Yashica T4 or Olympus XA2??

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by juliette.steen, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. juliette.steen

    juliette.steen Member

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    I'm really interested in buying a point and shoot camera and have my eye on a Yashica T4 and Olympus XA2 on ebay.
    I've had a look at some photos that each produce on flickr groups and though they are quite different, I like them both. So I am torn.
    Which would you buy out of these two, and why?

    Thanks!
     
  2. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Is the T4 that one with a 'waist-level' finder of sorts? That might be interesting.

    I wish I had a link but a year ago I read a comparison between the T4 and the XA2. They each have their strengths but in that particular comparison the XA2 was chosen.
     
  3. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    I would stick to the XA2
    "Yashica T4

    John Rodgerson , Jan 16, 2010; 05:19 p.m.

    I have had my Yashica T4 for a few months, all going great and then last week I was taking a photo and the shutter wouldn't release.
    Its as if the lens extends a little to focus like normal but then nothing happens, the shutter doesn't open.
    Has anyone had this problem before? Any solutions before I go crazy and have to find a good local camera repairer?
    Any help thanks!
    John"
     
  4. blockend

    blockend Member

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    My XA2 used to vignette badly. I sent it to Olympus with slides showing fall off at the corners and they said it was functioning correctly.
     
  5. Cromlech

    Cromlech Member

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    Just go to goodwill, I got a kodak star 35 ef for $3 (with working flash and clean battery contacts)
     
  6. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    All of the XA cameras (I have the XA, XA2, and XA4) vignette slightly. It's not a big deal with negative film. I really love the XA cameras. I prefer the XA4 and XA2 to the XA.
     
  7. Carl V

    Carl V Member

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    I'm not familiar with the Yashica, but I can certainly recommend the Olympus. I recently acquired an XA3 in mint condition and the pictures are very sharp for a zone focusing system. The XA2 is the same camera without DX-coding and exposure is fully automatic; an ideal camera to have with you for situations when you can't take your SLR and lenses with you as it is very small and slips nicely into your pocket.
     
  8. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    I've had my Yashica T5 for many years, and I love it. The metering is reliable, it's fast, quiet, and that little f/3.5 Tessar is a star. It has a nifty waist level finder and all the focus indicators are still visible with it. Very handy if you want to rest the camera on a wall, say (I keep a very small beanbag handy for that purpose), and frame up using the auxiliary finder. Exposure control on mine is good enough for slide film.
     
  9. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The T4 is the better camera. (It was much, much more expensive too, especially when it came with the Contax brand on it).
     
  10. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    I had an XA and have 3 T4 Supers.

    The T4s take pictures - Kodachrome slides - that can't be distinguished from pictures taken with my Nikons or Leicas: extremely sharp, no flare, no fall off, perfectly exposed. The camera feels nice and solid.

    My XA vignetted, had terrific flare and with a resultant low saturation, overexposed in bright light/underexposed in dim light, lens performance unless stopped down to f11 was better than a disposable but not by much, and the flash was a PITA. The overall feel of the camera was flimsy.

    However, the price of used T4s is very high. A Nikon 35ti can be had for about the same price. OTOH, I have bought two 35ti's and returned both because they didn't work: one couldn't focus or expose well, the other only took pictures when it felt like it.
     
  11. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    The XA2 and the Yashica T4 are very different cameras.

    The XA2 is a scale-focus (you guess the distance and set the camera to that distance).
    The T4 is auto-focus.

    The XA2 was designed more than a decade earlier than the T4.
    The XA2 used a wide angle lens which was actually shorter than the focal length. This causes some viginetting which I find pleasing.

    A better comparison would be the T4 vs the Stylus and Stylus Epic, or the XA2 vs the minox gt or rollei 35.

    If you want a good compact point+shoot camera start with a Olympus Stylus, which you should be able to find for around $10.
    Then take the money you saved and buy good fine-grained film and get it processed by a good lab. The results of which will far outweigh any differences in "sharpness" of one lens or another.
     
  12. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    The T4 never came with the Contax brand on it. Zeiss were particular in their licensing arrangements that Yashica photographic kit never had the Contax brand on it, nor were Yashica and Contax to be shown in the same advertisement.
     
