Another ‘Modern Classic’ as we like to call them. For Kyocera, this was the first fully branded Kyocera camera in the famous T* Series of point and shoot autofocus 35mm film cameras. The Yashica T which was made by Kyocera in 1985 was technically the first.
For the domestic market in Japan, this was what you got for your ¥50,700 ($301 USD) plus an extra 2,000 JPY for the case. No zoom lens and no true user inputs except for the flash. What you did get was a sophisticated Carl Zeiss Tessar f/ 3.5 35mm lens with the famous T* coated optics. This is a true point and shoot camera designed to take the highest quality images just short of owning an SLR.
The T-D (date) model weighs about 356 grams without film but with the heavy 2CR5 lithium 6v battery installed. The date function is powered by a CR2025 battery but at this point, I haven’t installed one as the date function only goes to 2019. The camera automatically sets the ISO for DX coded films from 50 to 1,600. There’s a cover over the lens that opens when the shutter is pressed and then slowly closes over the lens again. It looks to be semi-transparent from what I can tell. Not sure how you would keep the cover open to clean the lens.
Not much in the way of user input except to kill the flash. There’s an analog film indicator, simple on-off slide switch and a self-timer switch. No LCD screen to fail over time (which is a good thing).
I’m pretty excited to give the camera a go on a walkabout and to eventually compare its performance to my Yashica L AF with similar features. See my review and test of the Yashica L AF here.
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Round 1 – The Introduction
The Yashica-Kyocera L AF from 1986 and the Kyocera T Scope (Japanese name, T3 elsewhere). The L AF was assembled in Hong Kong with parts made in Japan and the T Scope was made in Japan.
Key feature – waterproof (more like weatherproof) – not a dive camera.
N.A. Scope = “New Angle Scope”
The scope is just like a waist-level finder – pretty cool actually.
I’ll be doing a side by side field test of these two cameras shortly. Is the T3 really worth the extra money over the Yashica? The T Scope features a Carl Zeiss T* Series Tessar f/2.8 35mm lens against the Yashica (Tomioka?) f/3.5 32mm lens. I have a hunch that the Yashica’s lens was also made by Zeiss at the Tomioka factory in Tokyo. We’ll see if the vaunted T* coating makes a noticeable difference.
Not often seen outside of Japan – the Kyocera T Scope box. Not one mention of Yashica!
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A true plastic fantastic from Kyocera-Yashica. Released around 1986, this little gem is a modern classic. It gives much better-known (and much more expensive) point & shoots a run for the money.
Poor man’s T* Series with Zeiss lenses (I’m pretty sure these lenses are Zeiss without the coating).
Not much control over this camera – it was designed to take pictures without much fuss – and do it well.
It says Yashica lens but I’m sure it’s a Zeiss – why wouldn’t it? By the way, the 32mm f/3.5 lens is as fast as the other T* Series lenses – with the exception of the Kyocera T Scope (Japanese market T3) which is f/2.8
Good condition Yashica L AF’s are not common on online auction sites but nice ones still go for less than $40 or so. This nearly mint one went for $20!
Sharp contrasty lens – quick but not super quick AF but excellent auto exposure – perfect pics nearly every shot!
Images were taken on Fujicolor Superia color negative film. No post-production on any of these outside pics.
Headed our way from Japan!
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