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Yashica Electro Lens on Sony Mount
Old 01-22-2017   #1
ColSebastianMoran
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Yashica Electro Lens on Sony Mount

Have long liked the lens on the Yashica Electro and lusted to have one mounted on a modern DSLR.

Now in the midst of a project to create one.
- Here is a thread with instructions and photos
- Here is more detailed info about opening up the front of the lens
- And, finally the repair manual with lots of helpful photo sequences

I like the black metal Electro lenses, so I'm doing this with a GT.

More to come!
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Old 01-22-2017   #2
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Amazing! I have a Yashica Electro 35 CC here, with electronics problems I can't fix. I have been thinking about putting its lens in some mount, I would love to have it RF coupled, but I'm afraid that will be extremely difficult... so I might follow your example if I ever get a Sony (actually I'm feeling the temptation to buy one just for that... but I'll wait for prices to come further down, I'm fairly broke).
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Old 01-22-2017   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Amazing! I have a Yashica Electro 35 CC here, with electronics problems I can't fix. I have been thinking about putting its lens in some mount, I would love to have it RF coupled, but I'm afraid that will be extremely difficult... so I might follow your example if I ever get a Sony (actually I'm feeling the temptation to buy one just for that... but I'll wait for prices to come further down, I'm fairly broke).
CC will require jury-rigging the adapter.

If you want to get your CC fixed, suggest contacting Mark Hama; he has parts.

Finally, the Sony's are great, you could try out a NEX 5n for very little money.
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Old 01-22-2017   #4
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I have a junk Electro with a very nice lens. I wonder if this can be mounted with a Canon FD mount. I have both. I also have a 39mm LTM I could use. Anyways I'll be following your progress.
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Old 01-22-2017   #5
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By jury-rigging, do you mean more than in your case? The rear of the lens looks similar.
I don't think I'll send it out for repair, especially not overseas (I'm in Europe), but I'm not determined to butcher it yet, either, it's a really nice camera... might just sell it to someone who wants to have it fixed. Or just keep it until a Sony or a second broken CC to make one functioning one drops into my lap.
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Old 01-22-2017   #6
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Here's the part I'm buying for the mount:

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Old 01-22-2017   #7
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And, here's what the back of an Electro lens looks like, from the instructions for the part above:

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CC different from Electro?
Old 01-22-2017   #8
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CC different from Electro?

Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
By jury-rigging, do you mean more than in your case? The rear of the lens looks similar.
I was speculating that the mount I'm buying won't work for your lens. But, I don't know that. I'll be happy to provide measurements on mine if you like.
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Old 01-24-2017   #9
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Thank you, I've read your post on the other forum and for now it looks like the CC lens might work the same. I might get back to you about measurements if I actually do this, but it won't be soon.
It occured to me that it might even be possible to swap the weirdly shaped two bladed diaphragm in the CC's lens for one from a lens like yours, but alas, even if technically possible the size of the opening will most likely be different because it's a different focal length, right?
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Old 01-25-2017   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Thank you, I've read your post on the other forum and for now it looks like the CC lens might work the same. I might get back to you about measurements if I actually do this, but it won't be soon.
It occured to me that it might even be possible to swap the weirdly shaped two bladed diaphragm in the CC's lens for one from a lens like yours, but alas, even if technically possible the size of the opening will most likely be different because it's a different focal length, right?
I have no idea if the CC lens could be re-purposed like my Electro GT lens. I'll be happy to measure anything if it would be helpful.
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Old 01-31-2017   #11
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Often thought about something like this but never felt it was something I could do. I have always loved the Yashica rangefinders. Will be following your project.

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Old 01-31-2017   #12
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David, getting the shutter blocked and getting the lens out was not bad. I don't have any special tools, just a set of tiny screw-drivers.

Shutter: Go in from the front. Unscrew the ring. Unscrew the front lens set. Remove the next piece and the shutter mechanism is right there. Just start removing screws and pieces until you can see the pins that move the shutter. Freeze with a drop of epoxy.

Lens off: Basically peel back the covering and remove four screws. But, find the repair manual on the net, this has a couple hints for getting the lens off the body. Clean up the back by ripping off one lever and cutting one protruding rod.

Still waiting for the USPS to deliver the mount kit.
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Old 02-02-2017   #13
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Finally got the parts from seller. Looks good. I'll report here.

Recap:
- Start with a full-sized Yashica Electro, GT, GTN, GSN.
- Go into front of lens by unscrewing the cosmetic ring
- Unscrew lens front group
- Remove the next piece to expose shutter mechanism
- Remove lots of parts, lock shutter open with a drop of epoxy

Here's what that looks like:
- White epoxy locks shutter open
- You see the diaphragm here
- EDIT: Diaphragm is still controlled by the aperture ring

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Old 02-02-2017   #14
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Next, remove the lens:
- Peel back leather
- Remove four screws
- Find the repair manual for a couple hints about removing the lens
- Tear off one protruding thing, cut off the other

Back of lens will look like this:

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Old 02-02-2017   #15
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See photo further up in this thread for the new parts.

Here's the inner ring slid onto the back. This keeps inside lens structure from rotating as it moves in/out for focus.

