Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 35mm MF SLR Film Camera

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 35mm MF SLR Film Camera

Film Camera Review:

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 35mm MF SLR Film Camera

'A quick look review at the Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, a highly popular manual mechanical 35mm SLR camera'

Introduction and Overview

Yashica introduced the very popular FX series 35mm SLR cameras with the FX-1 (1975) and FX-2 (1976), with a C/Y lens mount that would also accept Carl Zeiss T* lenses.

The camera series was the outcome of a collaboration between Yashica and Carl Zeiss which started in 1973 on a project which also saw the introduction and production of the electronically controlled Contax SLR cameras.

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, Left front

The FX-3 (1979), FX-3 Super (1984), and FX-3 Super 2000 (1986), made by Cosina, were further updates of the FX series, now in the form of a very compact and lightweight body weighing about 450 grams. The bodies, though, remain fitted with the C/Y lens mount, which features well not only to new users but also enthusiasts who now have an economical alternative for their prime T*'s. The FX series continued to be updated (FX-7, FX-8 and beyond) and stayed in production until 2002.

The launch of the Contax and FX series also saw the introduction of a line of Yashica/Contax lenses designed by Carl Zeiss which has a common C/Y bayonet mount. This allows lens interchangeability between all 35mm Contax and Yashica SLR camera models. Yashica too was then producing the ML and MC (multi-coating) series lenses, a premium range targeted for more serious photographers, for these cameras.

Yashica FX-3

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Design and Build

The FX-3 Super 2000 is a simple and easy to use fully manual mechanical 35mm SLR camera with a vertical-travel focal-plane shutter, equipped with a mechanical shutter speed range of 1 to 1/2000 second, B (bulb), and a 10-second delay self-timer.

Exposure metering in TTL (Through-the-Lens) full aperture center-weighted viewfinder readout on an eye-level pentaprism finder with 92% image coverage. The focusing screen is split-image/microprism type, film ISO speed 12-3200, exposure meter switch is activated by half-pressing the shutter release button.

Setting this model apart from its predecessor is the body that now sports a finger grip, a flash-ready indicator in the finder, and the relocation of the meter switch to the shutter release button. Like all Yashica manual-focus bodies with C/Y lens mount, the FX-3 Super 2000 is capable of being used with all manual-focus Carl Zeiss T*, Yashica ML, and DSB series lenses.

Basic Camera Features

Available only in black, the camera is rather elegant with its simple curved edge design, uncluttered front plate, with all controls and features logically located on the top plate.

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, Front

The front of the camera is almost all plain aside from the lens mount housing, to the left of which is the self-timer mechanism, the lens release button on the vertical side of the lens mount housing and the finger grip, which sets the Super 2000 distinct from other FX-3s.

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, Top

The top plate carries the hot-shoe on top of the pentaprism, a solitary film rewind crank on its left, and on the right is the shutter speed dial, integrated with the film ISO dial, shutter release button, film forward crank, and the auto-reset film counter window.

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, Back
The Super 2000 has an all plain back, aside from the viewfinder window. The film back is a noninterchangeable hinge type.

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, Bottom
The bottom plate of the FX-3 is equally sparse, with the battery chamber cover, rewind release button, and tripod socket.

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, Film box

Film Loading and Unloading

Film loading is an easy load system with a slotted take-up spool to accept the insertion of the film lead. Rewind is manual.

Viewfinder Information

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, Viewfinder LED Display

Metering information as seen through the viewfinder's readout is presented by a trio of LEDs located vertically on the lower right side of the screen. The LEDs are a red minus symbol (–) for underexposure, a red plus (+) means overexposure, and a green light if you are on the dot. Green and plus means a slight overexposure and the opposite with a green and minus. A compatible Yashica or Contax flash will light up a flash ready indicator when fully charged, along with the red/green exposure LEDs.

Self Timer/Mirror Lock-up

Besides using the self-timer for, say, a group selfie, you can also use the device on the FX-3 2000 Super to lock-up the mirror for a vibration-free shot. You need to lock the camera on a tripod, release the shutter, and the mirror will flip up and a few seconds later the shutter will fire. You can also a cable release to release the shutter button.


The FX-3 2000 Super requires a pair of LR44 cell buttons to operate the metering system, otherwise, everything else is mechanical.

Yashica ML Lenses

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, ML Lenses

The Yashica ML line of lenses was the pro level of Multicoated lenses, marketed as a pro-grade lens in a slot between the consumer-grade DSB line and the state-of-the-art Zeiss T* lenses. These lenses were made in Japan at the same factory where the T* lenses are manufactured. Due to the difference in the use of coatings, these lenses have a slightly less contrasty, classic look. They are, however, renowned for their vivid color rendition.

Yashica ML Lenses Chart

Using The Camera

Being a lightweight, and even with the Yashica ML 50mm f/1.8 mounted, the FX-3 2000 Super is a delight to carry around. It fits right in your hands, and will still catch the glances even in the company of other likes, say, the Olympus OM-1s, Nikon FM, and Pentax MX. It is even the lightest of them all.

As a fully manual shooter, the FX-3 2000 SUper is very easy to use, metering information for the center-weighted exposure metering system is direct, presented via the trio of LEDs. Not a problem if the batteries are depleted, the camera is all mechanical and the shutter and aperture can be configured based on the Sunny 16 rule.

Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, Lenses

One quick advice on when you are taking very long-exposure night shots is to disable the light meter as the glow of the red LED will tend to bleed onto the film to produce a dim, red glow on the edge of the image. Just remove the batteries and you are good to go.

Use the self-timer to lock up the mirror for images that are free of vibration. The resulting image might be a tad sharper, depending, of course, on the lens you have mounted> Here, you have a choice from the wide range of C/Y mounts that are available.

At the end of the day, I am sure you will find that the Yashica FX-3 Super 2000, as an all manual SLR, is a very capable camera. Not being a big name does help you get it at a very very reasonable cost, where you might instead splurge and invest in the prime Planar T*. Do try one out, if you get the change, and be surprised!

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Contax / Yashica 35mm SLR Cameras and Lenses

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  1. I'm somewhat of an amateur, and have inherited this camera from my parents. Is there a specific type of film I should use with this camera?

  2. Any 35mm film rolls will do actually, maybe you want to be a specific as to the choice whether to want to start with black-and-white or color images, and the convenience (location of the photo shop) of acquiring and having the film developed (location of the lab) and having the images printed.

    Do a big G search for Intro to 35mm and you may find this to be a good start for you, thanks.


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