Yashica Minitec AF 35mm Compact

Yashica Minitec AF 35mm Compact Camera

Film Camera Review:

Yashica Minitec AF 35mm Compact Film Camera

'A quick look review of the Yashica Minitec AF, a simple and fun fixed lens point-and-shoot 35mm autofocus compact'

Introduction and Overview

The Yashica Minitec AF, a simple point-and-shoot autofocus 35mm compact camera, caught my attention as an elegant looking compact and possibly as an interesting solution to my search for a compact that I can easily slip into my pocket or carry it around on my outings.

Yashica Minitec AF, View
The camera was produced by Kyocera in 1992 and is also shipped as the Yashica Micro Elite AF, and Kyocera P. mini AF.

The Minitec AF is fitted with a Yashica 4 element Tessar-type 32mm F3.5 fixed-focus lens, comes with auto film loading, auto film forward and rewind with mid-roll rewind, built-in flash, and selection buttons for infinity focus, flash modes, self-timer, and a small LCD panel to indicate the setting the camera is set to.

Based on the Kyocera P. mini AF spec sheet, other features of the camera include AE metering with a shutter speed range from 1/60 to 1/200 second, paired to an aperture opening of f/3.5 to f/16, DX-coding for film ISO from 100 to 400, and autofocusing from 0.4 meters to infinity.

The all-plastic Minitec AF is a lightweight at 185 grams without batteries.

Yashica Minitec AF camera

A beautiful little point and shoot camera from Yashica. Photos shot on location in wales and under the flyover on the Plymouth turnoff on the A38. Cheap out of date film used . Model-Rosie Flame Music by Kai -Engel http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/ more on the blog www.nineteen68.co.uk
Yashica Minitec AF, Battery compartment
While the camera came with its own idiosyncrasies which you will have to learn to adjust to, the most appealing factor of the Minitec AF is that it needs only a couple of AA batteries to run and operate. This makes for a cheap, affordable, and easily available alternative to other cameras within the same category that requires the more expansive and hard to get Lithium power packs to run.

The camera, however, is not fitted with any battery strength indicator, and as I have no access to information on how many rolls of film the batteries can support (your guess is as good as mine here), I am sticking to a couple of 36 exposure rolls when used with a fair amount of flash before the batteries are replaced.

Basic Camera Features

Though not truly obvious, the Yashica Microtec AF is a wee bit smaller than the Pentax Espio AF 35-70mm Zoom (240 gram without battery) and is almost the same size as the slightly heavier Nikon Zoom 310 AF QD (220 gram without batteries).

The Minitec AF, however, comes with the most decent viewfinder among the three, and with its slightly bulkier contour, it might end up being the better choice if you are looking for a fixed wide-angle instead of a 35-70mm zoom.

Yashica Minitec AF, Front

The simple and elegant brick-bat shape incorporates a nice contoured camel-hump ridged finger grip on the front plane, besides which is a slide switch that opens the lens blind and powers up the camera. Lined on the top right of the front of the top plane are the flash unit, a pair of autofocus triangulation windows, and the viewfinder window.

Yashica Minitec AF, Top

On the top plane, from left to right, is a smallish mid-roll rewind button, flash-off Infinity Focus button, Flash Mode setting button, Self-timer, LCD display panel, and on the far right, the red Shutter Release button.

Contrary to what I have read on the Net regarding the flash cycle mode of the Yashica Minitec AF, my unit only offers three flash setting - Auto On, and auto-canceling Eye-Reduction and Backlighting functions, which means that you have to reset the modes again if you are going for another shot after the first one is taken.

Shooting in flash-off Infinity Focus calls for a two-hand operation, one with your left index finger holding down the Infinity Focus button while the other used to release the shutter.

Yashica Minitec AF, Back

The camera back is a plain affair with only the film back, film info window, and the viewfinder eyepiece. The battery chamber is located on the right shoulder, opened by a slide latch.

Yashica Minitec AF, Bottom

The bottom of the Minitec AF is again plain except for the tripod socket.

Yashica Minitec AF, Film box

The film box is the nominal auto load type where you have to extend the film tab over across the film frame window to the indicated point on the opposite side before closing the film back. The film will be forwarded automatically to Frame 1.

You might also notice that this is of the camera that loads the film canister on the right of the film box. Film auto rewinds at the end of the roll.

Yashica Minitec AF, Early images 01

Yashica Minitec AF, Early images 02 Yashica Minitec AF, Early images 03
Viewfinder Readout

The viewfinder is a real-image type, with bright frame and parallax correction lines, and a central autofocus circle.

A green LED light is displayed at the bottom right corner of the viewfinder frame when autofocus is locked on, or when the flash-off Infinity Focus button is pressed, while a red LED blinks on the left corner of the screen when flash was activated.

LCD Panel Display

The LCD panel is a simple frame counter display, flash mode setting, and timer countdown.

Self-timer

The self-timer is autorun. It activates as soon as you press the button, and the shutter released at the end of the 10-second delay without the need to use the shutter release button, something you have to get used to.

Battery

As mentioned, the Minitec AF is powered by a pair of AA batteries. I do not have, however, any info on the number of films rolls the batteries can support before it needs to be replaced, or what happens when the batteries are replaced mid-roll.

Ease of Use

Except for the first image above, the others were from just outside of my front door showing the potential of the camera as a focus-free point-and-shoot, taken on a roll of Kodak ColorPlus 200.

Scanned images were post-processed on Olympus Viewer 3 (OV3) and print sharpened on Google NIK Sharpener Pro3.

Yashica Minitec AF, Early images 04
Yashica Minitec AF, Early images 05

The best part of the camera is undoubtfully the need for only a pair of AA batteries to get it running. These cells are easy to get and keep in mind that you may have to change them often enough.

Again, shooting in Flash-off Infinity Focus is a two-hand operation, which might be a bit of a distraction, but not a dissatisfaction. The stylish built form and ease of functions is definitely a style update.

Yashica Minitec AF, Early images 06

Is the Yashica Minitec AF a keeper? Yes, I will definitely keep the unit I am reviewing until a new option comes around.


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