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4. What lenses are available?

Yashica shares its mount with Contax, which means that you can use Contax Zeiss T* lenses, which are rated most of the time somewhere between Nikon and Leica (or above Leica). Furthermore, most aftermarket brands support the Y/C mount so you can add Tamron, Tokina, Vivitar and Sigma lenses to your system. I've seen lots of lenses by Sun, a now-gone aftermarket producer; my Sun 135/2.5MC seems to perform well. The Big Four aftermarket brands are in various states of ending their MF offerings, inform for yourself.

This FAQ will only discuss Yashica lenses.

4.1 What's the difference between Yashica DSB and Yashica ML lenses?

Yashica DSB lenses are single coated, ML lenses are multi coated (ML stands for Multi Layer). As usual, a marketing department messed things thoroughly up by introducing another designator, MC for Multi Coated, for later multi coated lenses. Contrary to the quality jump from DSB to ML, there is no distinguishable quality difference between ML and MC lenses. For quite some time, Yashica offered both DSB and ML lenses; later on, DSB lenses were sold in package deals with bodies (like the FX-D Quartz SE and the FX-7).

4.2 How about YUS lenses?

YUS stands for Yashica US. This "brand" is now gone, and from comparisons it seems that they were the same as the DSB lenses sold elsewhere.

4.3 Known Yashica lenses.

The following is a list of lenses we know off. If I have performance data, I'll give them a note, ranging from 1 (``this really is a Sigma lens in disguise'') to 3 (``average Yashica stuff'') to 5 (``why didn't they stamp Carl Zeiss T* on this one?''). Completely subjective, of course, give feedback if you disagree and give notes where I didn't do it. Don't forget that this notes are not necessarily my own opinion - a lot of it is based on hearsay (especially when I don't own the lenses myself :-)).

In order to save space, I skimped on the table headers. Here is an explanation:

Desc

Description: focal length/largest aperture/coating.

L-G

Lenses/groups.

Amin

Smallest aperture.

Dmin

Shortest focusing distance (m).

Filt

Filter thread diameter (mm).

Size

Phyiscal size: diameter x length.

Wght

Weight (g).

Q

Subjective quality assessment.

Cmt

Comments, numbers refer to list below table.

Note that Yashica designates their stuff as ``ML 2,0/50'', whereas I use ``50/2,0ML''. I think this makes it easier to quickly find a lens you are looking for.

4.4 Wide-angle


Desc
L-G Amin Dmin Filt Size Wght Q Cmt
15/2.8ML 10/7 16 0.3 - 75x70.5 445 4 1
21/3.5ML 12/8 16 0.3 72 75x54 370 4 2
24/2.8ML 9/8 16 0.3 62 65x48.5 285 4
28/2.8DSB 6/6 16 0.3 52 61x42.5 240 2
28/2.8YUS ? 22 0.35 55 63.5x44 260
28/2.8ML 7/6 16 0.3 52 61.5x41.5 250 3
35/2.8ML 6/5 16 0.3 52 61.5x41.5 230
  1. Fisheye lens with 170 degrees angle of view. Built-in filters (skylight, yellow, orange). Good quality.
  2. Renowned for its quality.
  3. Still available.

4.5 Normal


Desc
L-G Amin Dmin Filt Size Wght Q Cmt
50/1.9DSB 6/4 16 0.5 52 62x40 215
50/2.0ML 6/4 16 0.5 52 61x32 140 3 1
50/1.9ML 6/5 16 0.5 52 61x32 145 4
50/1.7ML 6/5 16 0.5 52 61.5x40 240 4 2
50/1.4ML 7/6 16 0.5 52 61.5x42 295 ? 3
55/2.0DSB 6/4 16 0.5 52 63x39.5 200
55/1.2ML 7/6 16 0.5 55 66.5x50 410
  1. I have one to go with my FX-3, which makes up for a very nice and lightweight system. I use it near swimming pools, on the beach, and other places where I don't want to lug around (and put at risk) my ``real'' gear.
  2. I had to take it apart in order to clean the aperture blades (the blades stuck because some grease had gotten onto them). This inside look left me with a good impression of the lens innards - I couldn't discover any significant parts in plastic, everything was metal and looked well-built. I can't complain about its sharpness, I think it is a very fine lens.
  3. Some say tests shown much worse performance than the Zeiss 50/1.4, others say it was almost as good. In any case, this is quite an expensive piece of glass, almost as expensive as the Zeiss version - I'd opt for the latter if I was going to spend a lot of money on a 50mm...
  4. Still available.

4.6 Moderate telephoto

A warning about telephotos: Yashica came with better designs for the 135, 200 and 300 lenses (less weight, more compact, better optical quality) relatively quick after the introduction of the original lenses. As long as both variants were available, the newer ones were marked with a C (for compact). However, as soon as the old lenses were sold out, they dropped the C. Therefore, when buying a telephoto without the C, you either have a very old one or a recent one (and you really want the latter). The best advise is to use this list and check the measurements when buying second-hand telephotos.


