Earliest Known Yashima Guaranty Doc

An exciting find from Japan. This is the earliest known Yashima (Yashica) guaranty document. The “29” is the Showa year (1954). Other documents that were with this camera puts the date of sale as May 5, 1954, at a camera shop in Yokohama.

Yashima Flex Guaranty Card

The translation of the writing on the lower left. “For cameras manufactured by us with this inspection knowledge attached, we will repair free of charge for spontaneous failures that occurred within 5 years after the acceptance of the user card. Attach the main unit when repairing.”

I believe that the pink paper is a receipt from the camera store that sold this Yashima Flex. It does show that a guarantee period begins on Showa 29.5.5 to 30.5.4 (1954 May 5 to 1955 May 4).

IMG_20190822_0001

Back in 1954, the camera shop listed on this receipt says “Onuki Katsura Materials Store”, Yokohama, Noge-machi. Noge-machi is a very popular shopping street in Yokohama and features an exciting array of shops, restaurants, and bars.

This camera shop has been in business since 1934. It’s moved to a different location in Yokohama and is still going strong today. You can visit them here.

Camera Onuki Yokohama

Part of the fun of collecting classic cameras like this Yashima Flex is discovering unexpected documents from when the camera was sold. Understanding the early history of Yashima (Yashica) is important to understand how a startup camera maker in a small village (Suwa) in Nagano Prefecture made its mark on the world by the end of the 1950s.

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.

Advertisements

Who IS this guy? Part 2

Yashica Guy Ad 22

Yashica advertisement from 1959.

In a previous post, I had asked who this gentleman was since he appears in a few ads from this period and has appeared on the cover of a Yashica camera instruction booklet.

Yas Guy 1

Same image as above except this time in color.

Yas Guy 2

Now dressed as a “cowboy”. Same time period, late 1959. Sales brochure in German.

Yas Guy 3

My first thought was that he was a television star or movie star of some note but no solid leads.

Apparently, the bowler hat, pipe, and wink are all part of his act.

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.

In the Shop – Rare Fuji Photo & More!

New in the shop this week at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

listings 8.16.19

Stop by my camera and photo gear shop hosted by Etsy for some really interesting items. I ship almost anywhere in the world quickly and securely. Give my shop a look! Thanks

listings 8.16.2019

If there’s something you don’t see that you have been looking for give me a shout – I may already have it in my collection or I know where to get it. Email me at ccphotographyai@gmail.com

Thanks, Chris

Yashima Flex Box – revisited

As a die-hard collector of Yashica cameras and photo gear, I can’t pass up the opportunity to share interesting bits that represent Yashica’s history. Of course, Yashica started off as Yashima and this represents the only camera that bore the Yashima name. Subsequent cameras quickly were named Yashica while the company name remained Yashima (until 1958).

So the Yashima Flex is pretty unique as it is a one-off. Here’s a pretty rare find – an original box for the Yashima Flex from 1953. The box structurally is sound and the graphics are clear and still appealing. There is some embedded soil that stained the paper on the top of the box but that’s to be expected as the top receives the most fallout from pollutants.

YashimaFlex Box

YashimaFlex Box 2

YashimaFlex Box 3

This is spot on to the actual color of the box (faded I’m sure after all these years).

These boxes are often called presentation boxes as they were inside of an outer cardboard shipping box. As best as I can tell, the boxes were never intended to be a place to store your camera when not in use so most were disposed of as soon as the camera was used. There’s no reason not to store your camera in its leather case in the box other than it wasn’t very convenient to do so. Finding an intact box for a camera made in Japan sixty-five years ago is pretty amazing especially considering that there weren’t many made.

Yashima was a startup just like hundreds of others in post-war Japan. How their boxes looked in a dealers display mattered so these early 1950s boxes often were made extremely well. To give an idea of its size here are its dimensions. About 7 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 4.25 inches deep ( 170 x 124 x 110mm).

Yashima Flex Box Set (1) with logo

Yashima’s pride and joy! Not quite as good a representation of the actual color of the box compared to pictures earlier in this post.

Thanks for stopping by! Chris

Yashica’s Tokyo Headquarters – 1974 and 2019

Yashica opened its new Tokyo headquarters officially in the Summer of 1974. Here’s a before and after picture.

