Yashica Electro 35 GTN Rangefinder

Yashica Electro 35 GTN

A top choice for vintage 35mm rangefinder camera enthusiasts, the Yashica Electro 35 GTN, 1973, is the flagship of the 35mm film rangefinders from Yashica, which started with the introduction of the Yashica Electro in 1966.

The Electro 35 series is an aperture-priority camera, meaning that you are allowed only to select the aperture setting for the lens opening, while the camera sets the shutter speed, which ranges from 1/500 second to thirty seconds or more! Film ASA speed was from 12 to 400 ASA.

The 45mm f/1.7 Color Yashinon DX lens, which is the same as the SLR version, is coupled to a silent electronic leaf shutter, which quieter and has less vibration than the shutter on most other cameras then, even today.

ヤシカ エレクトロ35GTNの使い方 YASHICA ELECTRO35GTN How to use 1970s Rangefinder camera

Model Development

The Electro 35 was followed by the Electro 35 G, 1968, with cosmetic changes and an increase of film ASA speed to 500; the Electro 35 GS and GT, 1970, with gold-plated contacts to prevent oxidation of its electric circuits; and finally the Electro 35 GSN (satin chrome) and GTN (black) in 1973, which has the addition of a hot shoe in addition to the PC socket, and support for ASA 1000 film speed. The Electro 35 was designed to operate using a 5.6V mercury battery.


The metering works when you half-press the shutter, and you can see the arrow indicators in the viewfinder showing you which way to turn the aperture ring to get the optimum exposure setting.

This indication is also shown on the top plate by two indicator lights colored orange (slow) and red (over). An orange light means your shutter speed is at 1/30 second or slower, while red means that your shutter speed is at 1/500 second or more.


The Electro 35 was designed to operate using a 5.6V mercury battery, which is not available anymore. This can be replaced with a 6V alkaline (PX28A or 4LR44) with which you will have to use an adapter. A battery check light is located on the back of the top plate. When pressed, and if the battery is still juicy, it will light up the two exposure indicator lights on the top plate, and a green light within the film counter window.

One main issue of adding the Electro 35 series to your collection is to ensure that you are getting one whose electrics are functioning properly. This includes a functioning film forward clunk, or more sinisterly, that the Pad of Death is still alive and working.

Film Forward Clunk

When the film forward lever is operated, part of its internal mechanism also operates a spring-loaded slider that operates a set of switch points. As this slider shoots up to its original position, it hits a small rubber pad at the top of the mechanism with a bit of a clunk. This pad degenerates over time, preventing the proper operation of the camera. Remedial is a strip down to replace the rubber pad, not an easy job for someone not experienced enough with the camera.

Yashica Electro 35 Pad of Death
Replacing the light seals are also the norm when doing a clean-and-lube (CL) for vintage cameras.

Using The Camera

If you are used to a film camera, then loading and unloading a 135 film cassette from the camera is as universal as can be, so are the do's and don'ts of doing film photography which you should be quite adept as well. The Electro 35 is a good camera with a fast and sharp lens, it should be fun to use, and to expect great results from it. All the best!

Resource Links:
Yashica Electro 35 GSN
Shooting with Yashica Electro 35 GTN

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