Sunday, January 15, 2012

Yashica TL Electro X SLR

New "toy" For some time, I have wanted to get another M-42 screw mount body, but one that takes modern batteries, has a working meter, and a metal shutter. I have been through way too many aged Pentax Spotmatics, Prrakticas, etc. I had a manual for a Yashica TL Electro X in my collection of printed materials, so I decided to look for one on Ebay. After some failed bidding attempts, I found a nice all-black model -- the latter version of the TL Electro with the atomic symbol on the front and the "ITS" designation. It was $29.99 (buy it now) with free shipping so I purchased it. The camera was even better-looking in front of me than it was on-line (which is not often the case). It was advertised as "100% working" and it does, but it might be a while until I have fully trusted the meter reading. However, the TL Electro X features:
  • Stop-down metering
  • Uses a currently available 6v battery
  • Mirror-lockup
  • ISO hot shoe + PC sync terminals
  • Vertical traveling metal focal-plane shutter
  • B - 1/1000 sec shutter speeds
  • DOF preview
  • battery-check button

Now, those are fairly standard features, but not always the case for M42-mount cameras. I shot a roll of Kodak Gold 100 the day I got the camera -- and it was an overcast afternoon by then. However, I ventured out to Chelsea, MI to do some shooting to try out the camera. One thing that took some getting used to is the exposure system. Exposure adjustment is indicated by --> <-- arrows at the bottom of the viewfinder. When you have correct exposure, both arrows disappear. The metering is activated by holding down the lever on the front right of the camera, next to the lens. It also works as a depth of field preview button.

A few shots from the day...

creepy scene
A bunch of creepy doll parts -- probably f/2 at 1/15 or 1/30 sec.

REO Speedwagon Art
An REO Speedwagon with "rustic" art bolted or welded on. Not sure what to make of it, but the truck did run, and was quite a spectacle. Thankfully, it had a "chase car" as I am sure it wasn't going too fast.

Milling about
Milling about. There are not many small towns anymore that have an industry still in town, next to other businesses and residential areas. The Chelsea Milling Co., home of Jiffy Mix is right in downtown Chelsea, making for a scene that is nostalgic and yet contemporary.

I thought the lens I used -- from an earlier Yashica purchase, the Yashica J-P -- is rather soft and not contrasty, so the next roll was shot with a Cosina 55mm f/1.7 lens, and I'll see how that performed after I develop the b&w film. Overall, this camera is a beauty, and works well. The price was a steal, and I look forward to using it with other M-42 lenses.


s.c said...

The photo's look marvelous. Of course its also equipment but mostly the person behind it .

Jim said...

The camera's operation sounds quirky -- just how I like 'em.

I dig the Pontiac sign in the third photo. The REO ain't bad, either! Everything seems to have a greenish cast -- is that the film?

mfophotos said...

Thanks, Jim! I am not sure of the greenish cast is caused by the film or my scanning. The doll parts were shot under indoor lighting (fluorescent) so that would explain that one.

mfophotos said...

S.C. -- thanks. I will have a better feel for the camera after a few rolls have been run through it.

Unknown said...

Good to see someone who still use film cameras and film. You are one of a dying breed. Love your blog. I find it very informative, interesting and educational. You feature and mention cameras that I have never heard of.

Keep up the good work.

Mega Zoom camera said...

I like your Speedwagon very much. Rusty things on the wagon is the interesting part of the photo.. Nice.

Ted Kappes said...

An Electro X was the first SLR that I got back in 1974. I still have it and it works fine. I imagine you'll get a lot of good use from this camera.

stormyphotography9 said...

I came across a yashica TL electro today and can't wait to shoot with it. Thanks for the informative and entertaining blog about your experience. I have to go to radio shack now to grab a battery . I just started in film and processing it at home in my tiny bathroom and find it fascinating!! Thanks again and keep blogging! Julie