Pax 35

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The Pax 35 is the first in the Pax series of compact fixed-lens 35 mm rangefinders made by Yamato from 1952-55.[1] The styling recalls a Leica II or III, but it is a much smaller and simpler camera. The name (as 'Pax',[2] not Pax 35) is engraved on top of the rangefinder superstructure, together with the serial number. 'Pax' is also impressed in the leatherette of the back.

A de luxe edition of the camera was made, the Pax Golden View, identical in its specification, but with yellow-metal plating of the metal parts (rather thin, as is the plating of the standard camera), including the lens barrel and shutter, and with coloured leatherette.[3] It is usually seen with some accessories; a hood and perhaps a UV filter, and a case.


  • Type: 35 mm fixed-lens coupled rangefinder camera.
  • Format: 24x36mm on 135 film.
  • Manufacturer: Yamato Kōki Kōgyō
  • Years of production: 1952-55
  • Lens:Luminor Anastigmat 1:3.5 F=45 mm; a coated triplet.
  • Shutter: YKK[4] 'D' rim-set leaf shutter. 1/10 - 1/300 sec plus B. Manually cocked. No delayed action. Synchronised for flash with a PC socket.
  • Viewfinder: Reverse-galilean viewfinder, with separate eyepiece from rangefinder.
  • Focusing:
    • Knurled finger-knob on lens. Scale in feet, from 3 ft to infinity.
    • Coupled rangefinder in superstructure on the top plate, giving double-image focusing in a separate window from the viewfinder. Rangefinder baseline approx. 40 mm.
    • Rangefinder adjustment is by a screw on the RF lever at the back of the lens (i.e. accessed through the film gate); vertical adjustment is by the larger of two screws in the film chamber, by the rewind fork.
  • Film advance: Knob-wind, with frame counter around base of knob.
  • Film rewind: Rewind knob pulls up, clear of the RF superstructure for ease of use. Button to release the film for rewind is behind the shutter release.
  • Other features:
    • Accepts 28.5 or 30 mm[5] slip-on hood or filters; there is also a 20 mm thread (for the lens element retainiing ring) which might accept screw-in filters.
    • 'Cold' accessory shoe on top of the RF superstructure.
    • Back does not hinge, but comes off altogether for loading (latch on the base).
  • Dimensions (width x depth x height): 110 x 60 x 64 mm
  • Weight: 450 g


  1. McKeown p.1022
  2. The stylised text of the Pax logo might suggest the camera was originally produced to be sold to US forces in PX stores. Certainly examples exist with the EP engraving on the base, showing that they were sold in such stores.
  3. Pax Golden View with green leatherette and 'gold'-plated hood, sold at the 30th Westlicht Photographica Auction (now Leitz Photographica Auction), 19 November 2016.
  4. Presumably Yamato Kōki Kōgyō, not the zip manufacturer.
  5. The manual states that 28.5 mm slip-on filters should be used; however, on the example available for measurement, the diameter of the plain part of the lens front is 29.7 mm.