Tag Archives: Yashica T4 Super D

First Impressions – The Sony A5000 with the Kit 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens

I recently hit a wall with my Sony A7 while doing a guerrilla fashion shoot in a busy supermarket. The camera had on a hot-shoe flash and a manual focusing Leica 35mm (the widest lens I had at the time). The results still came out great but I was struggling with the gear all night. A MF prime lens in a fast moving shoot really slowed things down. The non-TTL flash required constant readjustments. I didn’t have the right tools. Something was missing.

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Terry Richardson with Penelope Cruz holding onto the strap of Terry’s Panasonic Lumix GF1

I needed a camera that was even simpler and more inconspicuous. I needed a camera with pop-up flash. I needed a camera with go-anywhere capabilities without worrying about the choice of lens or a lack of image quality. I needed a modern day Yashica T4 Super D, a snapshot point and shoot.

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Cult Cameras – The Yashica T4 Super D (Part 2: Film vs. Digital)

In Part 1, we introduced you to the cult camera that is the Yashica T4, made famous by Terry Richardson. And as discussed before, Film is Dead. In terms of the economics, the way we consume photography has changed to the point where 35mm film is relegated to a niche for hobbyists, purists, and hipsters. Film will never see the mainstream light of day again. But, when the automobile took over for the horses, we still loved our steeds. Today, we still love film. Instagram, Facebook, and the native iPhone Camera app all have “filters” to emulate the film look. Is it just nostalgia? Or is there something missing from digital?

Digital Sterility vs. Film Texture

Do you remember the Super 8? The film movie cameras, not the motel chain. It was slightly before my time, but I certainly recognize it when I see it. If you take a look at the Lexus commercial below, it captures the feeling of “film” very well.

Film has a texture to it, or as Patrick Bateman might say, “the tasteful thickness of it“. It is a feeling that digital doesn’t have. Digital is clean, precise, and sterile. The way our Bayesian sensors interpolate color and light is just fundamentally different from photo reactive emulsions on acetate. Neither one is “better” than the other. You can make the same argument against film, that it cannot reproduce the “grainless” look of digital. The two mediums are just “different.”

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Cult Cameras – The Yashica T4 Super D (Part 1: Intro)

This is a Yashica T4 Super D. It’s plasticky, not very pretty, and was discontinued in 2002. It doesn’t have a zoom lens, an LCD screen on the back, or come with built in Wifi. It uses one non-rechargeable CR123 camera battery, shoots 35mm film, and it is, for all intents and purposes, obsolete.  Oh yeah, it averages over $200 used.

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Much like the Holga or the Diana F+, this plastic point & shoot has a garnered quite the cult following. Cult following means high demand and high resale prices. Lomography has done an excellent job promoting lo-fi photography and toy cameras to the youth market. $5 plastic cameras are sold new for $50 and they have been just raking in the dough. But this Yashica’s got a little bit more substance than that.

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Film is Dead.

But it’s not extinct. Much like when automobiles took over for the horses, our equine friends didn’t disappear. Shooting film, much like horseback riding, has become a hobby but not as a means of everyday life. It’s not personal. It’s a matter of economics. The way we consume photography has changed. We no longer read the paper, buy magazines, or sit around the coffee table sharing vacation albums. The majority of us don’t anyways. The next generation certainly won’t. We get everything through a screen. It’s simply too much trouble to shoot on film and transfer them onto a screen.

Purists and traditionalists will cling onto the “good old days” insisting that “those” were the better times. Vinyl will always sound better. Film will always look better. Nostalgia will always feel better. We can either grow a hipster beard and pretend to live in the past, or try on a pair of Google glasses and learn to love the future. Let’s give film, a twenty-one gun send off. Here’s to you, an ode to film.

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