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Mark's Yashica 300-AF Page

1993 to 1994. aka KYOCERA 300 Auto Focus. Made by Kyocera. Last Yashica auto-focus camera.AF speed faster than earlier models, price significantly reduced. Fewer features than its predecessor, the Yashica 230AF, but better looking.
Metering: TTL center-weighted metering system.
Shutter: Mechanical, vertical metal focal plane shutter with speeds from 8s to 1/2000th. Bulb in manual mode. Electronic self-timer with audio beep approx 10 sec.
Focus: Auto-focus using Yashica AF lenses. Matte screen without other tools for manual focusing. Supports trap focus, firing the shutter when a subject moves into focus. Focus lock by holding the shutter release halfway after focusing. There is a focus light that works whenever using auto-focus.
Viewfinder: Pentamirror. Only shows "too high", "too low", and needs flash (blinking). When flash charged the flash light is solid. In manual, shutter or aperture priority correct exposure when nothing is lit. Also displays exposure compensation. More information on LCD panel on top of camera.
Exposure modes: Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and Manual. Program mode can be shifted up or down via Exposure Compensation, within limits. When using aperture priority or shutter priority the camera automatically shifts those exposure values that it considers correct. To use exposure compensation you must push a button while turning a wheel, while watching the effect on the display. There is also an auto-exposure lock button on the back, which must be depressed while holding the shutter release halfway, and composing the picture in the viewfinder. Lots to juggle. There is also automatic backlight compensation, when the camera decides the subject is back lit.
Flash: Flash sync speed 1/100 max sync. Built-in flash, aperture control with distance information. Covers the field of view of 35 mm lenses. Red-eye reducion pre-flash capability.The flash mark "↯" turns on in the viewfinder when the flash is fully charged. The mark "↯" blinks when subject is outside flash range. External generic or dedicated flashes can be used in hot-shoe. dedicated external flash CS-240 Auto, no TTL flash capability. There is a button to pop the flash up and start charging. If the subject is too far the flash light in the viewfinder blinks. Red eye reduction is enabled with another push of the flash button after it's popped up. It's got auto fill-flash too.
Film transport: Powered advance and rewind. Can rewind mid-roll. Auto-loading. Single or continuous shooting.
Batteries: Uses 2CR5 battery.
Lenses: Yashica MA-mount AF lenses only. The 70-210mm lens it came with doesn't say MA-mount, just AF. When using a power zoom lens, the focal length can be displayed on the display panel, by depressing a couple of buttons at the same time. Or you could just glance at the lens.
Accessories: A data back DA-5 is available which can imprint data and time with the year up to 2019. 8 diopter viewfinder correction lenses available (?) for eyeglass wearers. Of course these don't correct for astigmatism, so don't do me any good. Comes with a "panorama adapter" inside the film door. This attaches (when reloading) over the shutter, to make exposures a lab can process into double-wide panoramas. Manual cautions against letting the adapter touch the shutter. CS-240 AUTO is the dedicated flash. There is an AF Converter (lens doubler) 1.6X, for around $100 on Ebay. There's also an AF Extension Tube MA-8.5 for taking close-up pictures with C/Y lenses.
Limitations: No manual ASA film speed selection, non DX-coded films default to 100 ASA. Lack of tools for manual focus. No DOF preview. Weak aperture stopdown solenoid. Buggy built-in flash (mine works), use hotshoe flash if needed. The usual fragile battery hatch, sometimes repairable. Camera is sensitive to flash voltage. Look up voltage before attaching. There is no lock to keep from opening the back by accident.
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11-29-23: Camera and lens arrived intact. The lens is what I really wanted, but I'm happy both work.

12-28-23: Started shooting the test pattern and flash shots. Wasn't able to shoot the test pattern with the 100-210 AF lens, so mounted the 230AF's 50mm lens. The lens does mount on the camera, but I don't think it's working in program mode. No aperture display, no AF, or focus confirm dot while manually focusing. Switching from auto to manual focus? You'll have to flip the camera over to see the tiny markings by the switch. Let's try the built-in flash, since I don't have the CS-240 Auto flash. Shooting the kitchen, with the 70-210mm lens it came with, the flash kept blinking. Too lazy to stop and check the manual again, it turns out this means that at 15 feet, at 70mm, this flash doesn't put out enough to correctly expose the scene. But it fires anyway. I thought it meant "ready". So those shots are probably bad. Tried mounting a regular C/Y mount lens, which isn't possible. Tried using the 50mm AF lens for the Yashica 230AF which mounts but doesn't work right.
12-29-23: Here are the best shots from the first roll of Arista EDU 100 ASA. These are unretouched, after being developed in Caffenol-C (coffee). They were all taken in Program mode, under cloudy conditions. It appears to have under-exposed all of them, which works out OK with bright sky shots. Was fighting with the camera the whole morning. Slow auto-focus is worse than none, and power zoom on a still camera is pointless. There are good reasons they only sold this thing for just a year, and never made another auto-focus slr. Turns out I can use the 70-210mm lens on the Yashica 230AF in all modes. The 50mm that came with the 230af won't work on the 300af.

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