Kamakura, Japan 1977

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

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, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
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wordless wednesday

Friday Fotos! – Cocoa Beach FD

For a short time in the Spring of 1972 I was a volunteer firefighter trainee with the Cocoa Beach Fire Department – a professional department that was kind enough to take on a young college student and give me full access to their facilities and training. Here’s a few pics I shot with my new Yashica TL Electro-X 35mm SLR on Kodak Plus-X film that I developed and printed myself (for a school project).

I don’t have his name but he was a friendly firefighter that was more than happy to help with my training (as were all the others in the department).
It looks ancient now but completely open cabs were common back then. Engine 4 getting re-stowed after a run.
One of their newer engines in 1972 which featured a new to them semi-enclosed cab.
Me with my favorite truck. I’m just back from a very long and very hot purpose set fire for training.
Lots of gauges.
Always training.
Mean Mack!

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

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, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

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A tale of two boxes from Yashica.

From 1973, a box for the TL Electro-X ITS (Integrated Technology System). The box reflects the efforts of Yashica’s marketing division to create a more sophisticated looking box consistent with the new look to the TL Electro-X.
The original Yashica TL Electro-X box. This one is from mid-1970.

If you’re looking to add the correct box for your Yashica TL Electro-X be sure to match the proper box to the two different cameras. BTW, except for some external appearance differences, the ITS and the original Electro-X cameras are the same. The ITS was only available in an all black body whereas the original was available in both a satin chrome and black body.

If you look closely you’ll see that this box uses green for the “TL” and “35” logo where the true original uses a red “35” logo and a white “TL”. Oddly this variation of the box is from May 1970 which is right in the middle of the other boxes with the red logo. I haven’t decoded if it means anything changed in relationship to the camera or was it just a marketing exercise to see which looked better.

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

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, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

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Yashica TL Electro X – one of Yashica’s most popular 35mm SLRs – ever!

The venerable TL Electro X

Far left is the TL Electro X in silver chrome (it also was available in all black) and on the right the TL Electro X ITS which was only available in pro-black with the gold electron symbol on the pentaprism.
Not to overlook the quality of the lenses from Yashica which were made in-house by Tomioka Optical. Here’s an Auto Yashinon DS-M 50mm f1.4 – super sharp lens (and fast).

If you’re looking to acquire a true classic 35mm SLR that will ease you into film photography, then I highly recommend getting this model Yashica. They were produced in rather large quantities during the late 1960s through the mid-1970s and if you find one that looks as nice as this one (and is a one owner) then the likelihood of getting one in fully working condition goes way up. Avoid online sellers that provide fuzzy pics and vague descriptions – look for sellers that will answer your direct questions as to the functional condition of the camera. The good news is that this Yashica uses a very common battery – I’m using an Energizer A544-6V alkaline (also known as an LR44). The battery provides the correct voltage with no drop-off over time.

BTW, this one was made in the then newest Yashica factory in Hong Kong and is marked “Hong Kong” on the bottom plate vice “Japan” which would be marked on the right side back of the top plate. This one will be leaving my collection soon as I am currently downsizing my camera collection. You can watch for it in my online camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Comments are always welcomed as I’ve learned quite a bit from reader feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by and while you’re at it, feel free to visit my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com (CC Design Studios hosted by Etsy). – Chris Whelan

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, Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2021 Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris (Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic), Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Chasing Classic Cameras – Yashica TL Electro X 1973 Hong Kong Model

We enjoy collecting and sharing our Yashica cameras with our readers, especially if they tend to be a little hard to find and in such outstanding condition. I say this is hard to find just because not many were made at Yashica’s new factory in Hong Kong during 1973. As the saying goes, this was assembled in Hong Kong from parts made in Japan.

There’s really no difference between the models assembled in Hong Kong from the ones made in Japan that we’ve been able to detect. In our experience the fit and finish is the same with no known issues particular to the HK model. In fact, the HK models that we’ve owned seem to be in excellent condition overall with exceptionally nice satin chrome surfaces that hold up well over the years.

