Point & Shoot Thoughts on Cameras

Do you actually need a Yashica T4? Or: An Attempt for the Purest “Cult vs. Budget” Comparison Ever – By Dmitry Zhilyaev

I happened to own a Yashica T4 and I have a very strange relationship with it. I am well aware of its cult status. I know that its Zeiss lens should be really good and especially for a compact camera. I see gazillions of positive reviews of it. But every time I am going through another roll from it I am finding myself thinking: “So this is it? Is it really that different from any other camera?” Don’t get me wrong, the results are not bad. But they don’t blow my mind either.

So I just can’t help thinking that maybe it actually makes more sense to sell my T4 and put this money into something else. And I probably would do so already (especially taking into account the price it is going for now) but… Yes, there is always a “but”. Somehow, all the time there is one shot on the roll which I REALLY like. This one shot changes everything and brings another thought: “Well damn, I see what all the hype is about”. And just like that my Yashica becomes a keeper again.

I was going back and forth like this for quite some time and decided that the only way to solve my issue is to compare my Yashica T4 to some other – and preferably cheap – point-and-shoot camera. If there is no real difference, T4 goes for sale. There are plenty of reviews and comparisons available online but they didn’t satisfy me. What I wanted to have is the purest head-to-head comparison ever:

  • Yashica T4 vs. a budget compact with a matching functionality
  • Same film stock preferable from the same batch
  • Shots of the same scenes taken with both cameras at the same time with the same settings
  • Developed and scanned by the same lab using the same equipment and settings

Making the comparison

Since there was no such comparison available, I decided to make one myself and that’s what you are reading about now. The most important thing was to select a budget contestant to go against the Yashica. In a local thrift shop, I’ve found an Olympus AF-10 Super (also known in the U.S. as Olympus Infinity Jr.) which cost me basically nothing and was fitting my experiment nicely. It is a budget compact produced by Olympus at the beginning of the 90s. It has a 35mm f/3.5 lens. It is widely available and cheap (about 15 times cheaper than Yashica T4 if you buy from eBay or you can also find them for peanuts in charity shops, flea markets etc.). I’ve bought a fresh 3-roll package of Kodak Gold 200 and took these two cameras for a walk in Berlin and Potsdam. The rolls then travelled quite a bit and were developed and scanned in Sreda Photo Lab in Moscow.

Technical specifications

Let’s start from a bit of technical geekery. Here is how Yashica T4 and Olympus AF-10 Super compare:

Lens

Yashica T4: Carl Zeiss Tessar T* 35mm f/3.5, 4 elements in 3 groups
Olympus AF-10 Super: Olympus lens 35mm f/3.5, 3 elements in 3 groups

One important difference is that the lens of Olympus stays inside of the body while Yashica’s lens protrudes when it’s ON and retracts back when it is OFF.

Focusing

Yashica T4: Infrared AF, 0.35m (1.15 ft) – ∞
Olympus AF-10 Super: Infrared AF, 0.6m (2.1 ft) – ∞

Both cameras have Infrared AF so focusing in low light conditions shouldn’t be a problem.
A smaller minimal focusing distance of the Yashica is definitely an advantage

Shutter speeds

Yashica T4: range 1/700 sec. – 1 sec.
Olympus AF-10 Super: 1/400 sec. – 1/45 sec.

T4 has a sufficiently wider shutter speed range. However, the limitation of the slow shutter speed of the Olympus can be a plus in some situations (See my notes on the low light shooting below)

Film speed range

Yashica T4: ISO 50 – 3200, Non-DX is set to ISO 100
Olympus AF-10 Super: ISO 50-1600 (actual settings: ISO 50, 100, 400, 800), Non-DX is set to 50

Again, T4 has a superior range. AF-10 features a smaller number of contacts for DX code reading. As the result, ISO 200 film will be overexposed by one stop (the camera thinks it is ISO 100) and ISO 1600 – underexposed by one stop (the camera thinks it is ISO 800) if you put it in the Olympus. It is not a big problem in case of ISO 200 as film handles the overexposure well. On the other hand, using ISO 1600 film will be trickier as it might result in the loss of shadow details.

