Ridiculous old hipster


Always dangerous to look at EBay on a Sunday…. I’d been wondering about a bit of film photography for a while but wasn’t prepared to spend a fortune on kit.  When I found a Yashica body in what looked like pretty good condition for the princely sum of less than a tenner incl P&P, I decided to push the button….

Bugger – nobody told me they didn’t put LCDs on these things

The seller wasn’t sure if the light meter worked (after tracking down some modern replacements for the mercury cells that aren’t legal anymore, I can confirm it does, which is a bonus) but given the camera is totally mechanical I decided to take the risk.

It reminds me very much of the Pentax Spotmatic I learnt on years ago, given to me by my father when he upgraded, but the prices of those are really quite high when they’re in good condition, whereas the Yashica goes for virtually nothing – same price as a Zenit or Practica but I think it has a little more upmarket appeal!

It does need some new light seals though, and I was really pleased to find out that Jon Goodman in Texas (who used to market “Interslice” kits on EBay) sells those if you contact him direct, so a kit is on its way and will be put to good use one rainy evening (of which we are having plenty in our particularly awful British summer this year).

Just love being able to see every setting at a glance, and without having to power the camera on!

Of course the camera by itself is of little use, so then I had to shop for lenses too!  I think it’s most likely going to be put to use for some urban/street photography so I found a couple of cheap M42 mount lenses to go with it – an Optomax 35/2.8 of which I have few expectations other than it’ll probably be better than I expect, and a Pentax Super Takumar 55/1.8 which I’m really looking forward to using.  The latter is also going to be put to work on my Fuji digital kit as it’ll be a great portrait lens (esp given the slight yellowing of its elements/coatings).  Bargain too – it’s in almost mint condition and cost £25.  Which is more than the Optomax….

Loving the build quality of this little Pentax gem of a lens.  The 55mm length works well for me on “full frame” and crop sensors too, so it’ll be put to good use

So, kit sorted for about the same price as a spare OEM battery for a modern digital camera.  Then one of the sellers told me where to get cheap film….

….so off to Poundland I went, and sure enough I came back with five lots of Agfa 24 exp 200ASA film for a fiver.  It’s rebranded Fuji film as far as I  understand, and I’m sure performs pretty acceptably for that price.  My intention is to process the film at home, as that should be half of the fun, and then scan in the negatives for final processing on the computer (I don’t have a darkroom and don’t want to set one up).  That way I can keep the costs down as low as possible too (processing at home costs about a quarter of the price they charge at my local Snappy Snaps).  I’ve never processed C41 before, so I suspect I have a bit of a learning curve.  Possibly a topic for another post at some point, but in the meantime, here’s another final pic of my hipster-accessory:



By Jon Schick

Hertfordshire-based, I work for the National Health Service but try and fit in some photography on a regular basis. Not so much during the recent lockdown era, but here's hoping things can only get better in 2021....

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