Yashica J-5

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The Yashica J-5 was the third in the "J" series of Yashica 35mm SLR cameras (following the Penta J and J-3). Introduced in 1964, it followed the J-3 but preceded the release of the J-4. The J-5 is very similar to the J-3 that it replaced, with some improvements including a top shutter speed of 1/1000 second, improvements to the self-timer mechanism, and other minor improvements. The major upgrade as compared to the J-3 is a revision to the aperture actuation mechanism to permit the use of fully-automatic aperture lenses (meaning that the aperture is normally held wide open when the lens in mounted, and automatically closes down to the selected aperture when the shutter is released). This change to the aperture actuation system also coincided with the outstanding Auto Yashinon 55mm f/1.8 replacing the J-3's semi-automatic 50mm f/2 as the standard lens.

As with the J-3, the J-5 bears some resemblance to the Minolta SR-7 of 1962, although the winding lever and shutter release are separate on the Yashica. Both cameras include a battery powered light meter with readouts coupled to the shutter speed setting. As with the Minolta, the CdS sensor meters through a separate bull's eye lens at the left side of the camera, not through the primary camera lens. The meter includes two light reading ranges for low and high ambient light levels. Meter readings are taken while pointing the camera at the subject and looking down at the meter readout on top of the camera.

The camera is entirely mechanical and all settings must be made manually. The readout range of the light meter is coupled to the shutter speed dial, but the settings of the shutter and aperture must be set manually. The camera uses a standard M42 screw mount, with automatic aperture actuation. The camera includes a self-timer, and PC sockets for both electronic (X synch) and flashbulb (FP synch) flash units. There is no hot shoe but the camera includes a removable accessory shoe that can be used to attach standard flash units.

The camera has a cloth focal plane shutter that supports speeds from 1/2 to 1/1000 of second, and bulb mode. The standard lens with the camera is the Yashinon 55mm (marked 5.5cm) f/1.8 lens, and an f/1.4 lens was also available as an option. Original list prices in 1964 were $175 with the f/1.8 lens and $225 with the f/1.4 lens.