Yashica Mystery – what is it and what does it mean?

Contributor and Yashica aficionado, Graham Buxton-Smither posted this picture in my Flickr Group, https://www.flickr.com/groups/2734130@N24/pool/ the other day asking if I’d ever seen this type of serial number on a Yashica TL Electro X (pro-black body) before. I haven’t so I thought it would be good to broadcast it in this blog in hopes of discovering something about it.

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Serial number with its odd two letter prefix ‘FI’. Photo courtesy of Graham Buxton-Smither https://www.flickr.com/photos/164456136@N06/

The serial number itself is unremarkable in the sense that it follows along with the standard for a Yashica SLR. It decodes to December 1969 as the manufacture date. The ‘FI’ has no previous use that I’m aware of so it was a surprise to see it. Graham states that it is on a one owner Yashica TL Electro X purchased in the UK when new. It appears to be a factory mark as the black paint looks undisturbed.

I’m stumped as there isn’t an example anywhere in my databases. I can’t even fathom a guess at this point.

Any help including guesses will be appreciated.

Thanks – Chris

 

Unique Yashica TL Electro-X from Denmark – Update 1

Many thanks to reader Jens Erik at http://www.jebsign.dk for sharing a photo of his Yashica TL Electro-X with me recently. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it appears that a distributor of Yashica cameras and photo gear (Kirk) in Denmark had a rather neat twist on this popular SLR. Here’s the ad that ran in 1969 –

1969 April, Yashica TL Electro-X

Here’s Jens Erik’s Yashica – his TL Electro-X matches the one depicted in the Yashica ad from 1969 and it clearly shows that the “X” is black vice the typical red and that the gothic “Y” that would normally be on the pentaprism is “missing”.

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An example of an early version of this popular Yashica. The lens is not the lens that would have been on the camera at the time of its release. I’ll call this version the Type 1.

Updated info as of September 2019. It now appears that this no “Y” version wasn’t unique to this Danish or any other European distributor. I’ve just acquired my own version of this camera through a seller in the United States with no indication that it was purchased outside of the US initially. In my opinion, Yashica’s first version (pictured above) of their wildly popular TL Electro-X was the version missing the “Y” on the pentaprism – production looks like it first began in October 1968. My newest camera for my collection is from December 1968 as its serial number is 81200636. There’s one for sale on the Spanish eBay site that has the serial number 81000991 (which is October 1968).

Below is an example of the more typical Yashica TL Electro X design. The “X” is in red and there’s no hyphen before it and of course, the traditional gothic “Y” on the pentaprism.

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Yashica TL Electro X Type 2 – with red “X” and gothic “Y”

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Yashica sales brochure from the early 1970s.

Update #1: So Yashica’s first design for the TL Electro-X was the one without the “Y” on the pentaprism (Type 1) and the second and much more available TL Electro X with the “Y” is the Type 2. There also appears to be a large gap in production between the T1 and T2 of about eight or nine months. At this point in time, we don’t have a reason for the changes or for the gap.

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Yashica sales brochure in German from around 1972. The ITS model with its distinctive gold electron design on the pentaprism is on the right.

Thanks again to Jens Erik for sharing his Yashica with me (and you).

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 TL Electro-X

Another look at a recent post about my all-time favorite Yashica. This one was sold to another collector hours after listing it in my shop.

Chasing Classic Cameras with Chris

One of the best cameras that Yashica made – in 1968 Yashica produced an exciting 35 mm SLR with a built-in computer! Well, integrated circuits and an electronic “brain”.

It was my first SLR and I fell in love with its looks and the feel of it in my hands. This one is from my rather silly large collection of Yashica cameras and I’ve decided to make it available in my online shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

This one is from around 1970 and besides being in stunning mint condition it works like new!

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Gotta love the gothic “Y” on the pentaprism – pure Yashica!

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The battery for this camera is still readily available today and isn’t very expensive.

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I’ve always felt that the satin silver finish on this model was the best – it holds up well and it’s easy to keep clean.

The camera will come with a fresh (new)…

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Central Florida Dragway – 1972

A few found images from a quick trip I made to the track back in 1972. I believe these were taken with my Yashica TL Electro-X on Kodak Plus X Pan and developed by myself. The original negatives were in horrible condition and this is the best that my humble photo editor can make them.

“Vintage” funny cars of the day.

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Joe Winter’s new Mustang body on his older funny car frame. Joe stopped racing at the end of 1972. Chrysler 392 Hemi powered, a nitro-fueled rocket capable of nearly 200 mph in the quarter mile.

