Yashica L AF – Field Test v2.0 – Can this Yashica hold its own against the T* Series?

A fun little point and shoot camera from Yashica-Kyocera (1986). This lovely camera was kindly donated to us from a blogger friend and photographer who lives in Japan. She tests cameras that strike her fancy and often processes her film at home. We think her test shots are extremely interesting – and always well composed too. You can find her at https://cameragocamera.wordpress.com/

Field test v1.0 was done in Japan.

She typically hunts around in second hand shops and picks up cameras for well under $10 (I think this one was only $3).

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The Yashica gets a fresh roll of Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400 and a new finger strap (in almost matching red).

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This Yashica uses a 32mm f3.5 lens. The camera features a simple drop and go (well almost) film loading. It is a DX coded camera so it sets the ASA (sorry, old school). It produced 26 exposures from a 24 exposure roll.

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Pull the film leader to mid point on the orange line and between the white marks.

The real test – can this inexpensive Yashica L AF deliver the same image quality as its highly regarded cousins – the Yashica T3 Super with Zeiss T* 35mm f2.8 lens or the more closely related Yashica T AF?

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The T3 – often sells for over $200 on eBay. The L AF – well under $20!

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Yashica T AF. Yashica’s first in the T* Series of cameras (1985). Probably the most closely related to the L AF.

I won’t post all 26 images here. I will pick a broad representation of the photographic challenges that I threw at the Yashica L AF.

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First image overall – strong back lighting. A challenge for any simple AE camera. First sign of a red spot (far left).

These next two images were focused at infinity. Strong mid day lighting so deep shadows. The Fujicolor rocks some nice vivid colors and contrast!

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First real test of the auto-focus and AE in dim lighting below. It did well considering the strong sunlight in the background.

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I know right – crazy dark blue sky! No filters, just Superia X-TRA 400 and a contrasty lens.

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Nice detail. Sharp focus too on this sign below. The Yashica employs center weighted metering. Most AE cameras would be thrown off by the bright sky.

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Tough AE situation for a simple point and shoot (deep shade below). Post production would help but I like it as it is.

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Back in the bright Florida sun!

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Day 2 below at home. I was about 3 feet from the carp. Looks good.

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The attack of the red bar! Not sure the why of it.

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The AE handled this situation well – I blocked out the sun with the palm tree which allowed the Yashica to get a good reading on the building.

As I said at the top. All 26 images were excellent with about 4 experiencing the mystery red spots and bars.  I’m thinking that the red marks are from a processing error – it’s way too random to be a light leak. No post production on any of these images. They’re presented just as they were scanned by the processing lab. Maybe the CD will be even sharper.

We’re impressed! The camera has a solid feel – it has some weight and is actually as big as our Fujifilm FinePix S9900W.

So does this inexpensive Yashica L AF beat the Yashica T* Series? Don’t know yet – now all we need is someone to donate a T3 or T4 to test it!!! ^.^

For the money, if you can find a decent Yashica L AF and want a great point and shoot 35mm camera that produces better than expected images – the L AF more than delivers and at a price that won’t break the bank!

Camera(s): Yashica L AF Date, Fujifilm FinePix S9900W and Samsung Galaxy S4

Final shout out goes to the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida! Thanks for never messing with the Historic District – it looks the same (for the most part) as it did 120 years ago! 

Many thanks for your visit! Comments – please do. Donating a T3 or T4? – email us ASAP!

Chris & Carol

1957 Yashica-C

The Yashica-C made by Yashima, was part of the new wave of Yashicas that were released in late 1956 for sale in the world markets (focus scale is only in feet). It was listed at $46.50 plus $8.00 for the “De Luxe Leather Eveready Case”. The other models released at the same time were the Yashica-A ($29.95) and the Yashica LM ($59.95) which featured a built-in exposure meter!

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This handsome camera came to us recently with all features fully working – even after six decades of use, no issues. Our guess would be this camera saw maybe 1 or 2 rolls of film in its life. It is in factory new condition.

Features: Semi-automatic film wind, 80mm Yashikor f: 3.5 taking and viewing lenses (hard coated and color corrected), Copal shutter with speeds at 1, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/300 second and Bulb, self-timer, flash sync (M-x) built-in, bayonet lens mount and flash gun shoe with standard PC flash terminal.

If you’re looking to try medium format photography, the Yashica-C is a great camera and a great value. It can often be had for significantly less money then a Yashica-D.

A word of caution about 6 decade old TLRs. Corrosion of the black metal parts is common as is fungus and mold in and on the lenses. If the camera you’re interested in shows some exterior rust (and other forms of corrosion), then ask the seller a bunch of questions. Cameras like these that come from humid environments are often left in their organic leather cases (and in the dark) – fertile grounds for growing mold and fungus. Fungus filaments can completely destroy a lens or at the very least, etch parts of the coating for good.

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All the goodies!

On a more happy note – this beauty has no mold or fungus and was purchased from a seller in Michigan. Probably a one owner camera – it came with a roll of Kodak Tri-X film loaded inside (at least from the mid 1960s).

Studio Camera: Fujifilm FinePix S9900W

Thanks for your visit and comments are always welcome. C&C ^.^