Kyocera

From Camera-wiki.org
Jump to: navigation, search

Kyocera, originally a ceramics manufacturer, was founded in 1959 as Kyoto Ceramic Co. Ltd. (京都セラミツク株式会社). It changed its name to Kyocera (京セラ株式会社) in 1982, and became involved in camera production in October 1983, when it acquired Yashica Company Ltd. Initially, the company continued to produce evolutionary camera designs under the Yashica and Contax brands, such as the Yashica FX-3 and Contax 159MM. The manual-focus (MF) FX-103 Program, introduced in 1985, continued the ‘pairing’ tradition of Yashica SLR models with those of Contax (Contax 159mm), and featured TTL flash and full programmed exposure capabilities. Both brands continued to feature the same C/Y bayonet lens mount, allowing owners of less expensive Yashica cameras to use all of the Contax/Yashica lenses, including the premium Contax Zeiss T* lenses.

However, the 1985 introduction of Minolta's Maxxum/Dynax 7000 autofocus (AF) camera was a huge success, and all camera makers scrambled to catch up. Kyocera decided to reposition the entire Yashica manual-focus SLR line as a ‘value-priced’ choice for entry-level photographers. Kyocera also began to offer various cameras with the Kyocera nameplate for buyers in Japan, while subsuming the old Yashica into its new corporate identity. The company also decided to manufacture an AF 35mm SLR camera and a new series of AF lenses to compete with Minolta's revolutionary Maxxum/Dynax.

In December 1986, Kyocera introduced its new line of autofocus 35mm SLR cameras and lenses, all but one carrying the Yashica name for the international market. Unfortunately, the new Yashica AF cameras were introduced rather late and had difficulty against more established competition, which also had a larger selection of compatible lenses. A little better success was achieved with the Samurai series of compact SLRs in camcorder design. These zoom cameras were optimized for one-hand operation. The Samurai Z was even available in a lefthanders' version (Samurai Z-L). Furthermore, the attractive range of Contax Carl Zeiss T* lenses was no longer an option, as there were no new Contax lenses in the new Yashica autofocus mount. Kyocera attempted to encourage existing owners of Yashica manual-focus SLR cameras to move to autofocus by offering a 1.6x tele-converter adapter to mount Yashica or Contax MF lenses to the autofocus cameras, but without much success. The Yashica autofocus SLR cameras continued in a progressively cheapened series of models until 1994, when the entire autofocus line was discontinued, reportedly after significant losses.

Kyocera also made a number of fairly successful autofocus point-and-shoot film cameras for the consumer market, culminating in 1992 with the Yashica T4. This compact camera was equipped with a high-quality 35mm/3.5 Carl Zeiss T* lens along with improved weather sealing, and proved very popular as a rugged travel camera. Kyocera had also continued the process of repositioning Yashica SLR cameras, offshoring assembly to China and Hong Kong to reduce costs. Kyocera's last series of 35mm Yashica SLRs, the 107/108/109MP line, was not a commercial success, though the old Yashica FX-3 (now in Super 2000 form) sold well until its discontinuance in 2002.

Kyocera continued to make point-and-shoot film cameras under its own name and that of Yashica, as well as premium rangefinder and SLR models. These include the 35mm Contax G and Contax G2 rangefinders, and the Contax N-series of autofocus SLRs. The company also entered the digital camera field in 1997 with Kyocera, Yashica, and Contax branded models. A new medium-format film camera, the Contax 645 AF, appeared in 1999, along with several dedicated and interchangeable lenses.

In 2005, Kyocera announced it would cease production of all Yashica, Kyocera, and Contax cameras.

Contents

35mm film

Manual focus SLR

Autofocus 35mm SLR

(Kyocera/Yashica AF mount): using Kyocera Yashica AF lens

Half frame (17×24mm) autofocus SLR

Compact 35mm

Kyocera

-

Kyocera P. mini

Kyocera Campus

Kyocera Lynx

Kyocera Zoomtec series

Yashica

-

Yashica Elite

Yashica EZ series

Yashica J series

Yashica MicroElite series

Yashica Microtec

Yashica Ninja Star

Yashica Sensation

Yashica Zoom Image series

Yashica Zoomate series

Yashica Zoomtec series

T* series

Kyocera Yashica
Kyocera T AF Yashica T AF
Kyocera T Yashica T2
Kyocera T Scope Yashica T3
Kyocera T Scope 2 Yashica T3 Super D
Kyocera Slim T Yashica T4
Kyocera T Proof Yashica T4 Super
Yashica T5
Kyocera T Zoom Yashica T Zoom
Yashica T4 Zoom

Medium-format film

APS film

Still video

Digital cameras

  • Kyocera DA-1 (1996)
  • Kyocera DR-350 / Yashica KC 600 (1997)
  • Kyocera Finecam 3300
  • Kyocera Finecam L3V
  • Kyocera Finecam L4V
  • Kyocera Finecam L30
  • Kyocera Finecam M400R
  • Kyocera Finecam M410R
  • Kyocera Finecam S3
  • Kyocera Finecam S3L
  • Kyocera Finecam S3R
  • Kyocera Finecam S3X
  • Kyocera Finecam S4
  • Kyocera Finecam S5
  • Kyocera Finecam S5R
  • Kyocera Finecam SL300R
  • Kyocera Finecam SL400R
  • Yashica Samurai DG 1300
  • Yashica Samurai DG 2100

Links

Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Navigation
External
Toolbox