This review is for a Yashica 230AF 35mm Autofocus SLR which is the latest addition to my growing 35mm camera collection. Click any of the images for a closer / bigger view.
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. Asside 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.
- Yashica MG-1 35mm rangefinder camera (simonhawketts.com)