A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Yashica Electro 35 GT

The classic black Yashica Electro 35 GT rangefinder camera was introduced in 1970. It was available both as the chrome satin Electro 35 GS and the black enamel finish Electro 35 GT. Yashica marketed this camera as the “Gold Mecanica”. All the electrical contact points were gold plated to increase the efficiency of the electrical current flow, and to prevent oxidation from forming which could possibly impede that flow over the course of time.

The Yashica Electro 35 GT came with a relatively fast 45mm ƒ1.7 Yashinon DX lens. The lens sported six elements in four groups, and had "COLOR" embossed in the rim to assure customers the glass was corrected for color film which was just coming into vogue. The GT also heralded the switch over to a simulated leather grain skin.The combination film door release / rewind handle on the GS and GT rangefinders mimics the release found on SLR cameras. The flash shoe is non functional. A socket is on the side of the camera for a flash synch cable. The ASA scale was extended to range from 25 to 1000.

Yashica called it " A Revolutionary Concept in Exposure Control;" a solid- state "electronic brain" measures light and automatically sets the Electronic Stepless Shutter to the exact speed the CdS sensor calls for, be it 1/184 sec., or 26 seconds. It has no moving parts, ensures perfect accuracy in any position and will change the speed even during exposure, should the light vary. The electric contact points of this automatic electronic exposure control system are finished in gold for maximum conductivity and precision."

I found this example at an estate sale today. For five dollars, I took it home. I'm not sure what I will do with it. They call it GAS.......Gear Acquisition Syndrome. I'm a junkie, I guess... More information on Yashica rangefinder cameras can be found here.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Sevesteen said...

I used one of these in high school in the late 70's, and really liked it--Easy to use, but with a surprisingly good lens, considering many inexpensive SLRs still had f2 and f2.8 lenses. They were great for what we were using them for-loaner cameras for yearbook and school newspaper pictures.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Turk Turon said...

Nice camera!

What's the fastest shutter speed?

Someday they'll invent a CCD device in the shape of a 35mm film can and maybe I can get my Canon FTb back in service!

wv:flens

5:46 PM  
Blogger jwillis said...

I think old cameras are cool, and that looks like a real cadillac. When I was taking photography class in art school at the University of Missouri in the 1980s, I bought a Yashica MAT-124G. It is an old style twin lens reflex camera that makes a medium format negative. That Yashica MAT had the best light metering system I had ever used at that point in my photography studies. It always took a great photo. I guess it still does...its sitting in my closet in a basket. The digital cameras don't seem to have the same mojo. I saw some old negatives and prints in an old family album made with a Brownie. Those were some awesome photos with great exposure. I'm not sure exactly how my Grandmother pulled those off. It was completely manual, so she had to be guessing the exposure. Jim

5:56 PM  
Blogger tom said...

Ye tread a dangerous path. Lifelong friend got re-bitten by the camera bug and now has a room full of everything from my old Minolta color enlarger that had fallen into disuse to a number of Rollei beauties and is now progressing into LARGE format tripod only cameras of fine European manufacture. It's now worse than when I introduced him to 1911s...

Once a junkie always a junkie, the things one is most interested in collecting just varies, methinks.

Neat camera find.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous TJP said...

Well, you did better than I did. I went to an estate sale and came out with an old Kodak Jiffy. Amazing the perfect condition of the 75-year-old parts. The shutter hasn't lost time, there is no curtain ribbon to dry up and break apart, no shutter bumpers that turn to goo, and no iris blades to get stuck together with oil. I lost a bit of respect for the more recent designs of camera makers, which can't seem to go ten years without puking broken parts.

I respooled a couple rolls of Tri-X size 120 and did some test shots. Nice big negs--too bad I can't scan them at this time. Seeing the scenery instead of the film door is very liberating. So says this guy, anyway, who reputedly also enjoys a nice Kodak folder.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Affe said...

Try one of the small manual Olympus's - OM-1 and on. Very fun, and cheap. And a medium format, manual pentax and a nice set of primes can be had for not all THAT much...

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Tass said...

I found a craigslist posting for someone trying to get rid of some darkroom equipment...get there and the gentleman threw in a Yashica Mat 124G (like jwillis') after I spent some time admiring and questioning him about the pictures of the rock stars on his wall. Evidently the photographer (a friend of his)actually sold some of them to Rolling Stone magazine back in the day.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Mello said...

This camera was indeed a luxury item years ago. When I saw it first, I owned a Canon P, a lovely camera very similar to a Leica M3, lenses were interchangeable. But it had no photometer, I'd use a Sekonic I still miss.
Shoot a roll of Fuji Velvia and have it developed and digitized, wow, that's real quality!!
Today I own a Nikon D40, and an old FM, still working.

Best regards,

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

was given my Electro GTN by Yashica in london. I was on the make and just wrote to them. Mine is the pre sale version with unlimited time. I have done 32 minute automatic exposures. The lense is the best I have ever used. I also have the full set of 3 auxilary lenses. This is still the best camara i have ever owned.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I purchased a black Yashica electro 35 gt a camera fair in Wolverhampton, uk.It's in beautiful condition it even had the battery adaptor tube with it,fitted a new battery and it is working a treat.Has not drained the battery down within 24hrs which I believe they can do do to age and internal shorting.What makes this a bargin is that only cost me £1.00p

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Joao said...

I bought a GTS 3 days ago. Three rolls after and the definition is incredible. The camera was as new. Not cheap but in perfect state. I also own two Yashica Mat, a 24, a &35, a 44A and a Fujica V2. The quality of the shots is amazing. I still use a hand held exposure meter with great results, in colour I use lots of times slides cross processed and the quality is amazing. People just use those old gems don't let them on a shelf rusting.

4:51 AM  

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