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Camera Classic: Yashica T4 Super

Posted by Matt on April 29th, 2008 filed in Camera Buying Guide, Camera Reviews, Classic Cameras, Digital Photography Hints & Tips

Today we roll out a new feature at Digital Photography Hints, a look at Classic Cameras of all time. And yes, this will include non-digital cameras – as in many cases some of the old standards have yet to be replaced by equivalent digital gems. Come on camera manufacturers! Listen to your customers…

The Yashica T4 Super
The Yashica T4 Super

The Yashica T4 Super

First up, the Yashica T4 Super. The Yashica T4 Super (known as the T5 in Europe) is a 35mm/3.5 fixed focus, light-weight compact camera released back around 2002 to immediate acclaim. With it’s cheap price point (around $100) and fixed lens, aimed at the entry level consumer market, what is surprising is that this camera rapidly became beloved by professional photographers around the world. How did this come to happen?

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The Yashica T4 Super Advantage: Superior Optics

Well the Yashica T4 Super became popular mostly due to it’s high quality optics. Yashica packed the T-4 with a 4-element Zeiss Tessar lens, with T* anti-glare coating. This is the kind of optic quality you generally only find on much more expensive cameras, and once you’ve taken a few shots with the T4 Super you can see why people love it. The photos are crisp, polarized, with a wide colour range and an undistorted 35mm viewpoint. Not only that, but the exposure system in the T4 makes incredibly good decisions – handy since you have no ability to manually adjust the exposure – or anything for that matter!

St Kelle - by Matt Hobbs
St Kelle – by Matt Hobbs, Taken with Yashica T4 Super

The T4 is literally ‘point and shoot’. No zooming in or out, just slide the shutter cover over and press the button – voila. The rapid response is another plus point that photographers can enjoy in a camera that is light and slim, to easily fit in your pocket. Personally I’ve shot film ranging from off the shelf color stock, to professional slide film such as Velvia – and the T4 Super deals with all of them with great results.

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Negative Points about the T4 Super

The T4 is not perfect though, by default the flash is automatically on – which if you want to take shots at night without disrupting the proceedings can be a pain, especially since turning off the flash is not easy to do in the dark. Also the construction is flimsy plastic, so it can feel a bit fragile. Having said that I’ve never managed to break mine and it has lived through many days and nights wandering around, stuffed in my jeans pocket. There is one other issue with the T4 Super – it’s no longer in production. There is an active secondary market though with eBay being a regular source of the cameras ranging from $100 up.

The Yashica T4 Super: A Super Point & Shoot Film Camera

The T4 Super is a perfect addiction to every serious photographer’s film camera collection. Beloved by amateurs and professionals alike, you won’t be disappointed by how it performs and the wonderful images it captures with minimal effort. Light enough and cheap enough to carry all the time, no film photographer should be without it. Now we just need someone to set up a service to convert them to digital…

One Response to “Camera Classic: Yashica T4 Super”

  1. Popular Posts from 2008 (Happy 2009!) | Digital Photography Hints & Tips Says:

    […] Camera Classic: Yashica T4 Super: A great little non-digital camera, now if only someone would release a digital […]

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