On the surface, the Yashica Electro Half was just an advanced version of the Yashica Half 17.  It used the same attractive body style with soft rounded corners, but swapped out the selenium meter for a more sensitive CDS meter.  But a closer look reveals that the changes were more than skin deep.  In fact, this was a revolutionary camera.  It was the first camera of any format to combine an electronic shutter (Copal) with automatic exposure control.  As a result, it qualifies for the Submini Hall of Fame.  But it had other neat features as well.  First, was its super-fast lens.  It has a 32mm f1.7 Yashinon lens which focuses from infinity to 2.5 feet.  For fast action, focusing information is displayed in the viewfinder -- distance icons appear on the bottom of the viewfinder indicating the distance to the subject.  In addition, there are focusing detents at infinity, 10 feet, 4 feet and 2.5 feet.  After focusing and composing the shot, exposure was a breeze.  First, dial in the film speed (ISO 12 - 400).   Then two options are available.  For the easiest exposures, just select from one of three exposure icons on the front of the lens -- sunny (f11), cloudy (f4), or indoors (f1.7).  The camera then selects the correct shutter speed.  If you prefer, you can use two tiny colored lights on the top of the camera to get the correct exposure.  After selecting an appropriate weather symbol on the front of the lens, point the camera at the scene.  Then slide a level on the camera back into a small red zone.  If the red light on the top of the camera lights up, it means that a slow shutter speed will be used and that a tripod is needed.  Another alternative is to open-up the aperture.  If the red light does not light up, move the lever into the orange zone.  If the orange light lights up, it means that the scene is too bright for the chosen f-stop.  If it doesn't light up, the exposure will be set correctly.  In short, as the aperture ring is turned (f1.7 - 16.0) the red and orange lights will indicate if over- or under-exposure exists.  It sounds complicated but it works well.  On the back of the camera is a switch that allows you to choose from A (auto-exposure), B (for time exposure), and a lightning bolt (for flash use).  There is also a battery check, cold flash shoe, tripod socket, cable release connection, self timer, parallax marks in the viewfinder, and a shutter lock switch.  All in all, this is a full-featured camera.  Accepts 30.5mm filters.  Uses one PX32 battery.  It's a large battery, and the reason why the camera is about 1/2 inch longer than its predesseccor -- the Yashica Half 17.  As with many Yashica half-frames, the film is inserted upside down, so that the film can be advanced with a quick flick of the left thumb.

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