A large aperture fixed-lens rangefinder, Yashica Electo 35 is an aperture-priority camera with a very good and accurate meter. Not only will it give sharp, detailed images it will give them consistently and but silently making it a perfect street shooter.
There are many reviews of this camera up on this site already, so why am I doing one? Most of the reviews are very similar praising the camera and its lens, I actually dont like the camera and sold it in this review you will find out why I did so.
After selling stupidly my FED 4, I set to ebay looking for a replacement, I came across a mint Yashica Electro 35 for £20 so snapped it up, I had heard many great things about the camera. When it arrived it was literally like new. I picked up a battery which have to be fitted by padding the battery compartment with tin foil. To my joy the camera was fully working and appeared to function correctly.
Here is an image of the Yashica Electro 35, and actually the one I used when I sold it on eBay.
The camera itself is aperture priority only, and has a very simple meter system, where a light on the back of the camera telling you whether at the set aperture will be under or over exposed and you adjust the aperture accordingly. The camera is equipped with a fantastic yashinon 45mm f/.1.7, the only other thing to speak of is the cold shoe, later models had hot shoes.
Anyway, I loaded the camera with a roll Neopan 1600 and went on a walk with my girlfriend and her family, it was actually a sunny day, so I rated the film at 400 and then developed accordingly.
We went on a walk in Austwick a small Village in the North Yorkshire, England.
Here are some results from that day:
As you can see the images are very sharp and consistent, also the tones are very nice.
After reading what I have said so far you may be thinking “why do you dislike the camera and why did you sell it?” Well, I have a number of things to mention as to why I dislike it. Firstly, there is basically no control with this camera, the only thing you can use to change exposure is ISO. Personally, with a rangefinder camera I like to set everything myself. Second is the build quality: the camera doesn’t feel solid at all. The top plate is hollow, and the metal parts on the camera don’t match—parts of it are chrome and others are brushed.
I also got one of the earlier ones which were built in Japan, which are supposedly better built so I dread to think what the later Hong Kong made ones are like. Thirdly, the grip of the camera is very awkward and the lens is to far to the side. Fourthly, the camera suffers from what is known as the pad of death, so the camera will inevitably one day die. Finally, the size—the camera is very large and is basically the same size as an SLR.
After iI sold my Yashica Electro 35 I got a camera I’ve wanted for ages: a Kiev 4. It’s a much better camera than the Electro 35 and the FED 4 I initially sold. I will hopefully have a review of it up soon.
Thanks for reading, keep shooting!