5 frames with...

5 frames with a Yashica Electro 35 GS – By Gavin Bain

January 26, 2019

I came about my Electro 35 purely by chance. I must admit that I knew about these cameras but never had much interest in them in the past, but ever since seeing The Amazing Spiderman (Andrew Garfield is the perfect Peter Parker; change my mind!) I wanted one. But thanks to that incredible movie, the prices tripled online compared to what they used to be. So I stopped looking.

In October 2018, I saw a listing for one on Facebook Marketplace, for $40 with the full retail kit! A quick eBay search for the same kit returned ads of $300+. Now in my town, you don’t see many cameras sold on Facebook or in thrift stores. I’m unsure why but it’s just not a thing where I live so I jumped on this listing as soon as I saw it. I told the lady if she could bring it to my work in a half hour I’d buy it, so she did.

That meant I got my Electro 35 GS, the wide angle and tele converter, the external viewfinder, original manuals and receipts, lens filters and a tiny monopod all in the big leather Yashica box. And the most important part, NO PAD OF DEATH!

When my wife told me that there was a fundraiser walk for premature babies coming up (our daughter was born at 30 weeks) I thought it was a good opportunity to take my new Yashica out. But one problem, in Townsville the sun rises at 6am and it rises quick. That means by 8am when the walk started the sun is already overhead. Also, I wanted to pull my Kodak Ultramax to 100 and I didn’t have a battery for the camera yet, so it only shot at 1/500 shutter speed. A welcome challenge!

All in all, the subject matter could be better but I am a huge fan of the colours and sharpness of the legendary lens on these cameras. I have shot many many rolls with it since that are either getting developed if they were colour, or waiting for me to develop them if they were black and white that I know will be keepers.


If you made it this far, I appreciate you giving me some of your time to read my experience shooting with this set up. Remember, stay broke and shoot film!

Instagram: @gavinbain

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  • Reply
    Tom Sheppard
    January 26, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Very nicely done.
    I always enjoy the Strand when I visit your city – such a delight these days.
    The camera, lens and film combination has worked well for you.
    Thanks for these

  • Reply
    January 26, 2019 at 10:45 am

    Nice images. Well done.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    When I first got my YASHICA the rear door light leak was really bad. Used a body case to cure that. I used to like my Electro GT, but I foung the lens very prone to flare and sometimes a little low contrast. So I swapped it for some else.

  • Reply
    January 26, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    This camera has an undeservedly bad reputation in my family because my mother had one given to her in the 90s, and not being a photographer by nature, she tended to forget to take the lens cap off. Nice photos, cool story.

  • Reply
    theo vervloet
    January 26, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    You are really a lucky man, to have got to this complete gear. Your pictures are proof of the quality of the camera.
    I myself got a GSN from my brother-i think he never used it- . I have to get a battery and try to take some pictures that can compete with yours.

  • Reply
    Martin Cutrone
    January 26, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Nice images. Bought mine a few years ago from the family of a vet who bought it originally in Vietnam. The strap has a film cannisters stamped with the store logo. Really cool. I hadn’t used it for a while until I recently shot a roll of Svema mono of some abandoned shacks, and like yiu, I’m always amazed at the sharpness of this lens, and the accurate exposures in this 50 year old camera!

  • Reply
    January 27, 2019 at 9:37 am

    There are so many of these cameras for sale they are worth no more than $25 seriously. Somehow I have managed to end up with five of them when I only remember buying three versions of them. None cost me more than $25 for the actual functioning camera. Like Martin, I too have one from a vet, with the leather 35mm film holders on the strap, embossed “Vietnam”. While it is a nice camera there are also other nice ones from that era but you won’t see me divulge their names publicly for obvious reasons.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2019 at 10:03 am

    This was my first rangefinder bought a few years back. It must have been pre Spiderman as it was cheap. The results I get look like nothing else and the wonderful (fast) lens seems to add some kind of timeless vintage sheen to the images. At least to my eyes.

    It chewed a roll a couple of years back and I’ve only just brought it out again to give it another chance. Will see what the results are.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2019 at 12:13 am

    Wonderful pictures! I have always enjoyed Yashica SLR’s, but have not had the privilege of using a rangefinder yet. I hope to one day try one like yours. What a find!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Wayne S.
    February 3, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Hello Gavin,
    Nicely written and beautiful pictures from a truly remarkable camera! Yashica really hit the target with these gems! There nicely made-except for that pesky”Pad of Death”-
    the lenses were sharp and contrasty (put the Yashica lens shade on- they look cool and serve a purpose) and the exposure meter is really spot on even in
    tricky liting.They feel great to use and the viewfinder is big and brite and parralax corrected too! The Yashica Electro 35 is agreat,fun vintage rangefinder the produces
    Excellent images!

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