This inner ring has to be kept from rotating, but not pushed to one side or deformed. See more below.

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Old 02-02-2017   #16
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Here's the back with both parts in place. Three screws in the empty holes attach the mount to the lens.

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Old 02-02-2017   #17
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Next, add the three grub screws that keep the inner ring from rotating. Don't tighten these grub screws yet.



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Old 02-02-2017   #18
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Next, set the focus ring to infinity. Now we have to lock the inner ring in the right position for infinity focus.

The mount is well constructed so that with the red line centered, lens should focus to infinity. I'm going to be focusing manually, and I want to make sure I can reach infinity or even a little beyond.
- Red line just left of center, lens focuses beyond infinity
- Red line right on center, supposed to be right at infinity
- You choose

Tighten the three grub screws gradually, a bit at a time, so the pressure on the inner ring is even, so it's not pushed to one side.

If the focus ring binds, the grub screws have pushed the inner ring against the outer. Loosen and retighten till the focus is smooth as silk.

Here's my final alignment, just left of center. Check with a camera body, with MF assist and focus peaking, make sure you can focus on a distant object.

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Old 02-02-2017   #19
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Here's the result on an A7. A nice light, compact, high-quality 45mm lens.

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Old 02-02-2017   #20
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Top view, with the nice Yashica hood for this lens. I've replaced the standard thumb screw with a small flat-head screw; I plan to leave the hood on most of the time.

EDIT: Note red line aligned left of center. Like this, the lens will focus way past infinity. I adjusted it some more, took a couple of tries.

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Old 02-02-2017   #21
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Here it is on the NEX-5n. Nice compact, lightweight portrait rig, balance and feel are very good. Even more compact w/o the hood. Should be great on the A6000 as well.

Total project time: A couple of hours.
Tools required: Dremel to cut off two protruding things. JIS screwdriver set will help.

Parts kit: On eBay. Search "lianzhong yashica", LianZhong is the manufacturer. Seller today is baocheng_sd, but that could change. $40 plus postage.

Hope this helps someone.

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Old 02-02-2017   #22
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Col. Sebastian Moran, so this lens conversion leaves the lens with no aperture control?
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Old 02-02-2017   #23
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That's super cool. Thanks for posting the how to images.
Would love to see some results.
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Old 02-02-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gb hill View Post
I have a junk Electro with a very nice lens. I wonder if this can be mounted with a Canon FD mount. I have both. I also have a 39mm LTM I could use. Anyways I'll be following your progress.
@GB HILL, sorry I missed your question.

The key question is the flange to sensor distance. This is short for a rangefinder camera and longer for an SLR. A rangefinder lens mounted on an SLR will be too far from the sensor and will not reach infinity focus. Only mirrorless has the short register distance that makes this work.

This project was easy because there's room to add an adapter to the back of the unmodified lens body.

Maybe if you go to work modifying the lens body you could do it, but I doubt it.
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Old 02-02-2017   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xayraa33 View Post
Col. Sebastian Moran, so this lens conversion leaves the lens with no aperture control?
Not so. The aperture is fully controllable, with the aperture ring, as it ever was. The shutter has been blocked open.
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Old 02-02-2017   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColSebastianMoran View Post
Not so. The aperture is fully controllable, as always. The shutter has been blocked open.
That is good to know, Colonel.

I have an one of these models of Yashica RF cameras in need of a pad of death replacement. It is an early Electro GS model and these were not cheap to buy when they came out for a quality amateur camera.
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Old 02-02-2017   #27
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Do you have the link to the adapter parts? Thanks.
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Old 02-02-2017   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xcube View Post
Do you have the link to the adapter parts? Thanks.
See my #21 above. I name a seller currently offering the kit, and search terms to find it if the seller changes.

Also, note my photo way above to confirm you're getting the same kit I found.

I think this is a good outcome for Electros with good lens and broken body.
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Old 02-03-2017   #29
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Next step, double checking infinity focus.

Recap: Last night, using 60' distance indoors, I had tried to set the lens to be able to focus past infinity.

Today, testing with an outdoor shot, quarter mile across a frozen lake, the lens doesn't reach infinity. There's lots of room for adjustment with this part set, so I can correct this. Lesson: use a really distant object for setting infinity focus.

Test: vs. Nokton 50mm f/1.5, a known good lens. Both lenses wide open. Distant scene 1/4 mile with some closer stuff branches at 50 feet. Yashinon has better focus on the branches, worse focus on distant. Re-adjust.

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Old 02-03-2017   #30
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OK, a little focus tweak; loosen grub screws, turn lens slightly clockwise, evenly retighten grub screws. Now I can focus to infinity.

Same scene, very different light, again the 50mm f/1.5 Nokton on left, the 45mm f/1.7 Yashinon on the right. In Lightroom, shot from Sony A6000, 1:1, near center.

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Old 02-05-2017   #31
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By mistake, I got the same adapter part for a Fuji X mount. I can return it to seller, but I'll ask first here if anyone wants it. This puts the Electro lens on a Fuji X camera. Same work as described above.

PM me.
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Old 02-05-2017   #32
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 278
What a great project! Its been great reading along. So much fun!
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