Trigger warning: article contains sarcasm among other expressions of creative writing.
Yet another flea market find
It happened again — I stumbled upon a point and shoot camera at the flea market. This time I found a Yashica T3. Man, what an ugly camera, I thought. Compared to this, Olympus MJU II looks beautiful. Yaschica T3 on the other hand reminded me of a retarded baby that an Amiga 500 would have. Anywho, the price was right. In fact, I got it for free. I was also checking out a Smena 8M that was selling for 6€. The clerk gave the T3 to me as a freebie for buying the Smena. Not a bad deal and a good reminder of why I love flea markets.
Just in case you haven’t been following the price trends of point and shoot cameras during the past couple of years, Yashica T3 is (along with Olympus MJU II etc.) one of those monstrously over priced “premium” 35mm film pocket cameras, that can easily sell anything between 100—300€.
I’ve had a busy spring. I haven’t had much time to write or to take photos. I started a new job, that has kept me occupied. During this time I’ve gone through some amount of new gear, even though in my previous post, I mentioned that my camera herding days are long gone. Oh well, I haven’t exactly been herding. I just can’t resist a good deal, that involves getting a sought-after point and shoot for free. Now that my free time is limited and I don’t have much time to write about actual photography, I thought I’d spend my Saturday by dropping yet another camera review.
Honest opinion: Yashica T3 sucks
Before moving along, I just want to say that I actually didn’t like the Yashica T3 one bit. I had if for few weeks before trading it for something much more useful (more about that in a bit).
I don’t mean to sound negative, but I don’t feel obligated to write a dishonest review, in order to create hype around a product. I haven’t monetised my blog in any way and I’m not trying to get a kickback. Sometimes it really bugs me to read reviews that are written just to direct you to Amazon via affiliate link. That’ll dictate the tone of voice in any article and force the author to give the wrong impression of the product. I’m keeping my blog independent and saying that I experienced the Yashica T3 to be an overrated piece of garbage. Please note, that it is my personal opinion. This is not the bible. (Probably a weird thing to say from someone who has atheism, but what the hell…)
I really have a love-hate relationship with these kind of cameras. The only reason I keep buying them, is that I can trade them to something else. As you may remember, I also mentioned on my previous article, that I was sort of looking into a Nikon SLR camera. Incidentally, a friend of mine was selling his Nikon FE for a reasonable price of 60€. I gave it a new home, but I didn’t have lens for it. I ended up trading the Yashica T3 for a Nikkor 35mm f2 Ai-s lens, which was yet another great deal. I was really low on money, so I was delighted to make the trade. Otherwise I would still have Nikon body without a lens. (Spoiler alert: the next article on this blog will no doubt feature a review of this Nikon kit.)
But it has a Zeiss f2.8 lens!
Supposedly Yashica T3 is so highly regarded because it has a 35mm Carl Zeiss f2.8 T* lens. It is probably the only thing the camera has going for it. Sure — nice to have, but not worth paying a three figure price. For a low budget flea market find it is pretty awesome, but who would pay something like 300€ for it? Isn’t that enough money to buy a real camera and/or a so called “real” Zeiss lens? Besides, there are hundreds of other point and shoot cameras that has great optics as well. There’s something not right about getting into point and shoots and pixel peeping at the same time. If image quality is a concern, who’d even look into point and shoots?
Build quality that sucks
Yashica T3 is just as plasticy and laggy as any other 90’s point and shoot camera. I was expecting a much more premium feel, but I was surprised to notice that wasn’t the case. Olympus MJU II feels like a Rolls Royce compared to Yashica T3.
I found the shooting experience to be somewhat numb and lifeless. I was expecting the shutter to be more snappy and accurate and the mechanics to be faster, quieter and somehow more high tech. But no, it is just as mediocre as any 90’s point and shoot.
Yashica T3 has an interesting viewfinder option. In addition to the standard viewfinder, it also features a waist level viewfinder, that you could use in a similar fashion as shooting with a TLR camera. In theory you could do very stealthy street shooting with it, but since the camera has a loud film advance motor, it is going to be as discreet as a TIE-fighter.
Surprisingly unwanted item for a cult camera
I made an interesting note about the Yashica T3. It is something of a cult camera and just as expensive as an Olympus MJU II. Or at least in the same ballpark. I was under the impression that I could sell it and have a long queue behind my front door in no time. Before trading it, I posted it on some sales groups on Facebook and absolutely no-one was interested in it. I think the worst MJU II craze has starting to settle already (finally) but you can still sell one pretty fast for a good price. Based on that, I thought I’d get rid of the T3 in no time. To my surprise, there was very little interest towards it and I didn’t actually get any real offers for it, until like three weeks later, after I forgot to take the sales ad down from marketplace. I just thought it would be interesting to mention. It’s clearly not as wanted as a MJU II, but still the asking prices are high. Eventually I got rid of it with the help of my good friends at kamerastore.com. They had the Nikon lens I wanted on the shelve and we made the swap.
As a bottom line, I’d simply say that if you like point and shoot cameras, Yashica T3 is an ok option, if you can find one for cheap. I’d never ever, how ever, recommend anyone to pay a top dollar for it. It is surprisingly generic 90’s point and shoot and not as premium as one would think, based on the high asking prices. It takes good images. It has ok optics, but just because it says Carl Zeiss, doesn’t, in my opinion, justify paying a three figure price.