Yashica Electro 35 GSN

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Michael L. Dunlap, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Michael L. Dunlap

    Michael L. Dunlap Member

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    I bought my first rangefinder at a garage sale Saturday for $15.00. It's a Yashica Electro 35 GSN and it's in near mint condition. It was well taken care of. But the trouble is: I know nothing about rangefinders and more specifically, nothing about this model. I've owned nothing but 35mm SLR's and one YashicaMat 124 TLR. I wasn't looking for a rangefinder, but for it's condition, I couldn't pass this one up for the price. I was wondering if anyone could tell me a little about what I bought. Any input would be appreciated.
     
  2. T42

    T42 Member

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  3. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    The Electro is a great little camera. If you ever see it's big brother, the Yashica Lynx 14, with it's enormous f1.4 lens, grab it!
     
  4. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    I have a Yashica Electro 35 GSN that I inherited from my father, and it is a wonderful camera with a very sharp lens (45mm Color-Yashinon DX 1:1.7). Growing up, all our family snapshots were shot with this camera because it was the only camera we had. It is still in very good condition after about 24 years and takes wonderfully sharp photographs. It is also pretty simple to use and is an aperture-priority camera.

    In addition to the links posted, you can also check out Photoethnography.com.
     
  5. mejiro

    mejiro Member

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  6. Derek Lofgreen

    Derek Lofgreen Subscriber

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    They are great rangefinders. Super fast lens too. The one thing to watch out for is a bad Pad of Death (POD). Its a rubber pad that rots out with time. If yours is bad contact Greyhoundman over at the http://www.rangefinderforum.com and he can fix it for a great price.

    The way the camera works is basically aperture priority. There is no way to set the shutter speed. If you bring your aperture down you should be able to hear the shutter slow down. If the shutter sounds like it's firing at the same speed all the time then you probably need to replace the POD. They take great photos though. I love mine.

    Good luck
    D.
     
  7. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    I bought three of them and did the "Pad of Death" fix as well as new foam seals from Jon goodman and the Yashica-Guy battery adapter. The pad fix should be done by someone with experience because there is a lot of dis-assembly to get at it. Once it is fixed, it is very nice camera with a sharp lens.

    --John
     
  8. Jeffrey S. Winn

    Jeffrey S. Winn Member

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    I'm on the road today, and after lunch I wantered into a camera shop loaded with older cameras. Well, they had a Yashica Electro GSN proudly on display, and I asked about this camera. The guy behind the counter wouldn't even take it off the display, as he stated that these older rangefinder were great cameras in their day, but usually don't last. I couldn't even talk him into letting me look at it closely. He went on and on about shutter problems, and metering problems. After a few more questions, I walked out. Do these cameras have issues pertaining to their age? If so, are there any solutions? I've been hoping to pick up a rangfinder for my suitcase to travel with me. But, this is the first I've heard of persistant problems due to the age of the camera. I've learned about the seals, and the battery issues. But these seem to be fixable. Are the shutters just looking for an excuse to go?

    Jeff
     
  9. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    Most of the fixed lens rangefinders of the 60-early 80s were consumer grade cameras and are just getting long in the tooth. But many are still very good users with great features. I have a Cannon GL with the 50 1.8 for well over 30 years, has never failed. In the used market they are not "collectable" but many were lightly used and are great finds.
     
  10. JHannon

    JHannon Member

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    It is the rubber pad ("Pad of Death") that causes most of the shutter problems. The shutter release uses this pad as a spacer to engage the rest of the shutter mechanism. When it rots away, the release can no longer trip the shutter. I bought a sheet of rubber gasket material of the correct thickness at the hardware store to fix mine.
     
  11. Derek Lofgreen

    Derek Lofgreen Subscriber

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    I think grayhoundman will go through the whole thing for something under 50 bucks. He makes the camera like new with a new battery adapter, light seals, POD, etc. I don't want to speak for him but his price is very reasonable.

    Jeffrey,
    The guy behind the counter must have pixels for brains. The GSN is one of the best ever produced fixed lens rangefinders. Perfect for the first time rangefinder user.

    D.
     
  12. foxyscootie

    foxyscootie Member

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    So glad to find this thread. I inherited my late father's GSN & took it to a photog course I was taking about 2 years ago & the guy told me it was junk! I didnt believe him so I ran a roll of film through it & most of the shots came out great, but I dont know anything about rangefinders so this will be a treat to learn. Plus it was my dad's love of film that got me hooked. :smile:
     
  13. Will S

    Will S Member

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  14. b1bmsgt

    b1bmsgt Member

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    Hi! I just found APUG the other day, so this is my first post. I just had to pipe in on this since I have some small experience with the Electro 35. (I have restored and sold 15 or so on eBay, and currently have another 15 waiting for their turn...)

    Pay no attention to the man behind the counter!!! The Electro 35 is, indeed, one of the finest cameras ever produced, IMHO. It has one of the sharpest lenses out there, and will shoot rings around the vast majority of plastic digital crud out there! Stick with it!

    By the way, I could also help you out with a POD replacement, light seals etc. Send me a PM if you need some help in that regard.

    Glad to be aboard! This is a great site!!

    Russ
     
  15. Michael L. Dunlap

    Michael L. Dunlap Member

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    Hi, I'm the originator of this thread and I wanted to thank you all for your input and I also wanted to report back to you after shooting my first roll of film in this camera. I must say that I am utterly AMAZED!!! I put in a roll of Ilford XP2 Super (ASA 400), but I set the ASA at 250, which is the way I always shoot this film ( I got this tip from an APUG forum). I must say that these photos were some of the sharpest and clearest I've ever shot. I'm going to enlarge several of them to 11x14's and hang them in my home. The camera is easy to focus and every shot was perfectly exposed (so I guess the POD is okay). The door has a little "play" in it which made me concerned about light leaks before I got my pictures back, but I looked closely at the edges of every print and I saw no evidence of light leaks. On this particular photo outing, I also took my Minolta auto-focus SLR and the Yashica beat it hands down in picture quality and sharpness. I recommend getting one of these to anyone thinking of getting their first rangefinder. According to other posts in this thread, some of them may have problems with the POD or light leak issues, but I guess I got lucky.