yashica electro 35 gtn
Such is the epic cult following of this camera that I doubt there’s any GAS infected photographer/classic camera collector that doesn’t own one, hasn’t owned one, or will not soon own one or at least desire one, or a variant thereof. By ‘variant’ I am referring to the various iterations of the Yashica Electro 35 – GT, GS, GTN, GSN, GX, and so on.
Read all about this camera and its sisters (yes female. They create life), from the internet’s number one Yashica fan – The Yashica Guy.
I spotted mine at pop-up antique store in London’s Shoreditch and very quickly grabbed it, while parting with a reasonable amount of money. I actually knew what it was for a change, as I had read all about it in the forums – it came very highly recommended, especially by and for street photographers. So, I knew I was getting good value (if it worked that is). The merchant was ever so kind to include a roll of extremely cheap film in the ‘deal’. We both shared a laugh about that. He knew that I knew that the film was near useless, but it was a good gesture which I accepted of course.
It took just over a week for the internet to send me my battery – probably from abroad. The original mercury batteries are now illegal, so really it was an approximate battery which had to be modified with a rolled up piece of metal foil. The light seal looked a bit tired, but I couldn’t be bothered waiting for the DIY kit to fix it, so I slapped on the half-case and used it like that at the dire risk of light leaks.
And light leaks I got, but the cool ones. The type that fogs up the entire photo resulting in lower contrast overall, rather than the beam type that produces harsh burnt out sections of the image. After some adjustment and cleaning of the camera, the second roll was much, much more successful.
I’m not surprised this camera has such a following. The lens on it is all kinds of brilliant, casting delicious colours on even rubbish film. If only I could waste some money on a roll of Portra 400.
If you get one of these in mint or near-mint condition, and you give it a good clean, you can see how truly gorgeous it is. The GTN is all black, and very beautiful indeed. However, I did think it was a bit large for my liking, and I was quickly put off by the constant banter on the internet of the inevitable pad of death. So, off on ebay it went. I loved this camera, but it had to go.