Saturday, December 05, 2009

Yashica ME-1

Yashica ME-1

OK, I promise this will be the last old camera piece for awhile - that is - until I get my hands on the wide angle zoom I won at auction, and I get the Yashica Electro 35GT in working order.

This is a cheap yardsale item, a Yashica ME-1 that is strictly an automatic camera. It uses zone focusing rather than a coupled rangefinder. The body is plastic and, as is typical of old cameras like this, the light seals have deteriorated. In that large shot taken from a bridge, you can see the light leak in the lower left corner.

The shutter seems to be one speed, probably 1/60 or 1/125 of a second, and the lens includes f-stops ranging from 2.8 to 16 in order to accomodate flash photography. I could apply the 'sunny sixteen rule' and make this camera useable in daylight with the right film, but I haven't done so yet.

A word of explanation - the sunny sixteen rule is a handy way of checking exposure. In bright sunlight, your shutter speed should be the reciprocal of the film speed when the lens is stopped down to f16. My Canonet, for example, is currently loaded with ISO400 film, so I'd be shooting at 1/500th of a second at f16. I prefer to err on the side of over-exposure with print films, so I'd probably use 1/250th instead.

This detail is from the larger image above. The grain is starting to show and the contrast isn't remarkable.

This Yashica is meant to be used in auto mode. If the light is too strong or too weak, the shutter won't fire. Likewise, if the battery is dead or if some fool who looks remarkably like me forgets to remove the lens cover, the shutter won't fire. And if that fool forgets to replace the cover, the battery drains away. Actually, this one drains the battery even if the lens is covered, so I've entertained the thought of putting a switch into the circuit. It's not like this is a collectible camera, so how about a big-assed toggle switch? A momentary contact switch would be better, though. Hold it down to turn on the meter. Let go, and the meter turns off.

One friend called these things 'canoe cameras' because if it went over the side of the canoe, you wouldn't be too upset. That may have been my thinking when I bought it, but in all honesty, that was so long ago that I can't remember.

And since I'm never one to resist temptation, here's a shot of the Yashica Electro 35 GT that came in earlier this week. This is a better quality camera than the ME-1 and it shows. It's in far better shape than I expected, but that's a topic for another post.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Steve A said...

Enough is enough. In retaliation, I'm going to do a post on my own blog about my Praktica, though it has absolutely NOTHING do do with the subject matter OF the blog and though I carefully avoided accusing CycleDog of being my OU "friend!"

I may even use it to take some pictures with, though I have it on good authority that I'll be getting a small Nikon digital for Christmas.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Steve, have you looked at the Lomography website? There are some interesting (and cheap) cameras there, like a fisheye unit for $50. That's one reason I'm looking forward to receiving that 18-35mm zoom lens next week. It may not be the best lens, but it should be fun.

I have 3 digital cameras: an older Kodak something or other, a Canon A590IS, and a Kodak Z1285. The two newer ones are compact and fit in a pocket. I'm seldom without one or the other.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Steve A said...

I do not plan to follow you down the road to perdition . I've got too much obsolete stuff hanging around my house already, thank you very much. If I start to pick up MORE obsolete stuff, I'll pick something smaller - such as watches or gold coins.

My Praktica is enough. I've got three lenses for it. My own blog post will be entitled "CycleDog - Agent of Satan?"

9:32 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Steve, I tried to post something over on your blog, but I don't think it worked.

And I couldn't be an Agent of Satan. Union shop steward, maybe, but not an agent. I'm labor, not management.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Steve A said...

It's OK. I've written the post. Now I just have to take the pictures to go with it.

And I notice that lomography talks about my Praktica (albeit with a black body) at:

Take dem apples, comrade!

10:18 PM  
Blogger Steve A said...

Post made, title as promised. I'm glad you have problems with Blogger as I do, particularly as a a worker bee for the DARK SIDE!

Now go back and do some cycling post to lure the unwary back into your spell! ;-)

8:40 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home