Tag Archives: yashica

Yashica T AF

This camera was a complete gamble. I know I usually buy cameras that are in junk bins and are a gamble, but usually they don’t cost much or I can test them a little in the shop to check them. But this for this one I could not test it at all and it was electronic so there could be things wrong that I could not fix. The price of the camera was $25, so it was more than I would usually spend on a broken electronic camera. I figured I could at least sell if for parts and get some of my money back if it didn’t work. At the end of the day it was a Yashica T and I probably would not be able to afford one in any other circumstance.

As you can see it was fairly clean with just a small crack on the lens cover. The flash did not stay retracted, but it still worked when I put in two AA batteries and slid the button. Also it seemed to want to load a film when you opened the back door. When I pressed the shutter the lens cover retracted and it seemed to take a photo. It activated 4 times then stopped completely. I opened the back once more, and again it tried to load a film, but then the shutter button would not do anything and the lens cover didn’t retract. So the shutter was stuck or sticky. Bugger. I did a search online and found this video.

That seemed to be exactly what my version did, maybe I could fix it too. I followed the video and did the same thing. Low and behold it worked. I pressed the shutter many times and fake loaded it many times, it carried on working. So now to test it with a film, but holy moly I was excited at the prospect. I liked how the lens cover retracted for each shot then returned to its original position. So there would be no forgetting the open it for shooting or closing it for protection. But that movement added to the electronics and might add to the issues. I also liked the slider which turned on the camera as it covered the shutter button when it was turned off. No bag shots with this camera. Plus the flash is off until you slide it on, so no random flashes

Here is the test roll, or half a roll as I had previously used it on another test camera.

I tried a few repeat shots, with and without the flash to see the difference and how the camera coped. For outdoor infinity shots, it seemed to cope very well and the exposure choices were great. For the closer shots, like the flowers, the focus is a bit off. So the minimum focal length can catch you out. I would suggest at least 2 meters to be sure.

Introduced in 1984 it was a top of the line point and shoot. The camera has a shutter speed range of 1/30 to 1/700 seconds, and has film choices of ISO 50 to 1000. Of course it has a Zeiss Tessar lens, but for me I have other cameras that performed better and I don’t think that has anything to do with the sticky shutter. For instance the Pentax PC35 AF which is turning into my favourite non-zoom point and shoot.

Keep or sell: It sold immediately.

Yashica Autofocus

I bought this camera a while ago, it wasn’t expensive and it was a Yashica, yippee. Plus, I hadn’t tried or even seen it before.

There is very little on the net in English about this camera, but I did find one site in Japanese. That one stated that it was released in 1978 and has shutter speeds from 1/60 sec to 1/360 sec. After using the camera I can add, if it is too dark for the shot, a red warning light appears in the viewfinder and it will not fire. It accepts films up to 500asa, a bit of a weird top choice. As you can see from the photos it has a 38mm f2.8 lens.

You can also gather from the photos that it has autofocus, hence the name. Once you have taken a shot you can check the zone chosen by looking at the scale on the front of the camera. That is a cool feature if you want to learn about zone focusing. On the front, you will also find a focus lock button. The flash is activated by pressing down on the top where it says push. On this example, everything worked as it should apart from opening the back. It was a bit sticky and as I had just cut my nails, hard to open. The focusing mechanism was a little loud, but not overwhelmingly so.

I really liked the look of the camera and really enjoyed using it. I took it on a bike ride to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on another beautiful day. Then later I to it to Walton Colliery to finish off the film.

There are two very similar shots, I used the flash on one thinking it was too backlit and it would be underexposed. The camera and film were fine and it didn’t need that help. Wow, what a stunning little camera. The focus lock worked perfectly and produced a rather nice bokeh on some shots. It didn’t handle sky shots well as it probably confused the focusing system.

I will have to ponder this camera a while as I have a few similar ones. I might keep this and sell the Ricoh 800 I just tried. Not sure.

Yashica Lynx 14

Another amazing junk camera find, a Lynx 14 with a whopping f1.4 lens. It was released in 1965, you can find all the technical details you might need at this great website.


