Yashica 230AF 35mm SLR

This is my review of the Yashica 230AF, 35mm Autofocus SLR which is the latest addition to my growing 35mm camera collection. As well as my impressions of using the camera, there are also some sample pictures taken with this camera.

Yashica 230AF Description

As far as I can tell this camera seems to be in perfect condition. It is equipped with a Yashica 35 – 70mm f/3.3 – 4.5 macro standard lens, a novel flash unit which slides over the focus prism housing to connect to the hot shoe and a contax wired remote. Also supplied was a small carrying case, the instruction book, another hot-shoe flash (starblitz 2000A)  and a battery for the camera. I’d actually ordered a battery from amazon (it uses a 2CR5 lithium cell) which I’ve fitted at the moment. I paid about £18 for this camera including postage.

I find it a great camera to handle. It seems well balanced and easy to use although the example I have is a little light on the shutter release button. During my test reel I once managed to fire the shutter when I’d left the camera in manual focus and I was waiting for the autofocus to work. Aside from that small issue, which is easy to get used to it’s pretty nice.

There are 4 small buttons on the top place which set Drive mode, Exposure Compensation, AF mode, and Exposure mode. There are also buttons for ISO setting and setting/unsetting the camera beep (which I always turn off – I hate cameras beeping at me). A slide switch turns the camera on has an additional setting to switch to AE-Lock mode.

Exposure modes offered are all the usual ones – program mode, shutter priority, aperture priority and full manual operation. The viewfinder has exposure information available in a small LCD type display at the bottom, and it’s easy to adjust exposure using a small slide switch which sits under your finger next to the shutter release. I shot a reel of 35mm Color Negative film (which is shown below) in Aperture priority mode, which is my normal shooting mode, and the results seem to indicate that the exposure system is spot on. Also, most of the pictures came of pretty well focused. The only evidence of blur is more likely camera shake or too low shutter speed (basically not enough light).

In common with most 35mm film cameras the viewfinder is big and bright. I would think that with a fast lens attached, rather than the f/3.5 kit lens it would be even better.

I’m going to keep an eye on eBay to see if any lenses turn up for this camera. I believe that the mount used is not used on any current digital cameras so the lenses could be quite cheap. I’ve found that lenses from Minolta, Pentax, Canon and Nikon command quiet a price on eBay !

These are the pictures from the test roll of 35mm color negative film I put through the camera. All are copied straight from the scanned CD and have had no manipulation of any kind. Click on the images for bigger versions.

All in all this is a pretty impressive camera for the price I paid.



Categories: Photography, Vintage, Yashica

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11 replies

  1. Congrats on the new Camera :0)

  2. I’m just curious… why the fondness for film? I know there are photographers over here who bemoan the loss of film, so I’m wondering what your perspective on it is. It seems like maybe film is a bit easier for you to get?

    • It’s just nostalgia really. I see cameras which I used to yearn for when I was a teenager / young man which I couldn’t possibly have afforded/justified being available for a few pounds so I grab them. There is also a slight possibility that they will become more valuable over time.
      I certainly wouldn’t move back to film, or use if where I considered the results to be important

  3. eighteen pounds…

    I remember I bought myself a 230-AF Set, body with two lenses (35-70, 70-200), back in 1986, when I was still going to school. The Set cost over 2.000,- German Marks, but back then this was one of the price-performance ratio bargains.

    Time changes, and back then there was more Lametta…

    Regards

    Jörg

    Lametta (ger.) = tinsel (eng.)

  4. Hi Simon. A sinfully underrated and little appreciated product in the eyes of many.
    I also have two of the smaller and lighter Pentax MZ-7 with 28-80 & 35-80 lenses but not a patch on the Yashica 230AF.
    The Yashica 230AF was my 3rd serious camera after my very first a Yashica J5 then a Canon FTb with a 1.4 canon lens all bought new. In each case I have invested in additional lenses,filters and all of the kit.
    I have just added a further 230AF body and an individually purchased 70-300 HIGH QUALITY GENUINE YASHICA 75-300mm MACRO ZOOM for YASHICA AF lens. Both like new and a fabulous buy in each.
    In both cases they came from a chap on E’bay that lists under the name of :- tpolony – he is based in Pudsey,West Yorkshire. I have found him to be a thoroughly nice guy to do business with and will look there before anywhere else.
    The Trap Focus was what sealed it for me and I stand corrected but Kyocera Yashica were the only camera manufacturer that were successful with it.
    Two years ago you could no give them away but now look at what they are fetching, There is one currently on E’bay in County Wexford,Ireland as a complete kit with a 50mm prime,a 35-70 & a 75-210(Sigma) postage inclusive at £137.15 converted from the Euro.
    Only for the fact that I have two already – I would not hesitate.

    • I agreee – nice camera. It seems at the moment the TLR’s are the ones that really command the high prices. I would like to bet a Yashica Mat 124 but they seem to make huge sums of money c£200 – for me that is too much for a film camera.

  5. Hi again Simon. The Yashica Mat 124 as I understand was among the few really reliable 2&1/4 square cameras of the day that were affordable to the “Budding Photographer” that also wanted something with a professional look and giving professional results – with practice.
    It is not difficult to realise why the advent/season of point and shoot and then the massive advancements in Camera Phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S2,S3 & S4 has seen an exodus from film cameras other than a surge of nostalgia and the final realisation of some that one could never really afford but desired was now at affordable money.
    I actually also have a Nokia N72 Camera-phone with a Carl Zeiss Tessar 3.2megapixel lens,it is no bigger than a Swan Vesta matchbox and produces some really excellent results and indeed are comparable with those of my Fuji Finepix S5700 on Auto.

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