Flash

Yashica T4: 5 modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, Flash-IN, Flash-OFF, Landscape, Switching between modes using a button
Olympus AF-10 Super: 3 modes: Auto, Off, Fill-In flash, Switching between modes using a physical switch

The physical switch of the Olympus is probably its biggest advantage (See the next section for more details)

Size

Yashica T4: 118 x 64.5 x 39.5 mm (4.6” x 2.5” x 1.6”)
Olympus AF-10 Super: 116.5 x 63 x 46 mm (4.6” x 2.5” x 1.8”)

Olympus is definitely “fattier” but the difference is not critical

Weight

Yashica T4: 190 g (6.7 oz)
Olympus AF-10 Super: 210 g (7.4 oz)

The difference is not noticeable

Batteries

Yashica T4: 1x CR123A
Olympus AF-10 Super: 2xAAA or 1xCR123A

Another nice feature of the Olympus. AAA batteries are available everywhere and are cheap. Finding a CR123 A battery can be tricky especially if your old one will die while you’re travelling.

Other functions

Yashica T4: Has a screen and the mid-roll rewind function
Olympus AF-10 Super: Doesn’t have a screen and the mid-roll rewind function

If you’re one of five people in the world who really needs these, I am sorry, but the Olympus doesn’t fit you.

As you can see, even though these two cameras were in different price ranges, functions-wise they are pretty close. Yashica T4 is, of course, more advanced but the difference is not huge. The Olympus has something nice up its sleeve as well.

Operation

Design and build quality

Originally I didn’t plan to include the design section but I know that for some people it is important. Well, design-wise Olympus AF-10 is more or less just a brick with rounded corners. I am pretty sure the design wasn’t something Olympus really thought about when making this camera and it is understandable since it is a budget model. T4 is definitely looking more appealing. But we are not buying cameras because of their design, right? Right?..

The build quality of both cameras is good. Yashica T4 feels better, though, as the plastic of Olympus AF-10 Super feels a bit cheap. And it probably is cheap. But the overall construction feels solid and all parts are fitted well together.

Handling

Both cameras are nice to handle and I cannot really decide which one I prefer. The Olympus has more grip due to its clam shell design and a thicker body but Yashica T4 is easy to handle and operate as well. One problem I have accounted with Olympus was that I somehow managed to stick my finger in 3 of 37 shots. I guess this is due to the fact that its lens is sunken in unlike Yashica’s lens which sticks out. So you just don’t feel when your finger might be intruding the frame. Of course now when I am aware of it, this is not a problem anymore but if you are just starting using the Olympus, you should keep it in mind.

If you have long fingers it might be quite easy to stick your finger in the frame of Olympus AF-10 super without noticing it. Keep it in mind if you’re just starting using this camera.

Viewfinder

The Olympus has a bigger viewfinder which is a plus. Unfortunately, it lacks the parallax correction marks which T4 has. Nevertheless, I think I prefer the viewfinder of the Olympus. I am wearing glasses so for me, the bigger viewfinder is, the better.

The viewfinder of Olympus AF-10 is bigger compared to Yashica T4 but lacks parallax correction marks

Speed

Here comes my frustration with the Yashica. It is just not fast enough. The retracting design of the lens is quite annoying. If you are willing to catch some fast-changing moment with Yashica T4, forget about it. When you are turning it on, there is a lag while the lens protrudes into the ready-to-shoot position. When you’re acquiring the focus and pressing the shutter button, there is a lag again since the camera protrudes the lens even further to get it into the focused position. These movements are quite slow as well.

Olympus AF-10 is not the fastest camera either but it has a shorter lag when you turning it on since it doesn’t need to protrude the lens. It is still not “zero lag”, though. Between pressing the shutter button and the shot itself there is a bit of a lag again as the focused position of the lens is further away and the camera needs to protrude it. Nevertheless, the movement happens faster than in case of Yashica T4.

So the overall speed of Olympus is better but if you need something for instant shooting with no lag, none of these two is for you. Instead, you should look for some less automated non-AF camera and go with the zone focusing.

Noise

Let me start from saying that if you are taking photos with any of these two cameras on the street, you can forget about the discreet shooting. Everybody will know you just took a shot. They sound different but none of them can be called silent.

