domingo, 27 de agosto de 2017

Yamato Pax M4 (1958)

Yamato Pax M4 (1958)
Esta fotografia é do exemplar que possuo


The Pax M4 from about 1958 is a revision to the Pax M3 which added a frosted central window to illuminate a bright-line viewfinder frame. The change required Yamato to add a taller top housing. Unlike other Pax models this does not have a dropped shoulder around the rewind, which is a folding crank, replacing the rewind knob of earlier models. The film speed reminder dial also differs from that of the M3, and the name Pax is not impressed in the leatherette of the back, as on all the previous Pax cameras. The lens is a Luminor Anastigmat f/2.8 45mm.
The rangefinder adjustment screws are also differently placed. The screw to adjust for distance (at infinity focus) is inside the camera; it is accessed through a hole at the top of the internal panelling behind the lens. The screw for vertical alignment is accessed by removing the front screw of the three that secure the flash shoe; the adjustment screw is beneath that screw hole.
The camera was also sold as the Pal M4, Rex, Rex M4 and the Tac Deluxe .


Yamoto Koki Kogyo, better known as Yamoto Optical, produced a range of rangefinder cameras in the 1950's and '60's, priced in the low-to-medium range. Best known is probably the 1953 Pax M2, a little Leica look-alike with a 45mm Luminor Anastigmat f/3.5 lens, and especially the "Golden View" version of that camera, finished in faux gold with coloured leatherette trim. Despite the fact that there was nothing very Leica-like about the quality of the camera or it's images, the Golden View fetches four-figure prices at auction. This little Pax M4 is a later development from around 1960 and appeared under a bewildering variety of names. "Pal M4" was one common derivation, and I've seen it referred to as "Ricsor" and "Rex". A version was apparently imported into the US by the Trans-American Import Export Co., and branded the "TAC Deluxe Rangefinder".

This is a nicely-made rangefinder, rather like a Braun Paxette in heft and construction. The viewfinder is bright-lined with parallax compensation marks, the coupled rangefinder is clear enough, the inaudible shutter trips sweetly and offers speeds of 1/10th to 1/300th plus B. It has a nice short and snappy film wind, orthodox film rewind, and a friendly internal film counter set below a magnifying lens on the top deck...Nice touch. The overall finish is excellent, with no plastic visible anywhere, a somewhat unusual feature for mid-range Japanese cameras of this era. The entire back and base detaches for film loading, European style, revealing some tidy all-metal engineering. As one can tell by comparing the camera with the size of the film cassettes in the photograph, it's a very small camera indeed.

All the Yamoto lenses were named "Luminor", which makes researching their characteristics a little tedious. The earlier f/3.5 lens fitted to the M2 was a triplet design, but apparently capable of quite high-quality work. The 45mm f/2.8 LuminorAnastigmat fitted to the M4 is rumored to be a 4-element Tessar-like design, and a "reflection inspection" seems to confirm this, though I'm not adamant on the point. While it's marked "45mm", after handling the camera and viewing the images, I suspect it's actually a little wider, possibly nearer the 40mm mark. It's a very bright and clear lens with a light coating, and I have no criticism of it's performance. Indeed, I was actually very agreeably surprised, if not somewhat amazed. In the fashion of the day, auxiliary tele-and wide-angle attachments were available, along with supplementary viewfinders.



45mm lens



A minha tem o n.º de série na lente 146752

Sítios de referência


Manual em inglês


Fotografias tiradas com esta máquina


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