Camera review: the Yashica Electro 35 GX

Camera review: the Yashica Electro 35 GX

Today I would like to talk about my camera: the Yashica Electro 35 GX.

I bought it, by chance, while I was looking for a small rangefinder film camera. Actually, I found other models, but the shop I went to didn’t have them however they had a Yashica gx for sale.

I didn’t know much about this camera or its history. I just knew it was one of Yashica’s Electro series. Outside, this Yashica is cute, small and compact. It comes with a 40mm F1.7 lens. In the end, it’s a really versatile camera.

Some pros

Technically, it is an auto shutter speed camera. You have to use the battery for light metering and run the shutter. The maximum speed is 1/500s and minimum (I think) is 1/8s. If you don’t have a battery or the latter doesn’t work, the camera will allow you to take photos but with a fix shutter speed at 1/500s. So, in that case, you have to select a film with a specific ASA (ISO) or play with the aperture.

The camera’s light metering system is based on continuously variable speeds. Before you actually shoot, the camera only knows an approximative speed. The real-time metering begins as the exposure starts and the shutter closes when a computed amount of light has been collected.

The lens is really clean and sharp as if I was shooting with a digital camera. It’s small and not heavy so I bring it with me every time I travel. The shutter’s sound is so quite and smooth. Sometime I shoot my friend but they don’t even realize that I did.

Moreover, it has hyper focal scale on the lens and a hot shoe. I’m not good at technical stuff but I tested with my father’s flash, a national PE-201M, and it worked : no black line in the photo.

Some cons

After having experienced the camera for a while, I realized the auto shutter speed is not for me. If the light conditions are equal, the light metering is work well. However if your scene is highly contrasted the camera (of course) doesn’t know where your subject is. It will then choose the wrong speed.

The cell is directly on the lens. So if you stand in the shade and shoot something brighter, the cell meters the light around you. It then, thinks that the things you shoot are in the dark and it gives the camera the wrong shutter speed. It causes overexposure (around 2 stop). And when you shoot at night, sometime you want to slightly underexpose some areas of your photo. For example, you just want to shoot a couple standing under a street light. But the camera can’t understand, it’s make everything bright and it chooses a lower shutter speed and may give you a brighter and blurry photo.

In conclusion, Yashica GX is a small compact range finder camera with fix 40mm F1.7 lens. The great and versatile thing you can bring around. It is auto shutter speed. For me, it is suitable for those who don’t care much about have a full control over the technical aspects. If an auto-shutter speed camera isn’t a problem for you, put your hands on it.

Now I hand it to my sister however i still love the time with my Yashica GX. It’s light, quiet and versatile, it’s always beside me. Hope you have a chance to shoot with a Yashica GX also shooting film. Wish you have great photos!

Marcus Vũ

Marcus Vũ

Photographer: Portrait - Wedding - Event

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