Film Photography

Yashica Electro 35 GSN Top Cover Removal & Viewfinder and Prism Clean

Continuing with last video of the review of Yashica Electro 35 GSN, In this video, I show you how to clean and remove the top prism of the camera. The general disassembly and viewfinder clean method should apply to all Yashica Electro 35 series of cameras as they are very similar throughout the model range.

Camera Review Film Photography

Yashica Electro 35 GSN Rangefinder 35mm Film Camera Review

In this video, I review the increasingly popular rangefinder from the 1960s: A Yashica Electro 35 GSN, showcasing some of its features and quirks.

You can find plenty of these cameras used on eBay

Camera Review

Bottom Capacitor Replacement On Minolta X570/X500/X700

If for unfortunate reason you’ve landed yourself a non-functioning Minolta X series film camera, this video will show you how to replace the infamous inferior and often defective capacitor on the bottom of the camera. For X700, there is an extra cap on top plate, which is hard to get to…

But before you attempt to replace the caps, check your battery cap for conductivity first! A lot of times corrosion on the battery cap will prevent the camera from power-on

Some tips on replacing the capacitor on Minolta X-700. This is a well-known problem and happens on most of cameras as of now (The year 2022)… Basic soldering skill is required to do the soldering of Cap 1 (capacitor on the bottom of the camera). Advanced soldering skills and lots of extra time are required to replace Cap 2 (capacitor at top of the camera), Cap 2 replacement is NOT covered in this video. Now if you have no soldering skill, I highly recommend watching this how-to-solder video as the guy explained and demonstrated it perfectly:

JIS Crosspoint Screwdriver REQUIRED to service most Japanese cameras:

And this is the best capacitor you can get for the X-700/X-500/X-570. I bought a pack of 10 for like $10 bucks.…

Warning! #1:This video is provided for informational purposes only. I’m not responsible for damages caused to your camera should you decide to perform a capacitor replacement on your own camera.

Warning! #2: Be sure to check polarity on the caps before you align and solder it onto your camera, X-700 have different polarity on the circuit board as compared to X500/X570 so make sure to double, even triple check polarity during removal of the existing capacitor on your camera.

Film Photography Lens Review

TTArtisan 50mm F1.4 ASPH (Leica M Mount) Sample Photos

Shots were taken on a Sony A7 IV Mirrorless Camera with a Leica M to Sony FE lens mount adapter. Simple adjustments were made to my personal preference for archiving.

TTArtisan 50mm F1.4 For Leica M

This lens is clearly designed for film use. It’ll be a very strong contender to the Leica Summilux if you shoot black and white film only, as some of its annoying characteristics can be easily masked in B&W film. Even if paired with a modern digital camera using an adapter, it still performed quite well as evident on the test shots below.

Affordability (used ones costs less than $300)
Very good sharpness and resolution at the center
Very good contrast and color rendition (when avoiding flares)
Minimal lens distortion
Beautiful bokeh
All metal construction

Strong vignetting at larger apertures
Chromatic aberration at larger aperture settings (Most can be easily corrected, no issue in B&W)
Prone to ugly lens flare if no hood is attached and shooting against strongly backlit scene (It also did not come with a hood)

Film Photography

Doomo Meter S Honest Review: Pretty Good, But Lots of Bugs

In this video, I review the Doomo Meter S, a popular hotshoe clip-on light meter for vintage film cameras that does not have a built-in light meter or has a broken one.

It’s a pretty good light meter, but it also has lots of bugs, hopefully, the next revision could make it as perfect as it can be.

#filmphotography #doomometers #lightmeter

Film Photography

Used Film Camera Buying Tips: Minolta X700

In this video, I talk about my experience buying a used Minolta X-700, so you don’t have to fall victim to shady sellers.

Camera Review

Six Reasons To Avoid Buying A Leica M Film Camera

In this video, I talk about my reasoning for avoiding a Leica M mount rangefinder film camera. Now, this is entirely my personal experience and opinion based on a Leica M2 camera that I have briefly owned. I’m sorry if my experience does not lineup with your positive experience with your own Leica camera. I only hope that this video will help many other photographers who have never owned a Leica M camera make an important decision before making a purchase. 

Reason #1: High Price. In the year 2022, a vintage used Leica M3 or M2, starts at a minimum of $1700 USD on eBay, for a beat-up, excessively used, or barely functioning unit. The price will jump significantly as the condition of the camera gets better. Relatively recent models, such as the M4 range, M6 and up, only get more expensive. That brings us to the cost of the Leica lenses… An entry-level fairly modern 35mm Summarit F2.5 will easily burn a $1300 hole in your wallet. The gold standard Summicron will set you off at least $2000 for a “good condition” well-used unit. And if you want APO and the newest coating? Dish out another $10,000. One reason these lenses are so expensive is because of the small and short distance of the M mount, which requires more difficult optical design and precision machining to achieve the same results as a larger bayonet mount camera. It’s even more challenging for modern-day Leica digital camera lens designs because they are working with a physical size limitation that restricts even sensor coverage, so unless re-designed, the cost of Leica lenses and new digital camera bodies will remain extremely expensive. 