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The Olympus is loud all around. Each shot produces a loud “clack” and the film advance mechanism is loud as well. Fortunately, the sounds are not annoying. I would say that the shutter sounds quite classy. It sounds really similar to some other camera I used before but I cannot remember which. The sound of the film advance mechanism is less enjoyable, though.

The Yashica is more silent but, unfortunately, also more annoying. Every time you are turning the camera on, it makes a high pitch robotic sound and protrudes the lens. Every time you are turning it off, it does it again. Every time you are taking the shot, the lens moves and makes this sound again. The shutter sound is fine but that’s the lens movements which are ruining everything. The film advance is sufficiently more silent than in the Olympus.

Focusing

I would say both cameras are focusing well. From 37 shots, the Olympus missed focus twice while the Yashica did so four times. I was surprised to see better results from Oly but it might be just a small sample size.

Flash operation

That is what I love about the Olympus. By default, every time you’re turning off the camera, it puts the flash in the Auto mode. However, as it does it is using a physical switch, it is really easy to “hack” it. Here is the link to the post by 35mmc’s creator Hamish Gill himself describing how to do it – link.

The post is missing a bit of information on taking off the lens cover but it is not hard, don’t worry. Just stick a small screwdriver under it near one of the “rails”, pull the screwdriver up and the cover will pop off. It might feel like you can break it but in fact, it is pretty solid. Just be sure not to lose a little bearing ball which is located under the cover.

Taking off the cover of Olympus AF-10 super is not hard. Just make sure not to lose a tiny bearing ball which jumps off when the cover goes off.

Remove a little plastic tab pointed by the instructions above using a knife (paper or a hobby knife makes it easier) and, voila, the flash will stay in the mode you want it to stay. Which is, of course, Flash-off.

You cannot hack Yashica T4 like that. With it, each time you are turning the camera on the flash will be in the Auto mode. To turn it off you need to press the flash button located on the top of the camera three times. And you do it every single time you turn the camera on. This. Is. Annoying.

Side by side results

So here comes the most interesting part. I didn’t edit any of the photos except cropping two of them: one was the last frame which didn’t fit entirely and got cut and another had my finger sticking in. Looking at the photos I am realizing that I definitely failed in the variety and creativity departments. All of these are just quick simple street snaps and don’t have much of the artistic value. I should also have probably added some close-up shots and portraits. But well, you can’t have it all. Also, this is the way I mostly use compact fully automatic cameras anyway.

To make it more interesting, I will not tell you which camera is which yet. Take a look and try to guess which of them is Olympus and which is Yashica.

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

Let me guess, the first thing you have noticed is that photos on the left are generally flatter and a bit brighter. And if you were reading the technical part above, you probably even know why. After all the effort of having the purest possible comparison, I have failed. So what was my mistake? Well, as I learned already after I exposed these rolls, Olympus AF-10 Super cannot distinguish between ISO 100 and ISO 200 films and treats them both as ISO 100. I was using Kodak Gold 200 for the test. As a result, all photos from the Olympus were overexposed by one stop. And the overexposure is known to result in flatter negatives. It is not a big deal but the comparison purity I was striving for was ruined. So yes, photos on the left are from Olympus AF-10 Super.

Apart from the exposure difference, the results are very close. Both cameras are producing sharp photos. In many cases, photos from the Olympus turned out sharper than from the Yashica (e.g., photos #2 or #5) but it might also be related to the focusing or caused by a bit of a camera shake. Both cameras have some sharpness fall-off and minor vignetting in the corners and in this regard they are performing extremely similarly. The Olympus is producing a lens flare when shooting against the light while the Yashica controls it better. On the other hand, in the photo #9 the Yashica got some ghosting from the bright light coming from above while Olympus didn’t.

There is a difference in the colour reproduction between the two. To some degree, it can be caused by the difference in the exposure but I think there is more than that. Yashica T4 tends to produce warmer colours. You can see this from photos #5, #9, #11 and especially #14. However, the last shot was cut in case of the Olympus and scanned together with the frame gap and a part of the previous frame which could have influenced the white balance the scanner ended up with. Generally, I find the colours from the Yashica a bit more pleasant to my eye but the difference is dependent on the particular scene and is often negligible.

