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Half the Frame, Double the Fun: Yashica 72-E

This lovely looking half-frame camera is the perfect compromise between a slim, portable camera, and an excellent lens and performance. And you can cram an incredible amount of pictures on your roll.

Photo by stratski

Let me introduce you to the charming Yashica 72-E: a 1960’s half-frame camera with a 28mm manually-focusing (f2.8-22) lens. It has close-focusing to 0,80m. The shutter has speeds of B, 1/8 – 1/250. The selenium cell which surrounds the lens accepts film speeds from 10 – 400. Once the film speed is set, the meter read-out on the top of the camera provides an EV number, helping you to manually set the right aperture.

This camera sat at the bottom of a plastic bag given to me by a friend containing half a dozen books on photography, a bunch of filters, a cable release, and a heap of assorted bits and pieces. I was thrilled to find out it was a half frame camera, since I didn’t have a proper half frame yet. Well, I had a Diana Mini, but I mean a half frame camera with an actual glass lens, and some control over the settings. It didn’t disappoint me.

The Yashica produces very nice pictures, sharp and crisp. The light meter on top looks really cool I think, and is very useful in deciding an aperture. The winding mechanism at the bottom left of the camera in stead of the usual top right adds a nice quirky touch. At first I thought the winding mechanism was faulty, because the roll just wouldn’t end. It turns out that you can just fit an incredible number of pictures on one roll of film. It is in fact called 72-E because it fits 72 pictures on a roll, but that’s not accurate. You can fit in more. I love the way the half frame format can easily lead to diptychs and triptychs.

It came with a faux suede camera bag and a yellow filter. The filter is easy to forget when you switch from b&w to color (I have some bright yellow pics to prove it)…

written by stratski


  1. 110isnotdead


    Love the article :) trying desperately to find a half-frame camera for my trip later this year. I want something that I can just keep in my shirt pocket and have on the fly that is a little step up from the junky point and shoots that I have.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. neanderthalis


    Nice review.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  3. alex34


    The Japanese made really nice cameras....

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  4. w_thomas


    Yashica is probably my favorite camera make ever.
    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  5. endjinn


    Sounds like a great camera, i might have tracked one of these down instead of my Golden Half.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. endjinn


    Oh god, now i want one...

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. 186juney


    My younger sis told me that she thinks my dad has an old Yashica stored somewhere in the house. Hopefully this rumour proves to be true and I get a free, inherited Yashica soon!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. issyonlydreams


    I have seen so many good reviews about Yashica cameras, desperately searching online for a cheap one to play around with :)

    about 2 years ago · report as spam

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