The Yashica Electro GSN is a 35mm Rangefinder Journalist-style camera, or what I call the "Night Owl" Rangefinder. It's as near as I will get to a Leica for the next couple years.
“I need to have a rangefinder,” a thought went through my mind one late night in August. The Yashica Electro 35 GSN is one. A cheap one indeed, although with a very sharp contrasting lens.
When I got a second-hand unit from the Internet, it was the first camera I disassembled myself! You have to know that this baby comes with some quirks: When cocking the shutter you have to hear a loud “CLONK.” Inside is a small rubber pad and time may have destroyed it if you only hear a “pling.” The rubber material preventing light leaks can (like with many 70’s and 80’s cameras) became disintegrated. I removed it with alcohol and replaced it with foamed rubber from the DIY store.
Like most old rangefinder cameras, the viewfinder of my GSN needed cleaning. But don’t be discouraged by all of that; the web offers a variety of repair manuals and you can’t get a better rangefinder camera for such little money.
The basic technical details:
- Aperture Priority
- f:16 — f: 1.7
- 1/30 sec — 1/500 sec
That’s why I called it the “Night Owl” in the beginning. It’s one of the things that make the Yashica Electro GSN interesting for Lomographers: You can capture low light situations without flash, keeping the natural atmosphere. Plus, the aperture priority lets you keep control over the depth of field.
I mostly use my GSN in low light situations like dusk and dawn, and also for taking photos of artificially-lit scenes indoors and outdoors. I also use it as a point and shoot camera for street photography.
Probably the GSN could be an addition to your collection? Give me a note or two about your experience if you get hooked too!