Serial Numbers

Contents

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Serial Number Patterns
Decoding Serial Numbers

Serial Numbers from 1957 to 1960
Serial Numbers from 1961 to 1980
7 Digit Numbers - Correlation to Model Release and End Dates
The Yashica Spares System Theory - the Impact on Serial Numbers
Do These Patterns and Date Codes Exist for Other Format Yashica Models?

Serial Numbers Found - All TLR Models
Location of Body Serial Numbers

Serial Number Patterns

Originally, body serial numbers were generally consecutive within a model's production, although sometimes the numbers jumped, or increased digits, at some significant point. The Yashicaflex AS-II is one exception with a series from 81xxx to 83xxx followed by a new series from 19xxx to 23xxx. The MolfoReflex is another, with three unrelated series. Serial numbers were not consecutive model to model, usually. Two exceptions are from Yashima Flex to Yashica Flex B and from Yashica Mat-124 to Yashica Mat-124G where the numbers appear to continue on. However, in the latter case, production switched from one model to the other and the appearance of continuity is given by the numbers based on a date code (see below).

As the “Yashica” models came into play, things became interesting with odd sequences, some earlier numbers having more digits than later ones. The numbers seemed to be most confusing in the 1957 to 1960 period after which cameras still in production adopted serial numbers with prefixes and settled into a more logical progression again. The affected models are the Yashica A, B, D and 635 and Yashica-Mat at, or towards, the beginning of their production, the Yashicaflex A (new model) and B (new model), Yashica C and LM at the end of their production and the second two thirds of Yashica 44 and first half of 44A and 44LM production. Yashica also opened their New York office in 1957 - is the new numbering system somehow linked, or a complete coincidence?

As an example, the Yashica A begins with 5 digit numbers, then changes to 6 digit numbers beginning with 79, then changes to 8 digit numbers starting with 5710, followed by 7 digit numbers beginning with 584. Then there are 8 digit numbers beginning with 3810 followed by 7 digit numbers beginning with 391 and then 8 digit again with 3910. These are followed by 6 digit numbers beginning with 61. And then there is the crystal clear 9 digit 116110451. Similar patterns are found with the other models in this period and usually, the first few digits are the same across the models.

The final block of Yashica A numbers have an “A” prefix. However, the second (from the left) digit of the “A” numbers rarely is higher than “0” and never more than “1” so that there will be for example A 20xxxxx and A 21xxxxx but never A 22xxxxx, the next number being in the A 30xxxxx range. This happens with all the alpha prefixed numbers for all models and also occurs with the unprefixed 7 digit numbers of the Yashica Mat-124 and Yashica Mat-124G. Finally, the solution has hit me in the face - see below:

The Yashica 635 changed its alpha prefix from ST to SX. When the numbers appeared to run out, the Yashica Mat-124G changed from a 7 digit series, with the “0” and “1” pattern noted above, to a new 6 digit series with no “0” and “1” pattern.

Lens numbers began logically but there are some other oddities too. Early in the piece, the Yashica Flex B seems to have started with six digit numbers and then changed to a new series with 5 digits. Some later cameras seem to have blocks of numbers issued almost randomly. Even if there is consistency, it is not unusual for a later camera to have slightly earlier lens numbers than the cameras immediately before it. Generally, the ranges for taking lenses and viewing lenses are the same and often, particularly with earlier cameras the numbers are in close proximity.

To me, there are three issues which contribute to the difficulty with serial numbers. The most obvious problem is that for a time, Yashica used a system that made sense to it but until now, we didn't have the key to decipher - we could get a picture of the correct order from trim and detail changes but not understand the reasoning. The second problem is that serial numbers were pre-stamped on peripheral parts that were delivered separately to the production line and presumably there was more than one line. It's obvious how body numbers, taking lens and viewing lens numbers can easily get out of sequence with each other, if allowed to (not generally the case with bodies), which brings us to the third issue - I don't think keeping lens numbers in sequence was a high priority, certainly at certain times of production. In the end, the numbers disappeared from first, the viewing lenses and then the taking lenses.

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Decoding Serial Numbers

As noted above, the early cameras used consecutive number sequences, usually unique but not always.

I believe that serial numbers from September 1957 to February 1980 contain a date code and that I have deciphered that, bit obvious with hindsight really. However, even if I am 100% wrong, by coincidence or otherwise, my system will allow you to date a camera from that period within 12 months of what my database, model release dates and across-the-board trim changes predict.

The key is that with alpha prefixed and late 7 digit serial numbers, not only is the second digit from the left never higher than “1”, the second and third digit together are always in the range “01” to “12”. How simple is that? The step to seeing year and sequence numbers is not great, I have been numbering my digital files since 2005 with year, month and 4 digit sequence codes. With the earlier numbers, the pattern is similar but mostly, the month numbers are “1” to “12” so that at “9”, numbers are 7 digit but at “10”, they become 8 digit. There are some variations with the pre-1961 numbers and the year codes are “interesting” - that is where I believe the guess work is.

This is how I believe the numbers from 1957 to 1980 operate but you will have to read the following sections to understand the logic and how to apply that knowledge.

Model Identifier Year Month Monthly Count from Zero
Nothing, 2 digits or alpha sequence
1 or 2 digits
1 or 2 digits
4 digits

 

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Serial Numbers from 1957 to 1960

The September 1957 to December 1960 models used 6 digits, 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 6 and some briefly (the Yashica 44LM not so briefly), 9 digits. Sometimes the combinations were slightly different. At this stage, I think that I understand the patterns and month codes but for the year codes, I will need to make some educated guesses. Two assumptions I will be making are that the last 4 digits on the right are a production sequence number, probably starting at zero each month and that all the preceding digits to the left are year and month codes, except in one case (the last numbers in the series) where there is also a model code.

