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03-29-2014, 12:28 PM   #1
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No Pentax RF so, bought a Yachica. It arrived in a bag! Who ships a camera in a bag?!

I was stoked to know my Electro 35 was arriving today, stayed home this morning to wait for it. I paid $45.00US, a little more than I wanted and a little over what is consider average for a GSN but it looked to be in particularly good shape; the asking price was $200.00 (WTH).

Then, a few minutes ago, the postman delivered it to my door and I saw it was shipped in a bubble bag, one of those cheap, "if it fits it ships bags". Inside the camera was in an ever-ready case with a little bubble wrap around it. I got it on Ebay from one of their "Super Seller" rated users, http://www.ebay.com/usr/surpluspoint, so I can't post any negative feedback. Luckily it comes with a "14 day money back guarantee", unfortunately I'm expected to pay shipping.

I don't know if I should even run a roll of film through it because, even if it looks good, I'm concerned that the effects of rough handling might not show up till much later. the cost of a professional assessment would suddenly make this a very expensive camera.

Anyone else experience anything like this?


Last edited by MD Optofonik; 04-01-2014 at 10:12 AM.
03-29-2014, 04:19 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
I don't know if I should even run a roll of film through it
This was an innovative, but not really pro level rangefinder camera in the sixties and seventies, surely you bought it to put on a shelf, not use it for photography. If the exterior isn't damaged, I would say you got your money's worth. If you don't agree, send it back USPS in the same bag. Unless the bag gets torn and opens up, it provides as much protection as a foam filled hard case.
03-29-2014, 05:22 PM   #3
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Wow! Interesting situation!

Without seeing the packaging it's hard for us to guess what kind of forces the camera had to endure. USPS is not always gentle with how they handle packages but if there was enough bubble wrap and if it was tight enough around everything then the package may have just harmless bounced and skidded around, dissipating the forces through motion and squirming. Can you post a picture of everything?

If you can prove that the camera sustained damage due to poor shipping methods then you are golden. Buyers nearly always win on eBay in disputes. However, that means you have to run a roll of film through it. If your pictures come out with light leaks or whatever then you have proof. I always felt that most Yashica cameras are pretty tough and would make excellent self defense weapons if necessary.

I believe that you can still leave negative feedback for anyone regardless of their seller status. They cannot retaliate. If you're feeling kind then you could leave a neutral feedback. I've left neutral feedback many times. Negative feedback goes to malicious intent for me.
03-29-2014, 06:42 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Unless the bag gets torn and opens up, it provides as much protection as a foam filled hard case.

That's absurd, and unfortunately all too many sellers believe it's good enough.

Chris

03-29-2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
This was an innovative, but not really pro level rangefinder camera in the sixties and seventies, surely you bought it to put on a shelf, not use it for photography. If the exterior isn't damaged, I would say you got your money's worth. If you don't agree, send it back USPS in the same bag. Unless the bag gets torn and opens up, it provides as much protection as a foam filled hard case.
I bought it to use and I have dim view of "shelf" collectors (see below).

I'm running some slide film through it today and tomorrow. I'll send it to Swan in San Clemente to be processed on Monday.

According to the research I've done, the Electro's six-element Yashinon f/1.7 45mm lens is held in universally high regard, the metering is solid, and it's one of the most underrated rangefinder bargains one can find. Unfortunately, it appears their popularity is growing (see below). Finding one in black is very difficult. The Electro 35 GSN was the first 35mm camera I ever bought. I bought it from a family friend after saving up money over a summer of washing dishes in a truck stop on Krome Ave in Florida when I was thirteen. It was silver. The silver one is the one I wanted to re-acquire. It was 1976.

A year later that same family friend was switching the B&W room of his photo lab over to color (B&W was no longer popular enough to continue servicing in 1977 for many photo labs). He sold me all the gear from his B&W lab for $500.00. I worked a lot that summer of my fifteenth year. It wasn't till much later, years, that I fully grasped how little he asked for it and what a gift it really was; illustrated to me how rewarding a good work ethic should be. That Electro 35 and that darkroom took a lot of abuse back then and instilled a love of photography that just wouldn't go away. I have wonderful memories of my hours in the darkroom watching the B&W images I captured with that Electro 35 slowly appear in the developer tray.

Sorry about the nostalgia trip, thanks for letting me vent earlier, and the insight is much appreciated.

