Tag Archives: twin lens

Seagull TLR

Ross Portable Divided – A Special Twin Lens Reflex

Image of Ross Portable Divided

Lens:

f8, 7 ½”, 6″ x 5″ Rapid Symmetrical, iris diaphragm to f64 with click stops. Serial no. 50527 .

Viewing lens: similar but without iris (unused slot for Waterhouse stops). Serial no. 52147 .

Shutter:

T-P Time shutter, without speed indicator. Serial no. H8238.

Construction:

Black stitched hide covering on wood, black painted interior.

Format:

4″ x 5″ plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:

Bellows to 8 feet.

Attributes:

Reflex viewing through second lens. Full-size ground glass focusing screen. Eye-level mirror in hood. The lens retracts to close the door.

Movements:

Cross front.

Serial Number:

670 .

Image of Ross Portable Divided

Lens:

f8, 7 ½”, 6″ x 5″ Rapid Symmetrical, iris diaphragm with external pointer to f64. Serial no. 52234 .

Viewing lens: similar but without iris (unused slot for Waterhouse stops). Serial no. 52243 .

Shutter:

T-P T & I shutter, speeded 1/15 – 1/90. Ross label. Serial no. O8295.

Construction:

De-luxe finish of brown stitched hide covering on mahogany, polished interior, aluminium fittings.

Format:

4″ x 5″ plates held in double dark-slides.

Focusing:

Bellows to 8 feet.

Attributes:

Reflex viewing through second lens. Full-size ground glass focusing screen. Eye-level mirror in hood. The lens retracts to close the door.

Movements:

Rising front.

Serial Number:

915 .

Notes:

Address label on case: Ross & Co. 111 New Bond St. London.

With:

  • 6 double dark-slides (1 – 12), mahogany with aluminium fittings.; Lens cap.
  • Ross focusing magnifier, screw adjustment with locking ring. Two lenses. In box.
  • Extension back. Focusing with combined lens is to c 2′ 4″, with single element focusing is from infinity to 11 feet.
  • Velvet hood for focusing screen with wooden eye piece panel.; Focusing cloth.; Canvas case.

The Portable Divided was one of several twin-lens reflex cameras put on the market in the late 1880s and early 1890s. The concept was not new, there had been models made previously but not in great numbers. At this time hand-held detective cameras were available as were folding bellows cameras, single-lens reflexes were just making an appearance. The Portable Divided appealed to the user who wanted a larger finder that showed exactly what would be in the negative and was quick to use. This was true of the Ross, which was able to be used in the hand; advertisements stressed how, with the neck strap, it could be steadied against the body and used for action shots, the image remaining visible at all times. Advertisements recommended it for yacht photography.

It is fitted with a good lens but has only a small focusing distance and limited movements. The lenses can be racked back past infinity allowing the door to close with the lens and shutter in place. A swing back was available.

These are early models of the Portable Divided with a single door, later an improved folding model with double doors was introduced. The doors of the later model when open became the sides of the camera allowing a more compact design.

The De-luxe model, finished in brown stitched hide and aluminium, dates to c.1897. The improved model, with double doors, was also sold in a de-luxe finish. The extension back with this example is a bellows unit with two side struts. It slots into the normal position for the dark-slide.

References & Notes:

BJA 1892, p. 51.; BJA 1893.; BJA 1897.; BJA 1913, p. 60.; YBP 1893, p. 15A.; BJA 1898, p. 78 (focusing hood).

Illustrations:

Christies Cat. 6/5/05 lot 317. Unusual model with polished mahogany finish.; Christie’s cat. 6/10/83 lot 332. Improved model with pigskin finish, lens no. 59216.

via Ross Portable Divided – Antique and Vintage Cameras.

Yashica TLR History and Models

Source: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yashica

History

The company began in December, 1949 in Nagano, Japan, when the Yashima Seiki Company was founded with an initial investment of $566.[1] Its eight employees originally manufactured components for electric clocks.[2] Later, they began making camera components, and by June 1953 had introduced their first complete camera, the Yashimaflex, a twin-lens reflex (TLR) medium-format camera designed for 6x6cm medium format film. While the Yashimaflex used lenses labeled Tri-Lausar, successive models used Yashikor and Yashinon lenses. All of these lenses were manufactured for Yashica by the Tomioka Optical Works, beginning a relationship that would last for many years.[3] Late in 1953, Yashima Seiki Company became Yashima Optical Industry Company, Ltd.[4]

In 1957, Yashima founded Yashica, Inc., a subsidiary arm in New York City to manage marketing efforts in the USA.[5][6] 1957 also marked the introduction of a popular new TLR camera series, the Yashica Mat line.,[7] as well as an 8mm cine movie camera. During the next year and a half, Yashima continued to grow, with 1,982 employees by 1958.[8] Later in 1958, Yashima changed its name to Yashica Company, Ltd, when it acquired the Nicca Camera Company, Ltd.[9] The Nicca acquisition was fortuitous, as the designs acquired assisted Yashica in expanding its product line into advanced 35mm rangefinder cameras.

The Yashica Pentamatic, an advanced, modern 35mm Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera with a proprietary bayonet-mount, automatic diaphragm (offered only with the Auto Yashinon 50mm/1.8 lens), and interchangeable lenses, was introduced in 1959. As before, Yashica continued to source its lenses from the Tomioka Optical factory.