I am going to start with the last numbers first because one, they are easier and two, they are more likely to be related to the following prefix series which seem straightforward in comparison. Only one Yashica A (serial number 11611xxxx), one Yashica 635 (serial number 13611xxxx), two Yashica-Mats (serial numbers 14610xxxx), two Yashica Mat-LMs (serial numbers 15609xxxx and 15611xxxx ) and nineteen Yashica 44LM (serial numbers 16609xxxx to 16611xxxx) examples have 9 digit serial numbers. My guess is that the first 2 digits from the left indicate model, the 3rd digit, the “6” indicates the year, in each case 1960 and the 4th and 5th digits indicate the month from 09 to 11 in the examples found. This was a short lived interim system. Effectively, in 1961, an alpha code replaced the 2 digit model code. In summary:

11 = Yashica A
12 = ?
13 = Yashica 635
14 = Yashica-Mat
15 = Yashica Mat-LM
16 = 44LM

That leaves the Yashica B, D and 44A without any examples so far. My guess is that “12” was probably allocated to the Yashica D and the Yashica B and the Yashica 44A missed out. The Yashica B was a low volume model, possibly offered in limited markets and was likely made in limited batches. 44 model production seemed to be very heavily focused on the 44LM in this period.

Before these examples, every model in production at the time had a bunch of similar 6 digit numbers beginning with 6. These ranged from 61xxxx to 69xxxx. There doesn't appear to be a model code. I interpret these numbers to be “6” for 1960 and “1” to “9” to be the months January to September.

That takes care of the whole of 1960. Now let's rewind to the beginning of this period, 1957. Until about September of that year, each model had a straightforward and mostly unique consecutive number series with the odd jump here and there. Then coincidentally, all models in production received a new 6 digit numbering system beginning with “79” (perhaps not the rare Japanese market Yashicaflex A which had just been released in August). The first digit could represent 1957 and the digit “9” could represent September which was pretty close to the start point.

This applied to the Yashica A, C, LM, Yashica-Mat and Yashicaflex B. As new models were introduced, they picked up on the apparent date patterns that followed except for the Yashica 635 and Yashica 44 both of which were claimed to be introduced in June 1958 and seem to initially start with their own discrete 5 digit consecutive series before switching to what looks like a 1958 date code.

The Yashica LM is also found with 7 digit serial numbers from 710xxxx to 711xxxx which I believe represent the months of October and November 1957. It is possible that other models also exhibit the same pattern but the evidence suggests not. There was also a small anomaly with the Yashica-Mat. September seems to start off with 79xxxx numbers but later in the month, a new series starts! These 579xxxx numbers have the later style of a new range of numbers with 8 digits ranging from 5710xxxx to 5712xxxx (from 5711xxxx for the Yashica LM). My guess is that the year is still 1957 and the months are October to December.

Note that the Yashicaflex B (new model) adopted the new “79” 7 digit numbering system initially but the next range of numbers have different numerical prefixes to other models and whilst the schema look similar, I can't directly relate them to dates. By this stage, the prefixes are shared with the Yashicaflex A (new model). Both are domestic Japanese models and the last of the Yashicaflexes and could have been given their own series for some reason. The two Yashicaflexes have numbers ranging from 3210xxxx to 3212xxxx. The numbers seem to imply October to December and seem to align with the 5710xxxx to 5712xxxx numbers of other models. Perhaps “32” is code for “57”, i.e. 1957? That is what I think.

What I assume are 1958 numbers are back down to 7 digits and range from 581xxxx to 589xxxx with “58” equating to 1958 and “1” to “9” representing January to September. Seemingly logical. The two Yashicaflexes have similar pattern numbers but the first two digits are “33” so maybe that is code for 1958. They go up to “338xxxx”, I assume August.

The next 15 months requires a real leap of faith to believe that there is a date code. The 1958 numbers appear to have made it to September (“58” for Yashicas and “33” for Yashicaflexes). However, also beginning in September 1958, all models moved to “38” for 1958. So September 1958 numbers can be 7 digit numbers 589xxxx for Yashicas, 339xxxx for Yashicaflexes or 389xxxx for either variety. The new 7 digit numbers only appeared for part of one month and so far I have only found Yashica-Mat, Yashicaflex B and Yashica 44 examples. Why “3” instead of “5”? My only guess is that Yashica was trying to get a little tricky with disguising its production details, something perhaps started with the home market Yashicaflexes. Logically and in a similar pattern to 1957, the October to December numbers appear to be 8 digit numbers 3810xxxx to 3812xxxx.

1959 serial numbers seem to start with a familiar 7 digit pattern, 391xxxx to 399xxxx which I interpret to mean 1959, January to September. Then come the familiar 8 digit numbers but only for October, 3910xxxx to 3910xxxx. October also seems to bring a change to a new “4” prefix instead of “39”. These numbers range from 410xxxx to 412xxxx, what I believe to be the typical October to December pattern. And then we are into 1960 with 6 digit numbers beginning with “6” as discussed earlier.

The table summarises my analysis of the serial numbers from this period but does not include the earlier Yashica 635 and Yashica 44 style consecutive series numbers before they too adopted this system from mid-1958.

Model Serial No. Year
Month
From
To
From
To
Yashica all
79xxxx
1957
September
Yashica-Mat
579xxxx
579xxx
1957
Late Sep
Yashica LM
710xxxx
711xxxx
1957
October
November
Yashica all
5710xxxx
5712xxxx
1957
October
December
Yashicaflex all
3210xxxx
3212xxxx
1957
October
December
Yashica all
581xxxx
589xxxx
1958
January
September
Yashicaflex all
331xxxx
338xxxx
1958
January
August
All
389xxxx
1958
September
All
3810xxxx
3812xxxx
1958
October
December
All
391xxxx
399xxxx
1959
January
September
All
3910xxxx
1959
October
All
410xxxx
412xxxx
1959
October
December
All
61xxxx
69xxxx
1960
January
September
Yashica A
11611xxxx
1960
November
Yashica 635
13611xxxx
1960
November
Yashica-Mat
14610xxxx
1960
October
Yashica Mat-LM
15609xxxx
15611xxxx
1960
September
November
Yashica 44LM
16609xxxx
16611xxxx
1960
September
November

 

It could be argued that I have simply put the number patterns in an order that fits my theory. As I explain further down, the order of the patterns fell out from placing cameras (several thousand) into my database based on known factors, trim and other variations. The possible date code link between the patterns came later, in 2014 in fact.

