Yashica 35 YL – 1959 Rangefinder

A classic 35mm rangefinder film camera from Yashica. This one was built in November 1959. I like the feel of this camera – it’s a tad heavy at just over 700 grams with no film loaded and it feels “heavy” in your hands. It’s “chunky” design with the prominent black top plate is either a love it or hate it feature. I will say this, the view through the large viewfinder is outstanding. Bright and clear with an easy to focus double image focusing spot.

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I kinda like the feel of the odd and different black plastic rectanglar shutter release button – it has a nice touch. The film advance lever is silky smooth and it’s easy to load a film cartridge – lots of space in there for chunky fingers.

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If you’re looking to get into using a late 1950s Japanese made rangefinder I highly recommend the YL or its similar cousin the Yashica 35 YK.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

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2 thoughts on “Yashica 35 YL – 1959 Rangefinder

  1. Hello again Chris. I was just having a browse through your site and came across this post on the Yashica YL. I have one of these with a 4.5cm f/1.9 lens.
    I have to agree this is a quality camera. Yashica seemed to have a habit of issuing fixed lens rangefinder cameras with two lens options in the earlier models.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris. The YL is definitely an odd but loveable RF from Yashica (Nicca influenced). Did you see my post about the first “Yasinon” vice “Yashinon” lenses on the Yashica 35? Yashica released a sizable lot of these lenses and even advertised them with the Yasinon name before catching their mistake(?) and adding the “H”. The cine lenses were the same way, Yasinon before becoming Yashinon.
      I believe that Zunow and Tomioka made the lenses for the Yashica Lynx. I’ve found nothing to verify my claim except when taken apart they are vastly different from one another. I don’t know if Zunow made any other lenses for Yashica’s RFs since they folded in January 1961.
      I also feel that Zunow made the 5.8cm f1.7 lens that was briefly mated with the Pentamatic II which was only available in Japan for a limited time.

      Liked by 1 person

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