Yashica Minister

I found this camera in a junk bin for $5. It was a little dirty and scruffy, but the shutter fired without a problem.

This is a range finder camera where you bring two images together to focus. Unfortunately the second image was so light that I could only see it on rare occasions. According to this thread it could mean a dirty or desilvered beam splitter. A few of the rangefinders I have bought have had this issue, it might be the reason they are in the junk bin in the first place. As I paid so little for the camera I didn’t want to invest in CLAing it. I also couldn’t be bothered to take it apart and try cleaning it as my efforts probably wouldn’t help and might completely ruin a possibly working camera.  So, I resorted to zone focusing. I guessed the distance and set the lens distance scale to my guess.

As for some details about the camera, it was surprisingly hard to find anything on the net. I did find that it is the first version of the M or Minister line, there is another one with a f1.9 lens. The selenium cell on the front powers the light meter on the top which is rated in LVS.

To, hopefully, work it you set the shutter speed you want first and then match the LVS on the lens to the one shown on the meter. If the value sets the aperture below f2.8 then the speed moves to a lower setting…the same if it goes above f16. The speed move to a faster speed. With the selenium cell this camera does not require batteries, if of course it is still working.

So in I popped some Fuji Acros 100 and started guessing distances.

Well the metering still worked and so did the shutter, pity about the second rangefinder image, though my guesses at the distances weren’t too bad. Another issue I found was the wind on always worked even when the shutter was cocked. That meant you could wind on when the film had not been exposed, but you could not take multiple exposures.

Keep or sell? It does work, but not enough that I would be comfortable selling it. I might take it apart to practice cleaning it.