(including the change from Yashicaflex to Yashica)
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The Pigeonflex name was always one word. But was it “Yashimaflex”, as it is almost always commonly found these days, or “Yashima Flex”? The same question can be asked of the first Yashica Flex, more commonly called “Yashicaflex B (old model)”, and “Yashicaflex S” or “Yashica Flex S”, all three of which use the same script on the nameplate (see “Bodies and Lenses” and also “66 Models”). I think that when released, on these initial three models, the name was 2 words. One could argue backwards and forwards about the script used and whether a break is intended or not – a few sites have the split form including the NSW State Library in regard to an image taken in 1954. My earliest Yashica Flex S has the short strap holders i.e., the first body type. Here is it its box and instruction sheet. The name on the box is written as “YASHICA” on one line and “Flex” below it. The instruction sheet speaks for itself.
(Click on Features sheet for full size view)
From the Yashicaflex A series onward, including the Yashicaflex A-I, A-II and AS, the name on the nameplate, “Yashicaflex”, is one word. However, even Yashima was in a quandary. A complete Yashicaflex A kit included this box with single word form and the manual (which covers both A-I and A-II models) which jumps between two word and single word forms:
(Click on manual pages for larger view)
The following ad is for the Yashima Flex and Yashica Flex S in the December 1954 edition of Swedish photography magazine Nordisk Tidskrift för Fotografi (the Yashima Flex and Yashica Flex S together is strange, the Yashima Flex is thought to be from an earlier period):
(Document image courtesy of Göran Årelind, also appears in Yashica and 66 Models pages)
(Click on ad for larger image)
By the March 1955 edition of Swedish magazine Foto, importer Molander & son was using the single word form of “Yashicaflex S” and “Yashicaflex B” (see Yashica and 66 Models pages). In 1956, a Yashima ad for the “Yashicaflex Model S”, in a booklet produced in Japan in English, used the single word form whilst also referring to the models “A-1, A-II and AS-II etc”. The “Yashicaflex A Series” section notes similar references in brochures and manuals. The Yashica Flex S nameplate hadn't changed but clearly, Yashima had created a marketing dilemma for itself with two forms of the name.
I suspect that the two word form changed to single word form for all models at, or just after, the time of the Yashicaflex A-I release in late 1954. I am going to use the two word form for both the Yashima Flex and Yashica Flex B (old model). Although the Swedish ad of 1955 above referred to “Yashicaflex B”, it was near the end of its model life and probably only a few months after the change in late 1954 at the earliest. On the other hand, the evidence suggests that the “Yashica Flex Model S” changed near the beginning of its life and therefore, contrary to what I have advocated in the past, I am generally going to use the single word form of “Yashicaflex S”. However, please note that the two word form of Yashica Flex S is also correct (at least for the earlier examples of this model, possibly all those fitted with NKS-FB shutters) and there are situations where I may prefer to use it.
One more thing, I am generally not going to muck around with Yashica Flex B (old model) and Yashicaflex B (new model). For me, Yashica Flex B and Yashicaflex B are clear enough differentiators. I assume that the “old/new” nomenclature is collector invention and certainly, both the boxes and a Japanese guarantee certificate for the later camera state “Yashicaflex model B”. Actually, one side of the box has “Yashicaflex model B” and the other, “Yashica model B” (see Lens Caps & Cases). There is no mention of “new” anywhere.
I think it is important in terms of historical accuracy to acknowledge Yashima/Yashica practice and reflect that in discussions about the cameras. Sometimes it is difficult because the company was less than consistent in its own usage.
Yashica Flex and Yashicaflex
With Yashicaflexes, the model name was not on the nameplate or anywhere else on the camera, except for the Yashicaflex C where “Model C” was found inside the camera at the bottom near the film feed chamber. The manuals, ads and a number of boxes I have seen refer to, e.g. “Yashicaflex Model A-II” (not “AII” as commonly found on the web). For convenience, particularly in tables etc, and with a nod to modern practice, I will mostly use the shorthand form “Yashicaflex A-II”, although sometimes I will use the full description because it seems more appropriate and is a reminder of what is correct. (Note: Initially but very briefly, Yashima used the form, “Yashicaflex Model-A II”. Both forms appear in the Yashicaflex A manual above.)
