Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

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Vinc1973 New Member • Posts: 18
Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

Hello,

I've recently got hold of an old Yashica Electro 35, which, after some cleaning, seems to work fine.

I could not identify the model or version. It has the tab at the bottom to release the film door, entirely metallic film-advance lever, and no "color" indication on the lens, which suggest an old, non "G" model.

But it also has a film speed dial going up to 1000 ASA, which instead was not present on older models (going up to 400 or 500 ASA).

Some pictures below.

Does anybody know which model is this? Any help will be really appreciated.

Vincenzo

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Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 4,707
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?
1

According to Yashica Guy ( http://www.yashica-guy.com/document/chrono.html )

“The tell-tale identifier of the prior Electro 35, and the G and GT versions is the sculptured recess on the bottom plate.” The GT is all black so that would suggest a G or straight Electro 35. Yours also looks like it has a separate door release and rewind, and the test button/ light of the prior to GS model.

Maybe someone has put a later film speed indicator dial on it ? If you have a light meter you can test the meter on the camera. The camera shake indicator comes on around 1/30s, so set the film speed and then find out what f/stop will give 1/30s using the meter, then see if the light comes on at the right f/stop on your Electro. Do this for the 1000ASA setting and see if it’s really 1000ASA or just the wrong dial.

Edit: although it looks like yours might not be the only one - https://imgur.com/gallery/g6ruyMc

OP Vinc1973 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

Hello,

thanks for your reply and suggestion!

I've measured the exposure times (not pretending to be precise here...) chosen by the camera in "constant" artificial light conditions at different ASA values and they scale quite reasonably as expected, apart from the point at 1000 ASA (the first on the left):

Regarding the point at 1000 ASA, maybe the deviation there has something to do with the light flicker. I do need to use a better constant-light source next time, like a LED powered at constant current. Apart from this, it seems that the selector still has an effect even beyond 500 ASA.

The selector is entirely mechanical on this cameras. It just opens or closes a small window in front of the light sensor.

Maybe as you suggested the ASA selector was actually replaced with one from a newer model. Also, considering the picture that you linked in your answer, I wander if this mod was sort of common at some point to extend the ASA scale.

Vincenzo

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Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 4,707
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

It certainly looks from your graph that the meters working, but you can’t quite tell for the 1000ASA point if it’s just a sample error or the same value.  If you do the 1/30s light trick you should be able to tell.  Switching between 500 and 1000 ASA should require an extra stop to get the camera shake light to come on.

I’d forgotten that the exposure meter on the Electro is part mechanical. If yours is working correctly at 1000ASA, and given that there’s at least two, it would suggest that it’s more of a factory change / repair rather than something someone’s done at home.  The Yashica Guy web site says that there were two G models, one with the separate rewind and back opening, and one with a combined one, so maybe yours was something similar, a sort of changeover model.

We forget now, when every minor  change in digital cameras gets a new version number, that years ago manufacturers didn’t bother so much.  So the Nikon F was made for about 15 years and had a number of changes, but they’re known by non-factory names “red dot”, “Apollo”, etc, Nikon just called it the F.  Maybe Yashica did something similar.

OP Vinc1973 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

Hello,

Thank you for your reply and advice. I've got some time to do the 1/30s test. It seems to confirm the results shown in the graph. There is no noticeable difference between the 800-ASA setting and the 1000-ASA one. Instead, there is clearly a difference between 640 and 800 ASA.

In fact, looking at the small window in front of the light sensor, it moves only by a very small amount when going from 1000 to 800 ASA.

I've also found a few references, in addition to the one you linked above, regarding unusual models with extended ASA scale.

The following one shows a camera which looks like mine in all the details. The author claims that it's a 35GS, but there is not sign of a "G" in front of the Yashica logo:

https://alysvintagecameraalley.com/2019/12/03/the-first-electronically-controlled-camera-the-yashica-electro-35/

Another web page recognising the scale extending to 1000-ASA as an oddity:

http://www.cjs-classic-cameras.co.uk/other/japan.html#electro35

This also shows a camera similar to mine, asking collectors about any info about the extended scale:

http://www.erikfiss.com/foto/cams/electro35/e.html

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Gesture Forum Pro • Posts: 10,024
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

Looks cool.  I forgot how those green and red lights work?

FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 17,883
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

If the Wiki article is correct, it looks like your was the original 35 made in January 1966.

The Yashica guy commented that the wird colour on the lens was added with the second series.

The 1000 asa dial could have been from a repair, I have no idea....

