Yamato Atlas 35

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Yamato Atlas 35 / Sears Tower 55

After the PAX I, The Pax Ruby, and the Pax M 4 groups, the fourth generation of Yamato-own cameras is headed by the Yamato Atlas 35. I chose this model as the leader, as the other two do not carry the Yamato name and were made for different distributors. This group comprises the Yamato Atlas 35, Emitax Emicon, and Sears Tower 55. The Emitax name is hinted to be a South American brand, but I am not sure which countries.

In these 1959 models, Yamato returned to the viewfinder type, last seen in the 1949 Minon.

The body size is between the Pax I and the Pax Ruby; Yamato couldn’t decide on the ideal camera size. The top resembles the Ruby, with a larger rewind knob topped with a film-type memo, and the frame counter lens is replaced with a (cheaper?) half-moon hollow in the metal. The counter reset is an unfriendly ring around the rewind release knob.

The lens assembly has a large knurled ring at its base, asking to be turned. It is fixed. I guess the knurling is for looks and to accumulate dirt. The aperture ring is marked with a black chevron, and the shutter speed next to it is marked with a red chevron. As with previous models, a pinhole between 50 and 100 turns red when the shutter is cocked. On the aperture setting ring, a red dot between 8 and 11, is not mentioned in the user manual. The zone focusing ring is at the front, marked feet on both models I have.

On the units I have, true to Yamato’s custom, the focusing ring is stuck on the Atlas, although it turns on the Tower.

The manual takes pride in allowing the camera to take a double image on the same frame by pressing the rewind release while cocking the shutter.

The back is fully removable by turning the dial at the bottom. Two machined disks at the bottom, one threaded, are supposed to hold the camera steady on a flat surface. It doesn’t, an inherited Yamato flaw.

For the collector, as with other Yamato cameras, it is nice to have on the shelf if it comes in good condition and at a decent cost. Judging from the other Yamato models, prices are low, but finding one in working condition might be a tall order.

More on Yamato. and model list.

Camdex list number 10526
Brand Yamato
Model Atlas 35
Manual Butkus
Value Yamato Atlas 35
Sears Tower 55
Emitax Emicon
Format 35mm
Introduced 1959
AKA Tower 55, Emitax Emicon
Country Japan
Qty made
Initial price 18
Currency USD
Type Viewfinder
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight 405 gr,  Body with lens
Class average weight 470 gr,  Body with lens
ASA range Memo only
Kit lens 3,5/45
Lens make Luna
Filter size 30mm
Lens mount Fixed lens
Mount size N/A
Shutter Leaf
Shutter make
Trigger On top
Winder Lever
Shutter_cocking Winder
Light meter None
Lock No
Speeds B, 25-300
Mirror N/A
Viewer Viewfinder
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe No
External sync M
Timer No
Battery, original N/A
Sync speed
Battery, replacement N/A
Battery voltage N/A
Integral flash None
Service / repair links See camerlog.com



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