I have also taken some shots in low light situations. As I wrote in the technical comparison, the Olympus has a sufficiently narrower shutter speeds diapason and the slowest shutter speed you can get is 1/45 sec. Yashica T4, on the other hand, can go all the way to 1 second. It might be seen as a clear advantage of Yashica T4 but often it is not. Take a look at these photos (AF-10 on the left, T4 on the right):



The Yashica produces better-exposed shots but two of the shots above turned out blurry. In low-light situations Yashica T4 will use shutter speeds so slow, you have no chances of getting a sharp shot unless you have hands of steel. Of course, if you are carrying a tripod with you, this is not a problem. However, carrying a tripod with a point-and-shoot is strange to me because it kills all the advantages of having a pocketable camera in the first place. With the Olympus you are limited to 1/45th of a second and the shots will always be sharp. Underexposure is the price you pay for sharpness. I prefer sharp underexposed shots to properly exposed blurry ones but different strokes for different folks as the saying goes. Hamish talks more about harnessing the Olympus and the low shutter speed limitation here.

All in all, I am pleasantly surprised by Olympus AF-10 Super and the quality of photos it produces. I would go even further and say that it is producing the results as good as Yashica T4. In my opinion, the only major letdown of Af-10 is that it is loud. Other limitations like shutter speeds diapason or film speeds range are not that critical for me.

You can find full-size versions of all scans above on Flickr: Olympus AF-10 super is here and Yashica T4 is here.

End note

So what is the conclusion? Do you actually need a Yashica T4? I will not give you an answer. I think everybody should decide it for themselves. Yashica T4 is a good camera. It is a cult point-and-shoot and some might even argue it is one of the symbols of the film photography revival. But if you didn’t know what T4 stands for, it is “Too pricey 4 what you are getting”.

Olympus AF-10 Super is just one of many available point-and-shoots which have very similar characteristics to Yashica T4. There are also Olympus mju series, Canon Prima Mini, Samsung AF-SLIM, Ricoh FF-9 and dozens of others. All of them are cheaper than the Yashica and I am pretty sure all of them are able to produce photos hardly distinguishable from these of Yashica T4. But then again, they are not Yashica T4.

If you want to see some of my photos which are – I hope – a little bit better than test shots presented here, you can find me on IG @dmz_photo. Be aware, though, that I am mixing film with digital there so in no case should you visit it if you’re sensitive to this kind of impurity 🙂

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32 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Mike Hannon
    August 30, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Nice article! I like the A/B comparison and I also like the spirit of pitting two cameras against each other to decide what you will keep!

    From my tests Colorplus at +1 still has plenty highlight headroom. So I would expect the slightly overexposed shots to actually have more contrast than box speed due to an extra stop of shadow detail. So if the scan settings were identical, the Oly might simply be less contrasty.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      August 30, 2019 at 4:34 pm

      Hey Mike! Glad you liked it 🙂 I am not an expert but I remember seeing the test of how Kodak Gold 200 handles under- and overexposure (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157702269631325/). You can see that with overexposure it is getting a bit less contrasty. So I was expecting to have some similar effect. But you are right, it might also be a general difference between the image these two cameras are producing. Maybe at some point I will make another attempt, fix my mistakes and make an actual “purest comparison ever” so we will know for sure where the difference in the contrast comes from. However, I have a feeling I might not have my Yashica with me at that point anymore.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Łukasz
    August 30, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I used Olympus Mju II, Pentax Espio and Konica BM302 and Olympus AF-10 Super. Of all these cameras, the Af-10 is the fastest and most functional. It’s a great and underrated camera

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      August 30, 2019 at 4:42 pm

      Well, functionality-wise Olympus Mju II is more advanced but the fact you need to turn off the auto-flash every time you are turning the camera on is ruining everything for me. But Olympus AF-10 Super is a nice camera. Now I just hope this post will not result in an increase of its price…

