Vintage Rangefinder – Yashica Minister D

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Yashica Minister D Vintage Rangefinder Reborn

Here’s how I ended up taking pictures with an old Yashica Minister D Vintage Rangefinder .  Let me explain what a Rangefinder camera is. When you look through the viewfinder  you see a split image and all you do is turn the focus ring so the two images coincide and you have perfect focus. This post  goes on a bit but bear with me.

This website started mainly to show some of my Radio-Controlled projects. One thing I quickly noticed was my pictures were quite poor and so I decided to get a DLSR camera to improve them. Well the pictures weren’t much better; the problem was me and I didn’t really understand photography or how to use my DLSR One of my life long ambitions was to go to the Isle of Man TT races and in 2014 I finally made it and was blown away by the spectacle. But before going I needed to learn how to use my DLSR camera. We booked the trip almost 12 months in advance, so I had time, no excuses. I started with YouTube as most of us do now and found some great video but two guy’s stood out for me Mike Browne and Anthony Morganti,  they  have clear explanations and easy going style.  Using my DLSR in manual mode is easy now and I have been quite pleased with some of my pictures, still lots to learn. My TT pictures are here and some others her on flickr Since then I become hooked photography and spent loads more money, it can get very addictive.

Vintage Rangefinder out of storage

Recently I’ve become quite interested in old film cameras and decided to get my old Yashica out of storage. This was my father’s camera and a couple of years before he passed away he gave it to me. I’ve had in storage for about 30 years. I was 13 years old when he bought the Yashica in Kitwe Zambia around 1970. We lived there for two years before coming back to the UK from 6 years in Australia. He taught me how to use it and I always remember it took great pictures.

Before we came back to the UK my father got my brother and me to take the leather case outside and kick it around to make it look second hand. Back then there was duty to pay on new goods taken out of the country, so this was to avoid it looking new.

Film Cameras

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The camera as you can see still looks like new apart from the case! The mercury battery was dead and the light seals on the door were all gooey. I’ve replaced the battery, which is only used for the light meter with a 645 hearing aid battery. The voltage is very close and they are very cheap. I’ve replaced the seals on the door which is messy but quite easy this video has a good explanation I’ve also purchased a Gossen Sixtomat F2 light meter so I can test how accurate the built in meter is with the hearing aid battery. So, these are a few of the picture I took.

Bakewell Derbyshire Yashica Minister D Pictures

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I had the film developed in Sheffield by Peak Imaging and then used my Epson V370 to scan the slides in. I then processed them with Lightroom and added a bit of HDR with the Googles Nik Collection I’m retiring from work in Dec 2017 and will have time to develop my skills and techniques. I’ve also got a old Russian Lubitel TLR from eBay for £25 and in excellent condition and a Yaschica FX which needs refurbishing. Hope to have a go at developing my own film as well.

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