Also, Yashima seemed to use “Yashicaflex A” and “Yashicaflex AS” in the generic sense when referring to models A-I and A-II and models AS-I and AS-II respectively (see “Yashicaflex A Series”). I will try to stick to using the specific models.
Yashica names on nameplates usually use the hyphen between the name and the model, e.g. “Yashica-635”, but the “Yashica LM” is an exception. In manuals and ads however, Yashica invariably does not use the hyphen between the name and model and that includes the crank wind Yashica 24 and 12. Both the Yashica E nameplate and user manual cover use “Yashica-E” but inside in the text, there is no hyphen. Therefore, I too will not use the hyphen for Yashica names and will stay with e.g. “Yashica A”.
Note that early boxes, maybe even into the 1960s, but not literature, use the Yashicaflex convention of e.g. “Yashica Model A”.
Yashica-Mat and Yashica Mat-XXX
Yashica Mat varieties are confusing. The original meterless model was written as “Yashica-Mat” on both the camera and in literature (except on early boxes and in a 1957 ad where it appears as “Yashicamat”). When the Yashica Mat-LM was introduced, it was still written as “Yashica-Mat” on the camera and an early ad has “Yashica-Mat LM”. However, an early brochure printed in Japan has “Yashica Mat-LM” and a later one from around 1964 (it includes the Yashica E) advertises the two Mats as “Yashica-Mat” and “Yashica Mat-LM”, a convention that seems to apply to all subsequent metered Mats (EM, 124 and 124G - the 24 and 12 are as for “Yashica”). Whilst there are some options, I will use “Yashica-Mat” and “Yashica Mat-LM”, “Yashica Mat-EM”, “Yashica Mat-124” and ”Yashica Mat-124G”.
Yashica 44 Series
Text inside the original 44’s user manual uses “Yashica-44”. Inside the 44A and 44LM manuals is “Yashica 44A” and “Yashica 44LM”. They’re the formats I have gone with as well.
Either of two marks, or possibly both, are sometimes found on the top edge of some Yashica TLR nameplates (or alternatively for the <EP>mark, inside the accessory shoe). Neither is restricted to only Yashica cameras.
A long time ago, Leigh Harris convinced me that these were worth tracking and he was correct. The ® mark is the Registered Trademark sign indicating that some aspect/s of the camera, usually name and/or logo, has/have been officially registered in a country, in this case Japan, and is/are protected from use by others by law. This is a Yashica 44A nameplate:
On 66 models, it is usually on the extreme left. It first appeared in 1956 or 1957 and disappeared just before prefixed numbers were introduced, probably around 1961. The marks appeared on most examples of a model, but not necessarily all, within the period but not on all models. The Yashicaflex models from this period, the A3, AS and B, do not seem to have them. Although both the Yashica A and C (as well as the 635, B, D and Yashica-Mat) have the marks, I can't find them on the companion Yashica LM. Why should some models have the marks and not others?
My research suggests that cameras intended for the domestic Japanese market usually don't have the marks. That includes both complete model ranges and also individual examples from broadly available models. That takes care of the Yashicaflexes but doesn't explain the LM which seemed to be an export only model intended for the same markets as the Yashica C.
Some collectors record the trade mark sign with the serial number. Whether the ® is there or not doesn't excite me too much but combined with knowing whether a camera has a focusing scale in feet or metres and whether the film speed reminder is in DIN or ASA, it does help to tell us a little more about what market the camera or the model was produced for.
In the order of appearing in my database (66 first, then 44):
I can't really tell with the really early cameras but by 804xxx, all the nameplates have the mark. The few with metre focusing scales have the 10 flag DIN film speed reminder scales (plus two late ones with dual DIN/ASA scales) so it seems to be an export only model.
Yashica A & Yashica AIII
The first Yashica A in my database, 304xx, doesn't have the mark. The next camera, 335xx and all subsequent cameras until, but not including, the last block of six digit numbers beginning with “6” just before “A” prefixed numbers begin, seem to have the mark. It is very relevant to note that until dual focusing scales, all Yashica As either had focusing scales in feet, or if the scales were metres, then the film speed reminder scale was in DIN. Either way, production from this period was destined for export. On the other hand, Yashica AIIIs from the same period have focusing scales in metres and ASA film reminder scales suggesting domestic consumption. Yashica AIIIs (and also the Rookie but that may have been too early) do not have the ® mark.
