The Yashica MG-1 was introduced the MG-1 in 1975 as a successor of its Electro 35 series. It is a the fixed-lens rangefinder cameras with aperture-priority exposure. Compared to its main competitors it has a rather large and heavy body.
The lens is a fixed Yashinon 45/2.8 (5 elements in 4 groups) which focuses from about 1m to infinity and takes 55mm filters. The aperture priority exposure system is measured by a CdS meter above the lens (Top-Eye) was innovative and allows the use of filters and needs no compensation for them. Ths shutter is and electronic-controlled step-less leaf shutter with speeds from 1/500 sec. to about 2 sec. Two LEDs on the top of the body indicate slow speed (under 1/30) and over-exposure.
Flash-sync is possible in X-mode with a lever in the body, which sets the shutter to 1/30 (Manual) or Auto fill flash. The MG-1 uses a 5.6V mercury battery (Mallory PX32, Eveready E164 or equivalent) which are now banned but can be replaced with 4LR44 batteries and an adapter.
The MG-1 is an odd combination of the old oversized body with a more simple lens. It almost looks like that Yashica wanted to get rid of already produced Electro 35 series parts in form of a cheaper camera, without jeopardizing their new high end model Electro 35 GL (better lens, slightly smaller body) or the other entry model Electro 35 FC (similar lens, compact body). Interestingly, this is the only camera of the entire series, which does not carry the term "Electro" in its name. The camera was available with either a black or chrome body.
Yashica Electro 35
- Yashica MG-1 manual available at Mike Butkus Orphan Cameras
- Yashica G Series chronology
- Lionel's Yashica MG-1 overview in french at 35mm-compact.com
- Yashica MG at The Camera Site by Reijo Lauro
- Yashica MG-1 on www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand (in French)