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Serial Numbers from 1961 to 1980

Alpha prefixed 7 digit serial numbers and also 7 digit Yashica Mat-124 and Yashica Mat-124G numbers (note, does not apply to 6 digit prefixed Yashica D Hong Kong production or the last 6 digit Yashica Mat-124G numbers both of which appear to be simply consecutive), appear to incorporate a date code which is a bit more obvious than the preceding period. All the relevant numbers follow the pattern and generally match the release and end dates of a particular model, but there are some date discrepancies which I will discuss later. Basically, the alpha prefix identifies the model, sometimes obviously and for some models, seemingly chosen at random. The first digit from the left is the year, e.g., both 1961 and 1971 will be “1” (this leads to numbers being repeated and is exactly what has happened for certain long running models). The second and third digits are the month, i.e., from “01” through to “12”. As far as I can tell, the last 4 digits is likely to be a straight numerical sequence which probably counts from zero at the start of each month. Therefore we can refine the general formula in Decoding Serial Numbers to:

Model Identifier Year Month Monthly Count from Zero
Alpha sequence, later nothing
1 digit
2 digits
4 digits

 

For example, the serial number MT 9050490 breaks down to 9|05|0490 and translates to Yashica-Mat, 1969, May, 490th made that month.

If we accept the commonly quoted 16 year life span of the Yashica Mat-124G and 573,362 produced, that is an average production of approximately 2,986 per month. Not all, perhaps any, models will have achieved similar average rates. In most cases, the “monthly production” will seem plausible with the first digit from the left of the four digit sequence rarely reaching “2” and often remaining “0” or “1”. But there are exceptions, the early Yashica Mat-EM reaching over 9,000 in both its first two months of production of February and March 1964. My database has quite a lot of examples from both months but there are no examples from April through to and including August. My interpretation is that Yashica produced an initial stockpile for the model's release in June 1964. Similar things have happened on a smaller scale at other times.

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7 Digit Numbers - Correlation to Model Release and End Dates

This numbering system started in early 1961. The Yashica A, B, 635, D, 44A, 44LM, Yashica-Mat and Yashica Mat-LM were already in production. Their new numbers started with “10xxxxx”. Please note that the “Start Year” (apart from 1961) represents the commonly quoted dates which could be either start of production or on-sale release dates. The “End Year” (apart from Yashica Mat-124G) represent the commonly quoted end dates which could be either end of production or end of official sales. In the first case, there could still be a lot of stock to dispose of. So, in some cases, there won't be an exact match between the serial number range and the dates of a models life. Also, some dates, particularly end dates may be questionable.

Model Start
Year
End
Year
First Serial
No. Found
Last Serial
No. Found
Match or
Comment No.
Yashica A
1961
1969
A 1040xxx
A 8060xxx
1
Yashica-Mat
1961
1971
MT 1030xxx
MT 3030xxx
2
Yashica 635
1961
1964
ST 1010xxx
ST 4050xxx
3
Yashica 635
1964
1973
SX 4061xxx
SX 1081xxx
4
Yashica B
1961
1961
B 1080xxx
B 1120xxx
5
Yashica D
1961
1973
D 1020xxx
D 1092xxx
6
Yashica 44A
1961
1965
FA 1020xxx
FA 5060xxx
7
Yashica 44LM
1961
1965
FL 1020xxx
FL 5090xxx
8
Yashica Mat-LM
1961
1964
MTL 1020xxx
MTL 4021xxx
9
Yashica E
1964
1965
YE 3060xxx
YE 4070xxx
10
Yashica Mat-EM
1964
1967
EM 4023xxx
EM 7070xxx
Match
Yashica 24
1965
1967
L 5110xxx
L 7111xxx
Match
Yashica 12
1967
1968
R 7020xxx
R 8041xxx
Match
Yashica Mat-124
1968
1970
7100xxx
0072xxx
11
Yashica Mat-124G
1970
1980
0091xxx
0021xxx
12

 

