Yashica T3
Point & Shoot

Yashica T3 Review – by Alex Redman

April 29, 2017

The Yashica T3 features an F2.8 35mm lens, the only compact Yashica in the T series to do so. This was one of the reasons I wanted one as I always try and avoid using flash where possible, the other reason was that it was so much cheaper than any T4/T5 I’d been looking for at the time. I picked mine up for around £40 and really didn’t expect to get it for that much, it was a nice clean example and came fully equipped with a case and strap, not bad eh?

First impressions of the Yashica T3

The T3 is bulky but it’s not like its massive. When compared to the size of the Ricoh GR1 or the Olympus Mju ii it may seem so, but this doesn’t really give it a disadvantage. It’s quiet to turn on, it’s quick to auto-focus and its quite to take a shot (when you hold the shutter down). It has a nice big view finder (bigger than the T5 if I remember correctly) and an NA scope that’s great for composing from the waist.

First outings

I waited till my next trip down to Bristol to try out the Yashica T3. Katie and I were going to the opening of the German Market on the Saturday so I thought this would be a great chance to see how it performed with little light and no flash. The first roll I put through it was XP2 and I was really happy with the results.

Yashica T3 | Candles

Earlier in the day we had been to a “pop-up” shop on Gloucester Road, we had a wander around and I came across a cool display of ornaments. I pulled out the Yashica and went to grab a quick snap of the strange arrangement, it was here where I realised how fast the T3 was to use. Even with having to turn the flash off I was happy enough that I didn’t draw any attention to myself.

Yashica T3 | Dolls House

The next day we got up early and walked down to the Remembrance Parade. Equipped with the T3 and my M4-P we found a spot to stand that wasn’t too crowded and not out of the way that we couldn’t see anything. It was here that one of my favourite things about this camera came into use, the delay of the wind on. After I snapped a picture I held on to the shutter until the parade noise picked up again, this feature was perfect for on the street and this occasion. Because of the ease and how much I was enjoying shooting with it, I may as well have left the Leica at home, I barely touched it.

Yashica T3 | Bristol Buildings

Another feature that I really enjoyed was the N.A. Scope, having a waist level finder was useful when we were walking around Bristol, I used it a few times and really liked the results. One thing that did stick out with the T3’s NA scope over the T5’s was that when the AF had locked it told you on the LCD, as far as I can remember the T5 doesn’t do this.

Yashica T3 | Bikes

I feel like I’ve rambled on about what I did on the weekend too much so here are my final thoughts on the T3.

It’s fast. If you really wanted to you could pull this camera out of your pocket, slide open the lens cover, point and shoot. You may struggle with the “pulling” out of the pocket part but once you have achieved this it’s pretty easy going. The shutter fires fast and when you let go of the shutter its fast to wind on, I read somewhere that you can even shoot it in continuous mode?

The lens is sharp. Of course, the lens is sharp, its Zeiss. But I was still surprised, the only other Zeiss lens I’ve shot with is the 35mm on the T5. Maybe my surprise is guaranteed in this instance but I was still really surprised with results.

In conclusion

The Yashica T3 although it’s a bulky compact it is definitely a compact that I would be happy to carry around with me on a day to day basis. I was talking to Hamish about how I felt about this camera (as it’s been so long since I started writing about it) and I think it’s changed the way I think when I’m shooting. I feel like I’m putting a lot more effort into framing and finding things to shoot, it seems to be the favourite point and shoot I own.

If you had the chance to try one out for a while I would definitely suggest taking it.

Thanks for reading.

If you are interested in any of the other pictures for the Yashica T3, they can be found here.

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Ori
    April 29, 2017 at 8:38 am

    I have one and I can say the exact same thing about my experience. One thing though, although super sharp, the lens is not a zeiss, I was told that Yashica licensed the zeiss formula and coatings and manufactured it themselves.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      April 29, 2017 at 8:51 am

      This only makes it a little bit less Zeiss than “not Zeiss” in my opinion. The Zeiss ZM lenses are made by Cosina, but they are very much Zeiss lenses

      • Reply
        ori
        April 29, 2017 at 9:06 am

        These days, sure. However, I can argue that Zeiss made Zeiss lenses back then, therefore this changes things a bit. (unless Cosina made them)

  • Reply
    Johnny B
    April 29, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Hi. Great review and a great camera. I’ve got one too. I picked it up in a car boot sale in Tunbridge Wells for £1. I saw the Kyocera case on a table and wondered what was inside. It was in perfect condition. I also picked up a mju ii at the same sale for £5!

    • Reply
      Erki
      December 25, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      Yes, it really is a great camera! It was our family camera for years before we got a digital in 2004. The pictures have always been beautiful, looking at the old family photos confirms that. And although it doesn’t get much use nowadays (my grandfather sometimes uses it), it still works flawlessly!

  • Reply
    Terry B
    April 29, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Very true, Hamish.

    These Zeiss lenses (and the Leica branded lenses for Panasonic) are to Zeiss and Leica designs and I understand that they have to meet their designers’ performance criteria otherwise they would’t be permitted to badge them. I’d even go as far as saying that these more modern day versions of the famed Tessar would perform better than the Tessars of yore simply because of the advanced coatings.

  • Reply
    John Mitchell
    April 29, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    I loved my T3, unfortunately the shutter eventually gave up the ghost.?

  • Reply
    Potatocakes
    May 3, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Bought one these, used it for a few months. Didn’t really like it, missed focus quite a bit and was very clunky to use. Sold it for 3 times the amount I paid for it! Much prefer the Nikon L35AF or Olympus Mju-ii, can be had for around the half the price.

    • Reply
      Zander
      May 10, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      How does it compare in size to the Nikon. I loved mine but I abused it and it died. It was great but a bit bulky, even though I loved the 80s aesthetic

  • Reply
    noMSG
    May 21, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    would anyone happen to know the difference between a t3 and t3 super?

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      May 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      I’m not sure there is one

      • Reply
        noMSG
        May 27, 2017 at 12:34 am

        im thinkin thats the case as well.. been comparing photos ans cant find anything on the interwebs…

  • Reply
    pantelis cockney
    August 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    do you have pre focus? or any light indication inside the viewfinder?
    i bought one today shot some flicks but couldnt really understand the focusing.. (i had many compacts all these years)

    • Reply
      Erki
      December 25, 2019 at 7:01 pm

      It’s 2 years since you asked, but still, maybe it’s useful for someone. My experience is that to get sharp pics, half-press the shutter and let it focus for a few seconds, then press down. There’s a green LED in the viewfinder. When it flashes, the camera can’t focus and doesn’t allow to take a photo. When it glows steady, it will focus, but let it settle for a few seconds (it doesn’t notify when it’s ready). This way it’s nearly impossible to get blurry photos. Also a red LED indicates if the flash is going to be used (can be left to auto or forced on/off).

  • Reply
    Carmen
    September 6, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    I wonder how this compares to the Olympus XA or mju ii? I am having troubles finding the mju ii for a good price so may ‘settle’ for the XA or Yashica T3S for my p&s. Any advice?

  • Reply
    These were the most searched for film cameras in 2019 - Kosmo Foto
    March 20, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    […] These include Canon’s no-nonsense early 70s SLR the FTb, the auto-focus Konica Hexar RF, the Leica Minilux and the Yashica T3. […]

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