When it comes to weird cameras, they were surely made during the film days. And if anything is to be believed, the Yashica Dental Eye series had to be one of the strangest and most specialized cameras out there. It was quite literally a fixed lens camera with macro capabilities and a built-in ring flash.
So why was it called the Dental Eye? Ring flashes were originally developed for dentists who needed to shoot photos of teeth and other ailments of the mouth and needed direct lighting. The ring flash was developed to solve this problem and worked for many years. But then photographers started to use them for macro shooting and eventually for portraits to get that signature ring in someone’s eyes.
According to the Analog photographer when talking about the first version:
“Almost everything is automatic, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as it turned out from my first tests: you can only select whether you activate the flash or use ambient light only (you can also set flash under/overexposure by 1 stop). But there is no flash TTL metering. Instead, it has a simple yet brilliant solution-the flash output remains constant while the aperture gets smaller as the reproduction ratio gets higher. Two problems are solved this way (may be even three, considering the high reflectance of teeth): the photos are always correctly exposed, regardless of shooting distance, and the compensation of the diminishing depth of field. Genial, isn’t it?”
This camera can shoot incredible images in the hands of a skilled photographer and with the right film, the original camera had a 55mm f4 lens while the later versions had a 100mm f4 offering.
Talk about weird, huh?
If you search for the name Yashica on our blog, old film cameras come up . When I saw the news that Yashica is still making cameras, I was in shock. At least, the name is still being used. The latest camera is a palm-sized digital microscope. This particular camera was recently released by SAMURAI MARKETING INC. It has a 2.7 inch monitor, a 5MP sensor, a 5mm -50mm focal length and built-in LED lights. This new camera has a 500x zoom capability and is meant for a niche market.
It was in late January that something whispered in my ear, “Hey, link your PayPal and your eBay account.” The thought had never occurred to me before. Don’t ask. Sometimes, I miss the most obvious things. Anyway, the moment my two accounts merged was both brilliant and harrowing. Brilliant in that my purchases wouldn’t affect my bank account, and harrowing in that I couldn’t stop once I began combing the listings for vintage rangefinders. I’ve always had a fondness for old cameras of Yashica’s ilk, but I’d never owned one. With a side pot of cash and eBay’s endless treasure trove at my finger tips, it was only a matter of time before a ’70s era rangefinder would join my family.
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Missing here: Panasonc G1 + Lumix 20/1.7 + Rokinon flash (as I used these to take the picture)
I’ve had my fair share of cameras, both digital and analog, in recent years. Which is both good and bad. Good, because I learned a lot about photography — both from the technical as well as the artistical standpoint –, and bad, because at times I found myself in a constant loop of buying and selling. I spent a lot of money on different pieces of equipment, just to sell it with loss afterwards. And while searching for that one, perfect, ultimate camera kit, I figured something out. It’s not the gear that makes you happy. It’s the pictures you take. So I made a rather bold decision, namely to sell my beloved Leica M8. Not because it didn’t take good pictures, or because I didn’t enjoy using, but because I figured that I didn’t need such an expensive piece of technology to take great pictures. Quite on the contrary, in fact. What, then, is in my bag now? Read on to find out!
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Check them out: forum after forum will be plagued by people asking for affordable rangefinder cameras. Indeed, these cameras have always been surrounded in a certain mystique and many are curious about and yearn for the simplicity that comes with shooting one. Personally, I trained myself on a Leica CL; and the skills and style I developed during that period have stuck with me even into my DSLR shooting and now mirrorless shooting styles. In fact, they’ve even become apparent in my use of strobes.
In the end, once you train yourself or learn how to use a rangefinder, you’ll develop a special courage and learn new skills that will teach you to only become a better photographer. If you don’t want to break the bank while doing so, here are a list of affordable rangefinders to keep your eyes out for.
The Yashica Electro 35 GSN is a rangefinder camera that I personally purchased and that has been a dear love of mine since for street photography. After testing the Leica M9, M7 and the Fuji X100 (though the last is not a rangefinder), there were a number of reasons why I made the purchase. Besides the affordable cost combined with sharp lens, wonderful metering, and ease of use, the camera is built to last. But is it for everyone?
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