Yashica Electro 35 GSN

Yashica Electro 35 GSN 1

  • Film Type: 35mm (135)
  • Lens: Colour Yashinon DX f/1.7 45mm (6 elements in 4 groups, stops down to f/16)
  • Focal Range: 0.8m – Infinity
  • Shutter Speeds: 1/500 sec to 30 seconds & B in Aperture Priority.
  • ASA: 25-1000
  • Viewfinder: Coupled range/viewfinder focusing, bright frame with automatic parallax compensation.
  • Exposure Control: Automatic via CdS Sensor, Indicators in the viewfinder and on the top plate warn against under/over exposure.
  • Weight: 750g
  • Other: Single Stroke Film Advance Lever, 55mm Screw in Filter/57mm Slip on Slip on Lens shade. There is also a Battery Test Indictor and Hotshoe.

About

This was my first Rangefinder, as mentioned in my “About Me” page it was purchased as a distraction from more expensive cameras, however misplaced that logic was I’m still very pleased to own it, well I actually have two but thats another story…….
eBay is without doubt your best route to ownership although the usual purchasing caveats would apply. My version came complete with Instructions, case, strap & Auxiliary Lens Set. All in Mint condition. They seem to be slightly in vogue at the moment and a comparable set my set you back around $150-$220.00 US. Or you may get lucky as I did with my second model, purchased for $30.00 NZ on Trade Me, also in Mint condition but minus the Aux Lens Set.
Yashica Electro 35 GSN with Aux Wide Angle Lens, Viewfinder and Gordy’s Leather Strap
Yashica Electro 35 GSN
The Auxiliary Lens Set comprises of a Telephoto Lens which attaches to the cameras fixed lens giving a revised focal length of 58.4mm, also a Wide Angle Lens which gives a focal length of 37.7mm when attached. In addition to this comes the Tele/Wide Viewfinder with appropriate Frame Lines.
Yashica Electro 35 GSN Complete set (Minus case)
Yashica Electro 35 GSN Set
As usual I did my research before purchasing, unfortunately that did not extend to the costs and availability of developing film in NZ, still it was a catalyst for learning the art of developing for myself, more on that later.
In terms of picture quality I would say its good, considering the age and cost of the camera, others have referred to the lens as sharp, I think it falls just short of this. For me it’s not a problem, the images I take with this camera have character, if I want clean, pin sharp images I can shoot digital…..

Common Issues

Due to the age of the camera it may be necessary to replace the light seals, if you open the film compartment and there is sticky tar like residue around the rim this is a sign of seal deterioration, replacement is fairly straightforward, kits can be purchased here
The original PX32 battery is no longer manufactured, there is a work round for this issue, purchase one of these simple adaptors from here you will then be able to use PX28A, 4LR44, 4SR44, and several other 6V versions.

More Info

There is a great review of the camera here.
More technical info and fixes for the most common issues and repairs can be found here.
A selection of images taken by Yashica Electro 35 GSN users can be found here.

The Last Word

Firstly it has to be said this is a beautiful camera, classic 70’s styling, a timeless retro classic.
The exposure indicator lights on the top plate allow your to gage exposure without holding the camera to your eye
Whats not so good:
It can be a little frustrating shooting without knowing the exact shutter speed.
Some may find the camera a little weighty, you certainly won’t forget your holding it!
This is a great camera, worthy of any Rangefinder collection or just for everyday use if you fancy some film fun.