Yashica T4 Review

Do I like my Yashica T4?  Not so much.

Do you really think the Yashica T4 is great?

Yashica T4 Front

I know it’s heresy to say that I don’t like the Yashica T4.  But that’s how I feel.  My little Mamiya 135 EE is sitting next to my keyboard and I’d rather shoot with it than a Yashica T4.  Or give me my Canon A35F (son of Canonet) for confidence in taking good photos.

I’m glad I owned a Yashica T4.  I’m glad I tested it.  Here are some of my Yashica T4 photos.

Slide show here.

Do you think the Yashica T4 is great or not so great?  Please leave a comment.

How much is a Yashica T4 worth?

It’s worth whatever you can sell it for.

Yashica T4 on Craigslist

I found my Yashica T4 on Chicago’s Craigslist two summers ago for $30.  I called the owner and drove ten miles one way to purchase my champagne colored Yashica T4 for $30 from a family moving out of town.  Too bad they wouldn’t sell its original case.

Yashica T4 in Old Case

Yashica T4 Sold Prices on eBay

As of this September 10, 2012, Yashica T4 cameras in working condition have “sold prices”ranging from $135 to $267.  It’s a valuable point and shoot camera.  These are sold prices, not asking prices.

Yes, the Yashica T4 has some great features

Yashica T4 Lens

I won’t argue with you, the Yashica T4 has a great lens.  Here’s a photo taken from wine country west of St. Louis, Missouri.

Yashica T4, Missouri Wine Country

And here’s a beautiful photo from a Mount Prospect, Illinois pond.

Yashica T4, Pond in Mount Prospect

Yashica T4 Waist Level View Finder

The Yashica T4waist level view finder is very sharp, bright, and clear.  I could see using it effectively for street photography.

Yashica T4 Top Controls and Waist Level View Finder

What are my Yashica T4 Complaints?

Here they are.

Blurry Yashica T4 Photos in Daytime

A photographer friend of mine once told me to never show poor photos of my work.  But I disagree.  If our photos are poorly done it’s either user error or camera error.  In that spirit here’s a blurry photo taken during a Sunday lunch on my back porch.

Yashica T4, July 2012, Trouble with Daytime Focus

I have used many point and shoot cameras where you slightly depress the shutter button to automatically focus (my Olympus Stylus Epic) .  Then you fully depress the shutter button to take the photo.  Was the photo above user error or a camera error?  This isn’t the first time I’ve had focusing problems with the Yashica T4 in daytime.

Yashica T4 has trouble focusing when Using Flash

I consistently have trouble focusing this camera on a subject when using the flash.  See the photo below.

Yashica T4, Friends on the Back Porch, Flash and Focus Problem

But here’s a photo taken by someone else who knew nothing about my Yashica T4.  They just pointed the camera and took the picture.  It turned out great (except the chubby guy on the left needs to lose weight).

Yashica T4, Excellent flash and focus

Yashica T4 Exposure Problems

If I keep the Yashica T4 I’ll need to live with constant over exposures.  Here’s a photo at Deep Lake (Lindenhurst, IL) that was a disappointment.  It’s certainly over exposed and the focusing is off.

Yashica T4, July 2012, Deep Lake, Lindenhurst, IL, Over Exposed

Summary – Yashica T4 isn’t worth the Hype

Leave a comment, tell me that I’m wrong.  If my photo problems are a user error tell me in a comment.

I won’t sell my Yashica T4, yet.  Perhaps I’ll give it a 3rd and final roll.  I feel a lot more confident shooting a roll with my Mamiya 135 EE, Canon A35F, or my Olympus Stylus Epic.  Thanks for reading my Yashica T4 review today.  And tell your photography friends about What is a Film Camera.



Yashica T4 Review — 10 Comments

  1. Hi!

    What, no comments at all? You should do something about it, because I’ve found it only by luck, I guess. Your T4 review was very helpful to me. I’ve bought one for $200 recently (like new, etc). I’ve shot a couple of rolls of film with it but haven’t developed them yet. Now, I also own a Stylus Epic II and that camera I know. Here goes the good part. We are having a Christmas party at our company tomorrow. There will be plenty of photographers, but I thought that I’ll bring a film camera with me, so that later I’ll give people the good old nostalgic film pictures (I love film). So, I’ve been debating, which camera should I bring with me, the T4 or my trusty Stylus Epic? Your review helped me to make the choice! But you know what? I think I’ll take both and then we can compare. I’ll write back. See you later and thanks again!

