Yashica Clearlook AF (EZ View AF)


I bought this camera in a charity shop…yeap, a charity shop. I bought three cameras as I was so surprised there were any at all. In England I haven’t seen any cameras in charity shops for a while. It is not a covid thing, most well-know charity organizations are selling them on eBay now. I will get to that later, but for now here is the Yashica Clearlook, otherwise known as EZ View AF. This is the first one of the three I tried.

It was produced from 1998 and is part of a plethora of similar cameras released by Yashica/Kyocera.

The focal length is 30mm which is fairly wide for a point and shoot, not the widest, but ok-ish. It accepts DX coded film, but only 100, 200, and 400 asa. It has a fixed aperture of f5.6. As you can see by the photos, the flash is either fully on or automatic…the OFF setting closes the lens cover only. It does not turn off the flash. It has a nice bright viewfinder, hence the name. That is it, a simple point and shoot.

I had half a roll of Kentmere 400 to finish off that I retrieved from a broken camera. So I loaded it in this one and took it to Sheffield on a drizzly day. I was surprised by how much street art there was there. Someone gave me a map, so I will have to go back and search for other examples. For now, here is my test half roll.

They are not bad results considering the dreariness of the day. The camera did what it was supposed to do in these conditions. The flash didn’t fire except for the shot of the black wall and white graffiti. The conditions are not really varied in my shots so I don’t think it is a true test. But at the end of the day it is an OK camera, not amazing, nothing exceptional. If you can get it for around £5 like I did, then it is a bargain.

And now a discussion of sorts about charity purchases. A family member of mine volunteers in a charity shop so on a family picnic I asked her and a few others about something.

One of the other cameras I bought that day didn’t work. I have also bought a few things from eBay that were listed by well known charities, not all have worked.

The thing is, the purchases on eBay are a bit of a risky purchase because most of the time the description says they are not tested. They are described as probably working, clean but untested. They are not posted as for parts and definitely not at the lower prices that come with ‘for parts’ purchases.

Here is the thing, if you buy one and it doesn’t work or it turns out that there are leaky batteries in the compartment…would you complain, would you send it back? Or would you say, “Oh well, I will class it as a donation.” I have made some great purchases but also some purchases where it was absolutely clear the camera would never, ever have worked. At what point would you say, “Hey??!!”

The person who volunteers said, anything electrical should all be checked and you should get your money back. The rest of my family said, from a shop it depended on the price, anything under the price and effort to return it, they would class as a donation. For eBay, anything not tested should be sold as “for parts” as they don’t know if it works. If it turns out it doesn’t work, it shouldn’t matter if they wrote in the description not tested…they listed it in the working section, so you should complain and get your money back.

What do you think?

Oh and did you notice the Spotify button at the top of the post? I thought I would try Anchor as it popped up as an option. Though without seeing the photos or camera I am not sure of its value at the moment…and it certainly isn’t my voice. Listening back to it makes it very clear when you have missed a word or autocorrect has had its wicked way. For the first two I tried, I noticed an “a” missing on each. I am not going to redo the whole thing for an “a”. But I am going to fix the blog post.

Categories: Junk Camera FindsTags: , , , , , , ,

15 comments

  1. Yeah I’ve been caught in the past by the “untested” eBay thing, but never by a large organisation or charity. I always found charities listed as they should, meaning items were only listed as working if they definitely were working.
    Having said that I haven’t bought anything like that on ebay for years.
    I find the Sue Ryder still have a regular supply of cameras in store, particularly the Vintage and Retro stores.

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  2. Some of my best purchases have been from Charity shops. These include an Olympus Trip, a Nikon FE with a couple of lenses and more recently a Chinon Memotron 3, all working. Giving a little more than would have been payed on some online auctions doesn’t worry me, far from it. Everone a winner!
    Andrew

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  3. Most were said to be working but I tried them out before. In one of the shops I have frequented they now recognise me and I have a ‘working’ relationship with them.

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  4. Recognizing that the US of A is gripped by a throwaway mentality, I can tell you that I find a couple dozen cameras a year at the two fund-raising thrift shops I patronize. These include an Olympus SP, many Minoltas in the XG and XE families, a couple of Maxxum 7000s, and even one time a Yashica 44. And then there are the dozens of plastic point & shooters such as you’ve reviewed here. I learned a while back to carry AA and CR123 cells in my pocket for “quick tests”. If a camera has acid rot in the battery compartment, I leave it on the shelf (unless it has a good, removable lens). But if it comes to life with new batteries, and the lens is not totally fungus’d, I buy it, replace the seals and clean it up at home. If you befriend the managers of the shops you regularly patronize, they are likely to let you do a store-exchange for any real clunkers you buy. In my case, I keep them all and consider the price of the unrestorable cameras to be a donation.

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    • It is so rare to see them here that I don’t always have batteries with me. In some ways I feel glad there aren’t so many, I would have trouble leaving them. I already have to many….though an Olympus SP I would snap up in a heartbeat 🙂

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  5. eBay has gone category crazy, as you’ve surely noticed when you create listings. At the same time, they allow sellers to list cameras with the following statement in the listing copy: “Condition is used”. Well, duhh. Is it “working” used, or “broken” used? Who knows? Certainly not the seller. Twenty years on eBay and you learn to either buy cameras only from folks who specialize in them, or buy based on gut and plan on throwing out half of what the postman delivers.

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  6. Great post, Peggy. I don’t shop at what we call Thrift Stores here (at least in my part of Florida) but I often donate lenses and an occasional camera. What I donate will usually need to be repaired and the lenses are off brands that I don’t care for, damaged, or have fungus. I leave it up to the individual store to decide how to present them for sale. A seasoned buyer will know what to look for but if they’re looking for a diamond in the rough they’d be out of luck with my stuff. Having said that, maybe my donated camera will have just the right part for someone to bring their camera back to life so I don’t feel bad donating “junk”. I’d rather see it have some use and not end up in a landfill.
    Now US eBay. Here’s one of their current definitions of used — “An item that has been used previously. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections”. Used in the cameras category is a bit more specific — “An item that has been used previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or store return that has been used. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections”. The catch here is that simply listing a camera as used implies that it is fully (FULLY) operational. That’s how you have recourse if you buy a clunker on the US eBay site if the seller chooses used. For parts or not working the definition is — “An item that does not function as intended and is not fully operational. This includes items that are defective in ways that render them difficult to use, items that require service or repair, or items missing essential components. See the seller’s listing for full details”.
    The few times I’ve received a clunker and if it was listed as used I’ve been able to return it for a full refund even if they say “as is”. If you list cameras under “vintage” then a condition category doesn’t apply and you would just describe the item in the condition description.
    Tricky stuff but I try to be as open as possible when I list something. Having said that, I’ve purchased cameras from newbies with only one or two pics and a description that simply says used and have landed some absolute gems.

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    • Ours is basically the same. Lots are in the category used where they should be in for parts. But would you send it back if it was a charity listing?

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      • Yes. The biggest nonprofit on eBay here is Goodwill and for the most part, they’re careful with their descriptions but some of their listings can get expensive. So yes, if it was something that they should have checked and they list the camera as used then I would. If they list it in parts then no. I say for parts, repair, display but I always mention if it’s missing something. No use selling something for parts when it’s missing something without disclosing what it is. I think you guys use “spares or repair” which I like.

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