  13. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I used to have a T5 (T4 Super in some markets) and it was a nice camera, I do think it's over rated, though, especially online where it has achieved a sort of cult status with corresponding prices. I paid £125 for mine new in the '90s, they still fetch this on ebay 2nd or 3rd hand with no guarantee. Mine got stolen and I replaced it with an Olympus Mju II (Stylus Epic in some markets). Looking at the Mju photos and my older T5 photos, I seen no difference in prints at 5x7. Furthermore, the Mju II is not 'hot' and so can be got on ebay much cheaper than a T5. I can't speak about the XA2, but if you want to factor in a good quality P&S from the '90s, the Oly Mju II is the one I'd encourage you to try out.
     
  14. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Yashica build all of the Contax cameras, quite a few of which were also sold in Yashica 'colours' (which includedthe use of cheaper materials, plastics instead of metal casings, etc.).
    :wink:

    But i believe that, though there are Contax versions of the T, T2 and T3, you could be right about there not having been a Contax T4.

    Yashica versions of the Contax cameras of course did have the Zeiss brand on it, pointing out the quality of the lens. They would have been foolish had they not done so.
     
  15. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    You're right, of course, Yashica undertook the manufacturing lead for both Contax and Yashica lines, and nowhere was the commonality more evident than in the manual SLR lines, which shared a mount and in some cases accessories like autowinders. As far as I know, none of the Yashica SLR lens designs are Zeiss, and there's no truth in the stories sometimes put about that Yashica ML lenses were those from the Contax line that didn't make the stringent Zeiss QC standards ; and in any case, Yashica had a rather impressive pedigree of their own.

    The Contax and Yashica T lines are both aimed at the P&S market, but at very different strata, and the Yashica T line isn't a Contax T just pared back or of cheaper materials (though they are not as solidly made). The Yashica T range are equipped with Tessars, and the Contax T range have Sonnars. My Yashica T5 is a pure point and shoot ; just about the only manual control you have is the ability to force the flash to off mode for the next picture. You have no control over the exposure, not even the exposure compensation, which is entirely automatic and silent, and you have no idea what the aperture or shutter speed may be. My Contax T2 is quite different in design. Whilst it's an auto point and shoot, I can set any aperture from f/4 to smaller, and have a read-out (admittedly only ballpark) of the shutter speed in the viewfinder. It has an autofocus mode, but I can over-ride that with manual focus selection. The T2 offers full control over exposure compensation.

    The Yashica FR could be seen as a pared down RTS, but the Yashica T cameras can't be seen as pared down versions of the Contax T line. As far as I know, the last model in the Contax line was the T3. There was a TVS, with a Vario-Sonnar lens around 28-56mm, and I'm pretty sure there was a Yashica T zoom with a Vario-Tessar lens.

    The Yashica and Contax AF SLR lines completely diverged, and have nothing whatsoever in common. There's nothing interchangeable at all between them.

    The Yashica T5's Tessar performed way beyond my expectations. This was brought home to me after we returned from a trip to Italy, and I had a stack of films processed. I'd had all my colour negatives processed with 6"x9" prints, and a great many of the packs had been shot at Pompeii and Herculaneum. As I went through photograph after photograph, I kept exclaiming to my wife how superb the Contax Planar 50mm was, until it began to dawn on me that the pack of prints I had on the desk in front of me didn't have a mix of wide and medium tele shots. A quick check against my photo notebook confirmed that I'd been looking at one of the T5 films, and it was good enough to make me mistake it for one of the Contax SLR packs. Incidentally, my experience with the Yashica T3 was completely different, I couldn't get a decent shot out of it, but as others write highly of it, I'm prepared to believe I really did have a lemon. But the T5's reputation, even if it has acquired cult status, is built on merit. However, there is absolutely nothing of similarity between models in the Yashica T and Contax T ranges. If they didn't use the letter T, you would not have any way of pairing them either in design or functionality.
     
