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 ^.^

Yashica ‘Sailor Boy’ & Friends

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Yashica’s three finest cameras in black. The J-3 was the first truly modern 35mm SLR from Yashica and it was their first SLR to be made in pro-black with matching black lens. Only a small amount of the J-3s were black – most were the traditional silver top and black leatherette body. On the far right is the most successful SLR Yashica ever made. Fully loaded with electronic everything, all commanded by its ‘IC’ brain. The next step on the evolutionary ladder is the TL Electro X ‘ITS’ (center). A mostly marketing idea, the ITS was essentially the same camera as the TL Electro X with the added gold ‘Electron’ symbol on the front of the pentaprism and the stylized ITS emblazoned  on the camera’s left front (not seen here but can be seen below). The marketing folks at Yashica never said what the ‘ITS’ stood for (if anything). Our best guess is ‘Integrated Technology System’. Some say ‘Interval Timed Shutter’ as the shutter was electronically controlled and could fire at any speed. Later the Contax-Yashica ‘RTS’ was introduced and it was advertised as ‘Real Time System’ whatever the heck that meant.

We’ve used all three, and the TL Electro X with the white stylized ‘Y’ on the pentaprism is our favorite. It just feels perfect in your hand and the electronic over and under (exposure) arrows in red are easily visible in the viewfinder.

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By the way, the advertising icon (Yashica Sailor Boy) was never given a proper name by Yashica. He made his debut in 1962 and still could be found kicking around in sales brochures and ads into the late 1960s. This guy is the 20cm (10 inch) dealer display model and he was in his sealed bag and box from Modern Plastics of Japan when we acquired him. He comes in about 3 other sizes and different styles and colors.

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris ^.^

Yashica TL Electro-X ‘ITS’

After nearly five years of research and thousands of “searches” on auction sites, I finally have my answer! ‘ITS‘ as it relates to the famous and groundbreaking Yashica TL Electro-X stands for… are you ready? Nothing!

That’s right… nothing. I’ve just finished reading what appears to be the most comprehensive guidebook on the TL Electro-X (from Yashica no less) and not one word as to why the marketing guys and gals at the office in Shibuya picked ‘ITS‘ to appear on the lower left front of the camera. Not one hint… no clues… nothing!

Okay so more than likely it was meant to mean exactly that… nothing. I can live with that. Marketing people don’t have to explain anything they do. ‘ITS‘ simply looks good. So fast forward from 1968 to the present day. Hear I am stressed out about what may have been a whim… an afterthought… or maybe something one of the designers casually mentioned in a meeting while you know, designing the thing. ‘ITS’… sounds good.

I’ve imagined what it may mean hundreds of times (sad to admit that) and nothing really fits for the time period except that maybe the ‘I‘ stands for “integrated”. Like integrated circuit or I.C. as I’ve sometimes seen it mentioned in other Yashica sales brochures. That’s got to be it. After all, the NASA people were always using that term during the height of the space race. Okay so maybe we now know that the ‘I‘ stands for “integrated”. Simple. The ‘T‘ has always stood for “technology” to me. What else would the ‘T‘ stand for? Timed? As in timed shutter. Oh that’s a good guess. I like it. Maybe the ‘TS’ part is for “timed shutter”? That’s another good one. Integrated… Timed… Shutter!!! Or how about “Interval” timed shutter? That’s ‘ITS‘ isn’t it?

Solved! Finished! No more worries right? No… that isn’t it. It’s got to mean something else. Something catchy, something better than that. Well the book (sales brochure) I just finished reading never mentioned what the ‘ITS‘ stood for. Just like the hundred other brochures and ads I’ve read. But wait! Hold on! There on the cover is a clue! There it is right in front of me! “SYSTEM”. Yashica called everything connected with the TL Electro-X ITS (lenses, filters, bellows, angle finders, accessories, etc.) SYSTEM.

So there it is! That was simple. Right? Well we’ll see. I’m going to keep on looking for that definitive statement from Yashica. Somewhere in black and white they’ll say it. For now though I’m sticking with… “Integrated Technology System” or “ITS” for brevity.

ITS = Integrated Technology System

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A 45 page book from Yashica that explains everything about this fantastic camera.

No denying it – it’s a sharp looking camera and the ‘ITS’ just makes it that much cooler. It’s one of our favorite Yashicas in our collection. This one came to us via Okinawa, Japan. Purchased in late 1973 – that makes it one of our newest Yashica SLRs too. We’ve kept all of the original paperwork and of course the box. If you come across a nice looking one for sale (or better still get it as a gift) it should be on your list of must haves. The battery is an easy find and most will have working meters since they were only electronic (no moving match needle affair).

Happy hunting!

Chris and Carol ^.^