Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Yashica 72-E

A while back I signed up to be notified when certain cameras were offered on Ebay. Now, I haven't bought any cameras off Ebay for a while, however I didn't delete the notifications. One notification I kept was for "Yashica half-frame". Occasionally I still check the notifications out, however I seldom see anything that tempts me. Still when I saw one for a "buy-it-now" for a Yashica 72-E at $12 with free shipping I couldn't pass it up. I think I got a good deal. The camera came in decent cosmetic shape and is fully functioning. Even the selenium meter is working and appears to still be accurate.

Made 1962 the Yashica 72-E was one of many cameras introduced during the 1960's half-frame craze. The idea was to get more pictures on a roll of film back when film, especially color, was seen as expensive. Today I think the appeal of a half-frame is the diptych photos they yield. At least it is for me.

The Yashica 72-E is a fairly simple camera. The shutter speeds go from 1/8 to 1/250. The Yashinon lens stops down to 2.8. The selenium meter will do film speeds from ISO 100-400. One place where the Yashica has other cameras of its type beat is that if the meter fails it still can be used manually. The meter is on top of the camera and gives a reading in EV numbers. To set the exposure you turn a ring on the lens to the number provided by the meter. I compared what exposure setting the built-in meter gave with my hand-held meter and they were accurate. Kinda amazing that this meter should still be working so well after over 50 years.

So far I haven't finished the film that I put into the Yashica 72-E. From past experiences with Yashica and from photos I have seen online I would expect the results to be good. I think the Yashica 72-E certainly compares well with the more popular Olympus half-frames from the same era.

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