Category Archives: Museum

Yashicaflex A-II

I believe this to be an A-II model, first introduced in 1954.

The Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) had gained popularity between the wars due in large part to the German Rolleicord models, much loved by press photographers. They were relatively light and simple, compared to cumbersome plate cameras that had preceded them.

This TLR represents the first cameras to be made under the Yashica brand name, it having been established a few years after the end of WWII as part of Japan’s industrial recovery. After a few years of clock component manufacture, the nascent Yashica company turned it’s efforts to camera production.

In common with most TLR’s, this model has a “sports finder” mode, whereby the front part of the viewfinder folds down and the user can attempt to compose by peering through what amounts to rifle sights. There’s also a flip up magnifier to try and help with focusing. The composing lens is pretty dim, and the magnifier does help somewhat.

Pentax MG

Pentax introduced the MG in 1981, as the successor to the MV1 and in the line of simpler, automated, bodies going back through MV and ME of 1977.

The MG is aperture priority automatic, with no manual shutter speed other than the flash sync of 1/100th second. The metal focal plane shutter is electronically controlled – by and large photographers had overcome their initial hesitation about trusting electronics, and the increased accuracy and reliability of such a shutter was now well accepted.

Shutter speed is shown in the viewfinder, but the selected aperture is not. There’s a simple clockwork self-timer, and the hot shoe features an additional electrical contact for use with a dedicated Pentax flash unit.

Film loading is of the magic needle variety, and works well. The museum example is unique to me in that the protective film is still in place on the baseplate, and it was bought fitted with a genuine Pentax zoom – typically I find ebay cameras with some no-name zoom on them