Yashica Electro 35 – first impressions


Several weeks ago my little brother offered me a couple of cameras he bought at an estate sale. I declined one and accepted the other – a Yashica Electro 35. I am acquiring cameras at an alarming rate, as you can see from my recent blog posts, so I need to be selective. I was attracted to the Electro 35 because it is a rangefinder;  which I don’t have. From what I read online, they are nice cameras if you can find one that works.

I received the camera on Halloween and immediately started fiddling around with it. I opened up the back and found this:


Yes, indeed. A roll of Kodachrome all rolled up nicely ready to be developed. (this will be the subject for another blog post in the future. Stay tuned.)

I opened the battery compartment. It was completely corroded. As I imagined, the battery leaked all over the place. I spent a morning soaking the base plate in white vinegar and cleaning everything. I was lucky that the leaking only occurred on the base plate and not inside the battery compartment.

The next step was to get a battery adapter. I ordered one from the Yashica Guy and had it in my hands in two days. The electronics all seemed to be working fine! yay! So I popped some Fuji Neopan in it and took it out for a spin!

Silly boys are silly

Better times collide with now

The Gateway Pub

Bridge of the Gods

I am very very pleased that the camera is working perfectly!

However, after all of that, I have to say that I am not completely in love with this camera. I am not used to using a rangefinder and not sure I like it. But maybe I just need to get used to it? I don’t know. The camera itself is pretty (I like the retro look) but it is a beast. It’s huge and  awkward. And the process of focusing with the rangefinder adds to the awkwardness. I was going to put another roll of film in it and try again but I am not sure I can bring myself to do it. I am not excited about using it. Am I missing something?

15 thoughts on “Yashica Electro 35 – first impressions

    1. I can’t believe I just found your comment in my spam folder! I’m glad I checked it!! I know, I need to develop it! I am dying to know what is on it!


  1. Either you like rangefinder cameras or you don’t – but I recommend giving this camera one more try, with color film. I think color is where this lens really shines.

    The Electro 35 is a very nice rangefinder camera, among the best of this large/heavy genre. (The Canonet QL17 G-III is an example of the smaller/lighter genre.)


    1. I’ll give it another chance with color film. I really love the photos in the Flickr pool but I do think I love the color ones the best! I’ll try it this weekend…I really want to love this camera!


  2. Your pictures are outstanding!!! Love them. I love rangefinders too. If you don’t want it, I’ll be more than happy to take it off your hands! 🙂 The Yashica has excellent optics. I think you’ll fall in love with it. BTW, I don’t think there are any labs left in the US that still process K-14. I’d be real interested to know if you find one. There could be some hidden treasures on that roll!


      1. I think I am going to try to develop it myself using Black and white chemistry. It will be another “project.” I am really curious to see what is on this roll!


    1. Thank you so much!! haha! Well, you might get it if I keep feeling like this! I will try it out again I think with color film. I do love the photos I’ve seen on flickr taken with this camera…


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