Yashica Electro 35 GSN

  • Type: GSN
  • Serial No: H 662891
  • Manufactured: 1973 - 1977
  • Manufacturer: Yashica
  • Shutter: electromagnetically controlled Copal metal leaf shutter
  • Shutter speeds: stepless from 1/500 to ~30 s (depends on the aperture) and B
  • Lens: Color Yashinon DX 1:1.7 f=45mm
  • Aperture: 1.7, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16
  • Lens mount: fixed
  • Last CLA: none, it's virtually new

I’ve got this camera and the extension lens set in their original boxes, even the protective plastic bags were on them.

Yashica Electro 35 GSN

Yashica Electro 35 GSN

Yashica Electro 35 GSN wide and tele extension lens set

Ever ready case, lens holder, straps, user’s manual, auxiliary finder, lens caps, everything. And it was virtually unused. (Ok, there was a film cartridge in the camera and an old battery but there were no other signs of use and the extension set was not even unpacked.) Am I a lucky guy? Yes, I am.

The Yashica Electro 35 GSN is an interesting aperture priority camera which needs an 5.6 V mercury battery (don’t worry, you can find good replacement batteries). The battery is needed by the CdS light sensot and the stepless, semi-electronic shutter which is basically a mechanical metal leaf shutter controlled electro-magnetically (the quietest shutter I’ve ever heard). So you can use the camera without battery but you will lose light metering and will be limited to only one shutter speed: 1/500. Not bad for daylight photography, though.

Yashica Electro 35 GSN

The camera itself is big and heavy like hell. The body is full metal and ready to make serious injuries if the situation requires. The extension lens kit is quite impressive but almost unusable in the practice because the coupled rangefinder needs post-calculations on focus setting if you put an extension lens on. However, the 45mm focal lenght of the default lens is very comfortable in most of the cases.

I don’t like this Yashinon lens, I have to admit. It can be my fault but I don’t like the way it renders the pictures and the colors. I’m seemingly alone with this opinion because the net is full of praises of its sharpness and other superior qualities. Sorry guys, I still don't like it.

Monet-Goyon motocycle

BMW race car

An interesting solution of the light metering: it is adjusted to the film speed with a little aperture on the top left of the camera front. You can see it moving when you set the ISO value on the top. The metering is surprisingly precise, by the way.


  1. Hello!
    I'm about to sell my Zenit 12XP because I want a new old one with photometer, rs.
    I don't know too much about cameras and I was wondering if you could help me with an opinion of a camera with photometer in the range of price like this Yashica..
    I read your site and it already helped me a lot! But would tell me other options? Some URSS maybe?
    Thank you!

  2. Hi!
    Light meters in old cameras are usually not reliable. (Old selenium cells lose sensitivity, old circuits are designed for 1.3V batteries which are not available.) There are some exceptions but I have a better idea: use a smartphone app. Tiny light meter is a good app for Android phones. Pocket light meter is my recommendation for iPhone. Both are accurate and easy to use. Lightmeter seems to be the right app for Windows Phone. Download one and use whatever camera you like. This is what I do.

  3. Hi any ideas how much one of these cameras are worth today? I have one that use to be my dads. I'm considering getting it checked out and maybe putting it back into action. Any ideas of a good place in Melbourne to take cameras?

    1. I'd recommend ebay. There you can find the most current prices. It's not an expensive camera though. You'd better put a roll of film in it and shoot some great photos.

      Being Europe based I can't recommend camera repairmen in Melbourne I'm afraid - but I'm sure you will find more than one.