When I first picked it up, the fungus on the lens was clearly visible, though not in the photo above. However, it was cheap so I thought I would try a few experiments. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but would it kill the camera?

Ok, firstly remove the lens. That turned out to be pretty easy, it came off so smoothly.

Then I tried soaking it in IPA and using a soft cloth, nothing changed. Hmmph. Then I remembered reading an article about toothpaste hacks, one of the hacks was about cleaning glass. Well, that’s stupid, dumb, it would ruin the lens…but I wondered what would really happen?? Maybe I could show what would happen with this lens??

So in for a penny in for $5 and I took out my toothpaste and rubbed the lens very carefully. Here are the results.

Holy moly, that looks clean and sparkly…like a fresh set of gnashers, smells quite nice too. But would it still work? Have I cause irreversible damage, removed the coating or changed the curvature? The internet gods were shocked and stunned and a few lectures ensued. Now, let’s be clear, there is no way I am endorsing this approach. I certainly would not attempt it on one of my favourite cameras or lenses. But I got this for $5 and ultimately it is mine to do with as I please. So in I shoved some Fuji 100 asa film and set off to Hitachi Taga on a dull and cloudy day.

The camera’s light meter did not work, so I had to use it in manual only. Also, the second image was incredibly light and at times hard to see at all. That made focusing very difficult at times. I seem to have slightly overexposed everything, I think my phone lightmeter was fooled by the dappled or cloudy light. Anyway, all shots were taken at one location with apertures between f1.4 and f2.8, with speeds of 1/60th or 1/125th.

It is still usable 🙂 I did not break it. Though as I did not test it before cleaning I do not really have a fair comparison. Either way…YAHHHHOOOOO!! I’ve got a shiny, slightly minty Lynx 14.

Keep or sell: Working ones are quite expensive according to this website, but I think I will keep it a while.

Yashica Diary

I found this 1978 camera in a junk bin for $5. I looked pretty clean, and the battery compartment was free of any residue.

The seals were totally shot and fell apart on touch. I cleaned them off and put in some new foam. I think I used foam that was too thick, especially by the door latch. After I changed it, the door became harder to close and didn’t quite fit. I thought it would still be light-tight though.

The previous link I gave says quite rightly that the date dials stop at 1999, but starts at 1978 and she would use the date function again in 2078…in my dreams.

The flash on this example worked very well, it popped up when you push down on it. It is powered by two AA batteries, which also worked the meter. Inside the camera is a scale with a needle. If the needle is in a red zone then a red light comes on and the shutter will not fire. The ASA dial on the front moved very easily for a change and gives choices between 25-500 ASA. The Diary seemed a lot like the ME1, but with the addition of the date function and a flash. There were three cameras released at the same time, I have yet to find the third …the flasher.

Like the ME1 it is a zoned focusing camera. I put in a roll of fuji acros 100 and took some test shots. It is a shame this film is soon to be discontinued.

Well, apparently the foam was too thick and did cause light leaks. It will be an easy fix. A harder fix will be the film advance issue. This camera’s film advance did cock the shutter, but it will keep on winding if you so wish. I noticed this when I first loaded the film and remembered not to advance until I took a photo.

Keep or Sell: Already promised to a friend if they still want it.

Yashica Snap

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.



Yashica TL Electro X

I originally saw this camera on a friend’s blog and thought, that looks cool. Then I saw one for sale on eBay with the original manual included. I ordered it but then had to wait six months to actually try it out.

This version was very clean and the battery check button lit up, but the actual lights inside only worked intermittently. Therefore I had little guidance on whether the camera was on the right settings. In the end, I reverted to using a light meter.

According to my friend’s blog and this one, it was the first with an electronic shutter speed control. It is pretty heavy, especially as I had just tried the Pentax ME Super, which is tiny by comparison.


The 1.7f lens was very useful when I took it out on a dull day to Brimham rocks….

Ok, I have just written another camera and I took this one to the same place. I think I may have got the photos mixed up, but I am sure I took this one to Middleton Hall which is the only way I can tell the photos apart. When I get back to the UK I will try them both again and change the photos just to be absolutely sure. For now, I think these are the photos from this camera.

These are the ones from Brimham Rocks.

