Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yashica Minimatic C

My retro 1960s arsenal now has a Yashica Minimatic-C added to the list. It was in pretty rough condition when it arrived - loose screws on the top plate and a lot of dirt in grooves etc - but it's cleaned up ok.

The first thing that surprised me with the Yashica Minimatic-C is that despite its name, it's not so 'mini' - certainly not compared with the Olympus Pen of Trip 35. It's got to be twice as big as the Pen, and a third bigger than the Trip 35 - although I suppose it still scrapes in to the 'compact' rangefinder category.

I got the Yashica because the price was right :-) and because it reminded me of the Olympus Pen range - so its larger size is something of a shock. Not a disappointment, just a shock.

The Minimatic-C uses a 45mm f2.8 Yashinon lens and in most respects is the same as a Minimatic-S, save for red detailing on the ISO dial and selector screen (and slightly slower lens). It also uses a self powered selenium photocell, so there is no need for a battery (another reason I decided to purchase the camera). The styling of the Minimatic is very clean and subtle, with a very smooth film crank action. Despite the rough condition it arrived in, the Yashica looks solidly built and exudes quality. The lens looks clean and clear and I'm looking forward to putting a roll of colour film through it to check it out.

Despite its slightly 'bulkier' size, the Yashica Minimatic-C is a very handsome camera, with lots of brushed metal, smooth lines and a solid build. The selenium photo cell around the lens (identical to the Olympus cameras) means it is a fully automatic - and fully mechanical - rangefinder camera. The viewfinder is bright and clear so should be easy to use in all lighting conditions.

I'm putting some black and white film through the Pen and Trip 35 at the moment, so it may be a while before I can put the Yashica through its paces. It will give me time to change the foam seals around the door hinges so that it will be all good to go when I'm finally ready to shoot with it. Can't wait.


  1. good day kind sir, i found my dad's old yashica mini c. its quite dirty. i want to clean it but i dont know how. Any suggestions?

  2. I have just got mine today from an antique shop for $10 and so excited to get it flim and etc. Do you have any suggestions on a company to buy from?

    1. If you plan to get color film you could buy from Kodak. If it is black and white I would recommend Ilford film. And if you would like to see the manual for the camera it is available on this site.

    2. Hi Jon. Thanks for the link....


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