5 frames with...

5 frames with a Yashica Minister II – by Malcolm

December 26, 2017

While on a family holiday in Cornwall in the 1970s, I saw a Yashica Electro 35 rangefinder in a camera shop window. Needless to say, my parents were not persuaded to buy it for me at that time. Since then I have always had a hankering for a Yashica rangefinder but several less than reliable Electro 35’s later, I started looking for an alternative. The alternative turned out to be the Yashica Minister II rangefinder, a predecessor of the Electro 35.

The Yashica Minister can be picked up for very little money and is somewhat under appreciated in my opinion. There are three models, this is the Minister II. It is built like a tank and is quite heavy but it comes equipped with a nice sharp 45mm f2.8 Yashinon lens, a rangefinder that works well and a built-in selenium meter with a top plate readout. A big plus point is that it doesn’t need a battery.

The exposure setup is somewhat quirky. You first take a reading from the Meter (the display text is incredibly small) which is given as an exposure value rather than a shutter and aperture value. Then you dial this value on the EV ring at the front of the lens. This alters the shutter and aperture which are coupled together. It is possible to alter the aperture setting for a particular exposure value but the shutter speed is then altered automatically. It’s a sort of manual aperture priority system. However, the results are quite pleasing.

The five frames are from the town of Clitheroe and its surroundings, in the beautiful Ribble Valley in the north-west of the UK.

You can see more of my images at https://www.flickr.com/photos/malcy

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  • Reply
    Ken Davis
    December 26, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Good frames, well done for giving life to this 60’s camera.

  • Reply
    jess tip
    December 27, 2017 at 12:22 am

    I tried to like that camera. It’s nice to handle and for me one of the best looking cameras. Unfortunately I wasn’t happy with the lens. I’m not a sharpness junkie, but even for my taste, its quality is not satisfying.
    Considered that I got a bad example, but looking at pictures from others with that camera on Flickr, my opinion about its lens hardened.

  • Reply
    jeremy north
    December 27, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Some nice images Malcolm. I’ve long thought that Yashica cameras are underrated. They’ve always produced high quality lenses and interesting camera designs which were well built.

  • Reply
    October 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    I don’t think that’s the M2. The MII marking on the right side is not there and the “Yashica”,on the bottom left isn’t present either. I believe this is the first Minister. Either way, I want to get one.

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