Yashica M42

35mm SLR system • Discontinued


Yashica's 35mm film SLR system that was based on the M42 screw mount and succeeded the Pentamatic system with its proprietary bayonet mount. The system included two camera lines, J and TL, and an extensive range of lenses, from ultra-wide angle to super telephoto and telephoto zooms.


  • Penta J (Reflex 35) - a basic camera with mechanical shutter with top shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, and a clip-on exposure meter that coupled to the shutter speed dial;
  • J-3 - an update of the Penta J with a built-in window exposure meter and a self-timer lever on the front of the camera;
  • J-P - a Penta J with self-timer;
  • J-5 - similar to the J-3, but with top shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second and an improved self-timer mechanism;
  • J-7 - a further revision of the J-5 with the match-needle exposure metering and a new f/1.4 normal lens.


  • TL-Super - a SLR with TTL stop-down exposure metering with match needle system in the viewfinder, mechanical shutter with a top speed of 1/1000th of a second, hot shoe and a built-in self-timer;
  • TL - a TL-Super with a top shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, without hot shoe and mirror lock-up;
  • TL-E - a TL with electronic exposure readout system;
  • TL Electro X - a model with electronically controlled shutter and electronic exposure readout system instead of a match needle system;
  • TL-Electro - a TL Electro X with mechanical shutter;
  • TL Electro X ITS - a TL Electro X in professional black finish;
  • Electro AX - a model that added aperture-priority automatic exposure mode;
  • FFT - the last model, similar to the TL-Super.


  • Yashinon-R - early preset lenses, single-coated;
  • Auto Yashinon (DX) - models with automatic diaphragm, single-coated;
  • Auto Yashinon DS and DS-M - the last series, multi-coated in the case of DS-M.

The actual manufacturer of these lenses was Tomioka Optical Works, one of the largest and most reputable lens manufacturers in Japan. The relationship between Tomioka and Yashica began already in 1953, and in August 1968 the company was acquired by Yashica.

With the release of the Contax RTS with its bayonet lens mount in 1975, production of Yashica M42 cameras ceased, with the exception of the TL-Electro which was produced until about 1978.

Camera list

Model Shutter Metering Modes Year
35mm film SLR cameras with the M42 mount (14)
Yashica Penta J
aka Yashica Reflex 35
M, 1/500 -- M 1961
Yashica J-3 M, 1/500 Window M 1962
Yashica J-5 M, 1/1000 Window M 1964
Yashica J-P M, 1/500 -- M 1964
Yashica J-4 M, 1/500 Window M 1965
Yashica TL-Super M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1966
Yashica J-7 M, 1/1000 Window M 1966
Yashica TL Electro X E, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1968
Yashica TL M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1968
Yashica TL-E M, 1/500 TTL • WA M 1969
Yashica TL Electro X ITS E, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1970
Yashica TL-Electro M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1972
Yashica Electro AX E, 1/1000 TTL • WA AM 1972
Yashica FFT M, 1/1000 TTL • WA M 1973

M42 mount lens list

Accessories list

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