Comments

  1. The last Yashica A serial number starts with “8” which suggests a production end date of 1968 as opposed to some sources which suggest 1969. However, there is nothing to say that a camera starting with “9” won't turn up.
  2. The Yashica-Mat was thought to come to an end in 1971 but the serial numbers suggest that 1973 was more likely.
  3. The end of the Yashica 635 “ST” series and start of the “SX” series appears to be a smooth transition between May and June in 1964. However, there is one camera with a very clear number, ST 6120xxx. Unlike the cameras around it, it still has 2 screws in the back and the lens numbers suggest a camera from between the last unprefixed number, 670xxx, and the first prefixed number, ST 1010xxx. I think this camera has a new nameplate from the official Yashica spare parts system (see below).
  4. According to the Kyocera/Yashica documentation quoted by the website “A Partial History of Yashica TLRs”, Yashica 635 sales are said to have ended in 1972 or 1973 (I don't understand the table). The last serial number I have found is from 1971. Later numbers may turn up or production may have ended earlier with enough stock for a further year or two of sales but that document also contains some obvious errors.
  5. The Yashica B end date is not known but it does appear in a 1961 Swedish brochure.
  6. The Yashica D also seems to have finished up to two years short but there are the Hong Kong cameras which may have come after Japanese production finished - they certainly have the very last trim features. My own thought is that 1972 might be about right. Note that after 10 years, the numbers appear to be repeating themselves. That is the failing of using a single digit year code.
  7. I haven't found a reliable end date for the Yashica 44A. By trim, it is earlier than the last of the 44LM examples and the 44LM appears in at least one late 1965 brochure. My assumption had been 1964 but mid 1965 also works and now I have found a 1965 ad with both models appearing. Interestingly, no cameras starting with “FA 4xxxxxx” have turned up so far, i.e. no 1964 production. I expect that they are out there though.
  8. The Yashica 44LM seems to match up nicely but there are three cameras not included in the table , FL 5090xxx, FL 6111xxx and FL 6120xxx, that seem to come up to 15 months after the previous example. The cameras themselves have much earlier features and lens numbers than the cameras around them and I believe these are other examples with parts from the official Yashica spare parts system (see below).
  9. The Yashica Mat-LM looks like another match but I have not included the last three cameras, MTL 4110xxx (would still be a match but came 10 months after the previous cameras) and two with MTL 5080xxx numbers very close to each other. All three have earlier features and lens serial numbers than the cameras around them and I suggest that the exposure meters, and hence serial numbers, have been replaced from the official Yashica spare parts system (see below).
  10. The Yashica E serial numbers suggest a production start in June 1963, a long way in advance of the claimed 1964 and September 1964 at that. In the Yashica E entry on the 66 Models page is concrete evidence that the release was actually February 1964 or earlier and some evidence that it was late 1963, better but still somewhat short. Perhaps introduction was delayed for some reason. The end date of 1964 matches some claims (another claims 1966) but it does appear with a Yashica 24 in a brochure suggesting late 1965, at least for any inventory stock. The Yashica 24 was claimed to be released in December 1965 and the first serial numbers are November 1965, a close match. The Yashica E is the only model with claimed dates in significant conflict with my numbering theory. Whether it blows the theory out of the water, or there was something else going on, is for you to decide.
  11. The first Yashica Mat-124 serial number puts it into 1967 rather than 1968 but it is October 1967 so it probably still fits comfortably with a claimed February 1968 release.
  12. The 1970 start date for the Yashica Mat-124G appears to be a match. The 1980 end date is simply the changeover to the new 6 digit consecutive numbering system.

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The Yashica Spares System Theory - the Impact on Serial Numbers

Except for serial numbers located inside cameras, Yashica had a habit of sticking them on easily removable components which could either be damaged in a fall or like exposure meters, be susceptible to failure. I am aware that there have been “new, old stock” nameplate, exposure meters and even Yashica E flash assemblies for sale. How did Yashica deal with the serial number issues? No one really knows apart from the fact that the new items definitely have new serial numbers.

Here is an example of one problem. You have a camera bought new in 1960. You have dropped it and Yashica has supplied a new focusing hood and nameplate which now has a 1965 serial number. Later something else goes wrong and you walk in to the local Yashica service centre and ask for a new part. You are asked for a serial number - how will Yashica know it's a 1960 camera with a 1965 serial number?

Based on the Yashica 635, Yashica 44LM and Yashica Mat-LM examples above, it is possible that Yashica used higher serial numbers for their spares than they anticipated producing by their date code. That wouldn't identify the camera correctly but would flag that the number had been changed. Or, more simply, perhaps the spares were produced after production ended and the date code reflects the date that the part was made.

Note that these are simply guesses based on my logic which may have nothing to do with reality. What we do know for certain is that six cameras have high serial numbers outside the limits of apparent production and these do not fit neatly within the serial number patterns that work for every other camera in the period. At the same time, the six cameras have earlier features than all the cameras around them so that they definitely do not match their very late numbers. So, even without factoring in the date code, there is something different about these examples. Now there is one more.

This camera is a Yashica LM from 1957 from before the commencement of the date code in September. It has a body serial number inside near the feed spool, 119xxx, and lens numbers 816xxx (taking) and 812xxx (viewing), all consistent with each other and with the camera's trim. It also has a serial number on the nameplate flap over the exposure meter, just like the last LM examples. This is 3920xxx. Obviously, the nameplate flap has been replaced. By date code, the date is February 1959. Of the last four Yashica LM examples in my database, three have 5810xxx and one has 5820xxx serial numbers - January and February 1958. It doesn’t really prove/disprove anything to do with a date code but it does lend credibility to the idea that spare parts had higher serial numbers than production cameras (we can see from trim and lens serial numbers of other models that 582xxxx numbers come well before 392xxxx numbers).

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Do These Patterns and Date Codes Exist for Other Format Yashica Models?

The short answer is “I don't know for sure but in some cases, probably yes”. Towards the end of the 1950s, Yashica started to move into 35 mm cameras and then sub-miniature with the short-lived Y16. It is likely that initially at least, the same rules applied for all models but at some point, there could well have been a divergence for any number of reasons. I have no reason to track anything except the TLRs but I have collected a few sample serial numbers for three non-TLR models. This is what I have found.

The Y16 was released in 1959. It didn't last long, I'm not sure how long but in 1964, Yashica released the 16EE using a different cassette system (Minolta type). A correspondent has given me eleven serial numbers. Ten are typical of Yashica TLR numbers from 1959 and the eleventh is typical of 1960 numbers. But there is a catch. The 397xxxx numbers are a direct match, the “39” I believe equating to the year 1959, the “7” to July, and the “xxxx” the production number for the month. Starting with what I believe is August, all Y16 numbers gain one additional digit so that e.g., August becomes 398xxxxx and Dec becomes 412xxxxx. The extra digit could mean anything but I believe that the production number was increased to allow for more than 9999 cameras in a month. In most cases, the digit after the month was 0 but in one case, it was 1 and the total sequence was 10393. I think a monthly output spike of 10,393 is probably a realistic production number. The 1960 number is 67xxxxx.

The Flash-O-Set 35 mm model was released in 1961, the same year that TLR serial numbers adopted an alpha prefix system with standardised 7 digit numbering. The original Flash-O-Set cameras have a “T” prefix with 7 digit numbers starting with “1” and going as high as “112” (1961, December) before “20” (1962 and any of the first nine months) appear. This model was replaced by the improved Flash-O-Set II in 1962. The model II has the new prefix “FII”. I have only seen numbers beginning with “2” and these go as high as “212”. In other words, these numbers are completely consistent with the TLR pattern.

