WHAT HAPPENED TO: AGFA, ROLLEI, AND YASHICA?

Just a few days ago, I did a blog on “What happened to: Minolta, Chinon, and Praktica”. And had a good response from that. I found some more cameras that bit the dust when everything went digital. Or did they? Let’s take a look at these three:

AGFA PHOTO:

First, we have to go back to the early years of Agfa. It was originally known on their merchandise as AGFA GEVAERT. As time moved on, they were struggling in the film industry, they decided to sell it and it created a new company called: AgfaPhoto GmbH. And this happened in 2004.

The various product brands are now being licensed to various companies by the holding firm AgfaPhoto Holding GmbH. Minilab service and chemicals are e.g. now sold by A&O Imaging Solutions, and AgfaPhoto Vista Brand Film is sold by Lupus Imaging & Media.

The following consumer imaging products are offered already with the AgfaPhoto trademark: Digital Cameras & Camcorder, Analog Filmrolls & (Single Use-) Cameras, Flash Memory Cards & USB Drives, Mobile Energy Products, Digital Photo Frames, Minilabs incl. Service & Spare Parts, Optical & Magnetic Storage Media, LCD TV, DVD Players, Pocket Projectors, Binoculars, Cleaning Products, Ink Cartridges, Photo Paper.

AGFAPHOTO does have a Facebook page, but, it’s been since August of 2017 that they posted last.

ROLLEI:

When I worked at a camera store many years ago, we enjoyed selling Rollei cameras. They were very well built, and had been designed with the photographer in mind to be able to carry a quality small camera around that would fit in your pocket. And that was the film days (see their photo above).

The one thing that the professional photographers enjoyed about Rollei is their medium format cameras with a twin-lens reflex system. Like seen here:

German optics, fine craftsmanship. This camera is a legend.

Researching Rollei, or Rolleiflex cameras today, I was pleasantly surprised they are still in the camera business. More professional than for the amateur. But, they made their reputation in that category, might as well carry on.

The Rolleiflex Hy6 Mod 2

This is just one of their camera models today. Check out these features:

Hy6 Model 2 with AFD 80mm Apogon or AF 80mm PQS f/2.8 lens and 6060 film back.

Kit also includes battery charger, battery, Waist Level Finder, and carrying strap. This kit includes everything you need to start shooting except film – or a digital back :-).   Nothing else required. 

The Mod2 is the newest version of Rollei’s most advanced camera, and it’s arguably the worlds most advanced medium format camera that can be used with both film or digital backs.   I will write extensively about its features in my blog, https://rolleiflex.us/blogs/news-tech-tips-updates however this model has improvements to the shutter dampening, updated features in the firmware to register your lens own lens adjustments, and strengthened grip with more positions to name a few. The body panels are all black in the Mod2.  

You can shoot with your choice of the interchangeable film backs in 645 or 6×6 formats or with one of several digital backs that are available. Additionally the camera can be customized with any of the four different viewfinders;  1) Waist Level with pop up magnifier, 2) 45 degree Prism (2.5x magnification), 3) Schneider Lupe magnifying finder with 3x magnification and full view, 4) 90 degree telescoping finder with +-4 diopter adjustment.

An extensive range of autofocus and manual focus lenses are available for the system brand new and on the second hand market.  

YASHICA:

Yashica with one of their more popular slr cameras back in the film days.

YASHICA has an interesting story, as I studied what has happened to this company. Here is what I found:

Yashica is a Japanese manufacturer of cameras, originally active from 1949[1] until 2005[2] when its then-owner, Kyocera, ceased production.

In 2008, Kyocera sold the trademark rights of Yashica to Hong Kong-based MF Jebsen Group, and is under its subsidiary JNC Datum Tech International, Limited. Yashica’s products from JNC Datum Tech International including digital cameras, digital camcoders, digital photo frames, portable DVD players, digital audio players, digital voice recorders, binoculars, mobile phones and SD cards. In March 2015, 100 Enterprises International Group Co. Ltd. has been appointed as Yashica Global Sole Agent.

I found that Yashica does have a website still, and they have a film camera and 1 digital camera that is, to say the least, very interesting. It appears they made a camera that takes a “film looking” cartridge that has a built-in SD card. I could not find out how many pictures this SD card could hold, but, the cartridges come in a variety of colors, and the colors produce either black and white, color, blue tinted color, etc.

YASHICA Y35-01.jpg
Note that their digital camera is call the “digifilm” camera. And that film-looking cartridge houses the SD card. It is not a film camera.
Y35 master_part1_1106_1-04.jpg

Top photo is the digifilm “blue” cartridge you would put in this camera, and it would produce photos like this:

YASHICA Y35-19 a.jpg
Would you be interested in a photo that automatically gives it a blue cast?
YASHICA Y35-30 b.jpg
An SD card that transforms all your pictures into a square format that will fit Instagram.
#yashicay35_1105-01.jpg
Or you could buy a digifilm black and white cartridge. This image seems really nice.

I don’t know the stats of this company, if this product has caught on or not. But, this website’s photos and information are dated in 2017. This is their official website: https://www.yashica.com/

If you want more information about Yashica, you could go to their website. Just my opinion, but, this seems like an idea that won’t go to far when you look at what the other cameras can do today.

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2 thoughts on “WHAT HAPPENED TO: AGFA, ROLLEI, AND YASHICA?

  1. FYI, the Yashica Y35 fake film cartridges only change the shooting mode and a separate SD card is also needed.
    The camera was almost universally despised due to very poor buld quality and an array of glitches.

  2. Thank you David, I appreciate the comment. I may dig in to this a little deeper, as some other people have mentioned that I missed a few brands still. But, yes, that Yashica….. bad, bad, stuff.

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