It was the mid 1980s in the bustling city of Erie, Pennsylvania. Van Tuil was expanding his hobby and business sense to his new store on W 8th Street, Van Tuil’s Photo and Imaging. Everything was set up and ready to go on his opening day, the walls were filled with frame samples, camera bags, and glass cases full of camera gear.
His first customer enters, undoubtedly excited for the new store. He peers amongst the glass cases, and a small metal rangefinder catches his eye. It’s a Yashica Electro 35. The sleek metal casing is wrapped in roughly textured black leather. It’s many buttons and dials dot the top of the frame and the front has two large glass ports in rounded rectangles. A small golden atom symbol sits next to one of the front glass ports, an obvious nod to the forward thinking aesthetic and advanced technology held within. Van Tuil sells his first camera.
30 years later, the last few minutes of an Ebay listing includes a very similar Yashica camera.
vtg Yashica Camera Electro 35 45mm Lens Copal Elec Color Yashinon DX
Description: Like new, with box
Estimated Shipping Date: Wed. Sep. 18 - Fri. Sep. 20
The shipped camera arrives at 5076 Station Rd, Apt 1124, my own apartment. Opening the box reveals another box, this one appearing quite old and faded. A gold stripe runs around the box, adorned with YASHICA in black lettering, and a white atom symbol. Decades after it was created, it still is a rather impressive design.
Removing all the contents from this old box reveals an ever-ready camera case (popularly known as never-ready camera cases), a thin leather camera strap, a lens cap, an old withered user manual, and the Yashica Electro 35 itself. Picking up the camera and cranking the film advance lever, I bring the viewfinder up to my eye and see the small split image that assists in focusing. Twisting the autofocus ring brings the little images closer together until they line up.