The Traveling Yashica: Matt Jacques (Vancouver, Canada)

By Matt Jacques

What an exciting day, when the Traveling Yashica finally hit Vancouver. My stop was the 24th on the globe-trotting little compact’s adventure, and I believe it had been nearly a full year from the time I first signed up. I’ve only recently begun diving back into the world of film photography, and I’ve mostly been shooting SLRs and dabbling in a bit of medium format. In addition to my automotive and sports photography work in the digital world, I’ve finally started documenting some of my analogue interests in a new blog I’m calling Rewild Photography. It’s just getting started, but if you’re reading this, you just might enjoy following along.

This project gave me an excellent excuse to expand my boundaries to the world of 35mm compacts, something I would not likely have tried on my own. The original challenge was to shoot one roll in one week, and I managed to stick to the time limit, but went well over on the roll count. I burned through 5 rolls in 6 days with this little wonder camera, but it was a good thing I shot so much, as two of my rolls were past their best before dates by a few decades and came back from the lab completely fogged. That’s what you get for rolling the dice with expired film. More thoughts on the camera below, but here a few images of Vancouver, from my time with the camera. Colour images are using Kodak Portra 400, while the remainder are Tri-X 400:

Sea Planes
Sea planes at Coal Harbour.
Nike Statue Vancouver 2010
Statue of Nike, winged goddess of Victory, a gift from Greece for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Culver City Salads
Christina and Sarah of the mighty Culver City Salads food truck, a lunchtime favourite of mine.
Cherry Blossoms
Spring time in Vancouver means cherry blossoms.
Cherry Blossoms
…lots of cherry blossoms.
Marine Building
Entrance to the Marine Building, which at a mere 22 stories was the tallest building in the British Empire in 1930.
Canada Place
A blustery walk past the Five Sails of Canada Place.
Vancouver's Top Barber
Vancouver’s top barber, Farzad.
Vancouver Art Gallery
Hanging out on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The Aquabus shuttles people around False Creek in style.
Granville Island
Busking on Granville Island.
Cement Factory
Ocean Cement on Granville Island.

So, how did I find the little Yashica T5D? It was an absolute blast to shoot with. With most of my recent film shooting, I’ve always given preference to full manual or aperture-priority cameras, but I think this camera has convinced me of the simplicity and effectiveness of a quality point and shoot. Others have written that the half-press on the shutter button is on a hair trigger, and they’re not wrong. However, it’s quick to get used to and I think I spoiled 2-3 frames this way at most. I was also worried that I’d have a handful of shots with my own right hand fingers in the frame, as the lens pops out an extra little bit at the moment of taking the picture. More than a few times, the lens popped out and bumped into my fingers… but not one frame was spoiled this way. The main on-off switch on the front of the camera operates in a counter-intuitive way to me, and as someone who wears glasses, the viewfinder is certainly cramped, but all of these little quirks can’t ruin the fun of having a quality piece of glass on a very small and stealthy camera. The bonus top-side viewfinder also comes in handy for street photography or framing ground-level shots. Who needs an articulated LCD viewfinder anyways?

With the Traveling Yashica’s brief sojourn in Vancouver finished, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a T5D if I found one for a reasonable price. I guess the secret is out by now, so it’s far from an absolute bargain, but still delivers great value as a convenient little sharpshooter. Thanks for the opportunity to take part in this brilliant project, and I’ll continue to follow along!

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About The Author

By Matt Jacques
Matt is a photographer, social scientist and proud Vancouverite, specializing in sport and motorsport photography. He embraces traditional film processes to push his own photographic development, and was named the winner of the 2013 Credit Suisse Goodwood Revival Photographic Award.
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Gary on The Traveling Yashica: Matt Jacques (Vancouver, Canada)

Comment posted: 01/04/2015

Nice photos. I live just outside Vancouver - can't believe I was so close to the traveling yashica :-)

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Show Time For The Traveling Yashica - Rewild PhotographyRewild Photography on The Traveling Yashica: Matt Jacques (Vancouver, Canada)

Comment posted: 06/04/2015

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