View Full Version : Aperture-Priority Fixed-Lens CRF?

07-27-2004, 11:58
I just got a Yashica GSN, and it got me wondering... Other than the Yashicas, how many other aperture-priority fixed-lens rangefinders, especially in the '70s compact class, are there? I ask as can't think of any others, and this is the AE method I'm most familiar with. I'm sure I must be missing some.

07-27-2004, 12:09
There are A LOT of them! Take a look at this Japanese collector's website:


Juct click on the top link, it should show as blue. It will take you to a list by manufacturer and then to a table of photographs. If you click on each cameras it will show you close-ups and repair details.

It's all rangefinders.


07-27-2004, 12:27
Opps! I meant to ask how many are Aperture-Priority. Guess I should have read my own post more closely.

07-27-2004, 13:18
i'm going thru all the cameras i own and have seen, and can't think of any other aperture-priority rf's! the electro really sticks out in that respect.

07-27-2004, 13:33
I have an Olympus XA with me right now. It's aperture priority.


07-28-2004, 12:29
I forgot about the XA. Any others?

07-28-2004, 12:51
Chinon 35EE II, Yashica's Electro CC, Minox/Kiev 35A - I'm sure there are some others.

07-28-2004, 13:24
Fujica GER, Olympus 35 ECR (same shutter I think), also I think the Miranda Sensoret uses this shutter too., but I don't have one to verify.


07-28-2004, 14:29
Originally posted by pshinkaw
Fujica GER, Olympus 35 ECR (same shutter I think), also I think the Miranda Sensoret uses this shutter too., but I don't have one to verify.

Aren't these all program exposure?

07-28-2004, 14:48
My Fujica GER has f-stop settings plus an "A" setting, but no shutter speed settings. I think "A" is programmed exposure and picking an f-stop gives you aperture priority exposure.

The Olympus 35ECR (it's been many years since I handled one) has EV settings on top of the lens plus an "A" setting. I think it may have f-stops on the bottom of the lens., like the Pen-F lenses.

Just a guess on the Sensoret.


07-28-2004, 21:56
Originally posted by pshinkaw
I think it may have f-stops on the bottom of the lens., like the Pen-F lenses. Excuse my nosing in with an off-track reply, Paul... The Pen F lenses had their f/stops on the top as normal; when the Pen FT came along with TTL metering, the user transfered the meter readout numbers (0-7 or whatever) to the lens diaphragm ring which had the same numbers visible on the top. As you said, the f/stop numbers were engraved on the apperture ring too, but normally appeared on the bottom. However, you could pull the ring forward and rotate it 180 degrees such that the f/stop numbers appeared on top instead, and with detents at the right places. The lens could then be more easily used with a Pen F or FV. Now, back to our regular programming...:angel:

07-29-2004, 15:26

I had no idea you could rotate the aperture ring/scale! The meter on my Pen FT has been dead for almost 20 years and I've always just turned it over to verify the f-stop setting! I'll try that tonite when I get home.

On another note, I was wrong about the Fujica GER. I looked at it again this morning. It has no f-stop settings. Instead, it has only GN settings for flash. Therefor, it qualifies as a programmed exposure camera and NOT aperture priority. That probably means that I was wrong about the Olympus 35ECR also.

Looks like the only aperture priority 35 rangefinders I can verify are the Electro 35's and the Olympus XA.


10-06-2004, 18:00
I, too, just acquired a Yashica Electro 35 GSN. Been carrying it about. Anyone who knows cameras well (Oddly, most have greying hair) gives it a second look.

Fixed the battery problem. Couple of rolls through it so far and must commend the lens.

The foam light seals on the door are junk, so I got a 1/64" black line on the top of each print. Fixed it by using electricians tape along the seams.

Obviously a temporary fix. Anyone have a clue what to do about this?

10-07-2004, 00:05
Welcome to the group Ted.

Take a look at the Yashica Guy's repair page, I am sure he can help you out.


Brian Sweeney
10-07-2004, 01:53
Aperture-Preferred automatic cameras usually are implemented using an electronic shutter. Shutter-preferred automatics are (usually) implemented using a galvenometer and trap-needle mechanism. Electronics were very expensive and fairly big during the '60s and early '70s, the "golden-age" of fixed-lens rangefinders. The Nikkormat EL was almost the price of the Nikon F2, close to $500 in 1974. When the mid-70s rolled around, the SLR craze was on and the compact Pentax ME and Nikon Fe and others cut into the RF market.

TRIVIA QUESTION: What popular shutter-preferred cameras were made in the Yashica Electro Series?

