Mystery Meter by Yashica

My friend Graham has a wonderful collection of Yashica and Contax cameras, lenses and gear. His Flickr page can be found at

Recently Graham acquired a previously unknown exposure meter from what appears to be the 1960s.

***News Flash*** Please see new information at the end of this post!

Graham’s beautiful mystery meter shown mounted on a Yashica YE
Top view
Front view of the meter shown mounted on a Yashica Reflex 35 J

Although this meter has a shoe for mounting on a camera’s accessory shoe its long strap indicates that it also was designed to be worn around the neck and used as a hand held meter. It’s a CdS meter which requires a 1.3 v battery. Graham states the meter is fully functional!

My question to my readers. Has anyone seen a meter like this with Yashica markings? It has no model number and we haven’t found it in any sales brochure from that era. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Another view of this lovely meter and camera

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to stop by my shop at – Chris

All images curtesy of Graham Buxton-Smither.

***New Info***

It appears that this Yashica branded meter is the same as a Kuribayashi Petri ELEX model M-302.

ELEX branded exposure meter

The Yashica YE & YF – a definitive history

My good friend Paul Sokk would argue that nothing about the history of Yashica could ever be “definitive”. Yashica no longer exists and its previous owners (Kyocera) could care less about the history of the company that it killed off back in the late 1980s. But that’s where Paul really shines – he’s always researching and searching for that extra crumb of information that leads to the next crumb that eventually leads you to the cake.

The cake, in this case, is the latest addition to his amazing website. Paul deftly guides us through the complicated maze that was Yashica and details its relationship with the Nicca Camera Company and the wonderful Leica copies that were produced during the 1950s. Many of the conclusions that Paul describes are found nowhere else on the web and to his credit, no detail is too small or unimportant to look at.

DSCF8692 logo

The family – Yashica YE, Nicca 3-F, Tower Type-3 (top to bottom)


The Yashica-Nicca YF (the lens is not the standard lens for this body)

Please stroll on over to Paul’s site (be sure to bookmark it) for everything you ever wanted to know about the early days of the Yashica-Nicca collaboration. Paul quickly puts to rest many bits of intentional and unintentional misinformation that’s been floating around the web about this subject.

Paul’s site can be reached here.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Be sure to visit the “gift shop” before you leave today for some great deals on some vintage cameras and equipment –

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.



Happy SUNday! – Rangefinders Rule

DSCF8692 logo

A trio of 1950s Japanese 35mm rangefinder cameras. Starting from the top, the Yashica YE was made shortly after Yashica acquired Nicca in 1958. In the middle, the Nicca 3-S was one of the last cameras made with the Nicca name and last, the Tower Type-3 which was made by Nicca for the Sears, Roebuck and Company around 1951. All of these were considered to be excellent “copies” of the Leica rangefinder.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! – Chris

By the way, I’m having a big after Christmas sale in my online camera shop at – stop by and see if something strikes your fancy! ^.^

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.

Yashica’s First 35mm Cameras – 1958-59

IMG_20181016_0010 logo

From a rather hard to find (OK, kinda rare) sales brochure (above) from late 1960 or early 1961.

IMG_20181017_0009 logo

The Yashica 35 YK (identified here simply as the “K type”) is the least expensive of the cameras and was produced in large numbers starting in June 1959. The camera is marked with the “YK” on the front right of the body in gold while the top has Yashica engraved in it next to the serial number (pictured below).

DSCF8501 logo

Yashica 35 K type – aka the YK

IMG_20181017_0008 logo

The Yashica 35 (above) was the first 35mm rangefinder camera from Yashica. In this brochure, the marketing department has added an “S” as part of the description of the camera (f2.8 lens). It appears from my translation that the “S” may have to do with something about the lens – either a new coating or some other design feature(s) which makes it new. Of course, it may be simple marketing hype as the 35 was getting on in years by this time.

IMG_20181017_0007 logo

The Yashica 35 Fair-Way (YF) is the only one in this series that was given a name that I’m aware of. It’s also the only one marked Yashica and Nicca. It was a transition camera as Yashica had just acquired Nicca in 1958. It’s one of the most expensive in this series to acquire as sellers recognize the relative rarity of the model especially in mint or excellent condition.

IMG_20181017_0006 logo

Yashica’s first interchangeable lens 35mm rangefinder camera – basically a Nicca in Yashica cladding.

The Yashica 35 E type (above) is also known as the Yashica YE which is engraved in the top plate. Here again, it’s a case of the marketing department manipulating the name of the camera – either to make it appear as a new model of it may be that the Japanese market tends to simplify the names of cameras. I believe that the unifying theme here is that Yashica wanted each of these cameras to feel connected to one another. By using the common name Yashica 35 “X” type the cameras couldn’t be mistaken for anything but a 35mm camera from a company known for TLRs and 8mm movie cameras.


My one and only Yashica YE


Thanks for stopping by and be sure to visit my shop at for some classic collectible cameras and photo gear. – 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.

How to date a pretty little Yashica… *

More exactly, how to decode the serial numbers on the Yashica YE 35mm rangefinder camera.

*Not an official Yashica dating site.


We touched on this briefly the other day, but the Yashica YE serial number might have a date code embedded in it. We say might have because we are working off only a 25 camera database – possibly not enough to make a definitive call.

In the example above, the serial number (No. 392745) appears to decode to: 3 = March, 9 = 1959 and 2745 = 2,745th made.

The earliest camera in our database is: (No. 128049) which would be 12 = December, 8 = 1958 and 049 = the 49th made.

The latest in the database is: (No. 699821) which is 6 = June, 9 = 1959 and 9821 = 9,821st made.

Reports on some sites on the Internet claim that only 4,000 cameras were made. The serial numbers, if consecutive and continuous would seem to contradict that. For the moment, let’s keep an open mind about the serial number decoding. More info is needed to fill in the December 1958 and post June 1959 production numbers from Yashica.

If you have some additional info or serial numbers to share, please feel free to share that with us.


Be sure to check out some of our fine art prints available at

Chris and Carol