Friday, December 21, 2012

The User's Review: Yashica Fx-3/Fx-7, Fx-3/Fx-7 Super and Fx-3 Super 2000, A Legend Since 1979

I should write my first camera review on Fx-3 since it is my first camera that my dad bought for me from Hong Kong in early 1980s. I used it as my main camera body until mid-2000.

I use these sentences 'the simpler the better, and less is more' to describe my Fx-3. It's a all manual body with an on-board light meter powered by two cell batteries. You can learn how to use it without referring to its manual. The design was so successful that Yashica made several minor improved models (see the table below), and other camera manufactures, as I believe, produced some cameras based on the design of Fx-3. The similar design and interchangeable parts can be found on Vivitar 3800N and V3000S, Promaster 2500 PK, Centon K100 and Kalimar K-90 although these cameras have the Pentax K lens mount. All black of Yashica models is more common than the silver top/bottom plates of Yashica. I prefer the all blacks because wearing is more obvious on the silvers.

Fx-3 Super/Fx-7 Super
Fx-3 Super 2000
Top & bottom color
Black or Silver
Bottom plate material
Plastic (?)
Top speed (sec.)
Meter activation switch
Check button under film advance level
Shutter release button half way
Shutter release button half way

I consider the three following reasons for having a Fx-3 or its sibling models: 1. Easy to use; 2. light weight; and 3. low-cost use of high-end lens of Contax and Zeiss.

Fx-3 and its Yashica siblings do not have DOF, PC socket, mirror lock(although the self timer locks the mirror right after triggered) and multiple exposures. There is no switch to shut down the meter lights in the viewfinder. Therefore, the user should take off the batteries before a long-time exposure shoot to avoid the red light exposes your film. The soft 'skin' on Fx-3/Fx-7 and Fx-3/Fx-7 Super is easy to wear off.  My own Fx-3 had a problem with shutter release (film advance stuck) after ~10 yeas use. I had it repaired, but did not use it much since then.

I brought a Fx-3 Supper 2000 kit in Oct. of 2012. The body feels weaker and more plastic. The kit lens is a Yashica ML 50mm f1.9 c with a plastic mount. The lens' focusing ring was stuck and there was too much grease inside.  

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