Typically ‘JAPAN’ would be on the top plate next to the serial number but on these models ‘HONG KONG’ is on the bottom.
The serial number is easy to decode. 3 = 1973, 10 = Oct, 01219 = the number built up to this point for that month.

The lens on this beauty is a fast and sharp Auto Yashinon DS-M 50mm f1.4 made for Yashica by the recently acquired Tomioka Optical. All Yashica camera bodies use M42 screw mount lenses up to the C/Y mount cameras made much later.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com – 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 © 2015-2021 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Yashica’s Electronic Marvel

The Yashica TL Electro X was one of Yashica’s most successful 35mm SLR out of a line-up that included many winners but also plenty of losers. The TL Electro X made its debut in the fall of 1968 (October) and was produced until early 1974. Many thousands were made over that span and although we have many examples in our collection, this is the only one that still has its original box.

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This one is from May 1969.

The dealer display card states “World’s First SLR With IC Computer”. This example is fully functioning including the built-in electronic TTL exposure meter (TTL – Thru The Lens). I imagine that the ‘TL’ in the name relates to where the meter is located.

The Yashica TL Electro X is a fun camera to use and the metering system is easy to master. They’re readily available through online auction sites and clean, working examples can be found at comfortable prices. Caution is needed if the seller says they’re not sure if it works as the alkaline 6v battery (A544) is available for under $5 so there’s no reason not to test the camera and meter before listing it.

The Auto Yashinon-DX f/1.7 50mm lens that’s standard with most TL Electro X’s is plenty fast enough with medium speed film and I’ve always found it to be sharp enough at all apertures. The body takes M42 screw mount lenses of which there are still plenty to go around.

If you’re looking for a great camera to get into film photography than we highly recommend this model.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit our camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

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 © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Happy SUNday – days long gone

Happy SUNday everyone! I hope your day goes well and it’s sunny and warm.

cw cocoa beach fd

Cocoa Beach F.D. – Me and my favorite truck 1972. Taken with a Yashica TL Electro X on Kodak Ektachrome.

While attending college at nearby Hydrospace Technical Institute (H.T.I.) which was the oceanographic tech school of the Florida Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) I was able to train as a volunteer firefighter with the Cocoa Beach Fire Department, Florida. It was an extremely enjoyable time in my life – 18 years old, SCUBA diving and surfing almost every day and studying a subject I was interested in. I appreciated the time the professional firefighters took to train us and I think they enjoyed the interaction with those hippie boys from school. By the way, the locals referred to H.T.I. as the “Hippie Training Institute”.

cb fd 1

Yashica TL Electro X on Kodak Plus X Pan.

cb pd and fd

Cocoa Beach P.D. and F.D. hanging out.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your day! – 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.

 

Happy SUNday! – Recent Arrivals

Some new additions to our already crowded Yashica family of cameras.

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Our all-time favorite Yashica SLR.

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*** Yashica TL Electro X ***

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This one is from April 1973 and was made in the newly opened factory in Hong Kong.

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Hard to find Yashica Electro AX – second to the last M42 screw mount lens bodies.

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This is the only early Yashica SLR with a leatherette insert on the pentaprism. This one was made in November 1973.

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Yashica D TLR from late 1966.

Some of these will be appearing in our shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com in the coming weeks as well as some other arrivals.

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day! – 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 M42 Timeline – update 9.23.19

Yashica’s M42 screw mount 35mm SLR cameras were super successful and in some cases, groundbreaking. Yashica was known as a “Pioneer in Electronic Cameras” during the 1960s and 1970s with the TL Electro-X being the first electronically controlled SLR camera. My good friend and fellow Yashica collaborator Paul Sokk ( YashicaTlr.com ) and I have studied Yashica’s serial numbering system as it applies to their 35mm SLRs that used the universal M42 screw-in lens mount.

These dates represent the earliest finding of an individual model based solely on their serial numbers – not necessarily their release date. In some cases, the dates are still fluid as there is still the possibility of finding a stray in the wild that would prove an earlier production date.

