Jun 29, 2017

30-30-30 : Day 16 : Yashica T2

Setup for Day 16 (Mar 2nd, 2017):

Camera: Yashica T2
Lens: Carl Zeiss Tessar T* 35mm f/3.5
Film: Kodak T-Max TMX 100

Mini-review of the setup:

Camera: Man, this thing feels straight out of the 80s. The styling fits right in with my 1989 BMW - brick-like and angular, switches are plastic-y but yet solid. Blocky, chunky so it fits in my hand better than the thinner P&S cameras out there without the right hand grip. Everything falls to hand pretty well, none of the buttons are awkward to use.

After I did the test roll for this post, I took this out on a ride into the farmland around Portales, NM. It was small enough to fit in my jacket's pocket and I could shoot it without removing my helmet and didn't even need to pull off my leather gloves to operate. Loved that aspect, plus the built in lens cover kept the important glass protected and mostly dust-free while riding to the next scene.

Would I prefer to have an aperture control and let the camera decide the rest of the exposure calculations? Yes, but this was built to a price point. I see the sale price was $139 in 1990, less than the Minolta Freedom Tele.

Overall verdict: Winner for easy to use, simple point-n-shoot type shots. Not much control but that's OK for general use and even preferable for when you just want to get the shots and not spend all the time thinking about every detail of the image, instead concentrating on the subject. Good enough viewfinder, nothing really to complain about there.

Lens: It's a Carl Zeiss lens which means it has a great coating and should be above average in sharpness, contrast and general image quality. I see nothing to complain about, even forgetting the fact that this is plastic point-n-shoot and not an SLR or rangefinder lens.

Overall verdict: Basic lenses are the easiest to do a very high standard. A 35/3.5 could be made well by almost any lens company.  Add in good coatings and this should be a gem of an optic.

Film: Same old T-max from the big lot I bought used/expired. Getting to the end of that lot so I'll have to change it moving forward.

Overall verdict:
Good combination, might be even better used with 400ASA film to force the camera to stop down the lens and get more depth of field and sharpness. I'd gladly use this as my casual use camera and even could use it for more serious work if pressed to do so. Will keep it in my bag as a backup or alternative film option.

After seeing scans: Lens lives up to the hype and name. I need to check that it's focusing to all of the possible distances, it seems like it might be stuck at the medium setting, not going to infinity. Very good flare resistance, as expected.

Viewfinder seems moderately accurate, not the greatest ever but certainly bright and big enough to do what needs to be done. It doesn't match exactly what you are getting, but that's one of those things that always improves as you use a camera more. You start figuring out how to compensate when focusing closer.

This camera would easily earn a spot in your camera bag, if you use it for intended purposes.

Click on the first image, arrow through to see them all larger.