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Yashica T Zoom

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Guest

A few question for T4 Zoom owners -
1)Craig noted (above) that: "When you depress the shutter release half way to achieve a focus lock, the lens doesn't move to the focus position. You have to press the shutter release all the way, and then the lens will move to the focus position before the shutter opens."
Does this mean there's a significant lag between when the shutter button is fully depressed and when the picture is actually taken? How bad is it?
2) How well does this camera handle low light conditions? Does the flash work better or worse than expected?
3) How well does the auto focus function work? Are most of the pictures focussed correctly?
4) How well does it handle high contrast situations? Do you think the Auto Exposure works well?
Thanks for your help.
Mika
 
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Guest

To John: The boy was about one metre from me, and the objects in the background are three to ten metres away from me. The shallow depth of field is therefore due to the closeness of the subject and the "far-ness(?)" of the background. At 60mm, the max. aperture is about f/7+, and not directly controllable by the user.

To Mika:

1. There is a lag, but I haven't found it objectionable. It's the same as the Original Yashica T4.

2. The flash is quite good. It doesn't overexpose a close subject at half metre. I'm quite happy with the auto-flash accuracy.

3. In five rolls of film so far, every shot has been perfectly focussed. No misses yet.

4. High contrast situations seem to be handled in favour of the central spot area. In one roll of slide film I shot, it seems that the exposure was based on the tone of the subject in the central focus brackets. The exposure compensation available is only +1.5 and -1.5 with no intermediate values. I therefore decided to use this camera for negative film only, my preferred being Fuji Reala and Fuji NPH.
The lack of +/- half stop compensation settings makes slide film exposures a bit risky. The latitude of negative film makes up for the lack of smaller compensation increments.

Additional info: with slide film, there is obvious vignetting in bright open outdoor scenes at the 28mm focal length. Longer focal lengths show no vignetting. With negative film, no obvious vignetting has occurred in my wide shots.
 
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Guest

Vignetting seems to be a common problem with any wide zoom. From the s&les on the net shows Carl Zeiss is no exception. Vignetting is still obvious on bright outdoor scene which is very common for travel shots.

I did have the same problem with the Pentax 120SW (28mm to 120mm). Very serious vignetting at 28mm. Very disappointed and that make me look into higher quality P&S. After a lots of research on the internet, I narrow down to T3 and GR1v as fixed focal length camera seems to perform better esp.for compact cameras. Eventually I chose T3. The lens is really good but the focusing is a bit tricky esp. for people wearing glasses like me. Once I can get the focus right, the pictures are excellent. I did not try GR1v, so I don't know how good it is. I think it's also a very good camera. I have read a Japanese book comparing T3, GR1v, TC-1 and AFM35. The differences in quality of the photos are not that prominent. The color saturation and sharpness are very similar indeed.
 
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Guest

I just bought the Yashica T4 Zoom as a traveling camera for my wife; this after researching other P&S cameras, particularly the Contax T and TVS series, the Leica Minilux, and the Epson Stylus. With the newly-designed CZ 28-70mm lens and $200 price, the T4 Zoom is irresistible.

I tested one roll of ISO 100 under various conditions: indoor, overcast, portrait, scenic, all focal lengths, flash, self timer. I operated the camera casually, with no spot metering or recomposing.

Physical aspects: While relatively light and compact, it is not suitable for the shirt pocket. The body, front-to-back, cannot be called thin (probably due to the zoom lens). It fits comfortably in a jacket pocket. Viewfinder is squinty -- I'm spoilt by RTS III high eye-point. Some shutter lag, combined with noiseless operation, means I wonder for a moment if the shot was taken (until I hear the film advance). Zoom action is snappy and smooth. Minimal Power On/Off delay.

P&S Qualities: All modes are reset at Power On, which is good for the casual user. Default mode is 28mm, auto flash, red-eye reduction off. AE was seemingly flawless, although I inspected prints, not slides.

Focus: I was unhappy to read about T2 and T3 focus problems, given the Contax price. I decided the Yashica should perform as well or better, and at much lower cost. Indeed, Yashica T4 Zoom AF was flawless in my test roll -- zero bad frames. In low light, camera uses one, low-power flash to fix the focus. With flash disabled, it works harder and often finds focus anyway. In fact, its available-light focussing is much more effective than my Canon D30! There is an infinity-focus setting (mountain icon) which causes shutter lag to disappear.

The lens: This is a seriously sharp lens, performing very well into the corners, and offering the most useful range of focal lengths. Aperture is rather slow: at 70mm, ISO 100 and overcast light, the camera decides to use flash. Also, 28mm vignettes quite noticeably, at least at full aperture.

Flash: For a tiny flash, it is quite effective -- and I'm used to the Canon 550EX. In situations where red-eye is expected, I saw none, and I never enabled the red-eye reduction mode of the camera. Luck? The flash will fire in ridiculous situations like a landscape (infinity focus). Flash can be disabled.

Conclusion: This is the best P&S currently available for the price. I will scan images on request.

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Guest

I put a roll of Fuji Astia slide film through my Yashica T Zoom while on holiday in Australia last week. Some s&le images can be seen here:

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Some vignetting in bright sunny outdoor scenes is noticable at the 28mm focal length. Longer focal lengths are perfect.

Sincerely,

Craig
 
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Guest

I just bought one after reading Craig's review. I run a test roll yesterday but the result is not as good as expected. I don't know whether it's due to the film I used (Kodak Max 400) I seldom use 400 film, normally I use Fuji Superia 200 with my T3.

The photos in the test roll seems a bit dull, color is flat, grainly, feel like covered with sth. Portrait is not sharp at all. I am sure it's in focus but... Just feel odd. I will try to use slower film again to double check.

