Review of Yashica MC Zoom 35-70mm/3.5-4.5

This is a lens I bought on ebay after hearing good things about it, well at least the small amount of information I could find. The price was $22. I have discovered that Yashica zooms is very hard to find information about, specially now since earlier source of information cdegroot.com is gone. Well, here are my thoughts on this…

The lens
This is a slim little zoom. Filter threads are 52mm. The zoom is wide when you slide it out, tele when you slide it back – quite the opposit(?) to the normal, modern zooms which is tele when extended. The aperture range is from f 3.5 – f 22. My copy of the lens was in very, very good shape. In fact it feels new.

Rumours and guesses
According to (now removed) website cdegroot.com Fotomagazin had said “almost as good as Zeiss“. I also remember reading that it was made in the same place the similar Zeiss-lens, but I now I can’t find the source for that statement. Keep in mind that there are several simliar Yashica-lenses with just slightly different names, there are several versions in the same focal length.

Yashica MC Zoom 35-70mm/3.5-4.5

My thoughts
I believe this to be a good lens. Sharp. But I rarely use it, since I’ve become used to fast primes with short minimum focus distance. This zoom is also a bit hard to focus, and my camera is not the easiest on this (the Canon EOS 350D has a very small viewfinder and I don’t use any focusing aids).

Still, I managed to get some very nice images with the Yashica zoom, the winter landscape (see below) is one of my favorites. As you might suspect, I’m not sure on my feelings towards this lens. But it is most certainly worth a try!

Pros

  • Good sharp images
  • Nice quality feeling
  • Slim and lightweight

Cons

  • Hard to focus on the Canon EOS 350D.
  • Minimum focus quite long.
  • Uncertain about the bokeh.

Images I’ve produced with this lens:
(clicking opens a new page with the image on Flickr)

Natures cathedral

Sara

Winter in Sweden

The rug 2

Lannafors handel

Suburban sundown

Musclecar

Prefect

Reading
Sadly most things I can find is my own posts on other forums ;) Here they are anyway:

11 Responses in “Review of Yashica MC Zoom 35-70mm/3.5-4.5”

  1. Ricardo Graça says:

    I have one of these lenses, although I use it with the camera it came on, the Yashica 108. It’s a very good lens, and the only problem I’ve come across after 10 years of usage is that it looses it’s sharpness and needs to be re-adjusted. This can easily be acomplished by loosening the front ring that covers the lens (the piece where the letters YASHICA LENS MC ZOOM are printed) and screwing the lens back in place using the little orifice that exists near the edge of the aforementioned ring.

  2. Jean-Christophe says:

    I think the difficulty to focus with this lens is similar to every manual ZOOM where the range of the focus ring is very short compared to fixed lens, where the ring can run over up to quite all the circle of the lens. I have another 35-70 M42, the KOMURA KMC, not a bad lens, pretty good in fact, but very hard to focus. The same with a 35-105 Makinon MC. I use these lens at infiny focus for landspaces or teleobj, because they are precise.

  3. Mattias says:

    I have used this in summer light a bit lately, when it is easier to focus then in out swedish dark winter. Much nicer in the summer light :)

  4. kiebond says:

    it’s a reviews that i need, i have a series of yashica lens to, 35-70mm, 42-75mm and, 70-200mm. Before i bought my 450D, i used yashica FX-7. Finnaly i can used it with my 450D after i have the adapter…and ur pic,make me want to explore the lens with my 450d..thanks

  5. Affe says:

    Hi – just been donated a Yashika MC Zoom 28-80mm but for the life of me cannot see how to change the aperture.

    Can you help please?

    Sorry of this is a dumb question, just got an SLR (also a donation) and am trying to explore my way :-)

  6. david w says:

    Hi,

    I’m really thinking about getting a used Yashica MC 35-70mm (exactly like yours). My original options were Canon FD and Pentax SMC. How do you compare the Yashica to these lenses in terms of build/handling, and image quality (sharpness, bokeh, etc)? Thanks a lot!

  7. Levente says:

    Hi,

    I have a yashica MC Zoom 75-200. Where can I find the back focal length, flange back distance values?
    Coul somebody help me out?

    Thank You in advance!
    Levente

  8. Ray H says:

    I have 42-75 zoom + 135 ML. They are as good as any of their time. The 50 mm F2 ML has excellent contrast.
    Prints at A4 can be a revelation ( when I get it right!)
    Digital photography is a “back up” for me, but it has its place also.

  9. Ray H says:

    Oh sorry by the way the filter thread on my 42-75 zoom is 55MM not 52 ? OK?

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