Around 1959–1960, Yashica acquired the assets of the bankrupt Zunow Optical Industry Co. Ltd.[10][11] Though a small company, Zunow had become known for limited production of a very advanced 35mm SLR camera, along with several high-quality, fast 35mm camera and 8mm cine (movie) lens designs and a proprietary bayonet-mount lens system similar to that of Yashica Pentamatic. With the assistance of Tomioka Optical Works, Yashica adapted Zunow lens designs into its own 8mm turret cine (movie) cameras.[12]

Like Zunow, Yashica found it difficult to gain market acceptance with its proprietary SLR lens mount, and redesigned its SLR camera line in 1962 to accept the Contax/Praktica M42 lens mount.[13] The new SLR camera was introduced as the Penta J.

In December 1965, Yashica introduced the world’s first commercially successful electronically controlled 35mm camera, the Electro 35, a popular rangefinder model that in various model subvariants eventually sold 8 million units.[14] The company continued to expand its international markets, and in August 1968, Yashica finally acquired its lens manufacturer, the Tomioka Optical and Machine Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (later renamed the Tomioka Optical Co. Ltd.).[15] By this time, Tomioka was one of the largest and most reputable lens manufacturers in Japan. Sales of 35mm SLRs continued to grow steadily, and Yashica was quickly acquiring a reputation for both electronic camera expertise and high-quality optics. 1968 also marked the year of Yashica’s last major TLR camera design, the Yashica Mat-124, a popular model which combined some of the best features of Yashica’s earlier TLR cameras.

In 1968, Yashica introduced the TL Electro-X 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) camera and produced it until 1974. It had a screw thread lens mount, the M42 lens mount, for its interchangeable lenses. It also had an all-electronic through-the-lens exposure meter in the viewfinder using LEDs. The Copal Square SE shutter, a vertically-travelling metal blade focal plane shutter made by Copal Corporation, used in the camera, was electronically controlled.[16][17]

In 1972, Yashica introduced the TL Electro 35mm SLR camera which was similar to the Pentax Spotmatic camera made by the Asahi Optical Company (Pentax). The TL Electro also used the electronic exposure LED’s that the prior TL Electro-X had introduced as well as the M42 screw threaded lens mount for its interchangeable lenses.[18][19]

In 1973, Yashica the company began a collaboration with Carl Zeiss it called Top Secret Project 130 to produce a new, professional 35mm SLR with an electronically controlled shutter bearing the Contax name, and called the RTS (for ‘Real Time System’).[20] A new prestige line of Yashica / Contax lenses designed by Carl Zeiss were introduced for the camera, with a common C/Y bayonet mount allowing lens interchange between all 35mm Contax and Yashica SLR camera models.[21] The F. Alexander Porsche Group was hired to complete an ergonomic and styling study of the new camera. The new Contax RTS appeared at Photokina in 1974, and became a commercial success.

Top of FRII

Yashica soon introduced several new 35mm SLR cameras beginning with the FX-1 (1975) and FX-2 (1976). Also in that year, in response to the success of the Contax RTS, Yashica developed the upscale Yashica FR utilizing some of the features of the RTS, including its electromagnetic shutter release.[22] The FR was capable of using the entire range of Carl Zeiss T* lenses. In contemporaneous tests, the FR was described as being tougher in some ways than the more expensive Contax RTS, including better sealing against dust and contaminants.[23] This practice of ‘pairing’ similar Contax models with more affordable, less full-featured, but still high-quality Yashica models would continue for the next 10 years. The FR was quickly followed in April 1977 by the FR-I and FR-II.[24] The FR-I was an 35mm SLR offering even more features of the RTS, including an electronic shutter with both manual and aperture priority modes, and marked the high point for the Yashica brand in competing with Nikon, Canon, and Minolta for the semi-professional SLR camera market.[25]

A Yashica FX-3 Super with a 500mm mirror lens.

In 1979, Yashica introduced a new inexpensive 35mm consumer SLR, the FX-3, intended for entry-level buyers.[26] Like all Yashica manual-focus bodies, the affordable FX-3 featured a C/Y lens mount that would also accept Carl Zeiss T* lenses. This simple, lightweight manual-exposure SLR camera sold well, and with minor revisions, stayed in production until 2002.

In October 1983, Yashica Company Ltd. was acquired by ceramics giant Kyocera. Initially, the merger resulted in few outward changes. The manual-focus (MF) FX-103 Program, introduced in 1985, continued the ‘pairing’ tradition of high-end Yashica SLR models with Contax (Contax 159mm), and was the first Yashica SLR with TTL flash and full programmed exposure capabilities.

After 1983, all Yashica brand cameras were marketed by Kyocera (Kyoto Ceramics), which also made newer Contax cameras. By 1985, the company was facing intense market competition from other manufacturers, especially Minolta, which had introduced a competitively priced and advanced autofocus 35mm SLR camera. Yashica eventually introduced its own autofocus 35mm SLR camera line that was overpriced and poorly marketed in comparison to its competition. In response, Kyocera gradually repositioned the brand as a budget-priced ‘point & shoot’ line, moving production from Japan to Hong Kong, and discontinuing all high-end SLR camera production.

In 2005, Kyocera halted production on all Contax, Yashica, and other Kyocera branded film and digital cameras.[27] In 2008, Kyocera sold the trademark rights of Yashica to Hong Kong-based MF Jebsen Group, and is under its subsidiary JNC Datum Tech International, Limited. Yashica’s products from JNC Datum Tech International including digital cameras, digital camcoders, digital photo frames, portable DVD players, digital audio players, digital voice recorders, binoculars, mobile phones and SD cards.

 

TLRs

Yashica Mat-124 G.

  • Pigeonflex
  • Yashica 12
  • Yashica 24
  • Yashica 44
  • Yashica 44A
  • Yashica 44LM
  • Yashica 635
  • Yashica A, B, C, D [1]
  • Yashica EM
  • Yashica Mat
  • Yashica Mat 124
  • Yashica Mat 124 G
  • Yashimaflex