A few months back, I posted a picture of my other Yashica Electro, the one I ruined by trying to calibrate its rangefinder. This is the one that I bought a few days later to replace it. I took this photograph while doing Freeman Patterson’s creativity exercise, during which one shoots the equivalent of a roll of film (36 shots) within a three foot radius of where one is standing. I happened to be in my office at the time and obsessing over the design characteristics of my various vintage camera, so I lined a few up (all of which were within the prescribed three feet) and started shooting away.
The iconic atomic badge you see was not a Yashica brand identifier but was rather used by various Japanese camera manufactures at the time to connote the newness of their products. In our present day of pervasive branding, it seems odd that competitors would choose such a common identifier but back in the late 1960s, that atomic icon was shorthand for shiny new technology. Still, nearly 40 years later, the Yashica Electro has a killer light meter, a fast lens and takes great pictures, and it’s incredibly easy to use. In many ways, it’s still shiny and new, even though the atomic age that was heralded in the 50s and 60s never came to pass and photography has entered the digital age. That’s the hallmark of great design.