A number of sites say that the Minister D 35 mm model was released “around 1963”. The Yashica Guy thinks it was in 1964. I have thirteen serial numbers. The first five cameras have “MD” prefixes. The first camera has a 7 digit number MD 402xxxx (1964, February) which is followed by MD 403xxxx (1964, March). However, the third and fourth cameras have 8 digit numbers MD 4041xxxx and MD 4050xxxx (1964, April and May). It is possible that the extra digit, after what I think is the month code, represents another increase in capacity for recording production numbers as perhaps it was with the Y16. If so, it was temporary because the next number I have is my 7 digit MD 7090451. Did the model last until September 1967? Possibly, it does appear in a 1967 US brochure. The next number is 6 digits beginning with “H”, H 110xxx, i.e. most probably Hong Kong production without a date code and a very similar number to the Hong Kong Yashica Ds. This is followed by another, H 136291. Then there are five 6 digit numbers with a “T” prefix, T 050xxx to T 808xxx. What these mean and where they fit, I have no idea. Cameras with both “MD” and “T” prefixes have “Japan” stamped next to the serial number on the top plate. Cameras with “H” prefix don't have either Japan, or Hong Kong, on the top or bottom plate or anywhere else discernible.

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Serial Numbers Found - All TLR Models

In “66 Models” and “44 Models”, I try to make sense of serial numbers in terms of trim changes. In regard to the serial number table below, you will have to trust me that my Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with individual lines for each serial number and columns for all the possible trim and feature permutations paints a very clear picture of the correct order and age of cameras. I will be the first to admit that it may not be 100% accurate but I think that it is pretty close. Please remember that the serial numbers below are the numbers that I have found so far - they are an indicator only. The serial numbers of the lenses don't directly correlate to the body numbers range - they may start earlier and finish later or vice versa, be out of order or relate to cameras that I don't have body numbers for, i.e., they are indicative of the lens numbers that you may find near the listed body numbers, if that makes sense.

In the first column, I have separated models by shutter type, Pigeonflexes by the Yashima name change and the Hong Kong version of the Yashica D. In the last column, I have identified lens names for models where a change occurred. For both the Yashica A and D, I have highlighted the blocks of serial numbers in which coloured cameras may be found - in those blocks, there is only the odd black example. I have also added a “Year” column. For serial numbers which I believe include a date code, i.e. generally from September 1957 to early 1980, the year will be the actual year for the block of numbers. In all other cases, cameras from 1957 and earlier and cameras from 1980 and later, the year will be based on the year of the model release and any known changes, e.g. a trim change, end date etc. Those dates may include date ranges, e.g. “1953-4” and can only be considered to be approximations. To make it clearer, I have shown those years in italics:

Model
Year
Body Serial No. Range
No.
Typical Taking Lens
Serial Numbers
From
To
66 Models
Pigeonflex
(Yashima Seiki)
1953
215xxx
217xxx
10
243xxx-247xxx
Pigeonflex
(Yashima Kogaku Seiki)
1953-4
218xxx
223xxx
25
248xxx-267xxx
1953-4
253xxx
256xxx
10
258xxx-268xxx
Pigeonflex
(no maker name)
1954
?
26xxxx
3
268xxx-27xxxx
Yashima Flex
(NKS)
1953
34xxx
35xxx
7
264xxx, 279xxx-274xxx
Yashima Flex
(NKS-TB)
1953-4
37xxx
44xxx
15
275xxx-289xxx
Yashima Flex
(NKS-FB)
1954
44xxx
44xxx
4
290xxx-291xxx
Yashica Flex B
1954
45xxx
47xxx
9
287xxx-300xxx
1954-5
50xxx
54xxx
18
275xxx-286xxx, 27xxx-35xxx
Yashica Flex S
(NKS-FB)
1954
29xxx
30xxx
9
287xxx-297xxx (Tri-Lausar)
1954
30xxx
34xxx
24
224xxx-231xxx (Heliotar)
Yashicaflex S
(Copal)
1955
30xxx
31xxx
25
232xxx-237xxx (Heliotar)
1955
200xxx
1
234xxx (Heliotar)
1955-7
67xxx
71xxx
32
238xxx-250xxx (Heliotar)
Yashicaflex A-I (Y.S.K.)
1954
?
12xxx
3
12xxx
Yashicaflex A-I (Copal)
1954
12xxx
14xxx
6
14xxx, 31xxx-40xxx
1955
61xxx
65xxx
13
57xxx-82xxx, 100xxx
1955-6
79xxx
80xxx
3
201xxx-202xxx
1956-7
112xxx
138xxx
27
114xxx-134xxx, 225xxx-467xxx, 761xxx-771xxx, 805xxx
Yashicaflex A-II (Y.S.K.)
1954
17xxx
20xxx
13
18xxx-30xxx
Yashicaflex A-II (Copal)
1954
24xxx
30xxx
21
31xxx-50xxx
1955-6
61xxx
122xxx
68
49xxx-129xxx, 202xxx-242xxx, 300xxx-320xxx
1956-7
213xxx
214xxx
9
328xxx-425xxx, 660xxx-769xxx
Yashicaflex AS-II
1954
30126
User manual
1
29991
1955-6
81xxx
83xxx
13
63xxx-90xxx, 109xxx-129xxx, 202xxx-227xxx
1956-7
19xxx
23xxx
29
127xxx-186xxx, 202xxx-242xxx, 361xxx-886xxx
MolfoReflex
1955
8xxx
8xxx
4
100xxx-201xxx
1955
114xxx
114xxx
4
114xxx-204xxx
1955-6
31xxx
31xxx
12
128xxx-409xxx
Yashicaflex C
1955-7
501xxx
598xxx
101
117xxx-119xxx, 160xxx-163xxx, 227xxx-809xxx
Yashicaflex A-III
(unconfirmed)
(Copal MXV)
1956
xxxx
3
272xxx-298xxx, 519xxx
1957
?
121xxx
2
538xxx-541xxx
Yashica Rookie
1956-7
197xxx
233xxx
27
171xxx-182xxx, 259xxx-260xxx, 348xxx-774xxx
Yashica Hi-Mec
1956
30xxx
?
2
237xxx
Yashica LM
1956-7
100xxx
127xxx
81
268xxx-285xxx, 425xxx-557xxx, 600xxx-982xxx
1957
790xxx
791xxx
11
883xxx-981xxx
1957
7100xxx
7110xxx
3
913xxx-915xxx
1957
57110xxx
57120xxx
10
256xxx, 405xxx-416xxx, 924xxx-968xxx
1958
5810xxx
5820xxx
4
212xxx-4xxxxx
Yashica C
1956-7
800xxx
829xxx
39
267xxx-296xxx, 410xxx-859xxx
1957
791xxx
793xxx
5
890xxx-894xxx
1957
57100xxx
57122xxx
6
915xxx-976xxx
1958
5880xxx
5880xxx
2
244xxx, 421xxx
1958
38101xxx
1
442xxx
Yashica A
1956-7
30xxx
67xxx
28
295xxx, 370xxx-864xxx (Yashimar)
1957
790xxx
793xxx
4
873xxx-900xxx (Yashimar)
1957
57110xxx
5712xxx
6
957xxx-960xxx (Yashimar)
1958
5840xxx
5883xxx
9
215xxx, 241xxx-245xxx, 410xxx-427xxx (Yashimar)
1958
38100xxx
38121xxx
4
254xxx, 425xxx-462xxx (Yashimar)
1959
3911xxx
3911xxx
2
271xxx-472xxx (Yashimar) 
1959
3940xxx
3974xxx
27
293xxx-513xxx (Yashikor)
1959
39102xxx
1
? (Yashikor)
1960
611xxx
641xxx
5
570xxx-595xxx (Yashikor)
1960
116110xxx
1
653xxx (Yashikor)
1961
A 1040xxx
A 1041xxx
3
694xxx-697xxx (Yashikor)
1962
A 2030xxx
A 2112xxx
9
765xxx-946xxx (Yashikor)
1963
A 3010xxx
A 3101xxx
4
962xxx, 105xxx (Yashikor)
1964
A 4031xxx
A 4070xxx
2
171xxx-222xxx (Yashikor)
1965
A 5020xxx
A 5071xxx
3
298xxx-342xxx (Yashikor)
1966
A 6020xxx
A 6120xxx
4
688xxx-691xxx (Yashikor)
1967
A 7041xxx
A 7110xxx
3
727xxx-791xxx (Yashikor)
1968
A 8041xxx
A 8060xxx
6
817xxx-845xxx (Yashikor)
Yashicaflex A2
(Citizen MXV)
1956-7
3xxx
15xxx
19

