digits are the production sequence numbers.

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Rear view of the Pentamatic bayonet mount and the six aperture blades.

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The lens barrel still shows a nice factory sheen after all these years. Lens ‘Made in Japan’ at the Tomioka Optical factory in Tokyo.

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Smooth as silk. The aperture stops click in and out nicely, the focus is smooth and the lens is simply gorgeous.

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The original brown leather case is in exceptional condition.

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The stitching is still tight and complete.

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The straps are complete and the interior is clean and bright.

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The lens mounts securely to a Pentamatic body and looks sharp! Sorry, but the camera body is not included in this opportunity.

So there you have it. A historic lens for Yashica’s first SLR camera made by world famous Tomioka Optical in nearly new condition. Perfect for everyday shooting or for your collection.

If you would like to purchase this lens, please pop on over to our online store at https://www.ccstudio2380.com

We have it at a great value now but if you purchase it through our blog I’ll offer a 10% discount! Perfect for Christmas!

Thanks… Chris & Carol ^.^

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 © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

The Yashica Pentamatic – Our 8 Year Search – Some Conclusions & Wild Speculations

We’ve been hot on the elusive trail of the Pentamatic family of cameras from Yashica now for well over 8 years. We’ve looked under every rock (auction sites), nook (web searches) and crannies (well, just crannies) for anything related to the Pentamatic. Our search has led us to some interesting conclusions – and wild speculations!

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Some Conclusions

The first Pentamatic was “born” in December 1959 but wasn’t available for sale in the U.S. until April 1960. The Pentamatic was Yashica’s first 35mm single-lens reflex camera and was designed with the help of technology obtained from Yashica’s acquisition of Nicca Camera in 1958 and with some involvement with designers from Zunow Optical in 1959. Of course, Yashica designers were involved too as well as collaboration with Tomioka Optical for the first lenses.

Below is a scan of what appears to be the first sales brochure for the Pentamatic found in Japanese. A machine translation of it proves that Yashica and Nicca designers worked together to jointly develop the camera over a 3-year period. The exact date of this brochure has not been established but it appears to be at least issued in the Spring of 1960. Many thanks to my good friend Paul Sokk for his efforts in researching the Pentamatic with me over the years. His fabulous site can be found at www.yashicatlr.com

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Scan courtesy of Paul Sokk at http://www.yashicatlr.com

Below is a scan of the cover of that first sales brochure that features the new Pentamatic.

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Scan courtesy of Paul Sokk at http://www.yashicatlr.com

The original Pentamatic was a failure. A beautiful, sleek and modern camera at a great price, but still a failure. A replacement for it (Pentamatic II) was released by September 1960 – just a few short months after the original Pentamatic debuted.

The Pentamatic and the Pentamatic II were both out of production by January 1961. The Pentamatic S didn’t appear until around April 1961. Little was significantly changed over the course of these 3 models during this short timeframe. The Pentamatic II and its one-off lens improved on its semi-automatic capabilities. The body stayed the same with the exception of adding the engraved “II” after the name. No logic to this as Yashica could have simply made the new lens available as an option to the original Pentamatic. There had to be another reason to call it the model II and it appears that there were some internal changes made to accommodate the new lens.

The standard lens that was available for the Pentamatic II was designed and built (quickly?) by Zunow vice Tomioka. Our best guess at this point.

The Pentamatic II was only available for sale in Japan.

The Pentamatic S essentially was the replacement for the original Pentamatic – not the Pentamatic II. The model S added a lug for attaching an accessory exposure meter that coupled to the shutter speed dial. The S also added a self-timer and the body got a redesign (the strap lugs were moved to the front and the shutter release button was no longer at a 45-degree angle).

The Instruction Booklets

The booklets have been an additional source of fun separate from the camera searches. The booklet for the original Pentamatic was relatively easy to find. The first Pentamatic saw about 16,000 units made so the booklet is much more available. The Pentamatic II booklet was the hardest to locate since only around 5,000 cameras were made. The Pentamatic S booklet is even rarer – only around 3,000 cameras produced.

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The 3 Pentamatic instruction booklets. Notice that the Pentamatic and Pentamatic II booklets have the same design while the model S differs dramatically. More “clues”.

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The back cover of the Pentamatic II booklet – the only one to carry a date (lower right corner). This one is dated September 1960. Showa date is 35.

Inside the booklets…

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The original Pentamatic.

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The Pentamatic II.

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The Pentamatic S.

