Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yashica Electro 35 GT 1970 - 73

A sturdy and well designed leaf shuttered rangefinder with a fast f1.7 lens. The "G" presumedly stand for Gold Mechanica which refer to the gold plated electrical contact points. The GT and GTN was black but Yashica also made satin chrome versions, the GS and GSN. The GT and GTN were identical too each other with the difference that the GTN had a hot shoe.

Obviously a quality camera with a very sharp 45mm Color Yashinon lens it probably won't be my first choice in this class, the Yashica is significantly bigger than my Canonet QL17 III(or the Minolta Hi-Matics), in fact the body is the same size as a small SLR like a Pentax Spotmatic or k1000. While I personally prefer aperture priority to shutter speed priority, the Yashica Electro 35 GT is aperture priority ONLY, whereas the Canonet QL17 III is shutter speed priority AND manual. It also sports no less than three annoying colored lights on the top plate(Red and amber exposure indicators and a green battery check light).

Although they were manufactured in both Japan and Hong Kong, this one was made in Japan. The accessory wide/tele lens kit and auxiliary viewfinder featured in the bottom photograph was made in Hong Kong. It's an iconic and solid rangefinder, with an above average 45mm/f1.7 lens that can be picked up for reasonable(but not cheap) prices on online auctions by anyone interested in film photography. Click on an image to view bigger.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Canon Canonet 1961

This is the original Canonet. Canon used this model to penetrate the mid-level camera market in the early 60's, they sold over a million original Canonets in the first two years at a price that more than irritated the competition. It's a rock solid camera, much bigger than the later Canonets, almost the size of a SLR. It features auto exposure and full manual control with a fast 45mm/f1.9 lens, it was also the only Canonet with a selenium cell light meter and with the unique Canonflex underbody film advance & rewind.

This example is fully functional, with the original reversible/slip-on metal lens hood and a still reasonable accurate light meter. Battery-less, solar powered photography, going for for almost fifty years in a very slick design package. Please click on an image to view bigger.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Minolta SR-T 101 1966 - 75

According to Annie Leibovitz, her first "real" camera was a Minolta SR-T 101, which she dragged up Mount Fuj without any film. Also in Japan, and about at the same time, W. Eugene Smith used a SR-T 101 to make his famous photographs at Minamata.

It is a real classic and the black bodies are a bit harder to find than the more common silver ones. Photographed with a 100mm/f3.5 TeleRokkor lens, mine is a 2nd generation SR-T made between '70 and '72. Click on an image to view bigger.

minolta "A" 1955 - 57

I found this beautifully made Minolta "A" rangefinder at my local antique dealer for the fair sum of R110.00(us$14.50 at the time), it's in almost perfect condition, except for a previous owner who left their name and a number engraved in the aluminum body.

The first ever fixed lens rangefinder made by Minolta, it came out with a Rokkor 45mm/f3.5 lens. The shutter speed can be adjusted from 1sec to a 300th by a little wheel on top of the camera. I removed a roll of film from the film bay and replaced it with a new roll of Fuji Superia 200 which I've exposed in the mean time, I will have it developed shortly, watch this space.
Click on an image to view bigger.

Ps. This was posted before on my other blog, but I started this dedicated classic camera blog, thus the repost.