523xxx-524xxx, 603xxx-610xxx, 199xxx, 987xxx, 418xxx, 510xxx

1957
19xxx
1
296xxx
Yashicaflex A2
(Copal MXV)
1957
16xxx
18xxx
8
417xxx-616xxx, 271xxx
Yashica-Mat
(Copal MX)
1957
57xxx
59xxx
5
19xxx-20xxx, 40xxx (75 Lumaxar)
Yashica-Mat
(Copal MXV)
1957
59xxx
65xxx
23
21xxx-24xxx, 33xxx, 40xxx-42xxx, 61xxx (75 Lumaxar)
1957
64xxx
84xxx
76
25xxx-48xxx, 71xxx-74xxx, 80xxx-100xxx (80 Lumaxar)
1957
790xxx
791xxx
5
97xxx-100xxx (80 Lumaxar)
1957
5790xxx
5790xxx
2
107xxx (80 Lumaxar)
1957
57100xxx
57120xxx
14
99xxx-122xxx (80 Lumaxar)
1958
5870xxx
5881xxx
10
200xxx-204xxx (Yashinon)
1958
3890xxx
3891xxx
4
204xxx-207xxx (Yashinon)
1958
38101xxx
38121xxx
9
209xxx-216xxx (Yashinon)
1959
3910xxx
3911xxx
3
217xxx-218xxx (Yashinon)
1959
4110xxx
4120xxx
4
219xxx (Yashinon)
1960
630xxx
651xxx
8
223xxx-231xxx (Yashinon)
1960
146100xxx
146100706
2
229xxx-239xxx (Yashinon)
1961
MT 1030xxx
MT 1120xxx
5
222xxx-262xxx (Yashinon)
1962
MT 2021xxx
MT 2081xxx
6
306xxx-346xxx (Yashinon)
1963
MT 3010xxx
MT 3060xxx
5
387xxx-488xxx (Yashinon)
1964
MT 4100xxx
1
?
1965
MT 5020xxx
MT 5120xxx
6
478xxx-521xxx (Yashinon)
1966
MT 6050xxx
MT 6121xxx
6
532xxx-668xxx (Yashinon)
1967
MT 7021xxx
MT 7100xxx
6
696xxx-776xxx (Yashinon)
1968
MT 8010xxx
MT 8100xxx
7
797xxx-818xxx (Yashinon)
1969
MT 9050xxx
MT 9111xxx
2
904xxx-942xxx (Yashinon)
1970
MT 0010xxx
1
940xxx (Yashinon)
1970
MT 0060xxx
MT 0110xxx
3
986xxx-1027xxx (f/2.8 viewing lens)
1971
MT 1010xxx
MT 1090xxx
12
705xxx-743xxx, 1027xxx-1037xxx (f/2.8 viewing lens)
1972
MT 2010xxx
MT 2123xxx
5
773xxx-806xxx, 1078xxx-1092xxx (f/2.8 viewing lens)
1973
MT 3030xxx
1
1105xxx (f/2.8 viewing lens)
Yashicaflex AS
(new model)
1957
19xxx
27xxx
27
614xxx, 701xxx-818xxx
Yashicaflex B
(new model)
1957
59xxx
71xxx
14
701xxx, 820xxx-847xxx
1957
80xxx
88xxx
6
852xxx-873xxx
1957
7xxxxx
790xxx
4
834xxx-876xxx
1957
32100xxx
32120xxx
15
835xxx, 909xxx-992xxx
1958
3312xxx
3371xxx
13
200xxx-219xxx, 249xxx, 407xxx
1958
3890xxx
3891xxx
4
418xxx-448xxx
Yashicaflex A
(new model)
1957
10xxx
11xxx
4
807xxx-882xxx
1957
64xxx
69xxx
4
700xxx-824xxx
1957
83xxx
86xxx
2
839xxx
1957
290898
1
?
1957
32100xxx
32111xxx
4
89xxxx-997xxx, 213xxx
1958
3350xxx
3380xxx
5
213xxx-419xxx
1958
38110xxx
1
458xxx
Yashica 635
1958
56602
User manual
1
981xxx (Yashikor)
1958
58xxx
61xxx
5
982xxx-992xxx, 210xxx (Yashikor)
1958
5860xxx
5870xxx
2
238xxx, 405xxx (Yashikor)
1958
38100xxx
38100xxx
2
253xxx-258xxx (Yashikor)
1959
3910xxx
393xxxx
6
276xxx, 477xxx-488xxx (Yashikor)
1959
4110xxx
4121xxx
7
535xxx-559xxx (Yashikor)
1960
641xxx
670xxx
5
601xxx-642xxx (Yashikor)
1960
136110xxx
1
657xxx (Yashikor)
1961
ST 1010xxx
ST 1110xxx
6
676xxx-692xxx (Yashikor)
1962
ST 2030xxx
ST 2121xxx
7
827xxx-967xxx (Yashikor)
1963
ST 3020xxx
ST 3121xxx
3
974xxx, 150xxx-171xxx (Yashikor)
1964
ST 4031xxx
ST 4050xxx
5
175xxx-187xxx (Yashikor)
1964
SX 4061xxx
SX 4121xxx
7
197xxx-291xxx (Yashikor)
1965
SX 5010xxx
SX 5090xxx
11
290xxx-362xxx (Yashikor)
1966
SX 6021xxx
SX 6112xxx 
14
383xxx-447xxx, 634xxx-688xxx (Yashikor)
1967
SX 7010xxx