Yashica often included a month and year in the first 3 or 4 digits of the camera’s serial number. By decoding these numbers Paul and I have come up with the following list.

  • Penta J            6/1961
  • Reflex 35        3/1962
  • J-3                    2/1963
  • J-5                    3/1964
  • J-P                    8/1964
  • J-4                    4/1965
  • TL-Super        4/1966
  • J-7                  11/1966
  • TL                  11/1967
  • TL Electro-X Type 1    10/1968
  • TL Electro X Type 2      7/1969
  • TL-E                 6/1969
  • ITS                 12/1970
  • TL-Electro     4/1972
  • Electro AX     3/1972
  • FFT                 7/1973

In some cases, the dates are from cameras that appeared in sales brochures and user manuals. We have a high degree of confidence that these dates are correct and that they reflect a true chronology of these cameras as of this post.

Here’s an example of a Yashica serial number during this period –

(81200636)   8 = 1968, 12 = DEC, and 00636 = 636th made that month.

Yashica Type 1 Back Logo

The serial number on my Yashica TL Electro-X Type 1

If you’ve found a camera that exists outside of these start dates, please feel free to let me know and if you have a serial number that you’re unable to decode send it my way. You can contact 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.

Undiscovered Yashica!

Well, “undiscovered” might be a bit of a stretch but at least unrecognized and undocumented as best as I can tell.

The very well known Yashica TL Electro-X but with a twist – no gothic “Y” on the pentaprism. No big deal really but it brings up some interesting questions. My good friend Paul Sokk (www.yashicatlr.com) and I have for years spent some of our free time exploring Yashica’s serial numbering system in hopes of decoding the numbers into some type of a recognizable date (if there was one to be decoded). Along the way, this version of the TL Electro-X would occasionally pop up.

Here’s the camera that’s now a part of my collection.

Yashica Type 1 Logo

The very familiar Yashica TL Electro-X except it’s just a bit unfamiliar and slightly different.

Yashica Type 1 Back Logo

Rear view of the Yashica TL Electro-X Type 1.

The serial number on this Yashica is 81200636. Here’s how it decodes: 8 = 1968, 12 = Dec, and 00636 is the sequence number for that month (December) assumed to start at 00001. Pretty simple once you’ve looked at hundreds of serial numbers.

This camera it turns out is from the first batch produced during a three month period of production (Oct-Dec 1968). I’ll refer to this as the TL Electro-X Type 1. When Yashica started making this camera again in July 1969, it saw a few changes – most noticeably the “X” was made larger and was now red, they dropped the hyphen between Electro and X and the pentaprism got its familiar gothic “Y”. I’ll call this second coming of the camera the TL Electro X Type 2 (pictured below).

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TL Electro X Type 2

The camera did receive one operational change as the “FP” flash socket was added on the T2 which was not available on the T1. The other changes are mostly cosmetic and I would guess these subtle tweaks were driven by the marketing department although there could have been problems with obtaining parts or production issues.

So if these changes didn’t affect the operation of the camera then why were they done? I don’t know yet and I may never know but up to this point in time this version of the camera went unreported even though it appeared in almost two years of advertising by Yashica! It was hidden in plain sight.

Contributor Jens Erik from Denmark sent me this ad from April 1973. It shows the T1 (lower right corner) and T2 together in the same ad along with the newly released Electro AX.

yashica1973-4x1+x2

Is it just a version of the original or is it truly a different type? Because there were visual and production changes made I’m calling it a different type – TL Electro-X T1.

I’ll be sharing a few more studio shots of this new Yashica soon so be sure to check back. Oh by the way, since Yashica only produced the Type 1 for a short time they’re a little hard to find on auction sites, actually quite rare when you start looking for one. Compared to the Type 2 which was in production from at least July 1969 to the end of the run in 1975, you’re looking for a camera with less than 5,000 made against hundreds of thousands made.

Check your collection… maybe this rare Yashica is hiding in plain sight!

Chris