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06-14-2012, 03:19 AM   #16
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This is what my FRI looks like. Not my pic. I'm too busy having my cereal to grab the K-x and I hate soggy frosted flakes so. This camera had only one flaw. Darned film counter washer is broke and it would cost me a ton to fix it. Otherwise I love this camera. This is the only thing Yashica that I've ever bought that cost me a fair bit to acquire. $136 plus $20 to ship I think it was. There were a couple of nice lenses with it but still that was a pricey lot for Goodwill and Yashica. My FX-2 and 5 lenses only cost me $25.

Google Image Result for http://images.wikia.com/camerapedia/images/7/7d/Yashica_fri_obj_50mm.jpg

From Wiki....

"The FR-I was an 35mm SLR offering even more features of the RTS, including an electronic shutter with both manual and aperture priority modes, and marked the high point for the Yashica brand in competing with Nikon, Canon, and Minolta for the semi-professional SLR camera market."

It has an auto winder too, and a lot of things I'd consider semi-pro for an SLR actually.

06-15-2012, 04:05 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
This is what my FRI looks like. Not my pic. I'm too busy having my cereal to grab the K-x and I hate soggy frosted flakes so. This camera had only one flaw. Darned film counter washer is broke and it would cost me a ton to fix it. Otherwise I love this camera. This is the only thing Yashica that I've ever bought that cost me a fair bit to acquire. $136 plus $20 to ship I think it was. There were a couple of nice lenses with it but still that was a pricey lot for Goodwill and Yashica. My FX-2 and 5 lenses only cost me $25.

Google Image Result for http://images.wikia.com/camerapedia/images/7/7d/Yashica_fri_obj_50mm.jpg

From Wiki....

"The FR-I was an 35mm SLR offering even more features of the RTS, including an electronic shutter with both manual and aperture priority modes, and marked the high point for the Yashica brand in competing with Nikon, Canon, and Minolta for the semi-professional SLR camera market."

It has an auto winder too, and a lot of things I'd consider semi-pro for an SLR actually.
My FR-II's film counter is also broken, hard to repair. Part of Yashica's problem was that they went from screw-mount, to bayonet (C/Y), bayonet Multi-mode, autofocus, and N mount (the last Contaxes had this mount, I have an NX which was their last film cam) in the space of about 30 years. No backwards compatability. The last film Yashicas in general couldn't hold a candle to the older ones. Along with the rangefinders, TLRs and SLRs, some of their point and shoots were quite good, like the T4 and T4 Zoom (Zeiss branded lenses; I have a T4 Zoom I paid $100 for new...). Most of them were middling though.

Last I knew Yashicas were still marketed in some of the Asian countries, Brazil, Italy as recently as perhaps two years ago. I got one of the after Kyocera digi p&S models from a military exchange. It was sort of middle of the road performance-wise.
06-15-2012, 04:31 PM   #18
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I've got my eye on an FX-3 locally. It's in really nice shape for one. I've been rather coveting one for a while. It's been sitting in my favorite junk/antique shop for a while now but the woman has it marked too high and hasn't budged though every other camera to hit the place in a year is long gone. Sooner or later she's bound to mark it down and when she does I might grab it, save myself some shipping. They're all over the place on auction, at the camera stores online. They sold a lot of those and they're still relatively cheap to buy. I want one and could probably pick one up for $20 or so, but I just don't want to pay the same in shipping as for the camera. $20 in shipping is a lot unless I can get some more lenses with the deal maybe. Shipping rates are so high lately that I really tend to avoid buying online except from Amazon and even then I always do the Free Super Saver Shipping thing. My Goodwill auction the other day, that was a rarity for me. I just don't do that very often anymore even when I do get tempted to go there. I love looking on auction sites but I rarely bid. I just can't afford the shipping they ask.
06-15-2012, 04:50 PM   #19
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My latest Yashica acquisition was a 300 AF from Ebay, marked as a factory refurb; essentially Mint in Box. $99. I have a 28-85mm AF that is quite sharp (from a 230 AF that had an electrical issue; sucked the batteries dead in no time) and also a 50mm that's sharp. The 35-70mm, not so much. Next weekend, I'm going to use it and some T-Max.

Yashica was quite popular in Japan. Here in USA, they didn't have the marketing of the other manufacturers, and (gulp!) often the only places you could find them after 1980 was K-Mart or similar chains. (my FR-II came from a Navy Exchange, most of the others came from Ebay or the scattered real camera store that carried Contax).

