This was one of the early film cameras I bought. It was pretty cheap, maybe £20, and came with the manual, and the original leather case. Although the case was somewhat broken and not quite my cup of tea.
It’s a rangefinder camera with a fixed lens, 45mm f/1.8, and a leaf-shutter camera with a top speed of 1/1000 sec. It also has a selenium meter which seemed to work on my model. Never really tested if it was accurate but I used it in my shots, so was good enough.
The camera didn’t advance film, I’d opened it up and watched it so many times. Occasionally it did advance but not often, so it was hard to tell exactly what was wrong. Some googling led me to the Yashica Guy and CJs classic cameras, they had lots of info but nothing quite explaining what was wrong for me. So I just emailed them! Cees-Jan (of CJs) replied and asked me some questions and gave me some suggestions to try first. CJ and others would repair it for me but at a much greater expense than the camera, and as it has no sentimental value didn’t seem like a worthwhile thing to do. So I decided to try my hand at classic camera repair…
Turns out it just needed a good clean. This little metal slug in the wheel should move freely and goes up and down as the film advance mechanism turns to move the sprocket on the advance but not on the return. Some isopropanol and cotton wool and it was moving freely.
Now we’re cooking! Ready to load this up with my first roll of film…some Ilford XP2: I came for the C41 processing but stayed for the contrast.
I was pretty pleased with the results:
My second roll through it and I was too enthusiastic with the film advance and ripped the film…ugh 36 awarding winning photos gone forever…
For some reason I put the camera to one side and started using the Minolta X-700 and SRT101X, and I end up giving the Yashica to my sister for christmas, together with some XP2. I’m not sure if she uses it and hasn’t offered up any photos, and so I don’t like to ask. It’s always annoying when people ask about presents, so I don’t want to do that.
I do regret giving it away now. I did try and buy another but it didn’t work, the rangefinder was broken, so I sold it on again, and then didn’t bother looking. For £20 it took great photos and when I look at the Leica I ask myself what was I thinking. The form factor isn’t nearly as nice as the Leica and the rangefinder patch was much fainter, but for a occasional film shooter I’d definetly recommend it. No doubt the year that’s past since I bought it the prices have gone up 10 fold.