Monday, October 25, 2010

Yashica 635

Yashica 635 (1)
Yashica 635 in black leather case

I have already told you in a older post, "A camera for the case", about how and why I bought this camera.
Now I intend to make a light review of it.

This camera is able to use 120 roll film or 135 cartridge film.
That's why it has a profusion of controls, dedicated to the advance of one or the other kind of film.
In order to use the 135 cartridge film there is a dedicated adapter kit.

Yashica 635 and 35mm adapter kit
The 35mm adapter kit

If we are using 120 roll film we use the right side of the camera to control it's advance.

Yashica 635 (6)
Right side

The knob on the top left controls the advance of the 120 roll film.
The film is loaded and advanced until the start mark is aligned with the arrows in the film path, back closed, turn clockwise the knob until it stops and you see the number 1 in that small window, top right.
To advance to the next exposure you have to press the button in the centre of the knob to release it and once again turn it CW until it stops. Repeat that all the way to the 12th exposure.

The scale around the knob is a ASA/DIN reminder.

The other knob is the focus control, being the above scale for depth of field control.

Yashica 635 (2)
Left side

On the left side we have another set of controls, most dedicated to the advance of the 135 cartridge film. Although the big knob, top right, where we can read "35mm only" and the one with the red arrow, on the bottom, are used to secure the 120 roll film also.

The drill is the same, on this side to control de advance of the 135 cartridge film.
The film is loaded using the adapter after the back is closed we have to press the 35mm stop/release button, that isolated silver button, and wind CCW the "35mm film only" knob.
We have to repeat this operation three times to advance the exposed film, during loading, after that we have to turn the exposure counter, the scale around the knob, in the arrow direction and align the 1 with the index dot.
After that all we have to do is, after every exposure, press the 35mm film stop/release and advance to the next frame.

The small knob with the engraved red R is pulled out and turned, to release the sprocket axle and allow the rewinding of the film, performed turning the bottom knob in the arrow direction.

Yashica 635 loading 120 film
Loaded with 120 film

The 120 film loading is quite simple, as I explained above, like in most TLR cameras of this kind.

Using 35mm is a little more tricky but it isn't rocket science.

Yashica 635 loading 35mm film

To secure the 35mm cartridge, first we have to screw the spacer ring, left, then insert the cartridge with the spool stud adapter in the other end.

In the above picture I have already installed the film frame also.

Yashica 635 loading 35mm film

In the above picture I've inserted the film leader in the 35mm take-up spool.

Yashica 635 loading 35mm film

After make sure that the sprocket holes are engaged in the sprocket teeth it's time to set the pressure plate and close the camera.
Advance three exposures, reset the counter and we have a film to burn.

I have to confess that, although I've taken several 120 films with it, I've not yet tried it with this kit.

Yashica 635 and cased 35mm adapter kit
Yashica 635 and cased 35mm adapter kit

Yashica 635 with sport finder mask 35mm
35mm mask for sports finder on display

In the previous post about this camera, I told you that when I bought it the 35mm mask for the sports finder was missing. I didn't have the leather case either.
I found a kit missing the spacer ring and the spool stud adapter, at a flea market, paid  four Euro for it, and completed my kit.

I can't say this is the most simple or intuitive camera but it's not a challenge also. It's a bit awkward but I like very much all kind of waist level finder cameras.
This one has the advantage of a big brilliant viewfinder and the ability of using 35mm film, that taking advantage of the 80mm Yashinon lens must be very good for portraits. When I try it that way I'll come back to it.

With 120 film it is a perfectly capable shooter as you can see in the following shots.

TLR man
"TLR Man" by RaúlM.

Back in the tunnel
"Back in the tunnel" by RaúlM.

Stay tuned (o;


  1. Excelente explicação sobre esta máquina, sábio Raúl... adorei acompanhar o texto com as fotografias... de mestre!

  2. raul, encontre esta camara en un anticuario y la adquiri sin varias piezas que me gustaria conseguir...te mandare las fotos por si me puedes ayudar.
    Tambien quisiera saber si es posible (o viable) desmontar el visor para limpiarlo a fondo y tambien que producto tendria que utilizar para limpiar el cuerpo metalico negro de la camara

  3. Me puedes enviar las fotos para
    Cuanto a limpiar el visor puedes limpiar todo con limpia vidrios, excepto el espejo, para esto utiliza solamente una bomba de aire y un pincel muy blando.
    En el cuerpo puedes utilizar también limpia vidrios y un cepillo de dientes, limpiando inmediatamente con toallas de papel.

  4. Obrigado Raul...He desmontado el visor y he podido limpiar bastante bien el objetivo por dentro y el espejo pero no se como podria quitar algunas motas de polvo que aun quedan en la pieza plastica¿? del visor... Te mandare las fotos cuando pueda junto con otras fotos de cámaras antiguas de mi humilde colección...lo dicho MUCHAS GRACIAS.

  5. Did you ever get some shots on 135? How did it work out?

  6. @jannx:
    I've never used it with 135.