I was tempted by this camera even though it was in the junk bin and I had no guarantee it worked, like most of my cameras. Without a battery, there was no way to check as this camera is battery dependent.
It was originally produced in 1978 and it seems similar to the me1, which is not surprising as the snap is a derivative of that camera. It was released along with two other similar cameras, the diary and the flasher. I can’t find a lot on the net in English about this camera and the few sites I have linked are Japanese. I don’t think the camera was only released here, but that might be the case.
Anyway, once I put in a battery it made all the right noises, bar one…the shutter it did not move at all. The blades of the shutter are exposed inside the film compartment as you can see in the photos. I avoided touching them but dropped a small amount of lighter fluid directly on to them. The blades immediately snapped open. I waited for the liquid to evaporate and tried the shutter again, after winding the imaginary film. Nope, stuck again, so I repeated the process….many, many times. Then, after getting tired and bored. I poured loads into the small well and left it sitting there overnight while I went to bed.
Luckily I have little to no sense of smell. In the morning I tried again and voila! the shutter opened and shut as it should. I loaded a film and set off for work to use it. I didn’t want to spend too much time taking photos as I really didn’t know if it would stay ‘working’, but it did. I took the film directly to the mall and played video games while it processed.
Here are the shots I got back.
It seemed to cope well with all situations. Even my classroom looks great and there is no flash on the camera. I was expecting some residue on the lens, but the photos look fairly sharp with no haze. Yeah for persistence and lighter fluid.
I set the camera to auto for all the shots, there is a needle display inside the viewfinder and it will not fire if there isn’t enough light. The focusing is zoned and it seems quite forgiving as these photos attest.
Keep or sell: I often feel like keeping cameras if I have actually fixed them, I grow attached to them. But at the end of the day, I have many cameras and quite a few like this so I am sending it to a Yashica collector. Unfortunately while writing this blog I tried the camera again and the blades are back to being stuck. I hope my Yashica friend has better luck.