Yashica produced quite an array of 35mm rangefinder cameras. In the early 1950s, they manufactured only twin-Lens reflex cameras, but expanded to 35 mm after they purchased the Nicca Camera Works in 1958. It wasn’t until about 1959 that Yashica produced 35mm rangefinders of their own design, starting with the Yashica YK.
|Yashica YK, circa 1959|
The early 35mm rangefinders were all fully manual, with the Lynx and Minister lines manufactured to about 1970. The Lynx and Minister cameras featured uncoupled meters and full manual operation, early models had selenium cells, and later models have CdS meter cells.
|Yashica Lynx 14E IC - circa 1969|
|Yashica Minister III, circa 1966. Note the Selenium cells around the lens.|
|Yashica Electro 35 GSN, post-1975.|
There has been a lot written about the Yashica Electro 35 series which I am not going to duplicate here. Over the years, many of the cameras became unusable due to lack of a proper battery and the PAD of death affecting many of them. Mike Elek has an excellent post on the PAD of death. As for battery replacement, visit the Yashica Guy and order a battery adapter that will make your Electro 35 camera usable.
As I previously stated, I was not a fan of the Electro 35 series. However, in December, a very minty Electro 35 CC came my way that seemed to work. It doesn't need any battery adapter, allowing me to use a single 6v 4LR44 battery. Now, the Electro 35 CC is a bit of a different beast compared to the Electro 35 GSN. Stephen Gandy's Camera Quest site has an excellent review of the Electro 35 CC, and I have always been intrigued about this camera, but never saw one until now.
|It sure is a pretty camera!|
Electro 35 CC features:
- Lens: 35mm, f/1.8, 6 elements in 4 groups.
- Shutter: between-the-lens, electronically controlled two-leaved type.
- Shutter Speeds: 8 sec - 1/250 sec.
- Exposure Meter: CdS cell located above front lens element, allowing metering with filters attached.
- Exposure Value Range: EV -1 - EV 16.
- Film Speed Range: ISO 25-500.
- Flash: PC socket, and only a cold shoe (why?).
- Focusing: rangefinder-type.
- Viewfinder Information: Overexposure and slow speed indicator
- Film Advance: Manual, lever operated, single-stroke.
- Self-Timer: Mechanical, 10-sec. delay.
- Filter Mount: 52 mm.
- Battery: 6V PX28, or 4LR44 . Battery check illuminates frame counter if battery is good. Lock button around shutter release to avoid accidental exposure.
- Dimensions: 120 x 74 x 59 mm
- Weight: 550 g.
- Finish of body: black only, no chrome models.
Here are some sample images taken over the past few months. Black and white images were shot in Columbia SC on expired Plus-X; color images were taken in Columbia SC and Ashevill NC on Fuji Superia 200.
I'll have to do more shooting with this cute, compact, and "ever-ready" camera. I believe it has earned a place in my camera bag.