Yashica back with real analog cam, MF-1

After its widely condemned Y35, the Yashica brand is re-awakening once more to bring us the MF-1, a camera in the emerging category of almost-disposable cameras. It features a 31mm f/11 lens that cannot be focused (but its depth of field should be sufficient), and is restricted to a 1/120 of a second shutter speed. The project was launched on Kickstarter and seems to now be available for general retail.

mf1

It is intended to be used with ISO 400 film, and a flash bulb, rated for 3000 actuations, is built in to help meet the exposure at a range of 1 to 3 meters (1 meter is the minimum focus). It’s driven by a single AA battery that is included in the box. The flash causes a pretty strong vignette. With those specs, it’s obviously not much of a camera for direct sunlight on sunny days, although you may get decent results under shade.

yashica_colours
Twelve of the MF-1’s available colours.

However, Yashica has optimistically released three ISO 400 films along with it – one simply called Yashica 400, which seems to be a reasonably good colour negative film which Yashica says is intended for portraits, a limited edition “Golden 80s” colour negative film whose output looks more bleak than golden, and the punchy Yashica 400 Black & White negative film, which I’m not too worried about as black and white films always seem to find their audience.

Samples shot with Yashica 400 film (above)
Samples shot with Yashica 400 Black & White film (above)

Somewhat unhelpfully, the camera’s name is the same as a viewfinder camera that Yashica made in 1979 with a 38mm/2.8 lens, automatic exposure and flash.

The camera itself is priced at HK$278 (US$35.50), putting it in exactly the same ballpark as Ilford’s Harman camera. The Harman camera, at 2 Pounds more than the converted MF-1 price, includes two rolls of 36 exposure Kentmere Pan 400 black and white film and, like the MF-1, also includes a strap. Another similar camera, and one it may have been modelled on, is the Lomography Simple Use camera, which aside from looking very similar to the MF-1, can be bought preloaded with either “Color Negative”, “Black and White”, or “Lomochrome Purple” – the eccentric option, much like “Golden 80s”.

Samples shot with Yashica 400 “Golden 80s” limited edition film

The Yashica films are 24 exposures each, and priced HKD$55 (US$7) for the normal colour negative film Yashica 400, HKD$65 (US$8.31) for the moody limited edition Yashica 400 Golden 80s, and HKD$60 (US$7.67) for the black and white film, Yashica 400 Black & White.

You can read a more extensive review of the camera here.

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