Camera of the Month for April.
I own a lot of film cameras, so I decided I’d start doing a little “un-official” review of some of them.
This month it’s the Yashica Electro 35 GSN. I recently purchased this camera from the original owner, along with the Suntar conversion lenses. What that means is it is in perfect condition and was a gem of a find.
The original Electro 35 was introduced in 1966. This particular model (GSN) came out in 1973. Some of the features of the GSN model include: stepless shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/500 second (copal shutter), battery check light, hot shoe (as opposed to earlier models with a cold shoe). The viewfinder is parallax corrected and coupled to the lens making focusing a breeze. The Yashinon 45 f1.7 lens is designated Color, although it is identical to earlier models. The lens has 55mm threads for filters or…
My model came with a set of Suntar conversion lenses, a telephoto rendering a focal length of 58.4, and a wide angle giving a focal length of 37.7. Interesting enough, they don’t affect the exposure. The conversion lenses have a filter thread of 72mm. A dedicated viewfinder which attaches to the hotshoe was available, although I didn’t receive that accessory.
The camera does require a battery, well, sort of. Without a battery the light meter obviously won’t work, but the camera will function with the shutter firing at 1/500 second. The camera works off a 5.6 – 6 volt battery, which as you can guess, is no longer available. There are several ways to “adapt” batteries, such as 4 LR44 batteries stacked and a spring to make up the difference. I took a 6 volt camera battery I had, put a little foam around it so it fit snug, and added a spring to make the contact. Now I have a fully functional camera.
But the real question is how it performs.
So, I grabbed a couple of rolls of expired film I had in the freezer, a roll of Ilford Delta 100, and a roll of Fuji Superia 100.
This is a great camera with a very sharp lens rivaling some of todays better lenses. Just remember, due to the age of the lens, the coatings are not up to todays standards and ghosting and flair will be present. I really like this camera and can recommend it to anyone looking for a quality rangefinder at a cost far below most offerings.
That being said, I’m unfortunately going to be selling this one as I am moving a few hours down the road in a month and need to clear out a lot of my gear. If anyone happens to be interested, let me know. Cost in the U.S. will be $150 shipped (sans the battery).