Yamato TAC Deluxe

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Yamato TAC Deluxe

After the 1955 launch of the Pax Ruby / Konair Ruby twins and their sisters, Yamato Added a fresh lot. The newcomers were named TAC Deluxe, Atlas Deluxe, Pax M4, Pal M4, and Rex M4. All are the same except for the nameplates and perhaps lens markings. Yamato built the rebranding option in the design, where the nameplates are not engraved in the metal but a stick-on label.

The camera in focus is marked TAC Deluxe. The one-page manual/brochure states Trans-American Import Export Co. as the distributor. I assume TAC stands for Trans American Co. Google has no idea about it. No other camera is listed under this company name.

Compared to the previous generation, the bodies grew a bit, yet smaller than a standard rangefinder. The top is streamlined, not as pronounced as the earlier, and other than a rewind knob armed with a fold-down lever, it carries the same features. A lever winder that cocks the shutter, with a film speed memo, a rewind release pinhead, and a bubble lens showing the self-setting frame counter.

Three windows at the front are for the tiny viewer, parallax marks and rangefinder patch. Closest to the body is the rangefinder ring that turns, which seems to be a rare occurrence with Yamato, as the previous three on my desk have a jammed focusing ring. Next is the aperture ring, marked with an ‘A’, which did not exist on the earlier models. Further comes the speed setting ring, the traditional B, 1-300. In between 25 and 50, a pinhole that turns red when shutter is cocked. The lens here is faster than its older sisters, 2.8/45 compared to 3.5/45. A flash sync lever selects between ‘X’ and ‘M’, marked with a light bulb and a lighting icon.

The two machined disks at the bottom are supposed to keep the camera steady on a flat surface, accent on supposed. A dial in the middle releases the back.

The cameras did not evolve much in the three years since the earlier models. Nothing of substance has changed besides a faster lens and an updated style. I wonder what Yamato had in mind when they came to market with this line. For the collectors, the cameras are nice to have if they come around on the cheap. Oddly, the different models fetch different prices, although they are identical. It could well be incidental. I got this camera some years ago, passing via Scottsdale, AZ, and learned about a nearby auction by EJ’s, an impressive auction house, worth keeping in mind.

More on Yamato. and model list.

Camdex list number 117797
Brand Yamato
Model TAC Deluxe
Manual Cameracollector.net
Value TAC Deluxe
Pax M4
Pal M4
Atlas Deluxe
Rex M4
Format 35mm
Introduced 1958
AKA Pax M4, Pal M4, Atlas Deluxe, Rex M4
Country Japan
Qty made
Initial price
Type Rangefinder
Body material Metal
Mode Manual
Weight 510 gr,  Body with lens
Class average weight 620 gr,  Body with lens
ASA range Memo only
Kit lens 2.8/45
Lens make Luminor
Filter size 30mm, 35mm snap on
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, 1-300
Mirror N/A
Viewer Rangefinder
DOF preview No
Exposure lock No
Exposure compensation No
Shoe Cold
External sync X/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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