The first camera, 574xx, with focusing scale in metres, and the next fifteen cameras up to 628xx, all with feet focusing scales, don't have the mark yet. The ® mark commences between camera 628xx and 640xx and like the Yashica A, the mark ceases when six digit numbers beginning with “6” start just before “MT” prefixed numbers begin. However, initially at least, the marks only appeared on nameplates of cameras with focusing scales in feet (the very significant majority). The cameras with focusing scales in metres without the marks were probably intended for the Japanese market. Later cameras before dual scale knobs arrived almost invariably had focusing scales in feet but the one exception in metres also has the ® mark - European export?
All the cameras up to 6 digit numbers beginning with 6 (just prior to the prefixed number series) appear to have the mark. There are no Yashica 635 examples in my database with metre focusing scales even though the model appears to have been advertised in Japan.
Both cameras with metre and feet focusing scales up to 6 digit numbers beginning with 6 (just prior to the prefixed number series) appear to have the mark. This model was unlikely to have been sold in Japan which had the same spec Yashicaflex A3.
The pattern is similar to other cameras. The ® mark appears on cameras with feet focusing scales up to just before or just after the start of 6 digit numbers beginning with 6 and that is just before prefixed numbers start. No camera in my database with focusing scales in metres has the mark.
So far, only found with focusing scales in metres and believed to be a domestic Japanese market model. Yet the very earliest example has the ® mark! Perhaps some were destined for Europe? None of the others have the mark (all fit into the period that trade marks were in use).
This is an unusual one. The first camera in my database is the one in the user manual and has serial number 4110043 which is a possible candidate for the trade mark. And indeed, it does have one. However, production cameras start with 6 digit numbers beginning with 6 already and as with other models, there are no more marks.
The early grey cameras, just under half the Yashica-44 examples, all have feet focusing scales and all these seem to have the mark. Meter focusing scales begin with the first coloured examples. At least some of the cameras with metre focusing scales also have the mark but with the Yashica-44, I am missing the top view of nameplates in quite a few cases and it seems to be mainly the ones with metre scales affected. Surprisingly, there is also an example with focusing scale in feet without the mark - perhaps the knob could have been changed later or the camera was intended for sale in Japan. The last few cameras have 6 digit numbers beginning with 6 and dual focusing scales. None of these has the trade mark.
The Yashica 44A seems to be another export only model. Until dual focusing scales about halfway through my 44A database, all but four cameras have focusing scales in feet. Of the four, three are brown examples found in Sweden and the fourth is black, probably also from Europe. All the examples with feet and metre focusing scales seem to have the ® mark until, as with other models, just before 6 digit serial numbers starting with 6 are introduced.
The Yashica 44LM seems to have been available in all markets. Both cameras with feet and metre focusing scales have the trade mark except for examples without the red window - there is every indication that these are Japan only versions. The first 6 digit number starting with 6 (610xxx) does have the ® mark but subsequent cameras from 620xxx to 660xxx don't have it.
Correspondent Sandu Baciu has alerted me to the <EP> mark (in the mark proper, the letters are in a closed diamond). The mark was applied to cameras and other items sold through US Army Post Exchange, or PX (Navy has equivalent NX or Navy Exchange), stores on military bases in Japan probably because of tax reasons. Some think that “EP” signifies “Exchange Post” (i.e., Post Exchange in reverse which seems a bit odd to me) but others believe it means “Export Permitted”. Camerapedia and Wikipedia have more background. The practice started in the early to mid-1950s (there was an earlier “CPO” mark) and may have lasted into the early 1970s. Obviously, only a relatively small number of cameras, either random or in small batches, will receive such marks and who knows which models Yashica wanted to sell through these outlets?
The earliest example that I have seen is on this very late Yashica Flex B lens cap from probably early 1955:
(Detail from larger web image)
Sandu's Yashica-Mat, which is from 1958 or 1959, is below (the serial number seems a little older than the camera, probably caused by pre-stamped nameplates being held until the next PX store order - just a guess):
(Images courtesy of Sandu Baciu)
The mark on the left below is on the meter assembly of Sandu's Yashica Mat-LM and on the right, on the focusing side strap holder of his early Yashica Mat-EM which has the serial numbers on the side instead of the rear of the focusing hood of later examples.
(Images courtesy of Sandu Baciu)
The accessory shoe with the EP mark below belongs to a Yashica 635 from about 1962. These is an earlier 635 one in my database from before the introduction of prefixed serial numbers and Sandu has a Yashica 44LM with the mark in the shoe also.
