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Something for Film Fans


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Something for Film Fans

14 Mar 2022 1:34PM   Views : 433 Unique : 272

From time to time I am passed various old cameras and lenses and it can be a bit of a diversion to have a go and see what can be done with them. Thanks to Kelvin7 I've been given a Yashica FR I film camera, in used but very nice condition and now, with the addition of a battery and a film, up and running and ready to go. It's a film SLR based closely upon the much more expensive Contax and it offers manual and aperture priority auto exposure. I have had these before and been disappointed when bits would fall off and things would fail, but this one seems in good fettle so fingers crossed! It is now loaded up with a Fuji Superia 200 colour negative film. Even the film counter works, and these are notoriously unreliable.


The really interesting bits though are the lenses. There is a used Yashica 55mm f/2, but there are three third party absolutely mint lenses, gleaming like new. It's a shame they aren't marque lenses but are low cost own-brand optics labelled Kenlock and if my memory serves me right these were marketed by Lomax Ltd in St Ann's Square, Manchester. I'll have to double check that. But we have the 28mm f/2.8 and the 135mm f/2.8, a typical duo of lenses for the time.


The third lens is a bit higher up the scale, a Soligor C/D 75-200mm f/4.5 trombone-action zoom. This is Soligor's higher quality range so it may be of resonable quality. One advantage of manual focus zoom lenses of this type is that they offer a depth of field scale that works for all forcal lengths - this can be seen on the barrel, marked for f/11 and f/22. The barrel is slid like a trombone for zoom and rotated for focus. Many of these now will be very loose and almost unusable, but this one is still like new, so I'll give it a whirl.

Not sure when I'll get to trying these out, but they are there ready and waiting and the camera is loaded and ready to go. Will report back when I can!

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micklumix Avatar
micklumix 12 1 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2022 7:47PM
Hi John, now this takes me back a few years as I had the FR1 for many years with no problems , i loved the satisfying sound of the Sugaya shutter and the appeal of the brass top and bottom plates. I had the standard 50mm 1.8 ml +28mm ml + 55mm macro and the 80-200 tele all were ml plus a Yashica motot drive, Did I really carry all that lot around? guess I did but I was much younger then and weight wasn't an issue, a far cry from now when I have recently bought a Panasonic G100 because it is so light LOL Good luck with the FR1 John I certainly loved mine.
Best wishes
altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
15 Mar 2022 9:32AM
I had a mint Yashica FR1 which I bought off ebay as a kit with three Yashica lenses for, I think about 40, this was just before the prices of most good quality film cameras rocketed upwards. When it arrived I found that the 50mm lens was an f1.4. I later had a small collection of later Yashica SLR's (FX-3 etc.) easy to buy at a good price because the 'leather' type covering wears away to a sorry mess and ready cut self adhesive covers can be applied to a mechanically sound body in a few minutes The light seals are relatively easy too..
The ML lens range is considered to be better than the DSB version.
I sold them all last year.

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