06-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #20
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Yashica made some pretty cameras and their lenses are very much underrated.

06-16-2012, 10:15 AM   #21
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I started photography seriously with a Yashica FR-I and a FR, both with winders in the long and distant past. The plan was, to a Contax RTS and some Zeiss lenses later, but then came the Nikon F3 and Pentax LX basically at the same time and I sold off the Yashica stuff and went on with Pentax. I still feel a bit sorry, that I let go the Yashicas, as they were nice camera, but at that time, I needed the money to get the LX... Yashica was not "off brand", but certainly not mainstream. They had some really good glass and the compatibility with Contax stuff was a great incentive. You could even mount the Contax RTS motor top the FR-I, though Yashica advised to run it it only at the full 5 fps, when there was actually film loaded in the camera.

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06-16-2012, 11:43 AM   #22
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Yashica made some really good cameras - their marketing strategy was to be cheaper but just as good as the market leaders.... We've talked about their excellent SLRs already, and their fabulous large range finders. But another major niche was playing second choice to Rollei in the TLR market - once more, excellent cameras:



And we would definitely be remiss if we didn't remember the T4 series of high quality compact 35's. For a while there this Zeiss Tessar equipped wee one was just about it for a high quality, non zoom autofocus point and shoot. Truly a classic.
06-16-2012, 12:49 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Yashica made some really good cameras - their marketing strategy was to be cheaper but just as good as the market leaders.... We've talked about their excellent SLRs already, and their fabulous large range finders. But another major niche was playing second choice to Rollei in the TLR market - once more, excellent cameras:



And we would definitely be remiss if we didn't remember the T4 series of high quality compact 35's. For a while there this Zeiss Tessar equipped wee one was just about it for a high quality, non zoom autofocus point and shoot. Truly a classic.
Ackkk! Forgot to mention the 127 TLRs, even though my "baby" Yashica 44 (vintage late-1950s) is on the fireplace mantle behind me as I type. Cool cameras! Jussi's is baby blue, but mine is plain gray:




Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 06-16-2012 at 01:04 PM.
06-16-2012, 01:01 PM   #24
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As long as we are sharing photos...

Here are my two "large" rangefinders:



The body dimensions are about the same as a non-Pentax SLR from the same era (early to mid 1960s), but quite a bit lighter and much quieter due to the Copal leaf shutter. No, these ain't no Leica, but they were not expensive either.


Steve
06-16-2012, 01:16 PM   #25
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Having used a Yashica SLR with AF, it is pretty nice. The problem with it is that it has its own mount and the brand was sold.

Hm, I remember still seeing some point and shoot type cameras with Yashica labels some years ago, which might ruin the brand name

Their old SLRs are pretty great, though, if you can live with the relatively small variety of lenses.
06-16-2012, 02:09 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Their old SLRs are pretty great, though, if you can live with the relatively small variety of lenses.
????

Before the C/Y mount, all Yashica SLRs were M42 with a huge selection of available lenses. It was a big selling point back-in-the-day.


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06-16-2012, 06:47 PM   #27
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Also, my understanding is that the C/Y M42 adapter has the inner flange to hold down the M42 pin. Pentax unfortunately felt that feature unnecessary.

What I forgot to say: the difference between Yashica and the 'better' brands today is that one can find specialist repair folk for Pentax, Nikon, Minolta, etc. Well, there is Mark Hama. But while one can get an ES repaired still (thanks to Eric), if the electronics go, one can't get a TL Electro X repaired.
06-16-2012, 07:17 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
What I forgot to say: the difference between Yashica and the 'better' brands today is that one can find specialist repair folk for Pentax, Nikon, Minolta, etc. Well, there is Mark Hama. But while one can get an ES repaired still (thanks to Eric), if the electronics go, one can't get a TL Electro X repaired.
And herein lies the dirty secret of film photography. Let's be honest. Most of us are shooting with truly vintage gear and much of it requires specialized skills or parts to be repairable. Much as I love 'em, my electronic shutter cameras have a limited lifetime and will not be repairable when their printed circuits and flexible connectors eventually crack and fail. The fully mechanical models may fair somewhat better, but even then, there is the matter of expertise to do the repair. That is one reason why I bought my SV. The mechanisms behind the various horizontal run shutters are pretty consistent between brands and anybody who is competent to service a Leica is likely to be able to handle my cameras having that type of shutter. Beyond that, I am a big fan of the all-mechanical Copal vertical models. They are bullet-proof. Ask anyone who shoots with a vintage Ricoh or Nikkormat.