10-07-2004, 02:29

10-07-2004, 03:30

10-07-2004, 04:03
Yashica also made a slightly more compact Electro 35 CC and Electro 35 GX, but the camera which offers the most bang for the buck in this catagory is the Olympus XA.

The downsides of the Oly XA are:
* It doesn't accept filters
* A very tiny combined viewfinder/rangefinder
* Its lens is OK at f/4, better at f/5.6 and above. For this reason, the XA can't match the wide open, close-up look of a similar exposure that was made with a classic fixed-lens RF camera at f/1.7.

The Yashica Electro 35 GX is much larger than the XA, requires a battery adapter and is much more difficult to find, but it doesn't have any of the downsides of the diminutive Olympus.

Brian Sweeney
10-07-2004, 05:37
The Electro Series included Yashica's SLR cameras and Super-8 Movie Cameras. While the Yashica TL Electro-x was all-manual "Match Lamps", the Yashica Electro Super-8 movie cameras used a motor to set the aperture. It had slow-motion, normal, and high-speed filming speeds, each of which set the shutter speed. The camera adjusted the aperture with its TTL Meter.

Unfortunately my old Yashica SU-60e (and others) did not have a manual zoom, only electric zoom. I used mine to film the High-School Football Game Films, and went through a lot of film. It was in the shop 3 times getting new zoom motors.

10-07-2004, 07:06
Umm, let's see: Electro 35 (1966), G, GS (satin) GT (black), PRO (black) GSN, GTN, MG1 (both chrome and black), GL. The GL had AE/AF imprinted on the lower right side of the body. (Auto exposure, auto flash). It did not mean autofocus. Moving right along, the MC and ME were 'zone focus' meaning they didn't have a split image rangefinder.

I think the MC and ME cameras were the end of the line. There's also a half-frame variation of the ME type that allowed you to get 72 exposures from a roll of tri-X. Would come in handy if you were photographing a riot.

Do I get an 'A'?

10-08-2004, 13:19
The Contax T is Aperture Priority and has a rangefinder.

10-13-2004, 07:05
By the way, the canonet 28 is also aperture priority (with the full auto option)...

10-13-2004, 08:57
Originally posted by Pherdinand
By the way, the canonet 28 is also aperture priority (with the full auto option)...

don't think so, at least my one doesn't seem to be :D. Selecting an aperture on my one turns the meter off!



10-13-2004, 10:27
"Selecting an aperture on my one turns the meter off!"
Sh|t! so mine is not broken! :D:D:D

10-13-2004, 10:30
:)I got it for the postage fee only (eur5,50) and i repaired it to work in full auto (some corroded touchswitches inside). But i thought it should work in aperture priority!

10-13-2004, 14:04
Yeah, mine was really cheap too! I thought it was like the GIII F1.7 version (ie had manual control too) but noooo, just fully auto :)

Still, the photos I've taken have been very well exposed & quite sharp. For what I paid I can't complain!!

Also the light seals are gummy and need replacing, but there's no sign of any light leaks yet!


10-13-2004, 18:09
Chenick: Best place to get seals is from Interslice on E-Bay. I got a complete kit with enough material to fix several cameras for $6.00 delivered to the door. He even includes a free tool made of a tiny bamboo stalk. Also, you can download his instructions. He also speaks highly of the GIII QL17 and can probably furnish you with illustrated instructions for that particular camera.

You can email him at [email protected]

10-14-2004, 03:27
Yeah, interslice alias jon goodman is a great guy to deal with. I bought my GSN from him, great condition, replaced light seals; considering the whole affair was done above the Atlantic, it was easy and fast! And cheap too, i payed eur45 incl delivery.

08-17-2005, 09:16
Thought I'd update...

Aperture-Priority Fixed-Lens Rangefinders:

Yashica Electro 35 (G/Pro/GS/GT/GSN/GTN/GX/CC/MG1)
Voigtlander VF101/Zeiss-Ikon S312
Olympus XA
Contax T
Chinon 35 EE II

...And, just for fun:
Canon 110/110 ED/110 ED20
Kodak Pocket Instamatic 60

I'm not including any zone-focus cameras in this list.
Please feel free to make any additions or corrects. I thought I'd found more, but now can't find the list where I them wrote down.

08-17-2005, 12:34

I believe the Minister D allows you to set either the aperture or the shutter speed.


Brian Sweeney
08-17-2005, 13:06
The Kodak Instamatic 60 and Instamatic 48 were "program-Mode" only; you could not manually set the aperture. Still nice for 110 cameras.

The Polaroid Land Cameras were aperture preferred automatic RF's. Although you only got your choice of two apertures per film speed.