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1971 Chevy Vega body funny car of “Big Mike” Burkhart.

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“Big Mike” Burkhart’s Vega funny car with its 426 Chrysler engine. Mike pictured on the left.

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Camaro vs. Maverick

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1969? Camaro

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Mart Higginbotham’s Vega body funny car – it could be a Camaro body but I don’t think so.

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The Central Florida Dragway was located just east of Orlando off of SR 520 west from Cocoa Beach. It’s still in operation today.

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 © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Carol and Sakura

My lovely wife Carol enjoying the sakura blossoms in front of my mom’s house in New York – 1974.

Shot with my Yashica TL Electro-X and printed on Kodak matte finish paper. This many years ago the colors have faded…

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… but our love hasn’t.

Still married 43 years later to my sweetheart and best friend. ^.^

Chris & Carol

 

Our Cat – ‘Avon’ 1977

One of the last good images I was able to take of our cat Avon enjoying some warm sunshine by our front door. He was a found kitten, starving but friendly (aren’t all hungry kitties friendly?). He was found along Carol’s Avon cosmetics route in Pensacola, Florida back in 1975. A Tom Cat with a silly name but it fit him. He ran off from our new house in Yokohama, Japan and he either lost his way or was taken in. I don’t think of the other possibilities.

Original image taken with my Yashica TL Electro-X on Kodak Ektachrome 64 color slide film and the matte finish print of the transparency was dry mounted. The scan is of the print (flaws and all) with my Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II scanner.

Say hello to Avon.

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Full uncropped image taken with my Fujifilm FinePix S9900 under studio lighting vice a scan. The marks are on the print. I like his tone and tint better here (below).

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Thanks for the visit!

Chris and Carol

Confrontation along Rt. 110

My first real confrontation with someone who didn’t want his picture taken.

He was selling vegetables (illegally I think) along Route 110 on Long Island (a very busy road) when he spots some punk pointing a camera at him. That was back in the Summer of 1972. I discovered these images recently in a box of long forgotten slides taken with my Yashica TL Electro-X. So after 45 years Mr. Roadside Vendor, your picture gets posted.

I was out enjoying the summer day when I spotted this colorful roadside vendor and I thought that it might make for some good pictures. I jump out of my car and set up my Yashica for the telephoto shots when I realize that the man is walking across a four lane divided highway straight towards me – and he wasn’t a happy camper. After some “conversation” between us, I agreed not to send his picture to Newsday  (Long Island newspaper) if he would just go away and leave me be.

The original images actually stink – a bit underexposed and out of focus, but after playing around with them a bit I kind of like the “Monet Effect” I got with these.

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I like the soft colors – the blur adds a bit of vintage charm too. And yes, he had his hand in the right pocket of his trousers the whole time he was confronting me. I suspect he had an imaginary gun of some sorts. It was a fun experience for me and I’m sure he enjoyed the experience too.

I’m sure he was a nice old gent for the most part – maybe the Summer sun and my Yashica got him a little hot.

Camera: Yashica TL Electro-X

Film: Kodak Ektachrome 64

Thanks for your visit!

Chris

 

Reflections – 1972

Self portrait at 18

Cocoa Beach, Florida March 1972

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Camera:  Yashica TL Electro-X

Lens:  Auto Yashinon 50mm f1.7 lens

Film:  Kodak Plus X Pan

Processing:  Self processed

Scanner:  Canon CanoScan 9000F Mark II

Part of a collection of negatives that I shot while at college in South Florida. These have never been printed and have only just recently been ‘found’ again. Wow, 45 years ago!

Yashica TL Electro-X

One of the most successful SLRs from Yashica – the ‘Pioneer in Electronic Cameras’… the Yashica TL Electro-X. The world’s first electronic single-lens reflex camera.

A random collection of clips from Yashica sales brochures and our eclectic collection of all things Yashica –

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‘ITS’ = Integrated Technology System… maybe.

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We’ve recently added this hard to find accessory from Yashica. It was still new in its original box! It will be used in our studio for some copy work.

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Original box. Lucky find!

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The Copy Stand listed for 20,000 JPY in 1971. About $55 USD

 

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Large dealer’s sign. Two sided but non lighted. Ca. 1968

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Yashica ‘Sailor Boy’ with another version of the slogan and electron logo. The ‘Sailor Boy’ first made his appearance in 1962.

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Elegance on ice.

Do you have something to add to our database about this interesting camera? Please feel free to comment. 

Thanks,

Chris & Carol Photography ^.^