Impulsive relics hunt strikes silver

After a good dose of trashing and practical advice from my dear friend Pritish, I woke up from my slumber to start shooting again. I started with cleaning my dslr that hadn’t been touched in over two years. During the ordeal, I had this impulsive desire to find a replacement for my Canon T50 film slr that I was forced to leave behind several years back when I was moving between cities. After winding up the cleaning work, I did a quick check on olx to see if I could find what I was looking for. There were some interesting, more beautiful and superior relics on sale but not one T50. In the next 15 minutes I was on my way to the only place in the city where I knew I had the best chance of finding a T50 – Lily Pond Complex a.k.a Moore Market. On my way there I was mulling over the idea of buying a Yashica 124G, in case I couldn’t find a T50. Yashica 124G is a fabulous looking twin lens reflex (TLR), medium format camera that I came across during my brief search on olx. These cameras were made between 1970 and 1986. TLRs have two vertically placed lenses, the one on top is to view and focus the subject and the one below captures the image on to a 120mm or 220mm film. All operations are manually performed and the camera requires no battery power with the exception of the light meter that runs on a button cell. The T50 on the other hand is a semi automatic 35mm film camera and first in a series of cameras where Canon started to experiment with automation. T50s were made between 1983 and 1989.

After entering the lily pond complex I walked around outside the building and entered through the north west entrance to escape the book hawkers at the main entrance and hallways, went straight to the the three stores in the back that sell old used cameras. I had seen these stores before when I was hunting for old National Geographic volumes in the complex but never bothered to check them out. I entered the first store and glanced at the haphazardly arranged collection of cameras from this century. I was trying hard to stay focused on what I wanted and not get entrapped by the alluring metal and fading leather relics. 1st shop no luck, 2nd shop no luck, in the 3rd shop it took me a fraction of a second to identify a sad looking T50 sitting on the top most shelf coated with a thick film of dust. The camera was just ok, it came with a 50mm prime lens, and had a couple of issues that could work with easy hacks. I got a good bargain on the camera and also convinced the shop keeper to sell me 35-70mm lens from another partially handicapped Canon T70. I was happy I found a clone of the T50 I abandoned years back and was hoping the hacks I hand in mind would get the camera working soon.

I hung around a little longer to check out Nat Geo volumes from before the 70s, and chanced upon a small antiques shop tucked away in a corner on the east side of the complex. Within a few seconds a brown leather bag caught my attention. I squinted my eyes and stared at the bag a few seconds longer to make sure I was reading the name on the bag right. It was a Yashica. The shop keeper didn’t know what model of Yashica was in that bag, so he slowly and carefully opened it up and revealed its contents. It was a Yashica 635 – a unique TLR model that had an adapter to accommodate 35mm rolls besides the 120mm rolls that TLRs are designed for. 635s were made between 1957 and 1973. The camera was in a much better condition and even had a used up Konica SR-V 100 roll on the 35mm adapter inside. All shutter speeds worked and the lenses were mostly clear. After some haggling and faked walkouts I finally bought the 635 for a reasonable price. That was one of those sooooper rare days when luck decides to pay a short visit. I have ordered a bunch of different rolls to start experimenting with these newly acquired relics. I will post some pictures soon.

Update with sample pictures shot on Yashica 635 – Oct-29-2017

The images below were shot on Kodak Ektar 100 120mm film

The images below were shot on Ilford FP4 125 120mm film

Both films were developed at Prabhu Photos, Bangalore


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