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Terry B
    August 30, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Dmitry. Thanks for going to the trouble of carrying out this quite revealing exercise. I have a T4, but to answer your question do you really need it, I must reply “no”. It is very much over-hyped and attracts ridiculous prices to boot.
    I view web reviews in chrome and use the distill page mode which removes annoying adverts and re-formats the text. I mention this because your images, the originals, are now shown in there entirety, one below the other, and don’t use the slider comparison tool. Scrolling down through these I did form the opinion that I always preferred the lower one of each scene. These all seem to have a slightly lower gamma (more black content) and as I like to use the black level slide control in PP, these images appealed to me more. This, for me, was the clue that they were likely to be from the T4 lens having a tad more contrast, and the more obvious flare in the contre jour shot sealed it for me. But as regards overall sharpness there was so little obvious difference between the two for web use. But I’ve always believed that to accurately assess a lens’ performance for ultimate sharpness with film, this can only be done using either a proper photographic print (to eliminate any losses due to digital scanning) or a photographic focus finder.
    Anyway, away from the technical bits, a very nice portfolio you’ve submitted here.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      August 31, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Terry, I’m glad to hear you liked it! I still think T4 is a nice camera but yes, the results from it are not that far off from other compacts as testing shows. As for more contrast, I am actually still not convinced that it comes from the lens or was just due to 1-stop overexposure I had in case of Olympus. I have a feeling that if I would not screw up in this part, the results could have been close to non-distinguishable. In digital form at least.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Martin South of France
    August 30, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    What a brilliant subjective piece. Thanks! I have often wondered the same and a few year back my Yashica gave up the ghost. I had owned it for years….way before they became cult….in fact I inherited it. I used it for many years and then with the advent of digital I found myself using it less and less; I would either carry a small digital camera or my Contax 139Q that I had bought new in 79. Great camera and very small for an slr. I digress, the Yashica stopped working…dead…..I wanted to replace it with like, only to find prices through the roof…and all basically because it has Carl Zeiss glass….not much of it….but enough. A new used T4 was out of the question, I refused to pay the prices asked. A few months passed and a friend gave me their Canon Sure Shot 130u. Still new in the box. I bought a battery, stuck a print film in it……..and was I ever impressed. Fantastic rendtioning of colour/saturation etc and crystal sharp pictures. Next, as I shoot normally only slide film, I put a roll of Precisa 100 in it….. Once again, results that were equally good, in fact if I am honest the average was far better. I still have the Canon, I still use it and notice you can pick one up for under 10 euros…… Certain things in this life are overated…my belief is that the T4 is one of them. Thanks again for a great and honest side by side…..it had to be done.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      August 31, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      Many thanks! I was basically making this test for myself and it is nice to see others finding it interesting as well. Interesting story! Actually, you should think of writing something on Canon Sure Shot 130u on 35mmc as well – I don’t see any articles about it here. It seems to be one of the late 35mm cameras which appeared right before digital started overtaking film and there is not that much information about it available online.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Kurt Ingham
    August 30, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Really nicely balanced and entertaining – without the annoying affectations we often see. The split image result is very cool.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      August 31, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks, Kurt, I appreciate it!

  • Dan Castelli
    Reply
    Dan Castelli
    August 30, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Dmitry – no, you’re not the only person that needed to pass an exam before using a camera. I taught high school photography and each student needed to show competency before borrowing any of the school’s equipment. The exam didn’t cover “Murphy’s Law;” over 35 years in the classroom, I’ve had students: drop them in water, run over them with cars and one memorable incident where a sofa caught on fire and they burned up the camera. Teaching was never boring. All the cameras gave up their worldly existence in the name of art & creativity.
    My personal cult camera is my Leitz-Minolta CL w/a 40mm lens. It’s a conversation starter…More so than my M4-P. Go figure…
    A nice, in-depth article. I enjoyed it.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      August 31, 2019 at 6:20 pm

      Who knew that we are many and that my father was acting like a school photography teacher? I must say, though, that I have managed to trick Murphy’s law somehow and this cam is still very much alive. Also, since it is a Zenit, it can perfectly survive a car crash, water, fire and most probably a nuclear explosion as well. It can also be used as a weapon. An all-around perfect camera for a photo student!
      I can totally understand why Leitz-Minolta CL attracts more interest than M4-P. M4 is just a Leica. Everybody knows Leicas. But what Leitz-Minolta is? It is Minolta. But at the same time, it is also Leica? It is German and Japanese at the same time? Mindblowing 🙂 And it looks pretty interesting as well.
      And thanks!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Andrew Roberts
    August 30, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    This is actually a little spooky, I was thinking just this week that I was going to hold my own comparison along the same lines. I’ve even managed to pick up 2 AF-10s (one is a Super model, one is the bog standard without the ability to adjust flash), the other camera I was going to test it against was my Contax T2. I feel your comparison is probably better than mine as the Contax has a completely different feel to it, along with a different lens setup etc.