When I get them back I'll scan the slides on my cheapo flatbed and post some pix .


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A personal note on collecting for, "the shelf"

I come from a working class family. I support union labor for the working class and I don't buy things that can't be used. I have a rather dim view of "collectors" as their dalliances drive prices up. They take note of everything that makes those who are less financially fortunate happy and immediately want it for themselves for no other reason than to possess something that makes someone else appear happier than their station in life should allow, thereby driving prices up.

I told you I have a dim view of them. Really dim.

---------- Post added 03-29-2014 at 07:45 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
That's absurd, and unfortunately all too many sellers believe it's good enough.

Chris
Agreed.

---------- Post added 03-29-2014 at 08:28 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Wow! Interesting situation!

Without seeing the packaging it's hard for us to guess what kind of forces the camera had to endure. USPS is not always gentle with how they handle packages but if there was enough bubble wrap and if it was tight enough around everything then the package may have just harmless bounced and skidded around, dissipating the forces through motion and squirming. Can you post a picture of everything?

If you can prove that the camera sustained damage due to poor shipping methods then you are golden. Buyers nearly always win on eBay in disputes. However, that means you have to run a roll of film through it. If your pictures come out with light leaks or whatever then you have proof. I always felt that most Yashica cameras are pretty tough and would make excellent self defense weapons if necessary.

I believe that you can still leave negative feedback for anyone regardless of their seller status. They cannot retaliate. If you're feeling kind then you could leave a neutral feedback. I've left neutral feedback many times. Negative feedback goes to malicious intent for me.
I'm not wanting to be malicious, especially considering the 14 day return policy, and will only leave negative feedback if he doesn't allow enough time to evaluate the slides

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 03-29-2014 at 07:47 PM.
03-29-2014, 10:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
I'm not wanting to be malicious, especially considering the 14 day return policy, and will only leave negative feedback if he doesn't allow enough time to evaluate the slides

Oh, no, I meant I reserve negative feedback for sellers who want to do something malicious to buyers or go sloppy because they really don't care one iota about the buyer. Maybe this seller thought he was being efficient/sufficient/inventive with the packaging. The spirit was good but the execution was poor. That's public neutral feedback or constructive feedback in private in my book.

I liked your story about how you labored for photography. Sometimes I think that our society is afraid to labor more today than before but maybe it just comes out in different ways and I'm not seeing it.

Good luck with your test roll! I hope it turns out alright. If not then I hope your resolution with the seller works out. You could always consider that even if the camera didn't work out you had fun trying it. That's got to be worth something too.
03-29-2014, 11:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
I come from a working class family. I support union labor for the working class and I don't buy things that can't be used
It is still a vanity purchase. I've got a Braun viewfinder camera from the fifties, if I can repair the spring for the shutter release, it will probably expose film again. If I decide to put it back into service, it's for my personal satisfaction, not because I can't afford to do photography any other way. There is nothing wrong with that, and for $45 you have a very cost effective trip down memory lane. Personally, I doubt if the shipping method did any damage to your Yashica, but you have the privilege of deciding whether or not to risk the cost of a roll of film, developing and $45 to get something that is obviously worth much more to you. If that risk is still too high, send it back and cut your losses to the price of parcel post within the contiguous U.S.
QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
That's absurd
Have you tested shipping cameras with different packing methods? Which is more absurd, someone taking the trouble to post a comment without the slightest effort to support it, or someone who has received dozens at least a hundred packages enclosed in bubble packs without any issues, commenting on their experience. After all, the OP has a camera in his hands that means something to him, and simply returning it to the vendor without finding out if it works is probably not the best solution. There is nothing in this thread to indicate that the integrity of the bubble pack has been compromised, and every reason to expect that the camera arrived in the same condition it was in before it was shipped. If you have trouble believing that, too bad for you.

03-30-2014, 06:03 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Have you tested shipping cameras with different packing methods? Which is more absurd, someone taking the trouble to post a comment without the slightest effort to support it, or someone who has received dozens at least a hundred packages enclosed in bubble packs without any issues, commenting on their experience.
For 15+ years I was a computer field service technician working near Wall Street.
I helped ship and receive my office's repairs daily, 10+ packages per day on average, using all major carriers.
When items arrived damaged it was most often due to the shippers negligence, i.e. inadequate packaging.