And these are the ones from Middleton Hall.

I think I got the photos matched to the right camera???

Keep or Sell: I liked both cameras. They both worked and both produced lovely images, but I didn’t want or need both. I decided to keep the Practika for now. Sold.

Chinon ZC 200 (sprocket adapted)

This is another one of the presents I received over the summer. It is a regular point and shoot camera with one difference. The sender took out the mask so the light could also hit the sprocket area of the film.

And here is what I found on the net about this camera…….



Nothing, NOTHING, absolutely nothing. Not even in Japanese, and I searched in Japanese as it is a Japanese company. On the company website, it is not listed. This is a fake camera.

I am not one to give up and I decided just to search for a point and shoot with a 38-70mm zoom…Nothing. Fake camera.

Why not click on images?? You never know??

Then, I saw this


Holy Moly, it is exactly the same. Exactly, the same on the front and top, but the Yashica has a data back. BUT it is exactly the same. I can’t say anything about the Chinon, but this camera is from 1995.

Anyway, I slapped in an expired film and got to shooting. And… back to terrible processing. I miss Photo Hippo. The shop lady was cute though, she drew a photo of why the film could not be scanned ready for when I came to pick it up. Of course, I already knew this and had a plan in mind…a 120mm film plate and sellotape.

I managed to get some images off the film and convert them to black and white to get rid of the colour cast.


I took the camera to Nihonbashi and Ueno for the dreary, rainy, humid day. Can you see the curved light reflection in the top right corner? If you check the inside of the camera you will see the spirals for the zoom. I think if you are going to remove the mask to expose the film sprockets, it would be better not to use a zoom camera. The light obviously reflects off these spiral tracks. Still, awesome gift and fun project.

Keep or sell: As it was a gift, I think I will regift it for someone else to play with. Spread the love 🙂

Yashica FR II

I have been exchanging emails with the owner of a great website about Yashicas. As I live in Japan I sometimes see hard to find models and have sent him a few. He wanted to do something in return, so I suggested he send me a camera in return. He did, and this is the camera. Just to be clear, I don’t suggest you inundate either of us with requests for swaps,  the postage could get out of hand. BUT it is awesome receiving surprise cameras.

This is the Yashica FR II which was first introduced in 1977, an awesome year…and a sad year in music terms.

In my excitement and haste to try it, along with the 12 exposure film he sent, I completely forgot that he wrote about cleaning off the old seals. So this is the test roll:

Oops. But they are sharp and the colours, apart from the light leaks, were vivid. So of course then I got to replacing the seals. As I am not in my usual Japanese home for the summer, I don’t have my regular equipment. I just had off-cuts to work with, but I figured as long as the door hinge was done it should be ok.

I really need to get better at this. My thought is, it doesn’t have to be tidy, just functional. I was so confident in my friend’s choice and the seals that I took it on holiday to the Isle of Mull.

Ok, a bit more about the camera. It takes a 4LR44 battery, which is easy to get. On auto mode, the camera has aperture priority. There is no manual control. Inside the viewfinder is a needle display that lets you know the speed chosen, but it does not work unless activated. You can activate the needle in two ways. There is a black button on the top, near the rewind lever, and a slider on the back. I found it difficult to press the button and preferred the slider. The slider is situated where your thumb sits, it was much more efficient and comfortable for me. The only issue I could see with the camera was that the film counter didn’t work. I have read this is a common problem caused by a broken gear. This site has a repair, but I don’t feel the need to fix it.

I put a few different films through the camera. Here are some of the shots. I chose a selection to let Yashica Sailor have a good view of Mull. I would highly recommend the west side of Scotland to anyone. Edinburgh is great, but I love the hills, mountains, and moorland of the west.

Now, here is where the coincidence comes in. On Mull there is a charity shop by the ferry port. I went in and asked if they had any film cameras. They had one camera and one lens. Amazingly, the lens was a Yashica 75-200mm and there was me with a Yashica film camera in my bag. I snapped it up.

I used it at various times on the trip, but not too much as I didn’t know if it worked or what condition it was in. It was fine.

So, a great camera, a great lens coincidence and a super surprise.

I eventually sold this camera to reduce my collection.