Yashica Electro 35 GSN

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by podstawek, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. This camera is everything what a good rangefinder should be. It is fast, precise, very comfortable to use. And looks very classy when casually flung on the strap -- for those who care.
    The original 5.6 V battery is not manufactured anymore, but a smaller-size 6V will do + some coins or springs to fill the empty space. They say that 0.4 V gives noticeable meter reading differences, and I know some people adjust meter for the new battery. I didn't, and the light meter works good enough for me. Maybe because it is old (if I understand correctly, older light meters tend to "decrease" the EV, while more battery voltage tends to "increase" the EV, so that would make my reader spot on! ;). No, I probably don't understand it correctly, but still pictures speak for themselves, and they are well exposed for my taste.
    GSN and GTN (the difference is in color) are the most "advanced" of the Electro 35 series, but the entire series produces images of equally good quality -- they all use the same excellent f/1.7 45mm lens. Differences are in ergonomics and some minor features.
    Here is my camera and some older and newer pictures. Enjoy!
    Fuji Velvia 100f:
    Ilford PanF Plus:
  2. Adam,
    Your last three portraits are just stunning. :) I love the Electro series as well. Please keep the photos coming.
  3. Wow, those are very nice!!
  4. Very nice pictures; and an impressive camera too. Post more! regards, sp.
  5. It's amazing , how rugged and long-lived these Yashica Electros are. We sold them by the caseloads in the 1960's and 70's. Many servicemen brought them home in the Viet Nam era. I've owned and passed on quite a few, and the stored Kodachromes still testify to their capability, decades later.
  6. My GSN took great slides after I replaced one wire but it seemed bigger and heavier than I would want to carry all day so I sold it. Now I am trying out the slightly smaller Electro MG-1.
  7. Nice series of pictures, Adam. The Tomioka-made, Color-Yashinon DX 45mm f/1.7 is legendary for it's resolution and contrast. Thanks for this excellent presentation.
  8. Thank you everyone for your compliments, I am glad you liked the pictures!
    Les, what did you mean in your first sentence? I have become quite slow in thinking today due to overwork probably... please explain.
    Charles, you are right. This camera is bigger than it usually looks in pictures. It is still a pleasure to carry around, especially in half case with the top part detached, but it is definitely not a camera you could slide in your pocket like e.g. Olympus Trip or the smaller Yashicas.
    Louis, I did not know the lens was made externally. I thought it was all Yashica-made, and it is the first time I learn about the name Tomioka. I went to their Web page and it seems they still manufacture lenses, or rather one lens under various brands.
  9. Oh, that rhombus! I was looking for rhombuses (should that be rhombi?) on the focusing ring and was wondering what you meant :).
    Yes, focusing with a rangefinder has never been a problem. The images could have been scanned sharper I guess, but images themselves are sharp.
  10. Les, Ilford PanF behaves strange, at least in my experience. I bought 10 rolls from one supplier (the film was nowhere close to expiration), and developed it in various places (never by myself though). The strange thing is that even though this is a low-speed film (ISO 50), the grain has always been very visible. I don't mind grain, and I actually find grainy images pleasing to the eye, but I still find it strange for a low-speed film to have big grain like this. Maybe there was something wrong with my 10-pack.
    I'll try again with a different lot, and will also develop by myself now. I'll see if the results differ.
  11. I bought one a few months ago and before the shutter stopped working shot a few rolls. Great in all respects until I started seeing washed out areas on the top of some pictures. Posted them here but there was no consensus on if they were caused by lens flare or light leaks. It is indeed a very classy looking camera, so much so that I sent it down to Mark Hama to get it repaired. I have seen re leathered ones that are just gorgeous. Like this,
  12. Great presentation, Adam , and some lovely pics. Love the portrait by the motorway! Tomioka was actually owned by Yashica, as I understand it, in the early days when the Electro 35 was created, though the convolutions of Japanese camera manufacturing make it difficult to be sure about anything. As Charles hinted, the MG-1 is a more ergonomic camera, with a similarly brilliant lens. It would be my choice of the two. I look forward to your next post.
  13. Yes, Rick is correct, Tomioka, making lenses since the mid-1920's, became a Yashica affiliate in 1968. A bit of Tomioka Optical History is found here:
    http://www.tlr-cameras.com/Japanese/Tomioka Lenses.html
    In addition to making the Yashinon's they also made excellent lenses sold under Rikenon (Ricoh), Reveunon, Sears, Lausar, Tominon (Polaroid) and others.
    The early M42 lenses, in heavy knurled aluminum barrels, as well as the Ricoh fixed lens cameras such as the Ricoh 500 series are beauifully made, multi-coated and have superb optical performance.
    In addition to many of the fine Ricoh and Sears branded M42 Lenses, I also use a Tominon 135mm f/4.5 macro lens, salvaged from an old Polaroid MP-4 copy stand, on a Novoflex bellows, with my Canon FD and EOS gear. Stunning!
  14. Adam, wonderful pictures with careful compositions and great lighting. I love the B&Ws a lot. That's a great cricket pitch! The sky on the bridge picture has a graduated blue that is unusual. I have one of these wonderful cameras, and the cases seems to have survived much nicer than the Canonet cases.
  15. Wonderful shots you have here, I'm especially taken by the B&W's.
    Louis, thanks for that link, Tomioka lenses turn up everywhere, I also have an ex Polaroid 135mm Tominon that I use for close ups with my 5X4.
    Sitting in front of me is a Ricoh TLS401 with a Rikenon 1.4 55mm, would that be a Tominon?
  16. Very inspirational, Adam !
    Between your post and a recent one by Michael Smith in Japan, I just had to look for my GSN buried somewhere in our flat. Tucked away in my bedside nightstand behind a couple of Rolleiflex cases , a few Imperial Box cameras (new in box), and a stack of MiniCam magazines from the 1940s was a Yashica Electro I bought at a garage sale for the incredible sum of $2 in 2006. It still had the original 5.6V battery and I ran a roll or two of Kodak Gold through it. Only problem was dented filter ring and owner's name scratched into the body.
    AFter reading your post, I decided to scrounge for a battery in the junk drawer. None to be found there so I borrowed a PX28 from a Canon AE-1 I was testing before selling it on the big auction site. A few wraps of foil around the small battery and a genrous wad between the positive terminal and the battery cover was all that was needed to get the juice flowing. The shutter appears to be OK , judging by sound and changing light sources.
    Now it's time to scrape out the tarry goo that was once the original light seals and replace them with fresh foam from Jon Goodman. I'll load her up with some Fujicolor and take the Electro out for a spin tomorrow; hope to post results soon.
  17. Beautiful pictures from a great little camera.

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