Since 2006 I have worked as an electronic technician at a USPS sorting facility.
I see many thousands of mailpieces daily, including many inadequately packaged.
Unfortunately in machine processing these are far more likely to be damaged or destroyed.

Check the packaging requirements on the carrier websites or ask at the counter.
By their definition a bubble mailer envelope is inadequate packaging for a Yashica GSN.
Further no carrier would pay an insurance claim for this.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 03-30-2014 at 10:15 AM.
03-30-2014, 09:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
It is still a vanity purchase.
Mmmm, yeah, not so much. I didn't have a film camera. Film is still superior in many ways for certain subjects. I don't want to spend hundreds on any film camera; they are available in vast quantities used for little money. The Yashinon lens is a fast, solid piece of glass, with equally solid IQ (using a hood), that is very inexpensive. The Electro 35 is a camera I am intimately familiar with. It's a quiet rangefinder. It's built rather well. If it is irreparably damaged while riding my motorcycles or hiking I won't lament the loss of a $45 camera and can replace it easily. I can take it with me to the more sketchy areas of Los Angeles without fear of theft.

I just don't see the "vanity" part in any of the above.

Last edited by MD Optofonik; 04-05-2014 at 12:49 PM.
03-30-2014, 06:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote

A personal note on collecting for, "the shelf"

I come from a working class family. I support union labor for the working class and I don't buy things that can't be used. I have a rather dim view of "collectors" as their dalliances drive prices up. They take note of everything that makes those who are less financially fortunate happy and immediately want it for themselves for no other reason than to possess something that makes someone else appear happier than their station in life should allow, thereby driving prices up.

I told you I have a dim view of them. Really dim.
Museums collect "for the shelf". While I don't collect, those who do help to ensure that old cameras and lenses will still be available for those who follow. Many who collect inspire the next generation. Those collections often end up for sale at estate sales as well.
04-06-2014, 06:11 PM   #11
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This is most important.


The Electro 35 is a well built camera so don't worry too much about the packing, theres something much more important to worry about.


The electro rangefinder cameras all suffer from whats called the "Pad of Death" its either struck or it will in the future.


Internally the electronics governing the exposure were prevented from shorting out by a rubber pad. In many examples the pad has long since deteriorated making the cameras exposure control useless, it then fails and defaults to the fastest 1/500th shutter speed..


Taken from the web:-
Many examples of this venerable old camera suffer from what is called the pad-of-death” problem which renders the shutter and exposure system useless. The “pad-of-death” refers to a small pad of rubber within the Electro’s innards which deteriorates over time, finally crumbling, and falling apart inside the camera. Fortunately this problem can be fixed, either by a technician, or a competent do-it-yourself home repair-person! I managed to fix mine on my own without too much trouble. If you have it repaired by a camera tech guy it will likely cost several times more than what you might pay for the camera.


To identify the problem, does your shutter operate at any other speed than 1/500th of a second?


If it doesn't you either have a malfunctioning meter or the pad of death.


In either case I would return it as non functioning, if you can as a fix could cost much more than you paid for it. If you cant return it or do elect to keep it, its a simple fix, and theres plenty of instructions on the web on how to do it. just google "electro 35 pad of death". After you have fixed it pay for a CLA these electros worth every penny. (if you don't need manual exposure control)


Many Leica enthusiasts cannot tell the difference between an image taken with a Leica and an image taken with an electro, theyr that good.


I personally would not however buy an electro, they offer no manual controls other than through modifying the ISO and fooling the meter.


On the electro, you set the aperture you have no control over the shutter speed.


A much better choice is the Yashica Lynx, they can be bought for peanuts, they offer a full range of manual controls and theyr every bit as good as the electro, theyr well built too. The lenses are at least as good as the electro. and you have a choice of selenium or cds meter.


These Lynx are chunky mothers every bit as big as an slr and with a professional build quality, they will last you more than 50 years if you CLA them.


Rangefinder, professional build, fully manual, excellent lens, wide aperture. Theres no downside.


I would even go so far as to suggest if you keep your electro, invest in a Lynx for the manual option and enjoy stunning images from both.