  16. Warren T.

    Warren T. Member

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    I've owned both the XA2 and T4 (2, an original T4 and a T4 Super). While I liked the interesting characteristics of the XA2's lens, I ended up selling my XA2. As others mentioned, the two cameras are very different. The XA2 is zone focused (3 focus zones only), manual wind/rewind, and requires a separate (but well integrated) external flash. It is much older technology, and the electronically actuated shutter release is prone to malfunction. The T4 Super has the superb Zeiss lens, has AF, and auto-wind/rewind. The T4's AE is very accurate, and give good results even with narrow lattitude slide film. The T4's downside is its cost because of its cult favorite status. The XA2 is cheap enough that you can probably try both cameras to see which one agrees with you more :smile:.
     
  17. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    I have owned both the Yashica T4 and the Olympus Stylus Epic. I currently own an Olympus XA3 (the DX version of the XA2), but as a zone-focus camera, it can't really be compared to the other two.

    The T4 is a fine camera, with an excellent lens that produces fine photographs. But is it really worth the premium price that it currently fetches due to its cult status? Probably not, when the Stylus Epic/MjuII produces photos of equally impressive quality at a much lower (although currently rising) price point. And while both are weatherproof, I feel that the MjuII is more solidly built.

    However, I have recently replaced both the Yashica and the Olympus with perhaps the most underrated (and undervalued!) gem of the compact, weatherproof, point and shoot niche, a Konica Lexio 70W. The Lexio has a six element, six group 28-70mm zoom, f3.4 at the wide end and f7.9 at full zoom, is every bit as compact as the Yashica or the Olympus, and has metal shell with outstanding build quality. And it's IQ is every bit as good as the other two more well-known models. They don't come up for sale as often as the T4/T5 or the MjuII, and usually sell for much less.

    Wider than the T4 or the MjuII, but with the option to zoom when you need something a little longer, and so very small and pretty; what's not to like?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2010
  18. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    I don't know any better way of determining the worth of something than what the market thinks is worth parting with to have it.
     
  19. blockend

    blockend Member

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    I agree the mju/stylus II ( 35mm lens) is an excellent camera for the money. If it had a rangefinder they'd sell for x10 the price.
     
  20. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    I halfway agree with you, Alex. For me, the T4 was worth selling for the market price, and seeing how quickly it sold, it was obviously worth a premium to the new buyer. We are both happy now. But I doubt that I would have bought it for the same price.:wink:

    Don't misunderstand me, Alex, I do think that the little Yashica T4 is a fine camera, well designed, and a joy to shoot with. But, in my opinion, so are a number of other less expensive and less well-known cameras. But true value will always be a subjective thing, from both sides of the lens.
     
  21. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    Exactly so, of course. Each person in the transaction has to have an imbalance in how they view the worth of the item, in opposite directions. I paid a fairly high price for my T5, and I can say that I'm not disappointed with the results, they're far better than I'd anticipated. That said, I recently picked up a Contax T2, fully boxed and as new, for only marginally more than I'd paid for the T5, and there's no contest, the T5 wouldn't get a look in a second time in competition. I don't know the Olympus, so I'm not qualified to make comparisons (though I know enough about my 35RC to take Olympus recommendations at face value), but I do know that photographically, the T5 will not disappoint. Oddly enough, I got a Yashica T3 a few years ago, and it was disappointing.
     
  22. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I bought a Lexio 70W originally for that "W" - the fact that it goes to 28mm at the wide end instead of the more usual 35 or 38mm that P & Ss seem to favour. It's a great camera with one exception - the power switch that's supposed to to turn it on when the shell is opened. That failed on my first 70W (apparently a common fault) and I ended up buying a second one for a couple of quid off ePay. As you say, an under-rated camera.
    Steve
     
  23. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    Steve, when I originally received mine, I also thought that I had a faulty power switch. What it turned out to be was a slight deformation of the sliding lens cover that was causing faulty contact between the metal tabs on on the lead edge of the cover that slide in the channels at top and bottom of the camera body, and the small metal detents that they catch on when the cover is fully open. Apparently, these are also contacts for the switch. I was able to reform the edges of the cover with my fingertips, and Voila!, the camera sprang to life.

    I don't know if the cause of my problem was the same as yours, but if you still have that dead Lexio knocking around in a drawer or cupboard somewhere, it might be worth experimenting upon.