OP Vinc1973 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?
1

Gesture wrote:

Looks cool. I forgot how those green and red lights work?

The red thing on the camera back is actually a pushbutton to test the battery status. If the battery is ok, the green light beside it lights up.

The lights on the top of the camera are warnings for overexposure (red) and long shutter speeds, i.e. longer than 1/30s (yellow). A cool thing is that they are arranged internally so that they also visible when looking through the viewfinder.

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Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 4,707
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?
1

Vinc1973 wrote:

Hello,

Thank you for your reply and advice. I've got some time to do the 1/30s test. It seems to confirm the results shown in the graph. There is no noticeable difference between the 800-ASA setting and the 1000-ASA one. Instead, there is clearly a difference between 640 and 800 ASA.

In fact, looking at the small window in front of the light sensor, it moves only by a very small amount when going from 1000 to 800 ASA.

This is what the sensor iris does on mine (an Electro 35 GT).   There is a reasonable amount of difference between 800 and 1000

OP Vinc1973 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

Hello,

thank you again for taking the time to look into this!

I took some pictures of the light sensor window on my camera.

1000 ASA:

800 ASA

640 ASA

500 ASA

To me it seems that while moving from 800 to 1000 ASA the blades open up the window to its maximum area halfway between 800 and 1000 and, by the time I reach 1000, they go past the max area position and close down a little. This might explain why the exposure times at the two positions are essentially the same.

Maybe there is a way to register their position. I'll look into this...

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Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 4,707
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

I suppose proof of the pudding is to put some film in and see if it exposes correctly. As FrancoD said it could be from a repair - I did look at old prices once for the Electro and they were selling for the equivalent of £800 today, so they’d have been worth spending money on repairing. Or it could be that it was a late production of that model and they’d run out of the lower ASA meters so fitted them into the older bodies.

OP Vinc1973 New Member • Posts: 18
Pudding
2

I've finally put together 36 exposures and went on developing the film.

I think the camera did an amazing job. The exposure times were fine and the lens is actually sharper than I thought. The rangefinder also seems aligned correctly.

A few samples:

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Overrank
Overrank Senior Member • Posts: 4,707
Re: Pudding

Those photos have come out well, so it looks as if the ASA dial is correct. A bit of a mystery why it’s been upgraded to a later version, either originally or at some later time.

marc petzold
marc petzold Senior Member • Posts: 1,787
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?
1

Vinc1973 wrote:

Hello,

I've recently got hold of an old Yashica Electro 35, which, after some cleaning, seems to work fine.

I could not identify the model or version. It has the tab at the bottom to release the film door, entirely metallic film-advance lever, and no "color" indication on the lens, which suggest an old, non "G" model.

But it also has a film speed dial going up to 1000 ASA, which instead was not present on older models (going up to 400 or 500 ASA).

Some pictures below.

Does anybody know which model is this? Any help will be really appreciated.

Vincenzo

It's the 1st gen, just called "Yashica Electro 35". After that, it was the GS/GT, and finally the GSN/GTN. The difference in name is the color, GT/GTN was all black, and the other silver edition. There was also a "PROFESSIONAL" black one from the 1st edition, like your Electro 35, but all black. And marketing versions, like pure gold colored ones.

I have the black Electro 35 GT.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yashica_Electro_35

I've been shooting Yashica since 1989, after my Pentax MX into 1987, which was never that, what i had imagined as 1st SLR. Perhaps, the only lens was the 50/1.7 SMC. With Yashica, i had more lenses.

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OP Vinc1973 New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Looking for help: which Yashica Electro 35 is this?

marc petzold wrote:

It's the 1st gen, just called "Yashica Electro 35". After that, it was the GS/GT, and finally the GSN/GTN. The difference in name is the color, GT/GTN was all black, and the other silver edition. There was also a "PROFESSIONAL" black one from the 1st edition, like your Electro 35, but all black. And marketing versions, like pure gold colored ones.

I have the black Electro 35 GT.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yashica_Electro_35

I've been shooting Yashica since 1989, after my Pentax MX into 1987, which was never that, what i had imagined as 1st SLR. Perhaps, the only lens was the 50/1.7 SMC. With Yashica, i had more lenses.

Hello Marc,

Yes, I agree with you: it is most likely a first gen Electro. It doen't even have the "G" mark close to the Yashica logo that characterise the GS, GT and later series.

My curiosity was about the 1000-ASA limit. It seems that the non-G Electro was limited to 400 ASA, and even the first models of the G series were only up to 500.

Maybe a repair or a late revision of the first generation.

Thank you!

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