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  1. #11
    darinwc's Avatar
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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.
    Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    The T4 is the better camera. (It was much, much more expensive too, especially when it came with the Contax brand on it).
    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.
    Alex

  3. #13

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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.
    Steve.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexmacphee View Post
    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.
    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.).


    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.

  5. #15
    alexmacphee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    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.).
    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.
    Alex

  6. #16

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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 .

  7. #17

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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 elcabezagrande; 10-31-2010 at 12:07 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by elcabezagrande View Post
    IBut is it really worth the premium price that it currently fetches due to its cult status? Probably not,
    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.
    Alex

  9. #19

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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.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexmacphee View Post
    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.
    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.

    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.

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