The Streets Of Pittsburgh Through A Medium Format Yashica-D Viewfinder

In a constant effort to break out of my own comfort zone, I took my Yashica D and the Nikon Df through the streets of Pittsburgh and practiced a little street photography.  It was a dizzying experience, literally, because I had to hold the Nikon Df so close to my face and try to focus my eyes on the back LCD screen…  It was impossible to use the viewfinder without detaching my head from my neck.  Either way, I attached the venerable Nikon 35mm f2D which allowed me close enough focusing (the 16-35mm seems to have closer focusing but is heavier and not conducent to holding the camera and lens with one hand while I held the Yashica with the other for long periods of time).

IMG_3117

The Yashica-D is a beautiful looking camera, even today its moderately affordable (costs about $200 – $300 for one that is in great shape and still works).  Mine was a gift from my Uncle, perhaps that is why I have such an affinity for it.  Looking down into it’s viewfinder you can’t help but to be swept back in time, like Marty McFly in the DeLorean, to a time when cameras were an extension of the artists knowledge and discipline…  Compared to today, where the majority of images you see on the internet were fired off as simply as hitting a nail with a hammer.

IMG_3122I took half a dozen shots of this sign until “A Musical Christmas Carol” lit up the screen…  That is my favorite show in Pittsburgh, one that I have seen every year for as long as I can remember.

IMG_3120

The Yashica has an 85mm lens on it which is, in my opinion, a great lens for street photography.  Don’t tell anyone though, those street photographers loooooooove their 35mm lenses.

IMG_3118

It’s not Pittsburgh without throwing a bridge or two into the mix, amiright?  I am.

IMG_3121

The viewfinder on the Yashica D isn’t as glorious as the fancy electronic gizmos found on never cameras but it’s still beautiful to see the world the way one would have almost half a century ago.

IMG_3116

IMG_3119

IMG_3131

When is the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone into something a little more creative?  I challenge you to try something new, something you’ve never done before.  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

More from John Barbiaux

Photography Tip Of The Day: To Chimp, Or Not To Chimp

Chimping is the practice of looking at ones LCD screen after each...
Read More

1 Comment

  • The Yashica is a great camera and medium format is a great film size. I loved mine until it was stolen. I took some memorable pictures with it, mostly because it made me slow down and THINK about what I was trying to say. With only 12 frames per roll you have to be discerning.

    A few years ago I got a Minolta Autocord 6×6 for an incredible price of $100. This one has no built in meter which makes it an extra challenge to get out of a comfort zone. The quality and clarity of the lens is phenomenal. Lots of detail and no distortion that I can see.

    I love my digital Nikon and this will continue to be my main camera, but can’t help but feel like we lost a little something going from film to digital. I guess it is a trade off. It’s nice to know that film is still out there and those cameras are still solid image making instruments.

Comments are closed.