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  1. Hi,
    there is manual control of aperture and one can use MG-1 camera without battery by adjusting correct aperture to 1/500 shutter speed.
    I have tis camera.
    Regards,Valdis.

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  2. Hi ,
    My very first camera was a Zorki 4K which is also a rugged old camera worth buying .
    Four years ago , I decided at the age of 54 that I should get a hobby , and the one I chose was Photography .
    I bought a Nikon F80 and a Yashica Mat .
    The F80 was quite straightforward to use , I could stick it in ‘ P ‘ Mode and away I went , but the Yashica Mat was a completely different kettle of fish .
    Actually , the writer who said it was ‘ cool ‘ to have one on your person is spot on , it’s a conversation piece as well as a camera .
    I paid £47.00 for mine and at first I thought ‘ What have I done ? ‘ , but I finally took it out for a spin….the results weren’t good at all , but I knew absolutely nothing about Photography , it was more hope than skill .
    Then I had an operation on my spine which took more than 8 months out of my life , then in Dec 2012 I contracted sepsis , suffered multiple organ failure , lungs , kidney [ I’ve only got one ] , then the heart .
    The Doctors told my Wife that I was going to die , but somehow I pulled through , the Doctors called me ‘ The Mystery Man ‘ meaning I should have died , but didn’t [ someone was definitely on my side ] .
    That took nearly 12 months out of my life .
    This weekend I put another 120 roll of film in the Yashica and took it to Aviemore , I took my Nikon D7000 to act as the meter , along with my D80 and Nikon F90 .
    After my spinal op , I took Voluntary Redundancy from my job and started collecting cameras and books , I have over 30 film cameras and 2 digital ones .
    The Yashica is one of my favourite cameras , not only does it look good but it’s also a medium format camera which will give results which are on par with any digital camera .
    Buy one , you won’t regret it .

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  3. Thanks for your informative article on the electro 35 Allan. Lucky enough to find a clean and working GSN in a thrift store with bonus lens shade and soft case for $20. US. Stacked 4 1.5v button cells shored up with cardboard and a spring. Seems to work OK dry firing so this one goes out to play tomorrow.

    Nice quality rangefinder for my collection.

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    1. Hi Dan,
      Hi i had buy last saturday a beautiful Yashica Electro 35
      cosmetcally percfect, shutter sounds good and has no pad-of-death.
      Also diaphragms works good.
      I had built a 6V battery with 4 L44.

      No signals, no works, no led, no arrows inside viewfinder and no test leds also.
      Have any idea???? What can i do?

      Thank you so much

      Reply

  4. The camera CAN be used without a battery, just on the ‘Sunny 16’ rule, the defult shutter speed is 1/500 so choose a 400 ISO film and basically use the pictures on the lens barrel as a guide, simple! Just remember the shutter speed will always be 1/500.

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  5. Hi Dan,
    I’ve got a 6 volt 476A battery in mine. I don’t know about the 4 x L44s but I’ll assume you have them the correct way around with positive facing the outside, and they are charged. My apologies for mentioning the obvious! Without the battery the shutter runs at its full speed of 1/500th of a second only. Provided the battery is ok the next likely fault is a broken electrical connection or a dry solder join. The Yashica Electro 35 is an excellent camera with a great lens and the aperture priority auto-exposure does a very good job provided it is working – even on long exposures. It would probably be cheaper to purchase another camera rather than send it in to be repaired. Please let me know how you get on. I hope you can get it going.

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  6. Cool another survivor! How are you going now?
    I’m just about to get into medium format but not sure what to buy. Would love a Hassy of course but I think I will opt for a rolleiflex or yashica to start with.

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    1. Hi Geoff. Its great to hear from you. Doing well I think. From what I was able to study up on the internet the Yashica-Mat lens is on a par with the Rolleicord. While the Rolleiflex lenses are superior to both. Never having had a Rolleiflex I can’t confirm that. You can get a good Yashica-Mat off TradeMe for only about NZ$150 nowadays. I got my Yashica-Mat from Photo & Video in Christchurch over 20 years ago. The Yashinon 80mm f3.5 taking lens is very clean and super sharp. It takes tremendously crisp photographs with excellent colour saturation and contrast. These cameras were used by many wedding photographers in the late 50s and 1960s. There are certainly capable of results that are much better than 35mm film cameras. For best results a tripod and shutter release cable should always be used even in bright sun light. This slows the process down of course. You only get 12 shots on a roll which causes me to think a lot harder about each shot. Which is a good thing. In my opinion an old medium format camera it is well worth the effort to use – especially when on holiday. It is quite exciting when you get your developed film back from the shop. Good luck with it Jeoff. When you do get your medium format camera please send us some pictures for the site and let me know how you get on.

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  7. I have recently- the past four months – got back into photography. I started about 12 yrs ago with an om 1 and then had a problem with the focus ring and gave that camera away instead of thinking to repair it. You might say I have come on with a mild bordering on moderate case of G.A.S. I can’t help it, I love the variation and multitude of cameras out there, especially film ones. I’ve zeroed in on the fixed lens rangefinders recently, and have a Konica auto s2 and hi-matic 7s in the mail. I can’t wait for them to arrive! I also have the digital Fuji x100 coming as I was loving the picture quality I was seeing from it while reading up on it. It seems inevitable that I will have to learn my own darkroom techniques and buy a good scanner if I am to make use of my film cameras because of costs and the increased lack of availability of these services. The 7s is chunky! I just got a k1000 and believe it may way 50-70 grams or so less than the 7s, and it feels like a brick. I look forward to experimenting with it. Thanks for your info on it here, it is appreciated. Zoran from Fort St John in British Columbia, Canada

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  8. I have found in a cupboard after doing a clean out with my mother in law a black yashiga MG-1 and was wondering if it’s worth anything if I wanted to sell?

