I currently have a Yashica TL Electro that I use for black and white photography but it seems that it is slowly giving up the ghost and im starting to look for a replacement. This camera was given to me years ago and is the only film camera I have used and I don't know much about 35mm SLR cameras.

What I like about the Yashica:

  • It looks nice (very subjective I know)
  • TTL metering
  • Quite lightweight/easy to carry around
  • Fully manual operation
  • Doesn't rely on the battery to work (only metering)

What I don't like:

  • Batteries for the meter are hard to find and expensive
  • Not quite as tough as I'd like
  • I find the 'shattered glass' focusing screen a little hard to use sometimes

Are there any 35mm cameras that are cheap, reliable, mechanical shutter or use commonly available batteries that are similar in looks and feel to the Yashica?

I am currently looking for another TL Electro, but thought it wouldn't hurt to see what else was about.


2 Answers 2


AS the TL Electro use M42 screw lenses, you have a large set of compatible camera on which you can reuse your lenses. Camera using M42 being rather old any of them will share most of your wanted functionality.

On the other hand you may have a look at pentax (D)SLR which have good compatibility with M42 lenses...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, I have a pentax DSLR, but not tried using the m42 lenses with it, im guessing it would need a fairly simple adapter and would mean lenses have to be stopped down manually? I will have a look into the penta SLR range and see what is about. \$\endgroup\$
    – wurbledood
    Dec 13, 2012 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is some references mycameracabinet.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/… \$\endgroup\$
    – floqui
    Dec 13, 2012 at 13:24

According to wikipedia,

"In 1972, Yashica introduced the TL Electro 35mm SLR camera which was similar to the Pentax Spotmatic  camera made by the Asahi Optical Company (Pentax ). The TL Electro also used the electronic exposure LED's that the prior TL Electro-X had introduced as well as the M42 screw threaded lens mount  for its interchangeable lenses.[18]"

So, I would try something like that. You may find interesting exploring other old cameras from Pentax, Contax, Olimpus.

It's not a coincidence that the m42 mount is also known as "Pentax mount".


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