So ive been hit with the rangefinder bug ever since a friend gave me his old zeiss ikon contessamat to use, it was great, I loved the colors that tiny little lens gave me. I loved it so much I totally neglected my pile of canon gear. After messing around with it, and other old cameras I knew I needed to get into the rangefinder game. I picked up a mamiya 6 and thought that was my answer, woops. I hated that camera and its lenses, they were sharp but they felt just like my canon gear....overly contrasty and sometimes very clumsy. So after selling that thing to I was ready to buy a leica, then some family stuff came up and all that money went away before I even stuck the thing on ebay.
So after groaning and moaning about leica for a while I finally picked up two GSN's on ebay and had my father bring them to me when he came here to China to visit a week ago. I was surprised by the new looking condition of the cameras and big piece of glass in the front. I didn't care much for the cheap looking advance lever or the somewhat hard to make out focus patch (compared to the mamiya and the leica's, maybe im just spoiled) but I thought what the hell and went on with it. After doing a little research and cleaning out the old foam seals in the door I decided to shoot a roll through it without light seals for the hell of it. Results are in the coming set of photos to be posted.
So after shooting two rolls in the camera im happy I picked them up, even though I only have one working up to full spec now, ill be sure to get on the other one. That advance lever still makes me wonder but at least it knows how to stay out of the way. I only wish it had something in the viewfinder that was like a green "everything's ok" light ala leica but cant have it all in a camera you picked up for 16 bucks eh?
If anyone out there ever wanted to get into rangefinder photography of was just interested in old cameras, the Yashica GSN with its tack sharp 45mm f1.7 and aperture priority shooting mode is a very cheap and effective choice all around.
Ps. This camera has so many signs of a Contax rangefinder, even the lens, which was made in Japan and carries the Yashinon designation has a lot of the characteristics of the great Zeiss lenses. The influence is obvious and not a bad thing at all.
Some words about the photos to come:
I spend a lot of time exploring the old roads and paths around where ever I am. New modern streets and the sterile building that pop up next to them like so many other here in China are of no interest to me. I like to take pictures of people in their environments; most of my photos have people, animals, or show some influence that people have had on something.
Pps. if you wonder why I would write so much about a camera and then show the photos like this as if im only interested in the camera (which is not the case) its because for some photographers a camera can be a very personal thing, for some even an item of fetish (especially when it comes to Leica stuff
) sort of like a teddy bear or a pet. We always carry them around and they are like our guns and we are soldiers going into battle.