sebastianmoran Posted August 6, 2010 Share Posted August 6, 2010 <p>How can a lay person, not a camera expert, know whether a Yashica Electro is working or not. These can be quality cameras, but condition varies. My intent here is document how to test a Yashica Electro. I hope this will help buyers know what to look for. And help sellers to be able to represent more accurately their cameras. </p> <p>Why is this a problem? After buying three Electros, each for very small dollars, I can see some quirks that make it difficult for the buyer and/or the seller to know whether the camera is "working." For example, even with dead internal wiring and electronics, the shutter will still fire. In one case, I have a camera which gives a satisfying "click" but the shutter blades do not move! In another, the auto-exposure works for all stops except f/16 where it gives super long exposures in any lighting.</p> <p>Here's what I've found so far about how to test a Yashica Electro. Please comment or add additional tests that any lay person can do.</p> <p> 1. Pull up the rewind knob to open the back of the camera. Point at something bright, look through the back, push the shutter release. Do you hear a click? Do you see a flash of light through the lens? In this camera, shutter fires at 1/500th with no battery. OK, your shutter moves.</p> <p> 2. Look into the back of the camera at the back of the lens. Move the aperture ring from one limit to the other. Notice the aperture blades moving. Blades disappear at f/1.7, blades make a perfect pentagon about 3mm wide at f/16. OK, aperture works.</p> <p> 3. Fire shutter and wind film advance several times. Smooth? Are things moving properly on the right hand side inside the back? OK, close back of camera. Repeat a few more times. As you move the film advance letter do you hear a sound? At the start of the advance stroke, do you hear a "clunk" or "thump"? Or is it pretty quiet, just gears turning inside, like most cameras? The "clunk" sound is GOOD! If no clunk, then you have a "Pad of Death" a.k.a. "POD" problem. Google for more info. This is a moderately difficult repair.</p> <p> 4. Set aperture to 1.7, front ring on lens to B, look through the lens in bright light, direct sunlight is best, press and hold the shutter release. Lens clean and clear? Slight yellow cast is OK, that's the coatings. No spidery stuff or frosted look. OK, you have a clean lens. A few bits of dust are OK and won't hurt anything. </p> <p> 5. Look through viewfinder. Is it bright and clear? Or like looking through a dirty window? Move the focusing ring. Can you see the split image? Does split image move with focusing ring? Look at a vertical line in your scene. Can you align the split image? Look at a corner, are the split images aligned vertically? Focus on a vertical line about five feet away. Read the distance mark on the focusing ring, should be 5 feet. Try on a distant object, at least 100' away. Read the distance mark, should be infinity. OK, you have a good viewfinder.</p> <p> 6. Can you move the ASA dial (top of camera, numbers from 12-400 or 25-1000. Move the red index mark to 200.</p> <p> 7. Use a US Nickel to open the battery compartment cover. Opens with reasonable force? Clean inside? Inside of cover looks clean? OK. Otherwise, probably battery leakage and corrosion in the battery chamber. If you want to go further, get a battery. Order a PX32 alkaline battery from any internet seller, about $10. Install the battery.</p> <p> 8. Press the "Battery Check" button (on back of camera). Does the light come on? On many models the light is green and is inside the frame counter window. </p> <p> 9. Set the front ring on lens to B. Look through the back again. Fire the shutter several times, holding down the release button. Shutter should stay open for as long as you hold down the shutter release button. </p> <p> 10. Set the front ring on lens to "Auto." Inside, indoor lighting, set the aperture to 16 and press the shutter release. Does the yellow "Slow" light on top of camera come on? Can you see the bright yellow arrow in the viewfinder, top right? Good. </p> <p> 11. Continuing inside in dim lighting, turn the aperture ring back and forth, find the place where the yellow light just comes on. If yellow light is on at all apertures, find a little brighter lighting, so the yellow light comes on at 4 or at 2.8. Note the aperture where the yellow light just comes on. That will be 1/30th sec exposure. Now rotate the aperture ring five clicks to the right, higher f-numbers; each click will double the exposure. So, five clicks should be 1 second. Fire the shutter while looking through the back. See if shutter stays open for about 1 second. Try the intermediate positions, each click should double the exposure. Go further towards higher f-numbers if you can. Each click doubles exposure. (I have one camera that's perfect up to f/11, but at f/16, the shutter stays open for many seconds, way too long.)</p> <p> 12. Pick an f-stop and lighting that give an exposure of a few seconds, say f/8 indoors at night. Look through the back of camera, through the back of lens. You should be able to see the lens stay open several seconds. Does the lens stay open for several seconds whether you hold the release down or not? On long exposures, shutter should stay open for the proper time whether release button is held down or not. (I have one camera where shutter only stays open if release button is held down.)</p> <p> 13. Now go outside in bright sunlight, turn the aperture to 1.7, does the red "Over" light on top of camera come on? See it in viewfinder? Good.</p> <p> 14. If camera passes all these tests, then shoot a roll of color print film, use different apertures in different lighting, focus close and distant, try some in very dim light indoors or at night. Develop and print the film. You'll probably see light leaks (bright streaks on prints). This is a small problem, easily fixed by replacing the foam light seals; this is expected on any vintage Electro. More significantly, is the focus right? Are the negatives properly exposed? Ask the lab to look at your negatives if in doubt. </p> <p>If you pass all these tests, then you have a good, clean camera. Google for info on cleaning the viewfinder, replacing light seals, and other refurb/repairs.</p> <p>Photo.net contributors, please add your comments and any additional tests a lay person can perform to evaluate a Yashica Electro camera.</p> Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now