A not widely known camera, but what a little gem this is.
I don’t consider myself a camera collector, I only have a few, but I am always looking out for camera’s I haven’t heard of. I think there’s a certain charm to that. A few years ago I stumbled upon Karen Nakemura’s Photoethnography website which has an article on Yashica rangefinders. Not two weeks later I find the rarest of them in a city nearby. The owner, a photographer, assured me it was working and I took it off of him for a steal.
This camera was made by Yashica Japan, perhaps more well known for its Twin Lens camera’s like the Yashica Mat. The 35 series started life in 1966, and my 35GX was introduced in 1975. The Yashica company no longer exists, in 1983 it was bought by Kyocera, and in 2005 Kyocera sold all Yashica trademark rights to Honk Kong MF Jebsen.
The 35GX is different from most other rangefinders because it sports parallax correction, which does come in very handy. It has a good weight in your hands, pretty solid controls (though my black 35GX has a plastic shutter button and that feels a bit toy-ish). The lens is simply fantastic, clear, sharp and with f/1.7 you can use this camera in almost any light condition. Focussing feels smooth and solid.
A few specifications:
Body: Full metal with metal/plastic controls
Lens: Yashinon DX 40mm f/1.7
Viewfinder: Gold outlined Parallax compensation
Shutter: Stepless electronic Copal shutter 1/500sec-30sec
Exposure control: Aperture priority from 1.7 to 16
ASA: From 25-800(!)
As you can see from the pictures, my 35GX is a bit dusty and looks quite used. That’s because I use it very regularly, it’s always in my camera bag, and always loaded. If you can find one, look into it, because this camera is worth it.
A few articles on the Yashica 35(GX)