Happy SUNday!

Auto Yashinon 55mm f1.2 by Tomioka Optical – 1973

Monster glass from Tomioka. The lens has a super low serial number that puts it within the first few months of production. The camera is the Yashica TL Electro X – ITS made in April 1973.

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

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, is this blog’s property 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 Pentamatic II – The Phantom

The Yashica Pentamatic II is without a doubt the hardest camera to find in any condition in Yashica’s lineup. If you do find one, buy it at least for its standard lens. You won’t be disappointed.

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A new Pentamatic joins the family – this one was made in September of 1960.

DSCF7800 Seldom seen in the wild, Yashica’s “Phantom” camera – the P2

The Pentamatic II was fitted with a limited production lens made by Zunow Optical – a 5.8cm f1.7 Auto Yashinon with 10 aperture blades. It’s a massive camera with a ton (1,028 grams) of brass and glass.

It’s a distinctive design – very modern but classic at the same time. A clean pentaprism without the cold shoe mounted on it – in fact, the cold shoe (accessory shoe) is mounted on the camera’s left shoulder just above the hidden rewind knob.

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The serial number (NO. 96000944) indicates the “when” of this camera. The “9” is for September and the next digits, “60” is for 1960. The last 5 digits are the sequence number or production number. This one is the 944th made since production…

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The Best of Yashica – 1972

All the goodies!

From the Yashica book The Creative System of Photography. Some of the lenses pictured here are nearly impossible to find today in mint or near mint condition. I do know some intrepid Yashica collectors that have come very close to owning all of this.

To chase down all of this is a pretty monumental task so I’d give it a Chase Factor of a solid 10 (CF-10). Good luck chasers!

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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HTF Yashica Lens

This image was scanned from a Yashica TL ELECTRO-X book from 1972 titled The Creative System of Photography.

Taken with a Yashica TL Electro-X and Yashinon-DX 21mm f/3.3 lens at f/5.6 at 1/60 second. Image by acclaimed professional photographer Takeji Iwamiya. Titled “Solarization”.

A scan from the Yashica Yashinon Lenses & Accessories booklet dated December 1973.

As you can see in the above scan, as late as late 1973 Yashica was still marketing their 21mm lens alongside the newer and certainly more modern 20mm ultra-wide lens. The 21mm is a retrofocus lens meaning that the mirror on a 35mm SLR would have to be in the up position as the rear element of the lens was just millimeters away from the film plane. A separate matching viewfinder would need to be mounted on the accessory shoe in order to frame your image. Fortunately an ultra-wide lens usually has such a wide view that parallax error would only be a factor at extreme close-up imaging.

Do to the relative scarcity of the 21mm lens, prices are much higher than one would expect to pay for a ultra-wide lens of a more modern design. If you find the lens in excellent physical and optical condition with its matching viewfinder and original lens case, expect to see asking prices generally north of $500 USD. If you’re lucky, you may get a good one with no issues at around half that price. I give this lens set a Chase Factor of 8 (CF-8) for the reasons stated above. I certainly don’t need it in my collection but it would be a nice to have.

Rear view of the Yashica 21mm DX lens with its matching 21mm viewfinder.

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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(almost) wordless wednesday

yashica pentamatic big time

Have a beautiful and safe day and many thanks for stopping by! – Chris

I have some interesting new items in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com which is hosted by Etsy.

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! – Yashica movie camera 1961

Making home movies in the 1960s.

Yashica 8mm Movie Set

Complete kit. BTW, the little hang tag from LIFE depicts a cover from 1947.

Yashica 8 U-matic 1961

Super-fast Yashinon f/1.8 zoom lens.

Yashica 8mm Close

Yashinon 9-28mm zoom lens.

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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 35 YL – 1959 Rangefinder

A classic 35mm rangefinder film camera from Yashica. This one was built in November 1959. I like the feel of this camera – it’s a tad heavy at just over 700 grams with no film loaded and it feels “heavy” in your hands. It’s “chunky” design with the prominent black top plate is either a love it or hate it feature. I will say this, the view through the large viewfinder is outstanding. Bright and clear with an easy to focus double image focusing spot.

