Electro 35 G...buy or wait for better?

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
178,699
Messages
2,458,271
Members
94,614
Latest member
Martin C
Recent bookmarks
0

BetterSense

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
3,153
Location
North Caroli
Shooter
35mm
I'm in the position of wanting a rangefinder camera but not being able to afford a leica. I can buy a really mint condition electro 35G with case for $30. This is no leica--it has no manual mode, it has no hot shoe and the film speed only goes up to 500. What's mostly going to annoy me is the lack of manual operation. I'm debating whether to buy it while I can, or wait for something else. I'm not interested in collecting cameras. What are my other options? It's practically impossible to find cheap rangefinder cameras secondhand among the glut of SLRs, and I don't even know what's out there. I just want an easy-to-use coupled rangefinder camera with manual operation and a decent lens.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2006
Messages
858
Shooter
Multi Format
I sold a couple of black body Yashica GT cameras last year, after not having used them a while. At first they were nice, because the aperture priority allows for easy operation. Then I ended up with a Petri 7S, which I think is a better looking camera. After trying out the Petri 7S, I decided that I like it better, due to being able to set the shutter and aperture. However, the Yashica is built tougher, and has maybe a little better lens than the Petri. Tough choice, but the prices on these are close.

Ciao!

Gordon Moat Photography
 
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
267
Location
North Caroli
Shooter
Medium Format
My Electro G goes up to ASA 1000. I just looked at it. Great lens, f1:1.7. It will set shutter speed out to 30 seconds! What do you want for $30?

If you really need full manual operation, I have two suggestions.

Canon QL17. You can set it off of automatic to get full manual control.

FED2. Yeah, it's Russian roulette, but fully manual. Leica 2 design. Good lenses.
 
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
267
Location
North Caroli
Shooter
Medium Format
I think this is a terminology difference.

Karen Nakamura shows the ASA film rating from 25 to 1000.
Aperture from f16 to f1.7.
Shutter speed from 30 seconds to 1/500.

This matches the settings on my Electro 35 G.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Leighgion

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
357
Location
Orcas Island
Shooter
Medium Format
I don't know enough about the Electro models to comment on them, but I can say the Canon QL17 is worth a look for you. I've got one and it's great when the occasion calls for a compact, capable RF.

QL17 has shutter priority mode, but can run full manual as well. The 40mm f1.7 is a good lens, it has a hot shoe, sync port and ISO goes up to 800. Metering is not TTL, but the metering cell is right above the lens and covered if you use filters, so no need to dial in filter compensation. Body is a solid block of metal.

Main downsides are that the meter shuts off completely if you go into manual mode so no help from it then, uses those outlawed mercury cells (but as usual works well enough with silver oxide substitutes) and its 48mm filter/cap size is a bit harder to shop for.

Stuff I shot with my QL17: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leighgion/tags/ql17/
 

Anscojohn

Subscriber
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
2,709
Shooter
Medium Format
At that price, what's to lose? I sold many of those cameras. They are o.k., with all the negatives already pointed out. A bit bulky, tho. Is the difference in ASA number perhaps a difference between a G and a GN? One thing, though, that big long mercury cell might be hard to find nowadays--although they last "forever" if you do not make an huge number of 30 second exposures.
I have a Canonet GIII which I love; and a Fed 3 I love even more, because it needs me! Both cut a sharp image. The GIII still works (sans metering) without a battery.
 

Michael W

Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
1,593
Location
Sydney
Shooter
Multi Format
I was interested in an Electro until I held one, it was much bigger and heavier than I'd expected, along with the lack of manual functions, I lost interest.
Olympus SP is a good camera, small, excellent lens, manual exposure, uncoupled meter can be a bit fiddly. Takes mercury batteries but you can use the cheap modern hearing aid batteries instead. Not sure if they sell as cheap as $30 though.
 

Jeff Kubach

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
6,913
Location
Richmond VA.
Shooter
Multi Format
I have a Electro 35G which I got for free several years ago. Despite it's lack of manual functions, I still like the camera and does take great pictures.

Jeff
 

2F/2F

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
8,034
Location
Los Angeles,
Shooter
Multi Format
I'd recommend one for sure, but I think $30 sounds high, even for a very nice one.

Best (or "most controlled", rather) way to use these manually is with a flash. '30 is fixed, you choose your aperture, and change your flash power to suit.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

d.sge

Member
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
16
Location
New York, NY
Shooter
35mm
Yashica's Lynx series might be a better option for you considering your requirements. The 5000 is entirely manual, meters to 800* has a top speed of 1/1000 (and syncs up to it!) and an aperture range of f/1.8 - 22. It doesn't have a hot shoe, but the cold shoe/pc sync does just fine. They're about $45 with a case in good condition.

*The meter is a match needle type with over/underexposure indicators. You could always extrapolate if you're shooting at 1600 or higher.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
OP
BetterSense

BetterSense

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
3,153
Location
North Caroli
Shooter
35mm
yeah, on a fully manual camera, I don't even care about the meter range or the ASA range. I can just ignore the meter entirely or use a different one. On a auto-only camera, the meter-coupling range always seems to be limiting. On my OM2n, the ASA only goes up to 1600 so in auto mode, so with you are even limited in the amount of exposure compensation available to you, and shooting things like stage-lit performers can be perfectly impossible on auto mode due to lack of meter coupling range. Same with my XA cameras...with aperture priority operation, you can't even extrapolate the meter in situations where the camera is perfectly capable of taking the shot, and I find that infuriating.
 

fotch

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
4,774
Location
SE WI- USA
Shooter
Multi Format
For that price, wait for the camera you really want, a fully manual camera.