Shibuya Yashica HQ (1) (1)

Yashica’s headquarters as it appeared in August 1974.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yashica headquarters building from April 2019. Photos courtesy of Paul Sokk.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The current building is known as the Kyocera Harajuku Building located at 6-27-8 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Kyocera acquired Yashica in 1983 and for the most part, Kyocera continues to operate in many of Yashica’s former properties.

For more about Yashica’s history please check out Paul’s excellent site here.

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 1958 & Yashica 2019

The title is a bit misleading – well actually very misleading as Yashica (the original Japanese company) no longer exists. Yashica was acquired by Kyocera in 1983 and killed off by 2004. My good friend Paul Sokk and I have been on a quest to find some of Yashica’s old factory buildings and because Paul has a sharp eye for details, he was able to find Yashica’s factory in Shimosuwa (Nagano Prefecture) while conducting some research.  The first image below is a scan from a sales brochure that I have from 1958.

yashica suwa

Yashica’s main office building located on the factory campus in Shimosuwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan in 1958.

Yashica shimosuwa office day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The same building as seen this April (2019). The company that currently operates from the building (Mutoh) has no ties to either Yashica or Kyocera. Photo courtesy of Paul Sokk.

Notice in the current picture that the building has had an addition added to its near side (enclosing a previous carport) and received a rather mundane paint job especially compared to what I’m sure was a very colorful design originally.

By the way, the current occupant, Mutoh Industries, Ltd., makes large format printing machines. More can be found here.

Yashica factory above

Aerial view of the Yashica factory campus with the office building (viewed from behind) in the center.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Yashica gym and auditorium as seen today. Look at the aerial view in the image above this one to see the gym as it appeared in the late 1950s. Photo courtesy of Paul Sokk.

Many thanks to Paul Sokk and his wife Kathy for sharing photos from their most recent trip to Japan. Paul is the creator of THE site for anything about Yashica TLRs and early Yashica history the site can be found at www.yashicatlr.com

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.

Single Shot Focus on the Yashica TL Electro-X

DSCF6151

The Yashica TL Electro-X. It would not be an overstatement to say that this camera was Yashica’s most successful 35mm SLR – ever! I’m not sure what the total sales record is for this camera but success is measured beyond just the number of cameras sold. It was the first SLR with full electronic control of the shutter and it used an innovative LED display in the viewfinder to help adjust the camera for the proper exposure.

From Yashica: Electronically operated metal focal plane shutter with speeds from about 2 seconds to 1/1000 with in-between shutter speed settings possible, and B. Thru-the-Lens (TTL) light measuring system with IC computer and electronic exposure readout. It had a “brain”.

This gorgeous example is from my personal collection and it’s available for purchase in my Etsy camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

It includes the famous Tomioka Optical designed and built Auto Yashinon 50mm f1.4 DS-M lens. The camera and lens are in collector quality condition – full mint condition and the camera works as new. The lens is perfect and the glass is crystal clear. Adding to the uniqueness of this set is that the camera was built at Yashica’s new factory in Hong Kong in September 1973. The baseplate is appropriately marked “Hong Kong”.

DSCF6156

Assembled in Hong Kong with parts made in Japan.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check it out in my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

There’s plenty of awesome cameras available in the shop with more being added from my collection almost daily.

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.

 

 

Contax Heaven – ‘Yashica, A New Horizon’

The title refers to a not widely circulated Yashica marketing brochure that was sent to virtually all US camera dealers in early 1975. In it, Yashica informed dealers that they would directly distribute their products (including the Contax line) to them and that they had a direct representative in Yashica USA. Definitely a bold move by Yashica during a desperate time in their history (and struggle to stay solvent).

Here’s some eye candy from that brochure –

IMG_20190627_0007 (1)

IMG_20190627_0006 (1)

How about finding this under the Christmas tree then or now?

IMG_20190627_0005

IMG_20190627_0004

Really the first introduction of the partnership between Yashica and Contax.

IMG_20190518_0001

The marketing brochure (cover) from 1975.

IMG_20190518_0005 (1)

The original letter (not a copy) that was sent to each camera dealer in the US. Each was signed by the President (or more likely an underling).

I personally haven’t collected anything with the Contax branding but that hasn’t meant that I wouldn’t want to – just no more room for another branch in the collection.

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.