Wild Speculations

Wild Spec 1 – The first Pentamatic was not initially released in Japan. Yashica had a slow go with its early production so only a limited number were available for the April to June debut in the U.S. There were only about 4,000 cameras made by then and that just didn’t support a wide release of it in their home market. However, with the discovery of the as yet undated sales brochure found by my friend Paul Sokk it does appear that some of the first Pentamatics were in fact distributed in Japan. We do feel that Yashica had a suspicion that the original model would not go over well at home. Why do we feel this way? During our quest of all things Pentamatic, we’ve yet to find an instruction booklet for the original Pentamatic in Japanese (or any other language besides English). We’ve seen no early 1960s advertisements either. Although we’ve yet to find these items that does not mean they don’t exist.

Wild Spec 2 – The Pentamatic II was only available in Japan and was never intended for widespread availability in the world marketplace. We further feel that the Pentamatic II was the camera Yashica intended to release in Japan vice the original Pentamatic. Why? Same thing… in over 8 years of searching we’ve never seen a Pentamatic II instruction booklet in English and the only sales brochures we have are in Japanese. No English ads or brochures anywhere (yet). Update: As of April 2019 still no English ads or books.

Wild Spec 3The Pentamatic S wasn’t available in Japan. Crazy right? The same thing applies here – no Japanese advertising or brochures and no instruction booklets in anything but English. Again, not finding them does not translate to not being produced but the likelihood looks slim.

Wild Spec 4 – As we stated in the conclusions section above, the standard lens for the Pentamatic II (5.8cm f/1.7) was made for Yashica by Zunow Optical vice Tomioka. This flies in the face of what’s known and we don’t have solid written proof (yet, if ever). Both the original Pentamatic and the Pentamatic II ended production in January 1961. By coincidence, that’s the reported date of Yashica’s acquisition of Zunow (or their bankruptcy). Once Zunow went bust they no longer make lenses for the Pentamatic II.

Wild Spec 5 – Once the Pentamatic II stopped production, Yashica started selling the original Pentamatic in Japan (or at least increased its availability in Japan). We would still like to find a Pentamatic instruction booklet in Japanese to validate this thought.

Wild Spec 6 – Since the Pentamatic S wasn’t sold in Japan, there was a rather large gap in Yashica’s SLR availability. The next camera to be sold widely in Japan (and the U.S.) was the Penta J but that didn’t come out until the Summer of 1961.

These marketing and production missteps led to a less than stellar debut for Yashica in the world of 35mm SLRs. The competition during this same period was “inventing” much more sophisticated (and mostly more expensive) cameras which had a wider range of interchangeable lenses and accessories. It took Yashica a long time to establish a “foot in the door” with their Penta J and their first internally coupled exposure metered SLR, the Yashica J-3 (Jaguar).

Things we would like to find…

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Original sales brochure for the Pentamatic II.

The first thing we would like to discover would be an ad, sales brochure or instruction booklet in English for the Pentamatic II. We don’t think we will as we feel that they don’t exist.

We would like to find a Pentamatic instruction booklet in Japanese. They must exist but we’ve yet to find one.

A Pentamatic S instruction booklet and a sales brochure in Japanese. Don’t think they exist but time will tell.

A Pentamatic II box!!! They must exist – someone’s got to have one in their collection! Update: Finally found one but we missed acquiring it for our collection so we “borrowed” this image –

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Very similar to the original Pentamatic box but black vice silver.

A Pentamatic (any model) in its original boxes in factory fresh condition. WooHoo!

***Solid proof that the standard lens for the Pentamatic II was made by Zunow Optical.***

Other than these things, I think we’re good! ^.^

Thanks for your visit! If you’ve made it this far in the post give yourself a big pat on the back! You just may be on your way to becoming a ‘Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic’!

Please stop by our online shop at https://www.ccstudio2380.com and check out some of our classic cameras available for sale.

We are active buyers of quality cameras and equipment – especially anything Yashica, Nicca, Fujica or whatever! Contact us at chriscarol@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.

Yashica Super Yashinon-R Lens… by Tomioka Optical

Another look at an early lens from Yashica for the Yashica Pentamatic.

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Nice little addition to our Pentamatic family of lenses. Purchased in Japan and was with an early model Pentamatic’35’ set in “well used” but stable working condition. It came with the original Yashica brown leather case, unbranded plastic rear lens cap, Yashica front metal 52mm push-on lens cap, unbranded lens hood and a very nice looking Walz chrome metal and glass Skylight C. (cloudy) 52mm filter.

dscf2868Pentamatic bayonet mount 13.5cm short telephoto lens… f/3.5 with super low serial number. Early Yashica lenses were often given a serial number that starts with the focal length of the lens. In this example, ‘135 0722’ shows it to be a 135mm lens with a sequential production number of 722. Best guess is that this lens was made in late 1959. We have another Super Yashinon-R 13.5cm lens with a serial number of ‘135 0927’.

