Friday, March 30, 2012

40 year old Yashica Electro 35 GT resurrected by a newbie :) - Savannah Park TN - 03/30/12

I just recently I opened my eyes to the wonderful images of nature and wanted to take pictures. I also wanted to take night pictures of the sky, so I found out I needed the bulb feature. I also know that digital cameras never do what I want (tried to take a lot of pictures with diffrent settings in low light, never worked)so I decided to go with 35 mm.

So I looked on ebay and was waiting for the money to buy one. When I realized my mother had said something about my father having one a long time ago, and it took amazing pictures. So I asked my dad if he had it and if I could use it, 30 mins later he returns from the shop. He hands me a box with enough dust and mold to kill some one, also enough acorns to feed a family of 5 squirrels, lol

After cleaning it with lots of soap and water it looked decent but nothing moved, so I used 3 in 1 oil to loosen and move the asa speed dial, the aperture ring, the exposure ring, and the focus ring.

I went and bought a compatible battery and some film (annoying that they do not make a replacement the same dimensions). I shoved the battery in with some foil, + down made the battery hot, - made the check light work but not the slow or over work. So at this point I knew something was wrong with the electronics. Thank goodness I make electronics as a hobby, and love to tear things apart and fix them.

I also realized the range-finder was way to dirty, and yellow. So I tried disassembling it... which I had never used or heard of a spanner so I didn't get very far.. lol I spent several hours reading about disassembly and looking at the schematics. I found a book that was 150 pages long some where on the internet that was extremely helpful, it showed everything about the camera. Every adjustment, and screw.

So I finally get it apart after striping a screw and having to grind it out, I clean the range-finder and set the vertical alignment, since it was off a hair. Then I realized the second circuit board was under the leather.... which was disappointing, so I cut it off, cleaned the board, checked the POD and it was like new O.o weird hu?

I noticed some of the wires ran into the.. lens, barrel thing, with all the rings, so I had to take that apart, because I traced the red wire from + to the barrel so the short had to be in that some where.. before it came back to the top circuit board. I get the rings apart down to the timer gears, shutter etc, clean the shutter with alcohol swab. Then see the red wire attached to three bend sensor switches spaced apart and screwed down on top of each other. I take it out and see that that the one on the very bottom was made of copper.. everything else in the camera was gold almost, except this one piece which had corroded. So I sand it down, put it all back together, replace the light seals with mouse pad foam, since they were pretty much nonexistent. I tested it out today, and had the images put on a disc, thanks to Walgreen.

The over light never comes on, but I'm not really worried about it, as long as everything else works. I also had a issue with the frame counter stopping at 36, then found out that the new light seals were jamming up with works. 

I have never used a 35 mm, or worked on any camera before. So considering how I keep reading, "practice on a crap camera before you try it on your good one" I think I did an amazing job.

I do love art, and try my hand at painting. So here are the images I took before and after Photoshop. I misjudged the exposure, it was a really cloudy day, so I took two pictures of everything with different exposure setting, but after running them through gimp (free photoshop) they look amazing. :) I also noticed that the pictures were a lot wider than my view finder... :/




  1. Abosloutely gorgeous pictures with your GT! The exposure seems dead on on most of the series, however I can see some of the pictures slightly overexposed, or perhaps there was some UV contamination. Get a UV filter and put it in your camera. Better a non-circular polarizing filter.

    Now put people in them and you'll see!

    Very interesting the story of the CLA job on the camera. I forgo this issue with mine as it was previously tampered with by a local technician and all the screws and top lids where damaged on my GSN. I wanted these repaired and I send it to Connecticut after 34 years of forced storage.

    Enjoy your camera. May I recommend a book called: The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression by Bruce Barnbaum it is also in Kindle format!

    The GSN was my sweetheart camera, since I double and more your age, yours could be that too for you!

    Regards, and I look forward to your pictures!

    Robert H. Bruce
    San José, Costa Rica

  2. Thanks Robert, I will post my next roll of film here on my blog too.