Camera of week 35 – Yashica Future 127
Yashica Future 127 was a Yashica 4x4cm prototype camera made in 1959. It was first Japanese camera with auto-exposure, called “Electric-eye” during that time. After Americans made Bell & Howell Electric Eye 127, Revere Eye-Matic EE 127 and Kodak Brownie Starmatic, Japanese didn’t want to fall back and started to develop their own auto-exposure cameras. During next year two cameras with auto-exposure were shown to public Yashica Future 127 and Olympus Eye 44. These prototype cameras didn’t enter production because 4×4 format fad ended, but experience gained with these cameras where transferred to 35mm film auto-exposure models like Flash-O-Set and Yashica 35EE, released to public in 1961 and 1962 respectively. Camera was intended for use in either vertical or horizontal position as it doesn’t matter with square format, although it was quite small it weighted 900 grams or about 2 pounds. Film travels vertically like on TLR cameras and film advance knob in on right side. Film advance is controlled via regular red window. As with most old cameras, this one also doesn’t have any means for showing what exposed area will be, like parallax lines or brighter part of viewfinder. Camera also features usual X sync terminal for flash, UV filter fitted in front of lens and self-timer. Lens itself is 3-element Yashinon 60mm f/3.5 and uses Copal MKV also know as Copal-SV shutter. Available shutter speeds range from 1/500th when ASA/ISO is 200 to 1/30th of second when ASA is set to 12 + Bulb mode. Aperture is controlled automatically by camera meter.
Focusing is done via front black ring, good part is that it only moves front element of lens. Minimal focusing distance for this camera was intended 1 meter, similar to other viewfinder cameras distance to subject must be determined by eye. Flash sync control button and shutter cocking lever were put between focusing ring and camera body.