Yashica 230-AF 35mm Auto Focus SLR Film Camera
Mini Reivew with Sample Photos Gallery
This is one of those cameras I found at my local thrift store and decided to give a home despite having never seen one before. At first glance, I just thought "well, one of those rather dated looking SLRs from the 80's" and I honestly didn't have much hope when bringing it home. It came home with a Yashica AF 35-70mm f3.3-4.5 Macro zoom lens (I'm assuming it was perhaps the most common kit lens for this camera)....
I bought it a fresh lithium battery, cleaned it up and ran a test roll through it. I was very pleased with how it performed and handled, and the images from the first roll were really quite excellent considering the ordinary kit zoom lens on it. I was beginning to like this one. So I logged in to KEH and ordered a Yashica AF 50mm f1.8 lens in LN- condition, and a half a week later was out testing with another roll of film. This time I was even more impressed with handling - specifically auto focusing, which worked much better with the normal prime lens. And the resulting images were definitely even sharper and cleaner looking than the kit zoom images. Since then I've also added a Yashica 28mm F2.8 wide angle prime lens (new in box!), and a Sigma AF 75-200mm F3.8 lens to round out my setup. Despite how much I love this camera gear, I have too many cameras and so....
LIKES: feels very solid and responsive and is comfortable to hold; controls seemed daunting for a moment or two, but I quickly got used to them and realized they are quite intuitive.
DISLIKES: slightly noisy motor drive perhaps, but probably typical of this generation (and I don't have anything else like it from this period to compare it with); the sliding button used to change settings such as aperture took a little getting used to (although now I actually rather like it).
QUIRKY: The Yashica CS-110AF flash that attaches to the top of the camera is just bizarre. But since Yashica's engineers went out on a limb and came up with a non-standard solution to a small detachable flash accessory, I don't have the heart to call it a dislike. Once you know how to properly attach and detach it, it works fine - but warning to those who hate to read manual like myself, it's not as intuitive as it could be. You have to slide the flash unit onto the top of the camera from the front, and then push down the button on top and rotate it to lock it in place. Pushing down the button engages the contacts. I find the button on mine doesn't easily rotate using my thumb, so I use a small piece of rubber grippy stuff to get traction, and that works well. Once it's attached, the rest is easy - slide the power switch to the on position, and the small flash icon will show up on the LCD screen as well as in the viewfinder. The flash syncs at 1/90th second.