    I agree with what you say about the sound of the Olympus shutter, it sounds classy which is strange when its in such a plastic-y cheap body but there you go 😀

    So I suppose the real question is, is the Yashica overpriced or the Olympus underpriced? 😀

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      August 31, 2019 at 6:36 pm

      Hey Andrew! You know, I am actually pretty curious now how AF-10 will compete against T2. Imagine you will get similar results to what I had and there will be not much of a difference between photos? Now that would be something! We might actually create a new cult camera with our own hands this way…
      Right? It is quite a satisfying clack AF-10 has.
      Of course it is Yashica which is overpriced. Even if it would be other way around, we still should say so. We don’t want AF-10 prices to go up, right? 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply
    JamesW
    August 30, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Brilliant, brilliant real world article. I liked the images on the left more than the ones on the right, but this is on a screen that is budget quality at best. I suspect treating the film to an extra stop did it a world of good to start with. Thanks very much for posting. I would now never think of spending how much£? on a camera that is not 15 times better than something I wouldn’t cry over if I dropped it. I’m still trying to decide to keep or sell a Contax G2….

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      August 31, 2019 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks, James! I think photos from Olympus might be more appealing in case you prefer less contrasty images in general. It is actually a good thing if I’m thinking about it. There is more flexibility in the negative and contrast can be increased easily in the post-processing if needed. As for your G2, you can try to do what I did 😉

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Lili
    August 31, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    I love this comparison and your deflating the cult reputation of the Yashica.
    Well done!
    What matters most is the user, not the gear.
    Bravo!!!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Lili
      August 31, 2019 at 10:34 pm

      BTW, my Cult cameras are my mju II and my Cosina CX-2 (the ancestral LOMO).
      I adore using the CX-2.

      • Avatar
        Reply
        Dmitry Zhilyaev
        September 1, 2019 at 10:01 pm

        Thanks, Lili! I don’t think, though, my post will be able to do anything with Yashica’s cult status. It’s like with iPhones: there might be some bad reviews but they will never stop people for standing in the line for a new model 🙂
        And CX-2 seems to be great fun!

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Helge Frisenette
    September 1, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    Of course everything hinges on the type and quality of the scans.
    Such small images are really useless for judging anything for reader.
    The name of the game is resolution.
    Colourcast can be due any number of differences. And can be tweaked very easily in post.
    Therefor we really need very high resolution scans to simulate a large print where the difference in lens resolution would be apparent.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      September 1, 2019 at 10:15 pm

      Hi, Helge! One thing I know for sure, no matter what resolution you would scan with there will always be somebody who will say it is not enough. In case of my test, the only way to satisfy everybody was to sell a kidney and scan both of these rolls with a drum scanner 🙂 However, my test was about an average user and for an average user. Are there many people who will be using T4 or AF-10 to produce huge prints and who will need the maximum possible resolution? – I don’t think so. As I mentioned, I have uploaded all scans in full size (2000px x 3000px) to Flickr and you can check them there. They were all made using Noritsu HS-1800 which is a professional-grade scanner. I am confident this is more than enough to be able to judge the difference between two compact cameras.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Rob B
    September 1, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Dimitry, this is the best review of the T4 I’ve read yet. I found a T4 a few months ago at a thrift store in beautiful condition – $7.

    I shot two rolls of film through it and your reaction mirrors perfectly how I felt about it. I just couldn’t see what the hype was about. To be real, I have always preferred the SLR, but I find a point-and-shoot handy when I’m on the go. I sold the T4.

    I have an Infinity Jr. that I haven’t yet shot, so your comparison is encouraging me to get it out shooting.

    I also have a Pentax PC35AF and a Mju I that, IMO take better pictures and miss focus less frequently than the T4.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      September 1, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks, Rob! You should definitely try your Oly. It is a nice little camera. However, I am not sure it will beat your Pentax PC35AF or Mju I. I think they are somewhere around the same level functionality and quality-wise but quite different in use. I am actually looking in the direction of Pentax PC35AF now. I like that it is not motorized but at the same time has AF. It feels like an ultimate carry-around compact to me. How do you like your PC35AF compared to Mju I?

