Canon Ql17 G-III vs Yashica Electo 35 GX Part two

Operation and handling

While  these cameras where state of the art in their day, compared to a modern digital camera they are extremely simple devices.  The Canon uses a electro mechanical system to set the aperture.  It is a simple galvanometer needle that’s position is trapped when the shutter is pressed, this is then translated into an aperture through a linkage.  I found that the metering is very susceptible to underexposure due to back lighting.  With the Yashica you set the aperture and the camera sets the timing of the shutter, where one of the variables in the circuit is how much light is falling on the silicon sensor.  Beyond that they really are a lens and a system of moving the film forward.    A small but noticeable difference is in the film advance lever.  The Canon requires a longer throw of the lever while the Yashica advance is just a small flick of the thumb.  I much prefer the Yashica in this respect.  On the other hand the focus control on the Canon is superior, it includes a knob off to the left that makes focus adjustments effortless.  The Yashica’s focus however is adjusted with rubber patches around the lens barrel near to the camera body and I find that I almost have to reach around the camera to change it making it difficult to focus and shoot without a slight hand position change.  Update: A change in how I hold the camera, with my left hand underneath, has made them about equal for focusing.

  Both camera’s are rangefinders with focus patches but they appear very different in operation.  The Canon is more subtle with it’s square focus patch not impinging on the scene through the viewfinder.  The Yashica has a very contrasty diamond shaped patch that I find too intrusive but slightly easier to confirm focus with.  The Canon viewfinder is much brighter than the Yashica’s but they both have frame lines that adjust for parallax error.  They also have the exact same magnification, I verified this by holding them to my eyes at the same time,  An interesting effect of doing this is that you can see in 3D despite looking through them, a not interesting effect is that this can make you feel queasy.

So all that remains is to get my negatives back and do a comparison.  I do have a sense that the Canon metering was off in some circumstances as it seemed to be selecting too small an aperture for the conditions.  This isn’t normally a large problem though as under other conditions I would use this camera in full manual mode, which is not an option for the Yashica.

Part one


6 Responses to “Canon Ql17 G-III vs Yashica Electo 35 GX Part two”

  • Nikhil Ramkarran Says:

    Fascinating! The new Panasonic GF3 doesn’t stand a chance. 🙂

  • dave Says:

    i find this very interesting, when you focus with the k-7 ( i think you said you have that camera ) do you use auto focus or manual focus primarily? how do these two cameras viewfinders compare to the k-7’s ? thanks, dave

  • Wallace Says:

    I use autofocus with the K-7, however with older lenses that are not autofocus it’s necessary to do it manually. The K-7 focus system works in a way that it still is measuring what is in focus even when you are using manual. In practice what happens is you still get the infocus beeps and viewfinder indicators lighting as you manually focus. As far as manual focusing goes though you really can’t beat a rangefinder. They offer a clear view of the world and allow easy focusing in dim light. The K-7 has what is called a 100% viewfinder which means that what you see in the viewfinder represents what will be recorded. On the rangefinders they have framelines that represent what will be recorded, there is quite a bit that can be seen outside the framelines but through the viewfinder. This can be useful for seeing where you may want ot shift your view with the camera.

  • Carlos Says:

    “The Canon requires a longer throw of the lever while the Yashica advance is just a small flick of the thumb.”

    I thought it was the other way around…

  • Wallace Says:

    Carlos it’s definitely easier to advance the Yashica, it can be done with one hand while the Canon almost requires a second hand to hold the camera. Perhaps you might be thinking of a different Electro 35.

  • Carlos Says:

    Now that I think about it, maybe my experience was with the GSN

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