These are really the most underrated cameras on the planet. People are waking up to the Lynx now and its becoming desirable so get one now while theyr cheap.
04-12-2014, 10:53 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
A much better choice is the Yashica Lynx, they can be bought for peanuts, they offer a full range of manual controls and theyr every bit as good as the electro, theyr well built too. The lenses are at least as good as the electro. and you have a choice of selenium or cds meter.
I have several Lynx on my shelf, and while they are a decent Japanese rangefinder for the time, the build is not particularly robust. The meters, in particular, are prone to failure as is the coupling for the aperture mechanism. The lenses are quite good though. I like the older Lynx 1000 (on left in photo below):



The Lynx compared to my largest (at the time) SLR and the not-very-petite Zorki 4K



And a couple of photos from the Lynx 1000:





Steve


(...long history with Yashica Lynx...my first real camera back in 1970...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 04-12-2014 at 11:01 PM.
04-12-2014, 11:55 PM   #13
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High 5 steve,


My experience suggests that Yashica are robust, although they don't feel over engineered. Maybe that means they got it right.


I also have 2 Yashica Lynx, the original Lynx 1000 and the sought after Lynx 14e (f1.4 lens).


I have had both CLA'd and the engineer pronounced them in top condition.


The meters work fine (problems are often corroded wiring due to leaky batteries left in too long, that's not a reliability issue)


I also have a Yashica TL Super, in fine condition, so I have 3 35mm film cameras by Yashica, all 3 are in top condition.


I have 2 other 35mm film bodies, a Miranda F and an Edixa Prismat, both of which have failures.


I have in the past purchased other 35mm cameras secondhand, a canon AE1 Program a Canon Canonet an Edixa Mat a zorki4 a periflex all but one proved unreliable and suffered failures.


None of my 3 Yashicas have given any trouble whatsoever. If I had only 1 yashica that proved reliable and robust, that would be one thing, but all 3 reliable and robust is I think remarkable and is a strong indicator of reliability and robustness.


The count stands at Yashica 0% failure (0/3 fails), other makes 86% failure (6/7 fails)


Given my experience I would not hesitate to recommend Yashica.

Last edited by Imageman; 04-13-2014 at 12:02 AM. Reason: wrong data
04-13-2014, 11:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imageman Quote
The count stands at Yashica 0% failure (0/3 fails), other makes 86% failure (6/7 fails)
Cool! I have four Lynx 5000 bodies (one functional except for meter) and a Lynx 1000. My Lynx 1000 was working until one day the diaphragm linkage went south (a common problem). I sent it off for repair to a guy who was active on the rangefinder forum at the time and he sent it back saying it was beyond his skills. I should probably have Mark Hama take a look at it while he is still active.

Since I have several junk bodies, I have taken the time to explore the innards. My impression regarding build quality is based on those explorations. I am not saying they are bad cameras, though robust or sturdy are not attributes I would assign either.

Taking a quick tally of my vintage gear, I have probably 25 vintage film cameras with the oldest (a Yashica 44 "Baby" TLR) dating back to 1957. All, including my three former Soviet rangefinders, are in full working condition except for my two "good" Yashica Lynx. Both have problems directly traceable to original design deficiency and/or choice of materials. So my statistics are quite the opposite of yours. 83% (5/6) of my Yashicas have issues vs. 0% for the rest of my vintage stack.

My advice on buying a Lynx is to realize they are vintage gear and were fairly inexpensive cameras new. The were not built to the same standard as a Spotmatic or Yashica SLR/TLR of the same vintage. Be prepared for the "immaculate" eBay camera to have non-functional shutter, aperture, meter, film transport, and/or rangefinder. Are there good ones out there? Definitely! Are they rewarding to shoot with? Yep! The controls and slick meter read-out make for a very fast camera in use. Are your chances of finding a good one slim? My personal experience has been such.


Steve

* My first camera was a Lynx 1000 that I purchased used in 1970. Unfortunately, it was stolen a few month later. I really liked the camera back then and on a whim decided a few years back to get another one out of nostalgia. That led to a series of purchases and disappointments. Six eBay purchases were done with four cameras DOA. One was returned and the other three were refunded without return. Of the two that were not DOA, one was fully functional (Lynx 1000) and the other had a dead meter due to a bad photocell (Lynx 5000). It was a frustrating exercise.
04-13-2014, 06:21 PM   #15
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Last week I got a Yashica Electro 35 GSN at a thrift store for $25. Seems to work okay so far, haven't developed anything yet but meter seems to be working okay.

It is a big beast, but I've always wanted to try a rangefinder.
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