Not being able to go manual is a real hardship.
 

sangetsu

Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2009
Messages
214
Location
東京
Shooter
4x5 Format
The Electro series of cameras is very nice. It's true that there is no manual control, but you can manually adjust somewhat just by turning your ASA dial up or down.

$30 is not that bad a deal for a camera with the functions a Yashica Electro has. It's durable, easy to use, has a good lens, and takes great pictures. The quality of the materials and the workmanship on these cameras are excellent. If someone steals it, no big deal, you can replace it cheaply enough. If someone tries to mug you, you have something big enough to put a serious bump on his head.

I'm new to Yashicas myself, but in the short time I've used mine, I've grown to love it.
 

TheFlyingCamera

Membership Council
Council
Joined
May 24, 2005
Messages
11,116
Location
Washington DC
Shooter
Multi Format
If you're looking at cameras in that price range/feature category, also consider a Konica S2 or if you're a glutton for punishment, The Lynx 14e - it has an f1.4 50mm lens, so it's a big honker on the front. Also consider that almost any of the cameras you buy in this class/age will probably need a good CLA to be fully operational, so budget that in as well.
 

FilmLives!

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
12
Location
Maryland
Shooter
35mm
IF you can find a nice properly-working example, there is always the Konica S2. You get a fast sharp lens, its built like a tank (all-metal and not a lightweight - I've read the soldiers in Viet Nam loved to carry them for the abuse they could take), it offers shutter priority auto OR full manual control, and it works on manual even with a dead battery. Yes, you are still limited to ASA 500 max (ASA = ISO for you deprived youngsters).

jZ
 

Ian Grant

Subscriber
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Messages
21,982
Location
West Midland
Shooter
Multi Format
My sister had a Yashica Electro G, is was an awesome camera, the lens was outstanding, the exposures spot on, but it was rather tooAutomatic.

I guess I''d not recommend one now, there are better range finder camera's available for the same price.

Ian
 

elekm

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
2,055
Location
New Jersey (
Shooter
35mm RF
In the earlier part of this discussion, I think there was confusion between "film speed" and shutter speed. The top shutter speed probably is 1/500. The highest ASA setting probably is 1000.

Anyway, for $30, it's a decent deal. You might have to replace the seals.

Always be careful about describing something as "mint" until you actually inspect the camera.

In that price range, your choices are limited, especially if you want a meter and manual shutter speeds.
 

mablo

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
385
Shooter
Multi Format
What elekm said. I once bought a "mint" looking Yashica Electro 35 GSN for 40€. When I got I found out that the battery wire was badly corroded, light seals were a distant memory and a Yashica Electro specific problem, the "Pad Of Death" was bad.
 

Amir Aziz

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2009
Messages
14
Location
Isle of Aval
Shooter
35mm
I would suggest getting a russian rangefinder either a Fed 2 or a Zorki 3C. The Fed is closer copy to the orginal Leica LTM design while making film loading easier and having a combined rangefinder/viewfinder. The Zorki has a brighter viewfinder and faster shutter 1/1000sec as opposed to the Feds 1/500sec. Try to get a body that comes with either 50mm Jupiter 8 or Industar 61 or Industar 26M
 

b1bmsgt

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
76
Location
Connecticut,
Shooter
Medium Format
Basically, you're either a Yashica fan or you're not, I guess...
If you check out the Yashica forum over at rangefinder forum.com, you will find a lot of folks who are rabid fans. If you think the Electro is too automatic, then a Lynx 5000 or 14 would be a good way to go. Both have full manual shutter speed and aperture along with an on-board meter, although I would recommend a good hand-held rather than trust the built in too far. The 14's will cost you a bit, but the 5000's can usually be had for a very low price.
I also have a few Zorki's and FED's. They are definitely hit and miss, but if you get a good one you are in for a treat, IMHO. I would recommend the Jupiter 8 personally, but the Industars ore OK too...

Russ
 

r-brian

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2003
Messages
701
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Shooter
DSLR
I much prefered my Minolta Hi-Matic 7s over a Yashica Electro that I had. The Hi-Matic are either AE or complete manual. And the lenses are sharp.
 

elekm

Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
2,055
Location
New Jersey (
Shooter
35mm RF
Several decades have done a lot for the Yashica Electro cameras. The years have transformed them from lower-tier product into cult camera. Same goes for the smaller fixed-lens rangefinders made by Olympus, Canon, Minolta and to a much-lesser degree Konica and Petri.

Even so, they were all decent cameras then and are still decent cameras today. I just wouldn't overpay for them.
 

Pumal

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
580
Shooter
Multi Format
A Mint, CLAD Yashica 14e IC is worth 100 bucks.
A Mint, CLAD Yashica Electro 35 GSN is worth 50 bucks
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom