Home  Camera Articles   FOR SALE    Orders     I Buy / Wants     Repairs     Books   Adapters

Yasuhara signboard 

Welcome to YASUHARA Co.,Ltd.

ƒJƒƒ‰‰‘œ

We are the smallest camera maker in the world.


Most material is reproduced from the YASUHARA  home page.  Click here to visit the site and keep up to date with their progress  Yasuhara Home Page  Below you will find my own comments.

February 2004 UPDATE:  I am sad to hear that Yasuhara Co. went out of business this month.   This will probably increase demand of Yasuhara cameras as collectibles.


New Mechanical Leica Screw Mount Camera!

t981-a.gif (40991 bytes)I am very happy to write about a NEW Leica Screw Mount Camera which is planned for the marketplace for Spring 1999,  the Yasuhara T981.    This  new Japanese camera company is the result of the hard work of its founder,  Mr. Shin Yasuhara.    I consider this new camera to be a very important event for Leica and Rangefinder photographers.   Leica discontinued its small body IIIg in 1960, and many photographers are still regretting the demise of the small body screw mount rangefinder camera.  Of course it is a matter of very personal preference, but many photogs simply like these smaller cameras more than the larger M's.   

t981-c.gif (146530 bytes)Mr. Yasuhara is attempting a very courageous thing, bringing back the nostalgic all mechanical screw mount camera.  In my opinion, he deserves the support of photographers everywhere for offering us a real choice between the modern plastic computer camera, and the old fashioned but very loved mechanical camera in Leica screw mount. 

 

The Yasuhara is the first announced   Leica screw mount EVER  to have  TTL metering.   It will also be the FIRST Leica Screw Mount or Leica M mount camera to have a 1/125th electronic flash sync, or a top speed of 1/2000th!    

Thanks Mr. Yasuhara!  I'm looking forward to seeing your new camera!


March 1999 Update

I have the greatest respect for Mr. Yasuhara and his camera.  His accomplishment of a new startup camera company based upon classic 35mm  camera ideals is unparalleled over the last four decades-- not only in Japan -- but in the entire post war industrialized world.    His accomplishment is considerable -- the kind of stuff that makes the covers of magazines and becomes  legend.    Many serious  lovers of classic cameras  have  thought of making  their own camera --I know because I am among them---but this man has actually done it.   For a "little company" like his to compete where the big guys have failed to fill the photographers needs is  amazing.   

However, as a new start up company with a limited budget, it is not reasonable for a little company to turn out products competitive in all features to the big guys.    Although I was not able to see the Yasuhara prototype which was for short time in the US,  a friend of mine with considerable photographic experience examined it closely.  

He tells me some of the camera is manufactured in China and that the shutter is the same Japanese made Copal put into many  SLRs.    Faced with startup situation and the need for a shutter, he choose the only choice available to him, a standard SLR shutter.   Without a shutter, he would have no camera.

Most of us have never thought of it, but what does the Copal shutter do 99.999999% of the time?   It sits inside of a light tight box, BEHIND a  mirror in DOWN position.   This is another way of saying the standard Copal shutter is NOT completely light tight ---- it doesn't have to be in SLRs.

What does this mean?  I'm told the Yasuhara prototype instructions suggest the photographer  keep the lens cap on at all times, except when meter readings are being taken and when taking exposures---otherwise the film may be fogged.

While this will likely not  be a popular feature,   I suspect many  would-be startup Rangefinder makers would make the same decision...if it meant a SLR shutter and its peculiarities....or no camera and no company.   Mr. Yasuhara is not aiming for a big market, he just wants a small market which will appreciate his return to classic camera design.   Judging from the thousands of orders he has received in Japan, he has found his niche.   

If we want to have real choices in cameras rather than accepting  whatever the big manufacturers want to give us....we as photographers need to support his efforts.   In this age of mega corporations, the photographic world really needs more people like Mr. Yasuhara and his innovative entrepreneurial spirit.


YASUHARA Co.,Ltd.
1-17-17 Komazawa Setagaya-ku Tokyo 1540012 Japan
TEL(+81)3-5433-5188 FAX(+81)3-5433-5189

Mail to  [email protected]


Yasuhara T981

"Yasuhara T981" is our first product. We are now developing this camera and we will release it at the end of 1998. This model is a metal-made range finder camera with Leica-L screw mount. It looks like a classical camera which was made many years ago. But, inside the T981, it is quite modern and rational.

finder-e.gif (2162 bytes)      t981-b.gif (35389 bytes)

                                                       Prototype Shown with Canon 50/1.8 Lens

T981 outline

"Yasuhara T981"specifications
Camera type
lens changeable 35mm range finder camera
Lens mount
Leica L screw
Shutter
mechanical metal focal plane
1s to 1/2000s , B
Syncro speed
1/125 s <
Self timer
mechanical (10 sec)
Finder
magnification 1:1
parallax auto correction
Focusing
manual
Light measuring
TTL measuring with SPD sensor
Film counter
mechanical with auto reset function
Body size
138(W) 80(H) 35(D)
Weight
500g
Battery
2 pieces SR44
Others
Price
55,000 Yen in Japan

camera picture

 

March 2001 Update

Mr. Yasuhara is now winding down production on the T981, after about 4,000 were produced.   He is now working on a new camera, the fixed lens T012.    I wish him good luck with his new project.   The new Rangefinder Renaissance owes much to Mr. Yasuhara and the enthusiastic reception the T981 received when first announced as the first of the new generation Leica mount rangefinders.

February 2004 UPDATE: 

I am sad to hear that Yasuhara Co. went out of business this month.   This will probably increase demand of Yasuhara cameras as collectibles.


Home  Camera Articles   FOR SALE    Orders     I Buy / Wants     Repairs     Books   Adapters

Revised: May 30, 2004 Copyright  1998-2002  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.