3 Apr 2017

Yashica Electro 35 photos


When I decided I really wanted to get into film photography with some degree of seriousness, I did a lot of research and came up with what I thought would be the perfect camera for me, based on my digital photography habits, and my love for 1970s Japanese cameras.


The one I came up with is the Yashica Electro 35 GTN. It is an aperture-priority auto exposure rangefinder, which is admittedly a lot of jargon if you're not into photography. Anyway, it suits me and the Electro 35 is one of the few cameras that uses this method.


It also happens to be a fantastic camera all around, and cheap as well. I paid $7 for mine on ebay and picked it up locally. Of course, the batteries cost as much as the camera itself but that's to be expected.


I took a gamble on it, since there is a specific fault known to affect these cameras, but it turned out to be working perfectly. All the photos on this post have been taken with it during the past month. The above four were on my first test roll of film.


It has really good low light capabilities, and was advertised as being a camera you'd never need a flash with. It's a pretty accurate claim, as you can take good photos indoors and in twilight without a tripod. Even in the middle of the night if there are city lights and you have a steady hand.


It's a fantastic camera all around; easy to use but not fully automated. The exposure is always good, and the images come out sharp and clear.


These photos are from a recent trip to San Francisco.



I like how this photo of signage turned out, you can hardly tell that it's not from the 1980s.




Here is an example of handheld night photography. A little blurry, but not bad at all.


Back in Sacramento again, a city which might as well call itself "old car city" for the number of vintage automobiles lining the city streets. I'm not really into cars, but it is fun taking black and white photos of them.


This Chevrolet has seen better days.


Here are a few dogs playing in the early morning light.



These old brick warehouses have sat empty for years, pending redevelopment. The project has been in the works for over 20 years, but it's supposed to be picking up speed...



A few more old cars; here's a "Ramble".


And a Hudson, quite a nice find.


Of all the old cars, though, probably the easiest to find on these streets are old Volkswagens of various types, especially the vans like this one in bright red (not that you can tell).


And to finish it off, here's a self portrait to show off its indoor lighting performance. That's my Optima Humber 88.

13 comments:

  1. Funny thing is that I bought a mint Yashica Electro 35 GSN at a charity shop just last December :). My test roll is still inside though...

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  2. Very nice photos. I had a TL-Electo 35 for a while back in the late 70s. If I remember correctly the only difference is the TL is an SLR and the GSN is a rangefinder. I do not remember if there were any other differences or not. Can you use the GSN in manual? Both are nice cameras and will outlast the digital imaging products made today as long as batteries are available.

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    1. Batteries are not that big of a problem because even though the originals are hard to get you can buy an adapter to use easily available 4LR44 one.

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    2. The Electro 35 has a large battery compartment and very forgiving electronics, so anything you can fit in that is around 5.6V will work! (even up to 6V)

      It's aperture-priority; it has a bulb setting for long exposures too.

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    3. Well, you do not remember correctly, so please don't be spreading mis-info. Check instead. The Yashica TL-Electro is an SLR with focal-plane shutter, through-lens metering, interchangeable lenses, and manual control, all major features (and there are many others), none of which appear on the Electro 35 GSN, and which account for performance and operational differences. GSN uses a leaf shutter, no interchangeable lenses, non-TL metering, etc. It is very difficult to make both a rangefinder and an SLR on the same frame. (Certain late-model Kodak Retinas are the only common ones that even come close to what you are imagining.) OTOH, this _is_ the internet...
      == Höhne

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  3. My God, I don't think there's one bad photo in the bunch! Great eye you have. There's a certain warmth that I find with 35mm film, especially when it's put through a simple rangefinder camera. I've been tempted to get a Yashica Electro 35 or a Canon Canonet, but with a stable of film cameras that includes THREE Olympus Trip 35s, I think my rangefinder dance card is pretty full.
    Excellent post, great photos! I'm a sucker for old cars AND those slanted streets of San Fran. It was, after all, Hammett's old stomping ground.

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    1. Thanks! But I wouldn't show a bad photo, now would I? ;)

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  4. Great work all 'round, Nick! Love the lead photo!
    == Höhne

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  5. Well done, those are lovely images.

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  6. Beautiful captures, Nick! Sadly, I don't use my Electro 35 as much as it deserves. Rangefinders never seem to display brightly enough for me to use them well.

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  7. Nice! Maybe I need to tap Erik for a little photoshoot trip with our Electro 35s. I haven't used mine in a year now. /:

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  8. Nice Yashica and fab pics.
    That old Chevrolet is the same car my dad imported into Australia in 1955. He retired from Shell oil in Venezuela and decided we should move to Australia, Perth, in fact. In late 1954 before the move he went to the Chevy showroom to order a new car and they said he could get the latest '55 with wrap-around windscreen delivered direct to Australia. It was the first of it's kind there! It may even still exist today.
    Unfortunately we only stayed six months but he stayed on to sell the house and the car!
    Michael

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