One good thing that the heat of the Yashica digiFILM brouhaha has brought would probably be a renewed love or interest for the Yashica cameras of the previous decades. One such camera is the Yashica Electro 35, a rangefinder line that that is still sought after and loved by beginners and long-time film photographers today.
The Yashica Electro 35 GSN (chrome) and GTN (black) models have been particularly popular with the analog resurgence, but they were the last models introduced by Yashica in 1973. All the Electro 35 cameras came with a coupled and fixed f1.7 45mm lens. The Electro 35 GSN was particularly thrust into the limelight when it made an appearance as Peter Parker’s camera in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).
These rangefinder cameras are beautiful and particularly memorable for many photographers, especially for those like me who had their intro to rangefinder photography with these beauties. This is most likely what the “Yashica” of today was banking on when they launched their Y35 digiFilm camera. The styling is so similar that they’ve got us fooled for sometime that the legacy of these Yashica cameras will continue with a new film camera. But I digress.
If you’re new to the Yashica fan club and would like to know more about the iconic Electro 35, there are tons of resources you can find about this camera. Here’s a quick review/rundown of features from The G.A.S. Station:
The original Electro 35 was introduced in 1966 and was the first electronically controlled camera with its aperture priority “auto” mode. It has a cold shoe for accessories and a built-in cadmium sulphide (CdS) light meter that accepted film speeds of 12 to 400 ASA. The Electro 35 G was introduced in 1968, with film speeds extended to 500 ASA. It also came with a “Color Yashinon” lens to indicate that it was color corrected at the time, when color film was becoming increasingly popular. The black painted Electro 35 GT came a year later, then the Electro 35 GS and GT in 1970. This time, all of the Electro 35 cameras had gold plated internal electrical contacts to make sure the flow of electricity doesn’t get affected by oxidation.
As with many vintage cameras, the Yashica Electro 35 cameras you can find today may come with some issues, the most notorious being the “Pad of Death” and battery issues (but that’s for another post). So if you do find one, best you get it checked for anything that needs cleaning or fixing before you give it a go.