Have you always been fascinated by square pictures? Do you want to get a medium format camera but you’re scared that they are too expensive and complicated? Do you have a 100 USD? Do you want to walk into a event / party with the camera and have everyone look at you?
If you answered yes, then you are the perfect master for Yashica D
Ever since I have been looking at pictures, I’ve been fascinated by square frames. I was looking at so many images everyday and it all usually came together in a square, it was just beautiful, symmetric, sharp and lovely. But then when I found out that the square picture cameras were so expensive, I felt just so sad and disappointed, would I never get to shoot squares?
I usually hang out and shoot a lot around Old Delhi, the architecture and the mood of the place is amazing. If you’re a photographer then you have to be in Old Delhi, its buzz, the people, smell of the food around and the huge domes of Jamah Mazjid make it worth it. But there is also another secret to Old Delhi. Its got a whole lane selling films, flashes, colorful backdrops for studios and old cameras. Old forgotten cameras. And here is when I first saw the Yashica D.
I didn’t buy it for myself, one of my closest friends wanted it so I went and had a look at it. It was just beautiful. The lens was clear, a Yashinor 80mm f3.5 lens camera, actually two lenses. One is meant for the film and one is meant for the viewing of the user. The shutter was working smoothly, a copal leaf shutter, so it was extremely smooth and quiet. The cosmetic condition was great, its got a metal body but there were no scratches and no tearing or wearing of the leather. I didn’t know much about the camera then but since then I’ve read all about it and used it a lot to know what a fantastic camera it is.
Let me talk about the usage first. The camera is simple to load, it opens from the bottom in a screw type movement. Inside its got two places to load spindles, one for the film and one for it to spool up in. Once loaded you close the back and rotate the knob on the side until the number strikes 1 in the frame window. Now you can open the top lid of the camera’s viewfinder and the side panels automatically raise. This doesn’t seem much but its fantastic because they close automatically too, a feature which is not present even in the Hasselblad 500c. The focusing knob lets you focus on the subject and you can set the camera’s shutter speed and aperture from the two knobs in the front of the camera, simple and easy. Once all that is done, cock the shutter and shoot. Advance frame to next one and keep shooting.
The quality of the lens is great and the resolution of the final picture is lovely. But the best part is that its a magnet, do expect lots of people to come up to you and ask about the camera, its happened to me too many times. Yashica D is one of the cameras which has a feel of its own and a character of its own. To feel it is something else, once you have used it then you’d never want to touch anything else.
- The lens is sharp and the dof is quite shallow at f3.5
- Simple to use and also supports multiple exposures
- The make is solid and the loading of the film is extremely simple
- Its a magnificent conversation starter =)
- The viewfinder is bright and clear, it even has a grid to help you keep the frame straight
- Cheap! I got mine for 80$ with the leather case
- The camera is extremely heavy, if you;re going to be walking with it all day its going to be a pain
- No meter in the camera, you’d need your own light meter
- The camera’s viewfinder is horizontally inverted. So if you move left, it moves right and visa versa. Its a bit confusing in the beginning.
- The camera doesn’t show if the loaded frame has been exposed once or not. So if sometimes you forget if you’ve shot the loaded frame or not, there is no way to know.
- The shutter speed and the aperture can not be changed once the shutter has been cocked. So unless you are sure you’re going to take the shot, don’t cock the shutter.
All in all, a great camera to have. But if you can push in a little more money then get a Yashica 124Mat, it has a light meter inside!