It’s always good to let people know you’re into film photography, they might give you their old cameras! My uncle Jos gave me his old Yashica 109 with a huge bunch of accessories. Here’s what I have to say about this hand-me-down piece.
One day I got a call from my mom: “Your uncle Jos left a camera for you, do you want it?” Well, of course I did! My uncle has been cleaning out his attic and came across his old film SLR. He knew I’m into film cameras so he thought I might like it. I could have it, as long as I wouldn’t get rid of it. A deal I was happy to make. The camera turned out to be a Yashica 109, complete with camera bag, four lenses, a few B&W filters, a flash and two rolls of expired film!
The Yashica 109 is a 1989 SLR with five program modes: Program auto, HP: hi-speed program auto, AV: aperture priority, manual exposure and X: manual flash exposure. Shutter speeds range from 16s to 1/2000 (auto mode); and 1 to 1/2000 and B (manual mode). It has TTL center weight metering with SPD sensor, automatic film advance, motorized film rewind and an electronic self timer (10 sec), all powered by 4 AA batteries. It also has lots of LED indicators for all sorts of stuff.
These are the lenses I’ve got:
A standard DSB 50mm lens, 1:1.9
A zoom lens: MC Zoom 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5
A wide angle lens: ML 28mm 1:2.8
A ML 135mm 1:2.8
An Albinar auto tele converter 2x
I have an extra lens (ML 50mm 1:2) that I found in a lava field in Iceland. Actually, I found a whole Yashica camera, so thoroughly rusted it couldn’t be saved. I kept the lens as a souvenir despite the flecks of rust and a sort of moldy spot inside the glass. When I got this Yashica 109, I remembered that lens and tried it out. It still works!
The brutal truth: I like this camera mainly because it was a gift from my uncle. As a camera, it’s okay. It’s battery powered which I consider as a disadvantage but the batteries are the common AA type which is an advantage (a bit heavy, though). It very easy to use when you set it to automatic – you can set it to shutter priority or aperture priority. The lazy slob in me finds this very convenient. You can also set it to manual and figure out all the setting yourself. The shutter button is very sensitive as I’ve found out the hard way. I’d still be composing my image when – zzzzt – the camera would snap and the film would advance automatically.
Still, it’s a pretty decent camera that takes nice pictures. It just has the bad luck of having to compete with my Minolta (the same possibilities but with a cooler brand name – yes, I am that shallow) and my Praktica (indestructible, no batteries needed and the same number of lenses.) I would certainly recommend you to get it if you came across one.