Yashica Electro 35 CCN: A Great Wide Prime Lens


Named by many as “The Poor Men’s Leica”, the Yashica Electro 35 CCN is a rare version of the famous Electro 35 camera, equipped with a fantastic f/1.8 35mm prime lens. This camera is a black solid piece of kit that everybody should be looking for.

Produced between 1970-1975, the Yashica Electro 35 CCN is one of the many versions of the Electro 35. I’ve been hunting this for many months and finally found it at a flea market in Basel (CH) and it was an amazing deal, I got it for just 15 CHF (12€)! For the same price I got also an Olympus 35RC but that is another story…

Here it is, a real black beauty, rock solid and with a gorgeous viewfinder! The nice thing about this camera, as the name “Electro” suggests, is that it is totally automatic! The shutter works in Aperture priority: set the aperture, focus with the lovely rangefinder, click, and you’re done!

I had some troubles finding an appropriate battery, as it works originally with a mercury 5.6V battery. I couldn’t find one of these but I found out that a series of 4 small 1.5V batteries worked as well! The camera has a nice battery check light that came very handy to verify the efficiency of my alternative solution!

I finally got the chance to test it out some weeks ago with a Fuji Superia 200 film, which maybe too sensitive for shots at f/1.8 but I got some nice pictures as well! Here are some shots that I took at my grandparent’s house!

Sometimes you can’t shoot at f/1.8 and the camera is smart enough to tell you when you’re overexposing or underexposing your pictures! Inside the viewfinder, when you half press the shutter button, if there’s something wrong with your aperture setting you’ll see a red arrow (overexposed) or a yellow one (underexposed). These little lights worked perfectly! Here are some other shots that I took during an ordinary day in Venice.

I am very satisfied with my new toy. The lens is a bit yellowish but this adds some nostalgia to the pictures and I find it a big plus! What else can I say? The camera features a lock for the shutter (useful when you put it in a bag full of stuff) and has a 52mm diameter which is a very common size for filters and caps (I use the cap of my canon 50mm f/1.8 when I carry the Yashica around).

My advice is to have at least one of these little gems as I have already fallen in love with rangefinders and will shoot a lot of others rolls with this camera!

written by regi_a on 2011-10-10 #gear #wide-angle #35mm #review #automatic #aperture-priority #f-1-8 #yashica-electro35-ccn


  1. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Nice review. Good find. Great camera with a very useful focal length. But...I wouldn't call it a poor man's Leica by any stretch of the imagination.

  2. blinghaha
    blinghaha ·

    Nice review! To eBay!

  3. carlosrossi
    carlosrossi ·

    I just found this camera in an attic. score!

  4. carlosrossi
    carlosrossi ·

    ..and now i can't seem to find where the battery on this camera goes?

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