In any case, I believe that when film finally "dies", it will be for the lack of reasonably-priced cameras with which to ply the craft.


Steve
06-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #29
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It's a problem. I told myself I wasn't going to go Micro because of the no view finder thing. But then I started looking at my FRI and my FX-2 and wondering how long they'd last me sans a clean and lube and tech job. No offense to Mark Hama but what he quoted me to fix the film advance just wasn't affordable for me. They're not SPII's. I'm just not going to spend $150 to clean and fix one. It would actually be cheaper for me just to go out and buy more old Yashicas as I need them than to get a plastic washer inside repaired.

Not to mention at this point I can buy a 12MP used Micro body and adapter for the same $$$ and probably will just to be able to mount any lens I want finally. If I didn't have a primary Pentax kit I might not be as inclined. But my Yashica gear is just a secondary thing to me and I don't really want to invest that much more into buying more bad bodies I can't really afford to repair. It's the lenses that really matter. I like the Yashica glass. I like the bodies too, but mostly it's the glass.

My Spotties that's a whole other thing. I'm totally dedicated to getting my 2 black Spotties fixed up perfect at some point. It's not like I can afford to just keep on acquiring black Spotmatics all the time. But Yashica bodies are too easy to come by to spend $150 to fix one. I'm just not that devoted to them. I'm thinking my Yashica lenses would make a perfect Micro kit thing. I'd probably get an adapter for the Pentax stuff too, but I just might ditch the Yashica bodies entirely if I get the Micro. Make my Pentax kit my only film kit again.

I never meant to have 5 different brands of gear going. It's getting kind of stupid really how many different types of film cameras I have given I shoot probably 80% digital. For me to have several Pentax Spotties makes sense. I shoot most of the time with Pentax gear. For me to have Nikon, Minolta, Yashica, Canon, and Pentax cameras is just silly. I was about thisclose today to buying myself a Nikon body for no good reason other than I happen to have 3 Nikon lenses and a non-manual Nikon body at home. But then I looked at the price tag and put it down.

No manual capacity on the EM truly annoys me. It's not a sane thing. I'm being totally anal retentive here. It's a perfectly good camera, just not full manual one. Cute little thing even, and the lenses are sharp, but in the end I just can't stand that I can't control everything on it. But I can't really afford a full manual Nikon either from what I've seen. So why am I holding onto lenses and a camera I don't even like using anyway? Ditto my Canon AE-1. I've got ONE lens for that freakin camera. Don't like it. Don't use it. Yet it still sitting there in trade box because I got it for free and I haven't been able to flip it for something I do like as yet. I do like the Minolta gear but again why do I need those 2 cameras and the whole kit of lenses I have to go with when I have a plethora of Pentax cameras to play with? When I can just pick up my SPII and go shoot film most of the time?

Even with my Pentax gear this is this total overabundance thing going on. I have TWO K1000's and a P3 now. None of them are getting much love. I personally redid the seals on the black Spottie F. I took that out for a bit just to see how it went. (It still needs a good CLA by Eric but it's usable as is.) Now that I have a black Spottie I doubt even Queenie will be getting her due now and I love that camera to death. I can't wait to get my Honeywell fixed so I will have an actual working black SPII finally. But even I have to admit I have a Spottie overload thing going on.

I have my original Asahi SP, a pair of zebra Honeywell SPII's in the junk box, a zebra Asahi SPII (Queenie), a black Asahi SP-F, and a black Honeywell SPII that's desperately in need of fixing. I have a Sears KL-S, non-operational as it turns out, but I have it. I have a Chinon-Sears ES coming. Oh and I have 2 ME's in terrible shape also in the junk box that I haven't even tested out or done the seals on because I just plain don't like them. Ditto the Petri rangefinder someone gave me. How many film cameras is that in all, 17? I can't even hardly keep up anymore.

It's way past time to unload a few things...LOL

Last edited by magkelly; 06-16-2012 at 09:27 PM.
06-16-2012, 11:00 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
a zebra Asahi SPII (Queenie),
Yep, it makes little sense to put much money into most electronic era film bodies, though to be fair, they don't break that often.

Ah, yes...Nikon! I have always had a yearn for a FM2 or FE2, but the EM...I feel your pain.

Question...What is a Zebra SPII?? I have seen zebra and even panda lenses, but not bodies.

As for your Petri...what model?


Steve
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