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I kinda like the feel of the odd and different black plastic rectanglar shutter release button – it has a nice touch. The film advance lever is silky smooth and it’s easy to load a film cartridge – lots of space in there for chunky fingers.

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If you’re looking to get into using a late 1950s Japanese made rangefinder I highly recommend the YL or its similar cousin the Yashica 35 YK.

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.

The YK – a simple little gem from Yashica

Often overlooked and most likely an unknown 35mm rangefinder from Yashica. This example is an early version from June 1959. Very similar to Yashica’s first 35mm camera the Yashica 35 but with fewer features. It listed for $39.95 and the leather case could be had for an additional $7.95

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Handsome camera from Yashica. It features a bright viewfinder, easy to operate controls and a high-quality Yashinon f/2.8 lens.

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A view from above – simple layout and big easy to use controls. Note the distance scale is only in feet (typical of the time period) and the Copal-SV shutter ranged from “B” to 1/300

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An ASA/DIN reminder dial, the eyepiece and the company name grace the back of the camera.

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Side-by-side comparison with the Yashica 35 “F” (left). Yashica didn’t deviate much from the basic foundation of the 35 model which was first built in April 1958. The Yashica 35 pictured here is actually from December 1960 which puts this YK a full year and a half earlier than the 35.

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If you’re interested in trying out an early Japanese rangefinder then the Yashica YK is certainly a worthy camera to go after (whenever you can find one). We were lucky to find this wonderful example recently as it makes a nice addition to our collection.

Thanks for stopping by!

Chris

 

New Toy – Yashica U-matic

Wonderful 8mm film camera from around 1961 –

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Complete kit – I’m only missing the original batteries. Not pictured is the wired remote control.

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LIFE magazine ad from 1961

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From the Australian catalog by Swift & Bleakley c1962

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“Oh no”, she exclaimed! “Not movie cameras too!” Carol to Chris upon seeing the new toy.

More to come. Thanks for stopping by!

Chris

 

Yashica’s Ultra Rare “Yasinon” Lenses

Are these previously unknown lenses made by Zunow Optical?

My good friend Paul Sokk (www.yashicatlr.com) spotted a rather unique lens name in a Yashica catalog that I sent him. The catalog is from 1958.

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Look closely at the two boxes in the lower center part of the scan. Plainly marked is the name “Yasinon” and Yashica. Just to the right are two boxes made in the same style that displays the lens maker “Zunow”.

yasinon zunow lens

From the same year Yashica catalog here’s a grouping of three 8mm movie camera lenses – two marked made by Zunow and one marked with the name “Yasinon”.

What’s the most interesting about this discovery is that the name Yasinon was unknown to us prior to seeing these catalogs.

yasinon yashica 35 bro 1

Yashica’s first 35mm camera – the Yashica 35. If you look closely at the camera lenses you’ll see that they’re marked with the Yasinon name.

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Yashica incorrectly labels the lenses as Yashinon in the banners even though the lenses in the pictures say Yasinon.

Shortly after the marketing people put these catalogs together someone made the decision to change from Yasinon to Yashinon. It appears that some of these lenses have made it into the marketplace as Paul has shared some findings of such from Japanese auction sites. Of course, Yashica stayed with the Yashinon name from this point onward. Does this make the lenses marked Yasinon rare? In my view it does. Does it mean these lenses were made for Yashica by Zunow? Yes, in my mind it does. Do I have solid proof? No, but the circumstantial evidence points strongly towards Zunow as being the manufacturer.

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Further proof as to how close Yashica’s relationship with Zunow was.

The box above in my mind is super unique – it places Zunow’s logo with Yashica’s logo on the same box – not something that was seen during the late 1950s in Japan.

Comments? Do you have a rare Zunow hiding in your closet? If you do let me know – I am actively looking to add some to my collection.

Thanks

Chris