Reason #2: Overhyped viewfinder. The viewfinder of the Leica is pretty good, it offers parallax correction (but no distance correction) a bright viewfinder focusing patch, multiple frame preview lines build-in. But is it $1500 better when viewed side-by-side with a reasonably priced fixed focus lens Japanese counterpart, such as a Konica IIIa? Absolutely not. The viewfinder on Leica is pretty good, but many 35mm dirt cheap film cameras offer a brighter and better viewing experience and accurate framing at maybe 2-3% of the cost of a Leica body. 

Reason #3: Necessary Repairs. Don’t get me wrong, Leica’s are very well engineered and that makes them durable and last longer if taken care of. The body, in general, is relatively easy to service, however, older parts are very scarce, since no more new parts are being produced for older models. Just remember, there are only a finite number of Leica M film bodies, once they are gone, they are gone forever. Most older Leica M bodies will suffer some sort of problem due to age; many cannot be corrected unless the parts are replaced (i.e., Prisms, focusing patch, frame lines that are damaged due to haze or fungus). A CLA costs anywhere between $250 – $500 by independent camera repairmen, and if you send it to Leica, expect it to cost more. Frameline replacement is another $250, and if you want to do an upgrade to aftermarket multi-coated viewfinder glasses, set off another $150 for it. 

Reason #4: The quietness of the shutter. Long-time Leica owners claim the shutter of the Leica is the quietest, perfect for street photography use. But many of them have never bothered to own a vintage Japanese rangefinder camera? The leaf shutters in most fixed lens rangefinder cameras are almost silent, and they sync at full shutter speed range, while Leicas’ can only do 1/50th – useless if you want to use fill flash in daylight. 

Reason #5: The Leica M Ergonomics Is Not for Everyone. Going through hundreds of popular Leica review videos on YouTube, you will notice that people who love the M system often praise about it is ergonomics, how everything just felt right and falls into place and is easy to reach… My own analysis is that the Leica M systems were designed first to please western users, for which in general have a larger build, and… larger hands. I am Asian, and when I am holding the camera, I find myself often must stretch my index finger quite a lot to reach that shutter release button, and when trying to press the button, due to stretching, causing a significant amount of movement during shutter release, which may make my framing shift just slightly compared to the original composition, and cause quite a lot of blur due to camera shake. 

Reason #6: Not designed for Eyeglasses wears. The reason I wanted a Leica with 0.72x magnification, is because I am nearsighted and wear eyeglasses, other rangefinder cameras that feature a 0.9x-1.0x magnification require me to get really close to the viewfinder to see the frame line and compose, like my Konica IIIa. With that said, my Leica M2’s viewfinder is so tiny, despite having a 0.72x magnification, I can barely see the 35mm frame line. There is a modification that removes the small metal window right behind the eyepiece, even with that piece removed, I still can barely see the 35mm frame line. Not only that, but the brass eyepiece also scratches the eyeglasses so easily and I am afraid to get close to the viewfinder to frame my shot, causing additional loss of viewing area. 

So, these are some of the reasons why I returned my Leica M2. Will my opinion change if I did spend a huge amount of money, to buy a mint condition or brand-new Leica M film body and lens? I do not think so, again for the reasons I have mentioned in this video. 

In conclusion, is film photography dying? Most certainly yes. And with that, all the Leica M film cameras will become an obsolete piece of non-functioning equipment, helplessly sitting on shelves of the future generations of photographers. Film companies are catering to a fast-shrinking market that again, has only a finite number of available cameras. There will come a point when the demand is so low, and chemicals became so expensive that sustained operation of making film becomes impossible. Until that day comes, I will continue to shoot 35mm film, for the analog experience and the process, just maybe not on a Leica film camera. 

Thank you again for stopping by and listening to my reasoning, and feel free to drop a comment below about your positive or negative experience of owning a Leica M film camera.

Take care!

Camera Review Ugly Grade Leica M2 Unboxing and Review

Update: I am returning this Leica M2. A follow-up video explaining my reasoning not to pursue the Leica M ecosystem will be out soon.

Never expected my first entry into the wondrous world of the legendary Leica world would be an Ugly grade Leica M2 from KEH.

They had it at a price too good to pass, and there is a full refund policy within a couple of weeks, so I took the gamble.

In this video, I share my initial unboxing experience and explore this Ugly Grade Leica M2 from

This particular camera had a manufacturing date that’s the same as my birthday… This camera is exactly 17 years older than me…

Will it outlive me? Only time will tell… Cheers!

P.S. This content is NOT sponsored by KEH. (But I do like their consistent service.)

#Leica #KEH #LeicaM2 #Cameras #FilmCameras