(Detail from larger web images)
On the Yashica page, we have already seen how Yashima moved from producing the Pigeonflex for distribution by Endō Sashin Yōhin to itself marketing and distributing a slightly revised version as the Yashima Flex and how this became the Yashica Flex Model B. As noted in the above sections, the name soon changed to the single word form of Yashicaflex. The company set up its New York subsidiary, Yashica Inc., in 1957 and changed its own name to Yashica when it bought Nicca in 1958.
The Change from Yashicaflex to Yashica - the Export Factor
Both “Yashicaflex” and “Yashica” named models were released between 1956 and 1957. Why? Both were similar to each other, yet different, as if from a slightly different time period. The following is just my theory. I am fairly certain that the coexistence of the “Yashicaflex” and “Yashica” names is somehow connected to export issues but how? There are certain facts and circumstantial evidence but no proof of links to make a coherent story. I will indicate what is reasonable assumption, proven or observable fact and what requires a leap of faith.
I am guessing that like nearly all the other TLR manufacturers, Yashima probably put “flex” at the end of their cameras’ name to try to suggest a connection to Rolleiflex rather than simply a shortening of “reflex”.
In order to get the economy moving again, post-War Japan took many short cuts to production, including copying of many products from overseas and using cheap materials and techniques. To counter this approach and protect the emerging photographic industry, the Japan Camera & Optical Instruments Inspection & Testing institute (now called Japan Camera Industry Institute, or JCII) was formed in 1954 to establish quality standards for cameras and optical goods made for export (Camera-wiki.org). Some of us remember the gold JCII stickers on Japanese cameras from the 1960s through to the late 1980s. My understanding is that as well as seeking to eliminate the export of low quality photographic and optical items, there was concern regarding the Japanese practice of copying. Whether this extended to names (given that the cameras themselves are Rollei clones), I don't know but in any case, Yashima started using the shortened “Yashica” for some models from 1956 onward. At first, I thought that it was initially used for export models only but it is more interesting and complicated than that, however, I'm jumping the gun.
I also don't know if it is coincidence, waning popularity of TLRs already or whether through JCII involvement but by the mid 1950s, most of the multitude of “<insert name here> flex” makers and/or camera names had already disappeared.
Facts Regarding Domestic and Export Models
The early models up to very early versions of the Yashica Flex S had metre markings on the focus scale. From late 1954 or more probably, early 1955, some models had scales in feet and some in metres and some had examples of both until dual scale knobs arrived in about 1959. In 1954, the Yashica Flex S introduced film speed reminders (previously, film type) to the film winding knob. These only used the ASA scale until 1956 when a DIN scaled knob began appearing on a small number of cameras with metre focusing scales. Dual DIN/ASA scales replaced the earlier type in 1958 (at least on export models).
Informed Speculation Regarding Domestic and Export Models
Initial production was for the domestic market - that doesn't necessarily mean the Japanese themselves, there was not much disposable income at that stage. The feet focusing scales, introduced in 1954 or 1955, represent sales to almost entirely Americans (the UK still had stringent import restrictions and countries like Australia were insignificant), initially perhaps to US Service personnel stationed in, or transiting, Japan and then increasingly through export. As time went on, the metre focusing scales represent mainly domestic Japanese consumption. Initially, small numbers with ASA scales were exported to Sweden at least but then, from 1956 to 1958, cameras exported to Europe were fitted with the DIN film reminder knob as well as the metre focusing scales. The numbers found are relatively very small indicating that the US was the main export market by far. Also, the cameras found with both the metre and DIN scales together are amongst models that either are otherwise feet scaled or there there is a mix of scales but never with cameras with only metre and ASA scales together, again highlighting that models with predominantly metre and ASA scales together were almost certainly destined for domestic consumption only.
Sugiyama's Feet & Metres
I am also going to enlist Sugiyama’s assistance, noting that his book was aimed primarily at Japanese collectors. Sugiyama ignores the Yashicaflex A-I and AS-II. The Yashicaflex A-I examples in my database are predominantly feet scaled. Only seven of thirteen 28 AS-II examples with readable scales in my database have a metre scale. On the other hand, he does include the Yashicaflex A-II which has over 50% of examples with metre scales. I’m not proposing this as something definitive, merely an indicator of market focus for these models at the time and Sugiyama's priorities.