SX 7122xxx
15
451xxx, 715xxx-810xxx (Yashikor)
1968
SX 8020xxx
SX 8110xxx
6
77xxxx-890xxx (Yashikor)
1969
SX 9010xxx
SX 9110xxx
8
888xxx-948xxx (Yashikor)
1970
SX 0030xxx
SX 0080xxx
6
971xxx-994xxx (Yashikor)
1970
SX 0091xxx
SX 0120xxx
6
998xxx-1014xxx (Yashinon)
1971
SX 1061xxx
SX 1081xxx
2
1036xxx-1061xxx, 782723 (Yashinon)
Yashica B
1958
38100xxx
38110xxx
3
253xxx, 458xxx-462xxx
1959
393xxxx
3950xxx
9
491xxx-503xxx, 289xxx-300xxx
1959
4120xxx
1
?
1960
620xxx
660xxx
7
573xxx-628xxx
1961
B 1080xxx
B 1120xxx
2
750xxx-794xxx
Yashica D
1958
38110xxx
38121xxx
10
452xxx-464xxx, 258xxx-260xxx (Yashikor)
1959
3920xxx
3990xxx
22
276xxx-301xxx, 480xxx-485xxx, 517xxx-525xxx (Yashikor)
1959
4100xxx
4102xxx
5
533xxx-539xxx (Yashikor)
1960
611xxx
641xxx
13
564xxx-598xxx (Yashikor)
1960
?
?
2
648xxx-666xxx (Yashikor)
1961
D 1020xxx
D 1090xxx
6
680xxx-741xxx (Yashikor)
1962
D 2021xxx
D 2110xxx
12
809xxx-945xxx (Yashikor)
1963
D 3010xxx
D 3120xxx
10
957xxx-998xxx, 149xxx-163xxx (Yashikor)
1964
D 4030xxx
D 4111xxx
10
172xxx-270xxx (Yashikor)
1965
D 5031xxx
D 5120xxx
6
305xxx-376xxx (Yashikor)
1966
D 6010xxx
D 6091xxx
12
384xxx-668xxx (Yashikor)
1967
D 7011xxx
D 7121xxx
17
714xxx-825xxx (Yashikor)
1968
D 8011xxx
D 8120xxx
17
775xxx-888xxx (Yashikor)
1969
D 9010xxx
D 9121xxx
8
893xxx-949xxx (Yashikor)
1970
D 0030xxx
D 0061xxx
8
764xxx, 931xxx-1001xxx (Yashikor)
1970
D 0070xxx
D 0122xxx
11
980xxx-1032xxx (Yashinon)
1971
D 1021xxx
D 1092xxx
18
1016xxx-1066xxx (Yashinon)
Yashica D
Hong Kong
1971
H 103xxx
H 113xxx
8
724xxx-741xxx, 1036xxx, 788xxx-793xxx (Yashinon)
Yashica AIII
1959
3933xxx
3962xxx
7
212xxx-494xxx
1959
4110xxx
4120xxx
6
510xxx-553xxx
1960
611xxx
680xxx
7
562xxx-643xxx
Yashica Auto
1959
3930xxx
3950xxx
22
200xxx-212xxx
Yashica Mat-LM
1959
4110043
1
Camera in user manual
1960
620xxx
680xxx
19
221xxx-237xxx
1960
156090xxx
156110xxx
2
240xxx-246xxx
1961
MTL 1020xxx
MTL 1121xxx
20
247xxx-297xxx
1962
MTL 2010xxx
MTL 2123xxx
36
299xxx-395xxx
1963
MTL 3011xxx
MTL 3121xxx
19
396xxx-428xxx
1964
MTL 4010xxx
MTL 4021xxx
8
423xxx-435xxx, 368xxx, 285xxx
Yashica Mat-EM
1964
EM 4023xxx
EM 4121xxx
29
438xxx-472xxx
1965
EM 5010xxx
EM 5110xxx
18
478xxx-515xxx
1966
EM 6010xxx
EM 6120xxx
22
514xxx-673xxx
1967
EM 7010xxx
EM 7070xxx 
6
675xxx-706xxx
Yashica E
1963
YE 3060xxx
YE 3121xxx
23
No lens numbers
1964
YE 4010xxx
YE 4070xxx
13
No lens numbers
Yashica 24
1965
L 5110xxx
L 5121xxx
18
508xxx-515xxx
1966
L 6010xxx
L 6120xxx
21
512xxx-674xxx
1967
L 7020xxx
L 7111xxx
24
672xxx-781xxx
Yashica 12
1967
R 7020xxx
R 7120xxx
20
543xxx, 671xxx-778xxx
1968
R 8020xxx
R 8041xxx
4
797xxx-801xxx
Yashica Mat-124
1967
7100xxx
7124xxx
14
706xxx, 776xxx-810xxx
1968
8010xxx
8123xxx
38
772xxx-849xxx
1969
9012xxx
9122xxx
42
850xxx-943xxx
1970
0010xxx
0072xxx
30
938xxx-985xxx
Yashica Mat-124G
1970
0091xxx
0120xxx
13
990xxx-1021xxx
1971
1010xxx
1124xxx
31
1026xxx-1076xxx, 702xxx-774xxx
1972
2022xxx
2120xxx
15
764xxx-814xxx, 1066xxx-1079xxx
1973
3013xxx
3121xxx
19
1100xxx-1141xxx
1974
4020xxx
4123xxx
8
1143xxx-1170xxx
1975
5020xxx
