Film camera Yashica Electro 35 G
Beautiful design. Since the day I saw it somewhere on the internet, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Promising f/1.7 45 mm lens, rangefinder and almost fully automatic.
There is only aperture value to set and the camera is adjusting the right exposure using the built in light meter. It makes some more creative combinations of parameters unavailable, yet it’s not a real problem. Shooting speed, image quality and design are most important with this model.
I wanted to use it as a “stealth” camera for shooting street photos. Digital DSLR is too big and noisy (Canon 40d), although it works great. Most of the time I’m using small G12 Canon camera because of that. For old film cameras it’s good to find some kind of a project to let them live longer, dedicate them to portraits, landscapes or just street photography. Unfortunately prices for working Yashica Electro 35g are not so low (in Poland), so I had to wait for a true chance.
Finally I’ve found a piece in a great shape on internet, I’ve examined all included photos carefully and bought it really cheap. I was sure that because of the price (and some inconsistencies in the description) it certainly has the infamous Pad of Death or even worse. It’s really a minor damage, but it may be extremely hard to fix, due to the placement of that damaged part.
Later on I found that the shutter and the self timer do not work:-/, so the camera was completely dead. I had to remove front of the lens, clean gently the shutter blades and those parts of the mechanism I could clean without disassembling it. I’d have no patience and time to try to join them back together or detach the whole lens from the body to fix the Pad of Death.
Here is the shutter launched finally by the self timer mechanism
That’s a solution number 2. Fortunately that person trying to fix it before me, did not enter the heart of the lens, leaving all parts in a great shape. With the help of the mighty internet I fixed the self timer and the shutter, simple cleaning, that’s all.
Then I had to find proper batteries for this model, because the original mercury type is no longer in production. It tuned out to be easy again, because there are about for other battery cell types which can fit the chamber, and for the first set I used four popular 1.5V Phillips cells, stacked together plus an old spring to fill the space. Finally Yashica turned its lights up, allowing the light meter to set the right exposure. At the end I had to adjust the rangefinder a bit. It wasn’t easy because I have no proper tools. I did what I can, the film is now inside, Kodak ColorPlus ISO 200.
Some frames are still left, so I’m not sure if everything works fine. People around me love the design of Yashica, they’re happy to wait until I set the right focus etc. they act really natural while waiting, so I have hopes for some amazing photos;)
And here are the links to some of the extremely useful resources on Yashica Electro35 I’ve found
while trying to gather the information and fix some issues
Inside the Yashica Electro 35
Yashica 35mm Rangefinder Chronology & Specifications
Any alternative for Yashica Electro 35 GX ?
Yashica Electro 35: The ‘Pad of Death’
Replacing the Main Switch Assembly Stop Pad: [Pad of Death]
How to test a Yashica Electro Camera
Yashica electro 35 GSN with prefocusing problem
Camera Review – Yashica Electro 35GL (1/3)
Is the Yashica Electro the best deal in rangefinder photography?
Matt’s Classic Cameras: Repair Tips