Desc
L-G Amin Dmin Filt Size Wght Q Cmt
135/2.8DSB 5/4 22 1.8 55 64x72 420 2
135/2.8ML 5/4 22 1.5 55 65.5x92.5 540 1
135/2.8MLC 5/4 22 1.5 52 63x75 420 2
  1. Old version.
  2. New compact version.

4.7 Telephoto

See the warning about design enhancements in the previous section.


Desc
L-G Amin Dmin Filt Size Wght Q Cmt
200/4.0ML 5/4 22 2.5 55 62x150 615 1
200/4.0MLC 5/4 22 2.5 58 64x113.5 535 4 2,3
300/5.6ML 5/4 22 4.5 ? 65x210 880 1,4
300/5.6MLC 6/3 22 4.5 58 66x148 645 4 2,5
500/8.0 6/5 - 4 - 88x120.5 865 1,4,6,7,8
500/8.0ML 8/6 - 2.5 - 78x87.5 470 2,5,6,7,9
1000/11.0 6/5 - 8 - 118x220 2330 4,6,8,10
  1. Old version.
  2. New compact version.
  3. A nice piece of glass. It's not very big, it feels rugged, and I think the lens is quite sharp. I've made great hand-held shots wide-open, which look tack sharp on Delta100 and 8x10 prints and show a very pleasing ``bokeh'' (bokeh is how the out-of-focus stuff looks like, in short). As usual, it is dead cheap. I love it.
  4. Tripod collar.
  5. Lacks tripod collar.
  6. Mirror reflex.
  7. Slide-in filters.
  8. Single coated.
  9. Still available.
  10. Filters built-in in revolver grip.

4.8 Macro


Desc
L-G Amin Dmin Filt Size Wght Q Cmt
55/4.0ML 4/3 22 0.25 52 61.5x55 305 1
55/2.8ML 6/4 22 0.25 52 61.5x56.5 305 4 1,2
100/3.5ML 6/4 22 0.44 55 67x77 430 4 3
100/4.0ML 5/3 22 0.147 35.5 94.5x155.5 1000 4
100/4.0MLB 5/3 32 ? 52 60x32 190 4
  1. Ratio 1:2, with 27mm extension tube 1:1.
  2. Better correction for infinity than the f/4.0 version.
  3. Ratio 1:2, with 27+20mm extension tube 1:1. Hard-to-find, very good quality lens.
  4. This is the ``Medical'' macro (now called ``Dental Eye''). In current versions, it has been permanently integrated with the body but older versions had a standard Y/C coupling. It has a built-in ringflash (GN 5.6m) and a composing lamp. Maximal focusing distance 1.5m. Flash and aperture are coupled to the repro ratio which is 1:1 with 2:1 with an extra add-on lens. A number of options are available, like a foot switch, a mains adapter and a reflector set.
  5. ``Bellows''. Can only used with bellows, ratio 1.4:1.

4.9 Zoom


Desc
L-G Amin Dmin Filt Size Wght Q Cmt
28-80/3.9-4.9MC 13/9 22 0.5 58 75x87.5 550 1,6,7
28-50/3.5ML 10/8 22 1 72 75x74.5 475 2
35-70/3.5ML 8/8 22 1 62 69x79 475 1
35-70/4.0ML 7/7 22 0.6 55 67x71 390 2
35-70/3.5-4.5MC 11/8 22 0.5 58 69.5x63.5 330 1,5
35-105/3.5-4.5ML 15/11 22 1.5 55 65x84.5 470 1
35-105/3.8-4.8DSB 15/14 22 1.4 55 64.5x82.5 460 9
38-90/3.5DSB 12/11 22 1.5 67 70x110.5 685 1,3
42-75/3.5-4.5ML 7/7 22 1.2 55 61x57 315 2 1,4
70-210/4.0DSB 14/10 22 2.5 58 65x165 690 2
75-150/4.0ML 12/9 22 1.5 52 63.5x115.5 485 1
70-210/4.5ML 12/9 22 1.5 55 65x128.5 525 4 5
75-200/4.5MC 13/9 22 1.2 55 73x79 420 1,6,7
80-200/4.0ML 12/9 22 1.9 55 65x133 610 4 1
100-300/5.6ML 13/10 32 1.5 58 68.5x192.5 850 4 1
  1. 1-ring zoom.
  2. 2-ring zoom.
  3. Ratio 1:4 in macro setting with a minimal focusing distance of 0.3m.
  4. Mostly sold as a set (FX-D Zoom, FX-7 Zoom).
  5. Successor of the 80-200/4.0 zoom. According to Fotomagazin almost as good as the Zeiss 70-210/3.5. A very compact zoom with macro setting. Ratio 1:4 in macro setting with a minimal focusing distance of 1.1m.
  6. Currently available.
  7. Ratio 1:4 in macro setting
  8. Ratio 1:4.7 in macro setting.
  9. Minimum distance 0.7 in macro setting.


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