Yashica ME1

This camera has given me a bit of a dilemma, which I will mention more about later. I found it in a junk bin for less than $5, I can’t remember the exact price as I bought a few cameras this day. The only reason I bought this one was the name Yashica. I love a good Yashica, (still looking for spiderman’s).

It didn’t look impressive to me and it felt a little plasticky to hold. But it did have zone focusing, which led me to believe it was fairly vintage. I later found out that it was first made in Japan around 1970, but production was later switched to Brazil. As mine does not say, “Made in Japan” I feel it is a later version from after 1977.

According to camera wiki it takes a PX675 mercury battery, which no longer exists. I tried to use a battery adapter that I used for other Yashica cameras, but the compartment was very tight and I didn’t want to push it. So I put in an old 357/LR44 and set the ASA on the lens barrel to a stop lower than the 200 film I put in. It has settings for 25-500 ASA with DIN above. I read that this camera is always on, so it is best to take out the battery when not in use as it will drain quickly.

On the right of the view finder is an exposure scale with a needle. It is red at the bottom and the camera does not fire when the needle is in that position. It also does not fire without a battery. Then there is a yellow, keep steady section. The next section is green, all good. Finally at the very top another red section for over exposure where it also does not fire. Simple – if it worked. It made the right sounds, I could see the needle move, and I could see the shutter open on cue.

For this test roll I was also trying out some very cheap film. The local poundshop was selling fresh Agfa 200 film, so I bought 10. I had read that it was discontinued, but their website still has a link to postal orders. They wrote they brought it back through popular demand, yeah for people power.

But did it work, how was the film? I went for a walk around Wakefield and Leeds on different days.

Crap…it worked perfectly. In fact it was excellent. Everything was sharp and well exposed. I had intended to sell this immediately, but just look at the sharpness, the innate quality. I just wrote about the Olympus XA2 and how I searched for it….I like this one more. I was also impressed by the cheap film. I will certainly buy more.

Keep or sell – I don’t know. I have far too many cameras like this and I should reduce my collection, but look at the sharpness. It even has a skin that I can easily take off and mod. I will have to ponder it a little more.

5 thoughts on “Yashica ME1

  1. Alan D says:

    It’s a quirky camera that shouldn’t be that good but is. I suspect that’s down to Yashica glass. I’ve shot a shed load of 70s zone and scale focus Japsnese cameras and this is just as good as most of them (it should suffer as shutter and aperture range is a bit narrow). There is more plastic than I like but this is a great wee camera. Battery wise the closest match is zinc air hearing aid batteries za 675. These need ~30mins priming before use and only last a couple of months but are a closer voltage match and are pretty cheap (we get packs of 4-5 in pound shops in the UK and they don’t cost much more on drug stores)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. windswept007 says:

      I did think about that battery, but I had loads of the 357s and they fit perfectly. I was very surprised and will probably keep it. Very sharp.


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