A few days ago I finally received the Yashica Y35 camera I’d backed on Kickstarter more than a year ago.
This is a strange gadget that looks like a traditional film camera, into which you insert plastic “digifilm” cartridges to obtain different effects. The ones I ordered were as follows:
- Black and white (of course!)
- 200 ISO
- 1600 ISO
- Yashica blue
- In my fancy (a kind of 1970s colour effect, on which more below)
You could also order a fancy holder for your cartridges but they were rather pricey and in any case I have a couple of camera bags that these would normally fit in. However, I don’t have them with me at present, but I do have a spare (sealable!) plastic bag courtesy of an extremely rude woman at Southend Airport, so that’s what I’m carrying them in.
I gather the camera has had some pretty negative reviews, but other than a couple of slightly questionable choices in terms of design/build quality, it does exactly what I expected – it’s a cheapish, fun camera that makes you think differently about taking photos.
Given that my other cameras are a couple of Nikon 1 S1s and a 1982 Polaroid, I’m not exactly a typical gear head when it comes to camera equipment, so I think this fits pretty well with my photography style.
I took a couple of shots in the house (including the inevitable shadow selfie):
Then I went out on Friday to a nearby ruined castle and took a few test shots to try out the different “films”:
All of these were taken with the “in my fancy” digifilm, except for the last two, which were taken with the “blue” and 1600 ISO cartridges.
I’m pretty happy with these, I have to say. Yes, I could have obtained the same effects by mucking about with stuff in Lightroom and/or Photoshop, but I don’t do post-processing as a rule – and in any case I’d much rather have random effects created by the camera.
I’m not sure how much use I’ll get from all of the digifilms, but so far I’d say that this is a camera I’m likely to use quite a lot. It’s a neat enough size to fit in my handbag and seems to react reasonably quickly. And I’m used to shooting with a prime lens on my main camera, so the lack of zoom isn’t an issue either (I’m guessing this is throwing some users). In fact until I sat down to write this post I hadn’t even noticed it didn’t have one!
In fact I’ve used it since on a visit to another ancient monument. But that’s another story…