As for the vignetting problem, it is noticeable but acceptable. I am more concerned about the color and the sharpness.

Any comment from the experts?
 
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Guest

MK, Kodak Max 400 is the worst colour print film I have ever used. I tried it once and regretted it. Also, the quality of the lab that made your prints is important. In Hong Kong, I find that the Fuji Digital Imaging labs give a very superior result in terms of good colour and sharpness when compared to the Kodak one hour labs. Try the Fuji 200 film and get it processed in a Fuji digital lab.
 
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Guest

Thanks, that's also the first time I use Kokak Max 400. In fact, I stick to Fuji Digital Lab (the most popular large chain store) for several months. No exception this time. Still got bad result, I am thinking whether I should return all the photos and get my money back even though I know it is not their fault. You know which shop I am referring now.
 
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Guest

The printing result from digital lab is lesser depending on the film and the lens of the camera. The fuji digital chain labs are using the first laser printing machine Frontier. After scanning the film by very fast scanner, the computer will then process the data (unsharp mask+contrast control etc) and the image information are then sent to output module (laser) which will expose the paper by laser beam. So, it is not easy to justice the quality of the lens by digital print. If you want to have better quality of digital print,try to find a kodak digital lab which is using the newest machine Noritsu 3xxx series. It is the best quality digital lab.

By the way, the lab that you mention is using the first generation of machine and if you give some clean blue sky image for them to print you will find the scan line!
 
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Guest

I am disappointed to read M K Chan's comments on the Yashica T4. I was going to buy one after work today to help make travel to Washington D.C. more manageable during next week's hectic time for travel during the holiday in the U.S. A local camera shop is selling the camera for a good price and is paying local sales tax, so I thought I'd 'go for it.' But if the camera performs poorly, I'd be throwing away money.

May I please ask that members submit comments on their results with the T4?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Guest

Thanks for the good information about the Noritsu digital minilabs, Leo. Here in Hong Kong I have had too many bad experiences with Kodak minilabs that I gave up. Maybe it's because of inadequate training of the operators, or maybe it's bad maintenance of the machines, but whatever the reason, I had too many disapointments from Kodak minilabs here. I avoid them now.

On the other hand, I have a regular Fuji shop I use for the past three years and they have never given me back a bad batch of photos. Always sharp. Always good colour (unles I screwed up the original shot!).

Getting back to the real topic of this thread, the Yashica T Zoom, my point is that one has to investigate what has caused the disappointing results experienced by MK. "Colour is flat, grainy, feels like covered with something". That doesn't sound like Carl Zeiss lens quality to me. That sounds like bad film and bad processing and printing to me.
 
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Guest

Hi,
To chk the tessar lens, I suggested to take a roll of slide and chk the image... It is the best way to test the lens...
I agreed that there are too many not-professional mini labs in Hong Kong. Some operators know nothing about what the good photo is.
Take a roll of slide! I had tried this camera and TVS as well. This is good camera but don't espect the quality of the lens is better than average but not the top one. (even the TVS's lens is not the best).
 
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Guest

I also think that Kodak MAX is not the best film, especially in the hands of a poor processor. However, in the hands of a good Frontier operator I've gotten very good prints using MAX.

My preference for ISO 400 print film is NEW Fuji NPH 400 (outstanding colors), or the cheaper Superia 400.

If you're considering the T Zoom, check out some of the user reviews posted here:

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Guest

[I can totally concur with Craig’s comments; I was recently blown away with the results from a Boots (UK) lab; it used Fuji processing on a Fuji 200 film. I can honestly say the results were the best I have ever received, some shots were quite surreal. This was on a GR1s Ricoh as well! Thankyou Mum. Boots may not possess a Digital lab (?), but these results were so ahead of the returns I got from Jessops recently. The pricing also stacks up well]
 
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Guest

Thanks for the responses. Dianne, sorry that my comment disappointed you. But that's what I got. Don't worry, I gave the camera to my parents and they are now in Japan, they will take some photos using Fuji Superia 200 with the T Zoom, they will be back by Wednesday next week. I will tell you the result later. James, GR1 is very famous for its lens, I am not surprised you took good photos out of it. From the MTF curves of GR1, the lens of GR1 perform far better than that of T3. But MTF curves doesn't mean everything. Sometimes, our perception on the end result is far more important than technical data.
 
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Guest

My parents are just back from Japan, it seems that the problem is on Kodak film, both color and sharpness is very good. They use Fuji Superia 200. Some shots are out of focus but it may be due to the fact that they are not yet used to the camera. However, it seems that the sharpness is not as good as my T3. The vignetting problem is not that significant. I would recommend this camera to my friends who want P&S with Zeiss lens but can't afford TVSIII. I like the way to activate spot focus in T Zoom, which T3 should adopt this method. It's very trouble some to use the AFL in T3.
 
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Guest

Hi folks!

I saw some pretty good slides done with the Yashica T Zoom, but there are some disadvantages which I saw IMHO:

Colour reproduction is not as good as on my T2, vignetting is sometimes really high (higher than T2), contrast in tele (70) is not at its best.

Nevertheless (esp. for the price) I think this is a real bargain. BTW my T2 does not have any focussing problems, allthough I know that some earlier modells do have problems.

Regards
Wolfgang
 
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Guest

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - 5:29 pm:

"Colour reproduction is not as good as on my T2, vignetting is sometimes really high (higher than T2).."

Lets remember that the T2 is a single focal length 35mm lens. It's not really a fair comparison against a 28-70 zoom. A 28mm (especially a zoom) will, by nature, tend more toward falloff in the corners.

Dan
 
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