Yashica ME 1 Camera: Not bad for $4.88


I got my test roll back today from Costco for the Yashica ME 1 and I’m sharing the ones that I like below. I bought this camera at a thrift store last week for less than $5 so I can’t really be unhappy with any of the results.

The Yashica ME 1 camera was made in Brazil in the 70s and except for the fact that is has a built-in battery powered light meter and a 38mm f/2.8 lens I don’t know an awful lot about it. The Yashica Guy has some info on his page but the ME 1 is just not a popular model to collect.

It’s an all plastic model but it doesn’t feel cheap or poorly built. It’s light and sits in my coat pocket easily. Unlike my favorite Olympus Trip 35 it doesn’t weigh my coat down.

Like the Trip 35 this camera uses zone focusing and has a “Judas window” so you can see what the aperture setting is well as the focus distance are from the view finder.

The metering is different from what I’m used to. With the Trip 35 if the camera thought there was not enough light then you just set the aperture to f/2.8 manually and took a 1/40 second exposure. I did the same thing on this camera but some of the results were really underexposed.

This  photo came out alright so I may just need to practice some more.

I don’t think this will replace my current walkabout camera but it’s not bad either. When spring arrives I’ll use up a lunch hour or two and walk around Union Square. There you can see some real interesting sights when the weather gets warmer and having a small black camera might be more inconspicuous.

2 thoughts on “Yashica ME 1 Camera: Not bad for $4.88

  1. Hello Jan,

    Your blog is one of only three sources I’ve found that teach me about the Yashica ME-1 that I purchased recently for the amount of €5 (a little more than $5). Happy dutch camper here!

    I was fiddling about with it when I accidentally pushed the film rewind release button. For some reason it is stuck and I have no clue how to get it loose.
    The film advance dial that worked before is also stuck.

    Do you have any idea how to solve this? The manual that I found doesn’t real help.

    Thank you for you time! Hoping to hear from you soon.

    Kind regards, Niek

    1. Niek,

      I’m sorry for not replying sooner. I was away on vacation when you left your comment.

      Do you have any idea how to solve this? The manual that I found doesn’t real help.

      I’m afraid I don’t know how to repair the Yashica ME-1 and a quick look online did not locate any manual either. My advice would be to see if you can find another on eBay or a similar service and see about getting a replacement.

      The reason I’m suggesting that is because I attempted to repair one of my Olympus Trip 35 cameras in the past. After working the camera apart I ended up sending it to someone to be repaired.

      I’m just not mechanically inclined enough to repair cameras. 😉

      Good luck,

      Jan Dembowski

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