      • Avatar
        Reply
        Rob B
        September 3, 2019 at 11:15 pm

        I have the PC35AF-M variant, which has motorized advance. The sound will wake the dead though. I prefer it to the Mju I because it has a larger, brighter viewfinder, the faster lens and the 1.5 stop backlight compensation. The larger size is also better for my hands.

        The Mju I, despite having a slower lens, still takes excellent pictures and is the better, more discreet street shooter. I also like it when I need a camera that can fit in my pocket, which is IMO, its greatest strength.

        I also recently acquired a Pentax IQ Zoom 150 SL (Espio 150 SL) which also takes beautiful pictures and has crazy zoom capability (38-150mm) in a package no bigger than the Mju I. It has a SMC coated lens that renders colors beautifully.

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          Dmitry Zhilyaev
          September 4, 2019 at 9:55 pm

          Interesting, thanks for a detailed comparison. Is it shutter or film advance mechanism in PC35AF which is loud? Or is it both?
          That IQ Zoom looks interesting. However, I have mixed feelings about compact film zooms. On one hand, it is nice to have a zooming capacity. On the other hand, their aperture range is generally really not great. So low light situations or fast-moving objects are not something you want to shoot with these.
          And sorry about delayed moderation which caused you to double-post. My bad 🙂

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            Rob B
            September 5, 2019 at 4:26 pm

            Definitely the film advance that is the loud part, but its still quieter than my L35AF2 😉

            I hear you on the compact zooms – I don’t even consider using them unless I know I’m going to be shooting in good light. I do love the ability to frame a shot where I can’t get close to my subject though.

            I have some pics posted here if you’re interested. They’re shot on expired Ferrania, so they don’t really show off what the PC35AF is capable of, but they do show how wonderfully the lens renders color.

            https://www.lomography.com/homes/therealmrblue/albums/2195092-pentax-pc35af-m/23305640

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            Dmitry Zhilyaev
            September 5, 2019 at 9:57 pm

            Yes, in old cameras they were not caring much about motor noise. It was a cool technology back then and nobody really complained about such things as noise. But hey, then I still have hopes for non-motorised PC35AF to be my ultimate carry-around camera. Now I just need to put my hands on one of these.
            Thanks for the link! I almost forgot that I wanted this Ferrania film but now I want it again 😀

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    Reply
    Rob B
    September 4, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    My camera is the PC35AF-M, which is the motorized variant. The film advance noise is the only definite downside to it, IMO. My T4 at least had a discreet film advance.

    Between the PC35AF-M and the Mju I, I personally give the edge to the Pentax for its faster lens, 1.5 stop backlight compensation and the fact that fits better in my large hands. This along with my Nikon L35AF2 (One Touch) are my preferred travel compacts.

    The Mju I wins on size and weight and is the more discreet street shooter, however. I like being able to slip it into a coat pocket.

    My ultimate go-to street shooter combo is my Contax 139Q or Yashica FX-D with the CZ Tessar 45mm f2.8.

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    Rob B
    September 4, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Sorry for the duplicate comments – looks like there’s a delay in moderation.

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    Bryan D. Costin
    September 4, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Very interesting! Thank you for take the time to do this comparison. I really enjoyed reading it.

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    Reply
    Kirill S
    September 7, 2019 at 7:03 am

    Thank you, Maxim for the comparison. It’s really interesting. I had an Yashica t4 for 5 or more years andI was totally happy this it. Bur it has broken. After dozen of hours searching in blogs I decided to buy Panasonic C625AF from ebay. Now I’m happy again:) It’s the same camer like Leica Minilux with the same lens. Pretty sharp and nice color. It have the same problem like mju—you have to turned off the flash. If you find this camera I recommend trying it. There are three cameras with the same lens but with different “names”: Panasonic C625AF, Leica Minilux and Olympus Minitrip AF (something like this). My Panas has cost 5000 rubles in mint condition:)

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      Reply
      Dmitry Zhilyaev
      September 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      I am not Maxim but that’s ok 🙂 Yeah, you’re right these three are the same. I will definitely give it a try if I will find one somewhere in a thrift store. So far I am more lucky with getting Oly Mju II – found two already basically for nothing…

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