Yashica Half


Heavy but Fast, Clunky but Precise just like the Samurai of yore.

Image of camera taken from here

As I was driving on the main road of our city, on the way to do a random chore I glanced at a newly opened Japanese thrift shop. I looked away but quickly made a sharp turn as an image seemed to register in my brain. I may have glanced at a glass case full of cameras.And my Spidey-Sense was tingling.
My suspicion proved to be correct.

I looked around eagerly inside the shop found a glass case of old cameras. Jackpot! I eyed a few treasure like an Electro Gt , Canon FTB, Petri SLR 35 but I noticed that inside the display case was a smaller clunky camera. It was the Yashica Half 17. It seemed to be well taken care of save for the shutter mechanism. I knew it stood little chance of being bought from that store and so I resolved to unleash in onto the world. They sold it to me for about 11 dollars. Cheap for a camera but quite expensive if it was going to turn out to be a paperweight.

And so I brought it to my favorite camera repair guy and he fixed it in no time. The camera was complemented on how the lens was in prime condition and the selenium cells seem to be registering light correctly and if I were to sell it, the unit would fetch a handsome price. But the thought of selling it never crossed my mind. I discovered that this hunk of Japanese Steel was less regarded by communities devoted to half frame cameras for a couple of reasons ranging from a faulty shutter mechanism to inaccurate selenium cells. There were only a few people who had luck with the Half 17 and now I can count myself to be among those very few. Like any fine piece of weaponry, if used properly it will yield deadly sharp images.However, in the wrong hands they can be just as blunt as a metal pipe.

The Yahsica Half 17 first appeared in 1964 It has a selenium meter around the f1.7 manual focus lens that can be set from 2 and a half feet to infinity. I love using this camera for low light situations. You can set the camera to A for tricky lighting and if long exposures are a favorite of yours, the B setting can be selected too. If you want to use your flash, just get a PC Flash adaptor and rest it on the cold shoe it also has a cable release thread on the shutter button. The Half 17 also has a self timer that sets off the shutter in about 7 seconds. The film speed can also be selected from 12iso to 400iso. I also attach a fish eye lens on the 52mm filter thread form some variation in the shots. Oh and I for got to mention, because this is a half frame camera, I am able to take about 72 shots on a 36 shot roll. Quite nifty given situations where conserving film is a must.

written by halfawakehaiku on 2009-03-02 #gear #yashica #review #half-frame #halfawakehaiku #yashica-half-17

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  1. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    That was a lucky deal! Congratulations - I´m also looking for a half frame - but my eyes are more on a Olympus Pen FT ......

  2. mattcharnock
    mattcharnock ·

    Total treasure chest! looks like a great camera and I am also lookign for a half frame! They seem to be fashionable!

  3. ethermoon
    ethermoon ·

    nice review james! :)

  4. stouf
    stouf ·

    So cool ! And this camera could be super to make crazy doubles, between half-frame shots and full-frame made with another camera !!! Excellent !

  5. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    1.7!? wow!

  6. halfawakehaiku
    halfawakehaiku ·

    It was a really lucky purchase :)

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