The first Yashica models were the Rookie and Hi-Mec (the first mentioned by Sugiyama, the second not). Both have metre scales and are unique amongst “Yashica” models in this regard (except for the later Auto which belongs to the post-Yashicaflex era) and are part of my theory further down. The Yashica A, C and LM and were introduced later in 1956. The Yashica A is a little more complicated but the three generally had feet focusing scales (the A changed later to dual scale). The only Yashica C and LM exceptions had DIN scaled film reminders. Sugiyama ignores the Yashica C and LM completely even though the closely related Yashicaflex C predecessor, which can be found with either scale but predominantly has a metre scale, gets two entries.
His only reference to the Yashica A is as a “Yashica-AIII” (Yashica documentation seems to call it “Yashica AIII”) from 1959. By this time, the cameras we are familiar with had dual distance scales but this AIII model might be a domestic variant – there is no hood logo (see “66 Models”). There are 8 Yashica As with metre scale examples compared to 37 with feet scale examples in my database before changing to dual scale. Three of the eight have no hood logos and could be domestic Yashica AIII variants and at least one and maybe both of the examples with the earlier style film speed reminders have the European export 10 flag DIN film speed scales. The balance of the metre scaled cameras have the later dual DIN/ASA scales and could have been destined for either the domestic market or European export. The earliest Yashica A with metre scale is the one with 10 flag DIN scale and there are quite a lot of cameras until the next example. If all that is confusing, I am simply saying that early production of the Yashica A was predominantly for export.
By trim and feature set, the Yashicaflex A2 came at the same time as the three Yashicas and the Yashicaflex A3 (Sugiyama’s new model A) appeared considerably later. These have metre scales (both are very small sample sizes). Both, but particularly the A3, are rare in the West but according to Sugiyama, common and Japanese web sites seem to bear that out to some degree at least. In the West, the Yashicaflex AS and its close relative, the Yashicaflex B, are rare beasts. According to both Sugiyama and Japanese web sites, they are relatively common, the B more so. No prizes for guessing that they have predominantly metre scales (four Yashicaflex B examples in the database do have feet but their serial numbers are very close and seem like part of a small batch). Although the Yashicaflex B was released a little earlier than its almost identical sibling, the Yashica D, I have always found it hard to reconcile that the Yashicaflex had the “old” film winding knob with ASA scale only and was never updated to the Yashica D type dual DIN/ASA scale even though it has been claimed to have remained in production until 1960. The separate markets would explain it. The Yashica B is another model ignored by Sugiyama. This came in both scales before changing to dual scale but as Japan had the equivalent Yashicaflex A3 and quite a few Yashica Bs have turned up in Europe including Sweden, I still think that this was mainly an export model.
The Change from Yashicaflex - My Theory
In anticipation of increased export activity, in early 1956 Yashima decided to drop the “flex” from “Yashicaflex”. Whether there was JCII influence or some other reason, who knows? Maybe Yashica was even anticipating its move into the 35 mm market where “flex” would be a liability. As usual with other releases, the models with the new name would be introduced to the domestic market first. These were the Yashica Rookie and Hi-Mec. From here on, its guesswork, maybe even a fairy tale.
My guess is that neither model proved as popular as hoped. Yashima determined that neither name was well received (who wants to be branded a beginner, even less than competent maybe, and “Hi-Mec”, well the less said, the better) but even more worryingly, Japanese consumers were not relating to the new “Yashica” brand name the same way that they had embraced “Yashicaflex” and made Yashima successful. Also determining that the ability to shoot 6 cm x 4.5 cm negatives was not a killer feature and unnecessarily contributed to costs, for the export market, Yashima renamed the “Yashica Rookie” as the “Yashica A” and dropped the ability to shoot dual format. The “Yashica Hi-Mec”, possibly with full name of “Yashica Hi-Mec Model S” became simply the “Yashica LM” (there may have been a Hi-Mec version of the Yashica C planned as well, the “Model S” inside the camera is a significant clue).
The Yashica Rookie remained in production, initially alongside a raft of Yashicaflex A series models still available in Japan, until the Japanese domestic version of the Yashica A, the Yashica A-III, was released in 1959. The box below belongs to the second last Rookie in my database. As well as being a simpler construction, without lift-off lid, than all its contemporaries including the Yashica A, note that it says “Yashicaflex” on the side.
