This Yashica T2 is a new pickup that I initially bought to repair and flip. While I was able to repair it (the battery door was bad, as is common on older point-and-shoots), I may no longer be planning on flipping it.
I don’t know if it’s common to T2s, but mine tends to overexpose by at least a stop. Combined with a remarkably mellow lens, this camera simply eats up light and specializes in the filmic “tones” that either galvanize or repulse you in post-ironic horror.
Portra 400 is known for its tolerance of overexposure, so it’s a perfect match for my T2. A bit of golden light in the late spring/early summer is just the thing for this combo. The following images were self-developed with the Cinestill Cs41 kit and scanned on a Pacific Image Primefilm XAs at 5000dpi with Silverfast, minimally adjusted in Lightroom for consistency.
I can’t explain it, but the T2 combination with Portra 400 manages to hold on to highlights while maximizing shadow exposure. I’ve tried the overexposed-film look on other cameras, but never with such good results—the highlights tend to blow, causing weird color casts. The T2, whatever its magic is, seems to avoid this.
The T2’s Zeiss Tessar lens is pretty sharp, and though it perhaps lacks the critical sharpness to outresolve the film inside, sometimes it’s capable of outstanding results. Overall, it’s exceptional for a point and shoot, even though it seems to be shooting wide open more often than not.
The lens is also capable of excellent contrast and “pop” when the scene calls for it. Again, the camera seems preternaturally able to expose for the scene it’s viewing.
Autofocus accuracy is the biggest question mark with the T2 for me so far, though I’m comparing it mostly to the Nikon L35AF, which has surprisingly fine feedback on the selected focus distance before shooting, and almost never fails. While the T2 misses sometimes, it’s also capable of excellent results, even at (apparently) full aperture.
I’m still testing and evaluating the T2 for a full review. Keep an eye out for that soon!
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