I’m Peter Robinson. I live in South Oxfordshire in the UK, not far from Oxford itself. I’m an electronic engineer and have spent most of my working life in the medical electronics industry, mostly as a Service or Technical Support engineer.
I repair cameras as a hobby and occasionally for profit. My main interest being in Contax and Yashica cameras from the latter part of the 20th century.
It's only recently the T981 appeared on my radar. Surprising, perhaps, as it was produced around 20 years ago. It was, however, made for the Japanese market and few found their way west. When I did become aware of it, I was immediately aware of the similarity of the design to a Yashica FX-3 and decided I wanted one to investigate how it had been built and if there really was a connection to the Yashica FX-3.
T981 cameras can be readily bought from Japanese dealers. Just check eBay. But buying from Japan for me, here in the UK, means paying taxes and import duties so I thought I was lucky to find one being sold by a dealer in Switzerland - possibly one of the remaining cameras that, after Yasuhara Manufacturing closed, were, apparently, bought by Lomo. I bought it. It came with an unmarked lens which looked identical to the lens supplied with the JG-50 (the Chinese domestic version of the T981). It proved not to be a great performer so, instead, I've paired the body with a Yashica Yashinon 50mm f/2.8. A fitting lens, I thought, given the camera's historical links to Yashica.
I also obtained a copy of the book written by Shin Yasuhara called "Yasuhara Works Retrospective". Being all in Japanese I had to rely on Google to translate it and I'm sure some facts got lost in the translation but it gave me some background to how the camera came to be.
Having had difficulty finding much information about the camera I thought I would create this website to share what I had learnt during my time reading about, obtaining, dismantling, modifying and using the camera. It contains, not only, information about the camera but also about the various problems reported by different users, my own experience and, perhaps most significantly, information about dismantling the camera and the modifications I carried out to get over some of the reported issues.
I hope you find it interesting.
If you also have an interest in Contax and Yashica cameras, then you might like to visit my other website at www.contax139.co.uk