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Yashica Lenses vs Zeiss lenses



>>2.8/55 is a good guess! This is a really good lens, and very cheap, too. I cannot compare it to LEICA, but you can mix up slides taken with the 2.8/55 and ZEISS lenses. Nobody will realise it!<<

Agreed. It has the limitation of any 55mm macro - short working distance to the subject. Otherwise, this is a very sharp macro lens. Some reports say use in general shooting is slightly compromised in favor of macro performance. I can't recall any noticeable degradation in the few times I've used this as a "normal" lens.

A recent ebay auction for USD$175 went unclaimed. B&H Photo has one now for USD$199.



Sorry, I don't think I have a copy of the tests, the magazine died in the mid 80's. I kept all copies for several years, then marriage and house moves got in the way. I doubt if they are still available. The magazine title was consumed by Practical Photography in the UK, again, I doubt if they would be any help. Sorry, but I thought that having read the reports several times and memorised the results would prove relevant to the discussion.


New Member
Here's a simple idea:
Rent comparable zeiss and yashica lenses, take test shot with FILM of CHOICE in a controlled environment, chose your pictures, enlarge as big as you would normally do and compare the results (resolution, bokeh, sharpness, colour rendition...and what not).


Well-Known Member
I recently purchased a Yashica FX-D (in great condition) on e-bay. Along with it came a Yashica ML zoom 35-105/3.5-4.5 lens, in apparently near mint condition.

The lens behaves very strangly: Sometimes, not always, when focusing on an object a measured 3 meters away, the object only comes into focus when the lens is "focused" between 10 meters and infinity. At other times, after working the zoom and focus back and forth, the object focuses at the measured distance. The lens appears in good physical condition and nothing rattles when I shake it.

The other curiosity is contained in the instruction leaflet for this lens. It suggests that one should "adjust the zoom/focusing ring while pressing down on the macro button." Besides needing 3 hands to accomplish this feat, it makes no sense. The macro button is normally used simply to release the macro focus ring in order to shift it to the macro focus position.

Anyone having experience with this lens, I would much appreciate your input.


Mike Blume

P.S. I have mounted a couple of my CZ lenses on the camera and observed no such anomalies.


Well-Known Member
Hello Mike.

If you have established that the lens's macro ring is fully locked in "normal mode" and the lens is behaving erratically, then I think you have a faulty lens. But it does sound like the macro ring is not locked at its "nomal mode" setting.

Try moving the macro ring to one extreme and do your 3 meter test, then to the other extreme and do the same test. If you find that one of the extreme positions seems to do the job, then check that the lens will focus to infinity, at the infinity setting on the focus scale, for all settings of the zoom.

I've found a small shot from the Contax Postal Club magazine from 1997 and blown up the area around the macro ring. I hope you can make out the setting required for normal use.

Cheers, Kyocera Kid



Well-Known Member
Many thanks for your prompt reply. I have followed your suggestions. No joy!

The macro ring detents very positively at both extremes. In the macro position the lens seems to function normally. In the normal mode the behavior is bizzare. Sometimes I can focus at infinity, with the infinity setting on the focus scale and at all settings of the zoom. At other times focus at infinity is achieved anywhere between 5 and 10 meters on the scale, and focus seems to change as I zoom. The alteration in behavior seems to be induced by rapid push-pull of the zoom ring.

Bottom line, I think I have a faulty lens, and I doubt if the cost of repair will be justified. In any case I only made this purchas to obtain a back up body for my Aria, and the lens came as a "bonus?" Too bad though; it seems like a well built lens in mint condition and I have seen some favorable comments about it in this forum.

Thanks again,



Well-Known Member
Shame! Could be something as simple as a loose screw!

It is a little cracker of a lens. If you could find someone to fix it economically, you will be amazed at it's sharpness, low distortion and contrast.

OK, not quite as good at flare suppression, or as sharp wide open as the Zeiss 35-135, but once stopped down a couple of clicks it does give the Zeiss a run for its money. I had a chance to compare the two, several years ago, and the little Yashica surprised me how close it got to the Zeiss.

Note these were real tests, outdoors, same camera body, same film, alternating the lenses, on braced monopod, if I remember correctly (at Whitby Abbey, I remember the occasion vividly!)

If you had been located in the UK, I'd have been cheeky and said "Don't bin it, send it to me and I could have a play with it!"

Never mind!

Cheers, Kyocera Kid.


Well-Known Member
Thanks a bunch Bob!

Your praise of the lens makes me feel just a little worse. I will try to find a local camera shop and see what they can do.

Alternatively I could try to take it apart myself and if that fails I could send you the parts.

Anyhow, thanks for your input,




Well-Known Member

See my posts above re: Yashica 35-105.

Your remark about a loose screw proved to be prescient. After working the zoom and focus rings back and forth, I now see a good sized screw resting against the back of the front element.

I have enquired about repair from local shops, and they charge more than the lens is worth just to look at it and give an estimate for repair. So I am ready to tackle the job myself. What can I loose??

I need some help, suggestions, about how one goes about taking the lens apart. There are a number of small screw heads visible at various points on the barrel. There is no apparent approach from the rear of the lens. It also appears that the front element itself is not removable, but I don't know that for a fact. Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

Mike Blume


Well-Known Member
A lucky guess .... I think I've seen this before on another (not CY zoom

Sorry Mike ... I'm more thumbs than fingers!

Can someone step in here and help Mike?

My only suggestion is that since you are willing to "have-a-go", see if anyone with experience replies and if not, start loosening those barrel screws!

Don't know if this will help ....

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Cheers, Kyocera Kid


Well-Known Member
Mike, if you want to disassemble the 35-105, I suggest you look at some of Thomas Tomosy's books on camera repair. You will see that many lenses are taken apart by removing retaining rings, even the engraved ring on the front first. There are many ways to get at the back of the lens by disassembling the lens mount flange. Read the book first if you want any chance of putting the lens back together in a usable way. Zoom lenses are more complicated. Best wishes.


Well-Known Member
Well, here's the rest of the story:

Tackled the lens disassembly myself, with some help from various references, unfortunately none pertaining directly to this lens. After many false starts I did manage to break down the lens and retrieved the loose screw. A second loose screw was also found, and the round retainers for these screws were part of the zoom control. The latter were completely stripped. Cant imagine how that occurred.

Bottom line I now have a couple of lens elements that I can use as magnifying glasses, and the rest of the hardware is in the trash bin. Learned a lot about lens assembly in the process. Hope I don't need to apply that knowledge any time soon.