(Image courtesy of Sandu Baciu)
However, the Hi-Mec was dropped almost instantly, not even making it onto Sugiyama's radar. The role of a metered model was retained by the Yashicaflex S until 1957 (so far, I have seen no evidence of the Yashica LM being available in Japan).
In order to leverage the solid reputation of the Yashicaflex brand domestically, future domestic models would retain the “Yashicaflex” name and “Yashica” would be used only for export versions, effectively duplicating models. At the same time that the Yashica A, C and LM were released internationally in late 1956, the Yashicaflex A2 was released domestically. No export counterpart has been found for this model but one of the Yashicaflex A2 cameras in my database has been photographed alongside its box which very clearly is marked “Yashica A2”. That could mean that the box was left over from the aborted plan to market domestic models as “Yashica” or, that there was a plan to market an export version. Or it could mean something else. I also have a copy of a Japanese ad for a “Yashica A-2” but the nameplate of the camera in the picture has “Yashicaflex”:
(Detail from larger web images - also appears in “66 Models”)
In the two instances that I have seen the confusingly named Yashicaflex AS (because of the earlier AS-I and AS-II models) with its Japanese language user manual (not destined for export), the name on the cover of the manual is “Yashica Model AS” whilst on its box it is “Yashicaflex Model AS”.
(Detail from larger web image - also appears in “66 Models”)
First editions of user manuals are produced before cameras are released for sale. The same is usually true for boxes but the lead time maybe less and in this case, there is still some controversy regarding whether the found boxes belong to the AS, or earlier AS-II, or perhaps whether the same box was used for both (see here). Its nameplate is identical to a late Yashicaflex A-I or A-II (as was the Yashicaflex A2 nameplate) even though the earlier Yashica Rookie, A and C and Yashica-Mat had the new Yashica oval style which would also appear on the later Yashicaflex B and even the earlier Yashicaflex C had a full oval surround on the nameplate. The ever-ready cases for the Yashicaflex AS and A2 look identical to the earlier Yashicaflex A-II and A-I cases respectively (a style which had been superceded by Yashicaflex C and Yashica Rookie, A, C and LM cases and the new Yashica-Mat style had already been released). Last minute changes and/or attempts to emphasise the connection to earlier Yashicaflex models? The name of the Yashicaflex AS successor, the Yashicaflex B (the only real change was change of shutter maker from Citizen to Copal) also recycled the name of an earlier, successful model.
I have recently discovered that the Yashicaflex B adds to the mystery. Below is a montage from three separate boxes:
(Montage from larger web images)
One side of the box has “Yashicaflex”, the other has nothing but the lid has “Yashica” on that side. As noted in Lens Caps & Cases, the box for the later Yashica B is quite different colour scheme wise.
Domestically, the Yashicaflex A3 and Yashicaflex B were released in 1957 and their export equivalents, the Yashica B and Yashica D were released in 1958. There would be no more Yashicaflexes (apart from the intriguing continuation of the Yashicaflex name on Yashica 635 ever-ready cases for some years to come) but by this time, Yashica had changed, or was about to change, its own name and “Yashica” was gaining acceptance as a 35 mm and a home movie camera brand.
Evidence of Sorts
A forum discussion on photo.net in 1999 refers to an ad for the Yashicaflex S and AS models found in a 1955 magazine (presumably US) and there is a March 1956 Popular Photography review of the Yashicaflex S. However, I have copies of a number of US Yashica ads from 1956, 1957 and 1958 and various models are mentioned but no more Yashicaflexes. Also only early models of Yashicaflexes appeared in Swedish ads, i.e., no Yashicaflex C, A2, A3, AS or B (new model). There are no ads found for the Rookie or Hi-Mec in either western market.
(See also Yashica Models & Specs for models with different focus distance scales.)
Some people view Yashicaflexes and Yashica 6x6 TLR models as different but coexisting generations and I have even seen them referred to as “inferior” and “weaker”. I can see no evidence of anything other than a change in marketing strategy. In the 1956 to 1958 period, some similar models with different names existed at the same time. It was only for a relatively short time. The Yashicaflex cameras were not inferior or different to the cameras with new names, they just represented a point in time in the normal development cycle and in some cases, they had a doppelganger. Apart from nameplate and minor trim, I can’t see any difference between the Yashicaflex B and Yashica D or Yashicaflex A3 and Yashica B.