Type: 35mm Rangefinder Film Camera with aperture priority auto exposure only. Released in 1975. It came out in both chrome or black body versions
Lens: Yashinon 45 mm f2.8. The focus range is from 1 m to infinity. Marked in both feet and metres. 4 elements in three groups. Filter size 55mm.
Viewfinder: Viewfinder combined with a rangefinder. Bright frame with no parallax correction. Magnification 0.59x. Red and yellow exposure indicator arrows visible through the viewfinder. When lightly pressing the shutter button a red light indicates overexposure. Yellow light means that although exposure will be correct a slow shutter speed will be used meaning the camera must be held steady and it is best to use a tripod.
EE Mechanism: Built-in exposure meter with CdS “Top-Eye” cell for automatic exposure control. Shutter speed priority system.
Film Speeds: ASA 25 to 800 / Adjustment on a ring at front of the lens.
Battery: 1 x 5.6v mercury battery (no longer available). (Eveready E164, Mallory PX32, or equivalent). Without a battery, the shutter free runs at 1/500 second so the camera cannot be used. You can also use 4 x 1.5v alkaline or silver oxide button cells stacked together and taped. Or a 6v L28.
There is no manual control of the shutter speed.
Shutter: Leaf Shutter. Speeds range from 2 seconds to 1/500 of a second. Automatically sets shutter speed, self-cocking combined film/shutter wind, and x synchronization. There is no B setting for long time exposures. However, the Copal shutter is stepless and so does not stick to the standard speeds of 1/500, 1/250 of a second and so on. Instead, it picks any speed to best suit the available light and aperture combination. Although the manual states the camera’s auto exposure can go down to 2 seconds in poor light, in reality, it can easily run for much longer. Mine goes for about 20 seconds.
Self Timer: Yes. Runs for 7 seconds.
Flash Contact: an Accessory shoe with direct contact plus conventional flash socket.
Flash. Shutter speed automatically sets to 1/30 second when the Auto Lever is adjusted to “flash”.
Film Advance: Single stroke approx. 180 degrees.
Film Counter: Resets automatically.
Size: 140 x 72 x 82mm
The price in 1978 Australian dollars.
The Australian Photography Directory 1978-79 shows the new price of the Yashica MG-1 at A$135.00. By way of comparison, the same publication at that time listed the Yashica Electro 35GX at A$245.00. That means the MG-1 was almost half the price of the Yashica Electro when these cameras were still being sold new.