Yashica Electro 35, a treasure hidden in a drawer


I knew it was there, but never had taken my time to examine it… until lomography appeared in my life. I think I have already told you that my parents are not so much into photography and that I don’t know where I took this analogue love from (as a funny anecdote I’ll say that my mum doesn’t have any pic from her pregnancy months because my dad always loaded the films in the wrong way), so it’s not surprising that I hadn’t noticed my grandpa’s or my uncle’s cameras before.

Yashica Electro 35 GTN, taken from www.yashica-guy.com

I don’t know how I remembered about it indeed, but once, taken by an inspiration, I started searching in some wardrobe where I keep my first camera, a huge QSS, a Kinder camera (yes, it’s white and orange, just as a Kinder egg) that I won in a drawing contest, my APS camera, that was “donated” to my parents, a pair of binoculars… and among all these things, there it was, the camera that first belonged to my uncle and then he gave to my parents… and the one so difficult to load that there’s not a single pic of me in my mum’s belly!

With the camera in my hands, the first thing I did was heading to the internet to look for an instruction manual. The camera, as I read in this sites: http://www.yashica-guy.com/index.html / http://www.kenrockwell.com/yashica/electro-35.htm. It was released in the beginning of the seventies, so just imagine where the manual was… But I finally found it! Second thing I had to do was managing myself with the battery. I have to explain that I’ve never had an analogue camera with a light-meter, so all I read in some internet forums, like this, in spanish was perfect for me, not only for knowing what to do with a super dangerous mercury battery, no longer made, for something similar, easier to buy and to dispose, but also to learn a bit more about how these cameras work. Third thing was… opening the camera and finding a roll inside! It made me really happy! The problem was that I had been “palying” with it before opening, so it was completely winded and I couldn’t know if it was exposed or not. I still don’t know it because I broke my film-picker (you don’t want to know how!) and I haven’t got a home-made one yet.

But let’s talk about the important things: the photos!!!

Once I got the new battery (I ordered it in a battery shop, something I didn’t know that could exist) I wanted to use my Yashica for the first time in a day-trip to the Monasterio de Piedra, about what I have a location yet to write. And I say “wanted” because my dad’s genes revealed and when I checked it, it turned out that I had loaded the roll wrongly and I hadn’t taken a single pic of the first part of the excursion! Now that I have an Lomo LC-A+ I see it in a different way but the first times you have to be careful, as it isn’t so easy attaching the roll to the spool.

Here we have father and daughter, talking about how they perfectly load rolls in cameras

The first-second roll came out pretty well, mostly because I used to make some tests with focus and aperture.

- About the focus… it’s not so easy at first! The system consists on a rhombus drawed in the view finder and to focus we have to match the image in and out the rhombus, turning the focusing wheel.

- About the light-meter I’ll say it’s a great system for beginners: we just have to half-push the shutter release and the camera will “tell” us what to do:
a) Red arrow in the view-finder means too much light, we turn the aperture wheel to the right
b) Nothing happens, the aperture is right
c) Orange arrow, meaning low light conditions and we have to turn the aperture wheel to the left
All in all, and seeing the results, I think it’s necessary to get a bit experienced before the photos come out with the correct light settings.

Being a bit happier and having learnt from my first mistakes, I bought a cable release and, willing to try B mode I stayed one night in my balcony taking pics of fireworks.

As you can see, they are a bit “disastrous”, but I can blame any other factor (first time using Fuji Sensia, a “dancing” tripod, the distances to the fireworks…) but the camera, so not happy with this, I went out one night, readier than ever, loaded with my tripod, cable and camera, for a walk near home.

I think most of you know these photos

Now it’s right, isn’t it? Personally, I’m really happy with this series.

But not only with that, in general I’m very happy with the results I got with this camera, even though at the beginning it was a bit difficult to “tame”.

It’s great with slide film:

first time with Sensia!
the Castle of Loarre, another location yet to write

And black and white shots, in daylight, too:

For me, the only drawbacks are: first, its size and weight, it’s more difficult to take it out for a ride, and in my case, being an old and “borrowed” camera I try to be very careful with it and not taking it to “dangerous” places, that’s why I must admit that, since I have my Lomo LC-A+ I don’t use it that much… But I promise I’ll do it again!

By the way, another hidden treasure at home is my grandpa’s Kodak Brownie Folding (I don’t know the model). Seems that it works all right mechanically, but I still have to get the 620 spools. I will keep you informed!

written by mochilis on 2011-04-13 #gear #yashica #review #family #aperture #surprise #seventies #light-meter #yashica-electro-35


  1. emilios
    emilios ·

    Nice article! Great camera!

  2. brommi
    brommi ·

    nice article and photos! I think, I'll order a yashica electro on ebay, soon!

  3. niko_fuzzy
    niko_fuzzy ·

    good RF camera.

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