First Roll With: Yashica Electro 35 GS by Salman Rameli

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Camera: Yashica Electro 35 GS
Film:  Ultramax 400 shot at ASA 200
Shooting location:  Surabaya, Indonesia

Hi, My name is Salman Rameli and I just recently graduated from ITS (Tenth of November Institute of Technology) in Surabaya, Indonesia, holding Bachelor title of Computer Science.

My first experience with Yashica Electro 35 was back in 2008, when my maternal grandfather showed me his collections of assorted film cameras (Canon AE-1, Yashica Electro 35 GSN, and several point-and-shoot) and lenses. The Yashica instantly captured my attention, given its attractive retro design, and the rangefinder mechanism. Unfortunately, the Yashica is inoperable due to lack of care from my grandfather for years. I store it in airtight camera box along with my father’s Nikon F-501.

Fast forward to 2019, my sister told me that she is interested in film camera. I, too, am intrigued to use film camera. But I want something that is unusual. I am not interested in SLR cameras, nor point-and-shoot. I want a rangefinder film camera.

My first purchase in searching for the perfect affordable rangefinder film camera is Ricoh 500GX. The size of the camera is too small for my hand, and the pictures it produced has lifeless colour. I am not impressed with the camera, so I continued finding other rangefinder film camera. I remember my grandfather’s Yashica and thinking about repairing it. Unfortunately, I realise that I don’t have the skills to repair it, so I scour the internet trying to find one. What I have found is that the Yashicas sold pretty quickly after being posted, and it also carried relatively high price tag. Still, I am undeterred to acquire one, searching for one from time to time, hoping to find a perfect one.

Until one day I stumbled upon a listing of a Yashica Electro 35 GS. The price still falls on the high side, but it came with the original strap, lens cap, and case. The seller is also located in Surabaya, and accept instant delivery. I contacted the seller, asking whether the camera is still available. The seller confirmed that it is still for sale, and instant delivery is possible. I made the payment, and rushed back home.

After I receive the box from the courier, I quickly opened it and inspect the camera and its accessories. The strap has stiffen over the years and is practically useless, but the case looked in good condition, and the camera is near-mint. The only downside was that the camera and its case smelled like cigarette smoke. Not a big deal, I wanted to clean it anyway.

After cleaning the camera, I loaded it with a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400 I bought on previous Saturday, and brought it on car free day events, parks, or when I go out with my girlfriend.

Seeing the scan result after finishing the roll blew me away. The lens is super sharp, even at wide aperture, and reproduces colour way better compared with my Ricoh 500GX.

I am so impressed by this camera. It oozes retro style, and the size of the camera is perfect to me. The only gripe I have with this camera is lack of shutter speed configuration. After seeing the result, I think the camera can decide the correct shutter speed well enough fortunately. I loaded a roll of Kodak Portra 800 for my graduation ceremony this weekend, and I promise my girlfriend to take her pictures on her graduation too. 

I can’t wait to see the results.

Connect with Salman!

Instagram: @annoying_salman

All images and text shown in this post is provided to us by Salman Rameli.

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