    Nick
    Melbourne Australia

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    1. Hi Nick, It is certainly worth something if it goes. It won’t be much though. They sell on Trademe.co.nz in New Zealand for between NZ $20 – $50.

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    1. I have no idea. Someone might know. If you live in New Zealand it is actually a good idea to send Pentax cameras to England to be serviced and repaired by Harrow Technical. They seem to have a good reputation. Sending your camera around the world to have it fixed seems odd but can be worth while for more expensive cameras.

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  9. Hi Allan, I recently bought a Ricoh 500 GS off trademe in NZ, do you know where i can get those battery needed here in Auckland? Loved the article, cheers.

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    1. Hi Simon, fortunately the Ricoh 500GS uses an LR44 button cell. There are probably the easiest batteries to find. Supermarkets, The Warehouse, Noel Lemming will all have them. A lot of those Two Dollar Shop places sell a dozen, or so, on a card. These will be much cheaper. Let me know how you get on.

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  10. Hi Allan, just discovered that it uses the same battery as my Ricoh Kr-5. Unfortunately the light meter and autoexposure system doesnt seem to work even with new battery in it. Oh well still a solid camera and I’ll look forward to shoot with it in manual mode, just need to find a external light meter now.

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    1. Are you sure you have the battery the right way up with the writing facing outwards when the battery is in the camera. Also be sure to check the battery isn’t flat (exhausted). You should be able to use your Kr5 as a light meter.

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  11. Hello again, I actually bought a Yashica Electro 35 GT off ebay recently, and it’s supposed to arrive relatively soon (I hope). It should be in working condition, if not i will have to ask for advice again 🙂

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    1. I really like my Electro 35. The lens is excellent. The exposure system is surprisingly good even in poor light with very long exposures. I also need to repair the “Pad of death” problem when I got the camera as the shutter would only fire at full speed. Let me know how you get on with it.

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  12. Not being picky, BUT just to help future MG1 owners, it does have manual control of the aperture too, f2.8 through to f16.

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  13. You are quite correct Steve. The MG1 does offer the photographer manual control of the aperture. However you cannot choose your shutter speed as the camera does it for you. I have corrected the text above to reflect this. Thank you for letting me know.

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  14. Quite interesting! I am wondering if there are more than one versions of that camera. I own two of them with one having the same focusing tab just like that in your photos and another one with a larger one.

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  15. I just picked up the silver bodied 7ii for $15.00. everything seems to work, even had film still loaded.

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  16. I was given one Canon QL 19 and was wondering where could I find information about it. You comments were very helpful, including the battery reference. I will clean it, install the battery and take some pictures. Thankyou very much.

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  17. Thank you for the review, it cleared a few things for me.

    The camera is likely made by Cosina Japan. According to your experience it suffers from the same problem as lower cost branded Vivitar 35ES and Revue 400 SE sister cameras – the lens front feels loose and wobbly and images have varying sharpness likely caused by this flaw. Vivitar and Revue do not have manually adjustable aperture unlike Minolta, only shutter priority semi-auto is available.

    This means that switching from Vivitar to Minolta could solve manual aperture problem but not wobbly lens. I have a mention about it and a sample image if I may link to http://rokkorlab.net/cgi-bin/csvsearch.pl?&search=photo0034

    Apparently a fix on the lens wobble on Vivitar could likely work the same on Minolta.

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  18. Had one of these for years – think it is still in a drawer somewhere. Fantastic little camera. Took thousands of photos, neg and pos, and virtually always was spot on. Loved it. Even used it as a backup at a function I was at. And yes, I am a Kiwi.
    Must dig it out and replace the felts and GET ME SOME FILM and use it again.

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    1. Hi George, yes the little Ricoh 500G is one of my all time favourites too. The metering system always seems to be spot-on.

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  19. I have studied the lens wobble problem on the Vivitar 35ES (Revue 400 SE), which is the sister camera to Minolta 7sII (lacking manually selectable iris).

    It appears that the whole lens and shutter assembly is loose where it attaches to the rangefinder and focusing mechanism. Quick fix would be inserting three very thin spacers between the lens and the rangefinder housing from behind the camera – you could open the back cover and see that the rear lens element wobbles with some play where it should be tightly fitted. Better and more professional fix requires disassembling the lens and shutter mechanism.

    I also made tiny modification to the Viv to achieve manual aperture with two selectable f-stops, f3.5 and f5.6. It should be enough for most situations. This means that battery is not needed for photography on modified Viv or Revue making it equal to Minolta (with fewer aperture selection).

    More on the website linked in the previous post.

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  20. According to Minolta 7sII service manual the lens and shutter assembly is locked in place with just two drops of glue. This is the same on the Vivitar 35ES (Revue 400 SE) and some traces of glue are still visible when viewed from behind. When the glue has given up the lens and shutter assembly wobbles with the amount of play that exists in the mechanism.

    So the good news is that the lens wobble can be fixed.

    The bad news is that it is not a minor task as the lens and shutter assembly has to be removed from the camera. This means removing the nicely installed leatherette on the surface of the camera body.

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