The above image shows the lens partially disassembled…

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The Yashica Penta J – aka Yashica Jaguar

To us, a super find!

To others, a big “oh, okay”. The Yashica Penta J was Yashica’s first 35mm SLR camera to use the common m42 screw-in lens mount. Released around September (?) 1961, it was basically a continuation of the Pentamatic series but with the different lens mount. The Penta J appears to have at least 3 versions – Version 1 (image below) retains the closest design to the Pentamatic S (minus the self timer lever below the shutter release button, the small lens release button and the neck strap lugs discussed below).

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Yashica Penta J version 1.

Please note as to where the neck strap lugs are on this version of the Penta J (pictured above). The strap lugs are on the sides of the camera vice on the front as in later Yashica SLRs. Notice where the strap lugs have been moved to on the Pentamatic S (pictured below).

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The strap lugs have been moved to the front of the top plate on the Pentamatic S. This was a departure from the first two Pentamatic models (pictured below).

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The original Pentamatic ’35’ (left) and its Japanese market only cousin the Pentamatic II. Note that the strap lugs are just like the first version of the Penta J.

One of the things that’s been troubling us about the Penta J, is where did Yashica come up with the “J”? Were they following a progression of the alphabet? Did they just like the sound and look of the “J”? We can guess that the “Penta” was lifted from the camera it was replacing, the Pentamatic. As it turns out, the answer as to what the “J” stands for has been in a Japanese ad that we’ve had for years (image below) and never noticed until now!

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We think this is one of the first ads for the Penta J anywhere. We don’t know if the camera pictured in the ad has the “filled-in J” like the Penta J version 1 camera above. The clue as to what the “J” stands for is circled in red and underlined in green.

If you look closely at the Japanese characters that I’ve circled in red,  ジャガー  they represent the word “jaguar”. If you then go to either Google Japan or Yahoo Japan and search for “Yashica Jaguar”, you’ll see at least 3 different blogs that refer to the Penta J as the “Jaguar”.

With that mystery (to us) solved, I believe that the Penta J fits in nicely to another camera that Yashica released in the summer of 1960 – the Yashica Lynx-1000 which is a 35mm fixed lens rangefinder camera (image below).

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The Yashica Lynx. Released about a year before the Penta J = Jaguar.

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The ad states that the camera goes by the nickname of the “wildcat” hence the name “Lynx” and that it “catches the moving body agility like its name”.

So there you have it – a minor mystery solved… and the answer was staring us right in the face!

Thanks for your visit! Remember to check out our e-commerce store at https://www.ccstudio2380.com

Some of our art prints are available at https://society6.com/ccstudio2380

A gallery of some of our photography can be found at https://500px.com/yashicachris

Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Zunow SLR – 1958

One of the rarest early Japanese 35mm SLR cameras ever made. The Zunow SLR (below).

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Zunow SLR 1958.

This gorgeous Zunow sold for a cool ¥ 1,880,000 (about $16,700 USD)!

The Yashica Pentamatic (below) just sold for $16,598 less!

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Yashica Pentamatic 35mm SLR. Yashica’s first ever. A cousin to the Zunow? We think so.

We believe designers and engineers from Zunow and Nicca played a big part in bringing the Pentamatic to market by early 1960.

Thanks for your visit! To find out more about Yashica and the Zunow connection stay a bit and check out our blog here on the ‘Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic’!

Chris and Carol ^.^

Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashica Pentamatic Presentation Box – 1960

These are not often seen (or collected) as most boxes of this type would have been tossed after purchasing the camera. I know we were guilty of that back in the 1970s when we tossed our Canon F-1 and AE-1 boxes (insert crying sounds).

Here’s a very nice Pentamatic camera presentation box for Yashica’s very first 35mm SLR camera from 1960. A rather distinctive style from Yashica – it certainly plays up the pentaprism aspect of the camera.

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Thanks for stopping by! Remember, Carol and I are always on the hunt for interesting classic camera sets – if you have something to sell we are buyers! Contact us at chriscarol@ccstudio2380.com

Come visit us at our online store, CC’s Studio Twenty-3 Eighty at https://www.ccstudio2380.com

Many thanks… C&C ^.^

Please respect that all content, including photos and text are property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2017 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.