image by Brian Cue (Image rights)
The FX-A Quartz is a 35mm SLR from Yashica. It was first introduced at Photokina in 1982, a year before being acquired by Kyocera. It was positioned as the prototype flagship model of the FX series, supporting both automatic and manual exposure. It was not shown publicly at the exhibition - only journalists and trade partners were able to get their hands on this new technology. An unusually small volume of cameras was manufactured (often thought to be between 800 and 1000), most of which were bought by the US Government, and was not available in the Japanese market. It is believed the impending buy-out of Yashica by Kyocera led to the abandonment of several R&D projects, including this camera and the Contax 137AF (plus 3 Zeiss AF lenses with a C/Y mount) which was also shown to journalists at Photokina.
What made the FX-A unique was its use of Honeywell's TCL Focus-analyzing Module (also used in the prototype Contax 137AF) to provide focus confirmation in the centre of the viewfinder. The FX-A shared many components with the well-established FX-D but the focusing module and mirror assembly were unique to the camera; the mirror had a strange appearance as its surface carries a series of interlinked black lined lozenge shapes to aid the Honeywell unit. Those patterns on the mirror surface were not visible in the viewfinder and so were never a distraction for the photographer.
The FX-A uses interchangeable lenses with the C/Y mount. It has an electronic quartz timed, vertical travelling metal focal-plane shutter with speeds from 1/1000 to 1 in manual exposure and up to 11 sec in auto. It has a bulb mode and flash sync is at 1/100 a sec. The finder has a 95% field of view with magnification 0.86. Fill speed settings are manually set with a range of ISO 25 to 1600 ISO. It weighs approx 470g.