Ice, Custard, Happiness Captured with the Yashica 35-ME

This is the sign above Rita’s on Broadway (Upper West Side) in NYC. I took this with my Yashica 35-ME on Kodak Portra 160 color negative film. Question is, why’d I take this photo in the first place? There’s nothing to it; it’s just a snapshot of a sign.  Heck, looks like I didn’t even work over the dust spots after scanning it.

About The Yashica 35-ME

The Yashica 35-ME doesn’t produce the sharpest images, but it’s fun and easy to use.  It’s basically an early 1970s point-and-shoot. But damn, it’s got that neat combination of the type of build quality you’d expect from a vintage camera, manual zone focus (so you have to put SOME thought and intention into your shots), and auto exposure. You can find these on eBay and I’m sure they’re available from some camera shops selling vintage gear. Often listed as “Rangefinder,” this is actually a viewfinder camera.

Note: The term, rangefinder refers to cameras that help you find focus as you look through the main viewfinder — I know, I just learned about the distinction myself, and I’ve been using all types of cameras for more than 30 years!

Why This Photo?

Why this photo of Rita’s? I was scrolling through a set of images and came across this one. I asked myself, “Why did you take a photo of this sign? Especially on film, when you could’ve just taken this snapshot with your iPhone?”  Well, I WAS shooting test shots that day.  I wanted to see what I’d get with this camera and the Portra 160 film.  This is a good test for color rendition.  However, I shot lots of test photos that day.  The real answer is probably that it meant something to me. This is a place Dedra and I would walk down to on warmer days. We’d take a few mins to enjoy a nice cool treat, watch the people walk by, and let everything just slow down for a moment. You learn to make time for things like that in New York.

Looks good on film, don’t you think?


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