    • Mike,
      Thanks for dropping by.
      I probably will never sell my Yashica T4. It’s just too rare.
      It’s funny you mentioned the Olympus Stylus Epic. I own 2 or 3 of them. I find them for $5 every now and then in Chicago re-sale shops or garage sales. They take wonderful photos. Mr. Maitani who designed them for Olympus was a genius.
      Which camera would I take to the office party? I’d take the Olympus Stylus Epic if you give me those two choices. I’ve never had a bad photo from the Epic, but I have had a few bad photos from the Yashica T4.
      The Yashica T4 may have dazzling lens clarity but the Olympus Stylus is almost as good and it seems more consistent to me.
      Again, thanks for visiting my website.

  2. I hope you don’t mind if I’ll write a little more on your blog…

    Back in 1998 or so I was shooting Olympus OM (I still do) but I was on the market for a good compact camera. Back than, after a good research, it came down for me to the Yashica T4 (most people recommended it), Olympus Stylus Epic II, and Rollei Prego Micron. I ended up buying the Rollei (it was really a rebranded Ricoh camera as I found out later, but both are considered classics today anyway). Well, that Rollei never let me down. The quality of the pictures was on par or better than my OM. The sad part is, as stupid as I was, I threw it away when I bought my first good digital camera…

    So, anyway, I’ll shoot the Epic and the T4 side by side tomorrow and we’ll see who the winner is. I do think though that the T4’s lens should show its strength in close up shots. I think I’ve read before about the focusing problems on it, so it didn’t come as a surprise to me, but still, from your experience, it’s a damn shame. But I’m not giving up just yet 🙂

  3. Thanks for the review.i found (bought)this yashica t4 at the arc thrift store for $2.99.seems everything is working i can’t wait to get a film and try it.i look on ebay it has a good price value.

  4. Hi,
    Don’t know if you have time or keep up on outdated response like this to the post but here goes anyway. Not much to say except I do have a t4, am slowly working my way thru a first roll (almost halfway thru a 24) so I haven’t seen the pictures yet. But, I will say that that shutter button is simply too hair trigger for me. In the quiet of my living room I can depress it slightly and I can hear the motorized sound indicating focus lock. But outside (or inside) with any bit of sound and you cannot hear that you have achieved focus lock. Plus the depressing of the shutter to get focus lock has to literally be no more than a touch, and I find you have to concentrate too much imo to make sure you are not over depressing that button if you want to lock focus and recompose. I say all this to suggest that such an overly sensitive mechanism can in my opinion easily result in missed focus in pictures. The mechanism did not need to be made so sensitive. I think with practice one could get used to it and get past it but I consider it an annoyance that immediately stands out. Once I see my pictures we’ll see how I feel about it. It’s too early in the game for conclusions on my part but I thought I would add my observations so far to your post.

    • Zoran,

      I would say lens quality on the Yashica T4 is fantastic.

      But I also was frustrated with its shutter button. Press gently to focus, press down hard to snap the picture. Too many of my photos weren’t as good as I would have liked: a focusing problem.

      We could say it’s user error. But I’ve used many old cameras with better results.

      I sold my Yashica T4 on eBay but may buy another if I find a good price. Great lens quality did not make up for a strange shutter release problem.


  5. Here’s my brand new 2017 comment. I used mine until something happened, can’t remember what, but I never blamed the camera for any bad pictures I took. The camera is capable of producing great shots. Any disappointing result can teach you how it works. No camera is the same as any other camera. Is there a camera that will always give you just what you want? Then I guess you learned how to use it, under all circumstances you ever decided to take a picture. If you would do exactly what you did to get a perfect picture out of the Yashica T4 with another camera, you can not say the other camera is bad if the result is different. Just make sure you understand how it works, and everything that comes out of it will make sense.

    • BdV,

      I know this is heresy but I never felt quite right taking a Yashica T4 photo.

      The lens was undeniably great.

      But somehow, I just couldn’t figure out how to use the shutter button properly. User error I guess.


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