One Day with a Yashica T-AF

This is an interesting camera indeed. It has a couple of foibles, but nothing that would keep you from carrying this thing everywhere you go.

There isn’t much information on this camera. I can tell you, that when Kyocera bought Yashica Company Ltd in 1983 and took advantage of a licensing arrangement with Carl Zeiss company. So they made this camera with a Zeiss Tessar f3.5 T* lens.

I think this is supposed to be a compact camera, but it’s not really. The dimensions are 5in × 3in × 1.75in (12.5cm × 7.75cm × 5cm). I don’t have a scale, but it is weightier than it appears. It still feels plasticy though.

The auto-focus is quite snappy, but is easily fooled, but there is a really handy check to make sure the AF actually focused on the distance you meant to focus on. A distance scale does display in the viewfinder, but not a numeric scale, it shows an icon scale.

While not perfect, it is very handy. Most cameras of this ilk don’t give any indication of where the focus is. While this lens only stops down to f3.5 which isn’t particularly fast, it’s fine for casual shooting and it gives plenty of depth-of-field to get your subject into focus.

The Tessar lens design has been around for over a hundred years. This lens has stood the test of time. This particular lens has the T* coating which improves color, contrast, controls flare, and chromatic aberration. What more can you ask for.

Pros:

  • Almost compact
  • Easy to use
  • Flash is not automatically activated
  • Great optics
  • Kinda rare
  • Powered by two AA batteries

Cons:

  • Kinda rare
  • Expensive
  • The wrist strap is on the wrong side
  • The film canister loads on the wrong side (Frame numbers are upside down on negs.)
  • The film door latch spring attachment is not very durable

Final Thoughts

When my friend Brad handed me this camera, I was stoked. This is a really cool camera. While it’s not perfect, it’s still very usable. I love this camera. I recommend this camera to anyone that wants a super low key camera with great optics.

I took this thing out for a day and shot a roll of film. Shot on Ilford HP5+ developed in Caffenol Delta.

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