Yashica Electro 35 GT



I’ve owned several Yashica Electro 35 models but I’ve pared them down leaving me with the Electro 35 GT and GX.  The GT stands out in the Electro line with it’s all black body.  It is a great looking camera as well as performing.  The lens of the 35 GT is a 45mm f1.7 stated to be 6 elements in 4 groups.  It’s strictly aperture priority with no shutter speed indication beyond the slow speed or over exposure warning arrows. The shutter speed is determined electronically during the exposure rather than being predetermined.  In practice this means that during longer exposures the camera reacts to changing light conditions, extending or shortening the exposure time.

Originally when the camera was released in 1969 batteries containing mercury were prevalent with there characteristic of maintaining a constant voltage throughout there discharge life.  Now mercury batteries are unavailable so an alternative is required.  My solution was to use a 6V alkaline battery with a home made adapter of a similar size to the original TR164 battery.  This difference in voltage is likely to cause some variability in the exposure but as I shoot colour negative film with a large latitude and the fact that I scan all my film rather than printing optically I don’t really see it.

Being a rangefinder the camera has a small diamond shaped focus patch.  A rangefinder works by linking the focus of the lens to the position of the patch relative to the main viewfinder, so as you change the focus of the lens the rangefinder patch moves horizontally.  When the item in the main viewfinder and the patch are horizontally aligned the lens is focused to that distance.  This works well with views that have vertical elements but can be difficult with small repeating patterns or horizontal lines.  A field of flowers can be a difficult thing to focus within because of all the similar elements.  Here is an animated view through my Yashica Electro 35 GT however because you are able to actually place your eye closer there is a lot more area around the frame lines that would be visible.  You can also see the built in parallax correction as the frame-lines move down to compensate for closer focusing. 

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