The Yashica 35 Rangefinder (~1957)

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by scl, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. SCL

    SCL

    Not the Yashica Electro! The 35 was produced for about a year as Yashica's entry into the world of fixed lens rangefinders (not interchangeable lenses as in their offfshoot versions of the Leica III series bodies). I found this one in pieces...that is, the shutter timing escapement had been fully disassembled and was in a plastic bag. The front covering of the camera body was peeling, the front element of the lens was scratched and had plenty of cleaning marks...but the camera just looked really neat. So I replaced the front covering with material I had on hand..it sort of matches the back. Cleaned the lens as best as I could and collimated it. I thought I could figure out how to put the escapement back together, but the little gears and springs are hidden beneath the top cover of the escapement mechanism in all the texts I can find. Nevertheless the camera fires at bulb and approximately 1/250 sec. even with the escapement missing. To my surprise, the rangefinder was spot on...a little hazy, but why tamper with something which works. So I decided to reassemble the lens and shroud and see if the camera was even worth my time and effort to try to fix. Given my county has been declared a disaster area due to flooding, and I am less than a mile from the river, but on high ground, I decided to shoot in a nearby town where the river had crested about 15 ft above normal levels, and then go to a relatively undiscovered forest preserve between my home and the river, which is also on high ground...to test out the camera and lens. First the obligatory picture of the camera itself.
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  2. SCL

    SCL

    Next a shot of the Fox river in Elgin, with some of the public island submerged and the river within a foot of the pedestrian bridge
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  3. SCL

    SCL

    Although it was late in the afternoon I wanted a shot of the water at the dam, 15 ft above its normal level.
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  4. SCL

    SCL

    I like texture to test a lens for overall contrast and sharpness, so I chose an oak in the forest preserve.
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  5. SCL

    SCL

    One trail leads to a farm cemetery dating back to 1821 which the conservation district has been trying to rescue from the weeds and trees...they installed an iron fence and reset some of the headstones in cement.
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  6. SCL

    SCL

    The trail has been cleared, widened, two bridges put in over the fens, and boulders well placed to prevent erosion. Both here and in the previous cemetery shot I noticed some lens flare, but I was shooting into the sun without a hood...even so the contrats was pretty good and the scratches didn't badly affect the results.
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  7. SCL

    SCL

    Last shot...one of the 400 yr old oak trees in the preserve (there are several between 300-400 years old, oldest in the county). As a basis for size, my hat is sitting at the base of the tree. All in all, I'm relatively satisfied with the results, and if I get up the courage and have the patience, I may actually try to get that escapement back together and have a fully functioning camera. All shots were on 10 yr old Plus X (over) developed in Rodinal 1+50. Thanks for looking, and if anybody knows how to put together a Seikosha Copal MXV shutter timing mechanism, please shoot me a line or two.
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  8. Stephen, I have the exact same model of camera... intact. The only problem with mine is that there is something that shook loose in the shutter cocking train and I have to turn the camera upside down and shake it a bit so that the shutter will properly cock. The problem looks to be a little too internal for my experience and it might be worth it to leave for a shop. I thought that camera was made in 1958, but I could be wrong. When I was still using it, it took beautiful pictures, like yours. However, I did recently reassemble the Copal MXV shutter on a Taron III. If you're willing to trust me, I can have a look at it.
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  9. Another...
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  10. SCL

    SCL

    Hey Rob - VERRRYY cool. It seems whenever I get near moss covered rocks and flowing streams the bugs come out and I become their meal of choice. Thanks for your offer...I'll send you a couple of shots of the interior and parts in the next day or so to give you a flavor of the issue. I thought "well Hell, anybody can figure out how to fit a few parts together" ! What a laugh, between my shaky hands, limited 3D vision (one eye is going blind), and parts which can install one way as well as upside down, I'm pretty well at wits end. I would run over to a nearby town which has a copy of Tomosy in their library, but that town is under water right now.
    And to James --- yes indeed that is Elgin, IL. I volunteer weekly at a hospital there in their cardiac intensive care ward.
     
  11. Very nice. Has a sort of nice "Contax-ish" look to it, doesn't it?
    But I warn you, that was how I got started on Ricoh cameras. It was just one little camera and then, another, and another ...
    .... Must resist urge to look on eBay for one of these.....
     
  12. That is a nice looking camera. Didn't know about that model. I have owned a few of the Electro models and didn't care for them. They are huge! The lenses were sure sharp though, if you could keep them from flaring like crazy. The factory hood for them was woefully inadequate.
     
  13. Yeah, I really have to stop myself from following up a "made-to-look like a Contax RF" collecting theme.
    That was how I got my first Ricoh 500. :)
     
  14. SCL

    SCL

    JDM - I just tuned up my 4 Ricoh 500s....I fell in love with the focus levers back in the early 1960s as a teenager, forgot all about the bodies until the late 1990s when I picked up a couple really cheaply at garage sales. Never particularly liked the Contax RFs - they looked too "fiddley" for my taste. Fell for a Leica M4 which I used 43 years. Now its back to some of the oldies like the one starting this thread.
     
  15. Typically nice solid little Yashica; glad you could get it up and running, Stephen. The Yashinon lense were pretty good right from the start,as your excellent images demonstrate. I really like the pic of the single oak...The rangefinders and P&S's of this era attract me, and some of the even simpler little Japanese cameras that were coming onto the market immediately post-WWII have a fascination all their own. They supply a little light relief from pondering the Big Names! Thanks for the post.
     
  16. Great example. And great results. Thanks for posting.
     
  17. You did get some great images and with only one shutter speed, And you got to use the lens a bit open too I guess. Funny your comment about the Contax.... Many are quite taken with it! umm myself for one!

    I think was Rick D said does sum it up though for the era . A lot of neat looking P&S RF bodies coming out of Japan in the postwar period . Thjey are all irresistible. I wish you luck in getting it back together . Wonder though .. a working one may be available for a resonaböe price!
     
  18. SCL

    SCL

    Chuck - they aren't readily found these days...besides, I'm really cheap. A fellow PNetter is offering some guidance to me.
     
  19. Stephen, nice work (especially with a single semi-determinate shutter speed) with a handsome camera. I never really liked the looks or feel of the big* Yashica Electro 35s, but this "plain" 35 is quite appealing. No, no JDM, please DO buy up on Ebay; I don't have the discipline to stay off, but can muster up the decency not to bid against you (presumably, or so I'll tell myself) if I know you're in the hunt for one of these.
    *I am kind of partial to the little, zone-focusing Electro 35 MC with its 40/2.8 lens however.
     
  20. hi all I have a chance to purchase a yashica 35 serial no. 510**** for about 45 $us
    it appears to be working except that the focus ring is decoupled from the rangefinder and the images wont align. In addition the focus ring makes a scraping noise that is felt as well, as it is turned.
    all else seems good , shutter speeds, aperture setting,cosmetics. what do you think? is there any chance I could repair it myself with no diagram or information on this model. where would you start? lens dismantle?
    thanks for any help. Newcomer Martin Shanahan
     

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