5121xxx
17
No lens numbers
1976
6012xxx
6103xxx
12
No lens numbers
1977
7024xxx
7114xxx
15
No lens numbers
1978
8010xxx
8122xxx
10
No lens numbers
1979
9010xxx
9123xxx
9
No lens numbers
1980
0021xxx
1
No lens numbers
1980-6
053xxx
235xxx
83
No lens numbers
Yashica Mat-124B
c1981
107xxx
168xxx
10
No lens numbers
44 Models
Yashica 44
1958
17xxx
22xxx
38
333xxx-345xxx
1958
5850xxx
5890xxx
39
347xxx-426xxx, 531xxx
1958
?
?
3
366xxx, 425xxx-426xxx
1958
3890xxx
3895xxx
12
426xxx-434xxx, 365xxx-366xxx
1958
?
?
7
372xxx-436xxx
1958
38101xxx
38115xxx
14
437xxx-446xxx, 371xxx-373xxx
1959
3921xxx
3972xxx
16
384xxx-387xxx, 454xxx-491xxx, 602xxx- 604xxx
1960
?
1
604xxx
1960
650xxx
690xxx
6
492xxx, 547xxx-554xxx
Yashica 44A
1959
?
?
5
349xxx-388xxx
1959
3940xxx
3993xxx
77
388xxx-399xxx, 460xxx-498xxx, 500xxx-501xxx, 600xxx-605xxx
1959
4100xxx
4112xxx
16
507xxx-516xxx
1960
620xxx
650xxx
9
527xxx-540xxx, 415xxx
1961
FA 1020xxx
FA 1121xxx
26
682xxx-789xxx
1962
FA 2020xxx
FA 2120xxx
31
812xxx-951xxx
1963
FA 3040xxx
FA 3111xxx
14
951xxx-999xxx, 107xxx-113xxx
1965
FA 5020xxx
FA 5070xxx
6
295xxx-338xxx
Yashica 44LM
1959
3930009
1
200022 Camera in user manual
1959
?
?
3
204xxx-205xxx
1959
3961xxx
3984xxx
19
202xxx-203xxx, 467xxx-489xxx, 504xxx-507xxx
1959
39100xxx
39101xxx
4
206xxx-207xxx, 507xxx-541xxx
1959
4110xxx
4111xxx
4
520xxx-524xxx
1960
610xxx
660xxx
24
489xxx, 522xxx-552xxx, 669xxx
1960
166090xxx
166110xxx
17
550xxx-559xxx, 685xxx
1961
FL 1020xxx
FL 1120xxx
17
390xxx, 685xxx, 727xxx-791xxx
1962
FL 2010xxx
FL 2120xxx
24
802xxx-962xxx
1963
FL 3010xxx
FL 3110xxx
12
960xxx-982xxx, 111xxx-179xxx, 200xxx-250xxx
1964
FL 4010xxx
FL 4110xxx
13
200xxx-351xxx
1965
FL 5010xxx
FL 5070xxx
11
232xxx-390xxx
Out of Sequence (higher) Serial Numbers - Yashica Spares?
Yashica 635
?
ST 6120xxx
1
665xxx
Yashica Mat-LM
?
MTL 4110160
1
264xxx
?
MTL 5080xxx
MTL 5080xxx
2
231xxx, 263xxx
Yashica 44LM
?
FL 5090xxx
FL 6120xxx
3
669xxx, 740xxx

Note: “No.” is the number of cameras found in the serial number range. Sometimes it may include cameras with serial numbers just outside the range if the serial number is not visible but lens numbers were consistent. In other words, like the rest of the table, it is a guide only. Don't total this column and expect it to equal the total numbers of cameras in my database quoted elsewhere. In theory it should but my database grows more quickly than I can find time to update this table. I do try to make sure that significant serial numbers or patterns are updated.

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Location of Body Serial Numbers

The Pigeonflex, Yashima Flex, most Yashicaflexes and Yashica TLRs have their body serial number on the top edge of the nameplate. However, these are the exceptions:

In summary, all Yashima/ Yashica TLRs , have their serial numbers on the top edge of the nameplate except for models with exposure meters when this arrangement is not possible (all except Yashica Mat-LM and Yashica 44LM).

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