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?

The pond at Wildwood Park


OK, so I am totally procrastinating the boring 6 hour drive to Spokane right now. My kid brother is getting married tomorrow. I am excited to see my family but not at all excited for the drive. If you have never driven through Eastern Washington you don’t know how horrid it is. It is hours and hours of nothing but bare desert.

So, instead, I am scanning more negatives. Here is a picture I made at Wildwood Park in Welches, Oregon using my Yashica Mat and Ektar 100 film. I also used Adobe Lightroom to process it bit. I am using a trial version of Lightroom because the software I use, Bibble, has been bought by Corel and they want to charge me, yet again, to upgrade. I figure if I am going to shell out the cash for upgrades I might as well get Lightroom since it is the industry standard. And, in fact, it is far superior to Bibble. I don’t know why I waited so long. I will be purchasing it when my trial is over.

Steps to the top



I have been wanting to go back up to Larch Mountain with my Yashica and Holga but have been impatient, waiting for a clear day. We decided, for something to do, just to go up there anyway, into the clouds. I thought it would be fun to shoot a roll of Tri-x on such a cloudy day. The photo above is a Hipstamatic shot of one that I did with my Yashica. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

There was no view to speak up at the top. We were up in the clouds and all we could see was nothing.  It was kind of awesome, and a little frightening. It was like looking into the void. I tried to capture it with my camera. I hope I was able to convey the feeling I felt when I saw it. I will find out when I develop the film.