Compact camera mega test: Yashica Zoomate 115, the poor man’s MJU Zoom

Welcome to the twelfth and final quick camera review for my upcoming 12-camera 35mm camera mega test. In this series, I’ll be comparing image quality, durability, speed and overall performance for cameras ranging from the very high end of the 35mm compact camera world to the very low – or close to it.

I’ll be comparing image quality, durability, speed and overall performance for cameras ranging from the very high end of the 35mm compact camera world to the very low – or close to it. The final articles will cover my criteria and scoring in full. At over 12,000 words in total, it seems a sensible approach to break these mini-reviews out, rather than trying to cram everything onto a single page.


You can check out the reviews that have already been published over on this tag page.


The Yashica Zoomate 115
The Yashica Zoomate 115

This is going to be quick. Very quick. The Yashica Zoomate 115 is an inexpensive zoom camera, similar to the Olympus MJU Zooms. I wondered if the Yashica might have a sharper lens, so when one came up cheap, I bought it to find out.

The Yashica turned out to have similar performance to the Mju Zooms. Just like them, it is quite slow to use. Just like them, it struggles to autofocus accurately at the long end of the zoom. Just like them, the image quality is perfectly adequate, but not amazing. I could not tell the Yashica pictures apart from the Mju Zoom pictures. Overall, I found the Yashica to be fine, but I don’t think I would pay a premium for it.

There are Yashica prime-lens compact cameras that may be worth paying a premium for. The Yashica brand was owned by Kyocera along with CONTAX. The Yashica T4/T5s have Zeiss lens which are rumoured to be similar to those used on the Contaxes. That would be worth paying extra for. However, I notice the Yashica Zeiss lens has only 4 elements, so it is not the same as the Contax Zeiss lenses, which have 5 or 6.

My personal view is the Yashica T4 would be a great option if you came across one fairly cheap, but if the price gets anywhere near a Contax, well …

…and that’s it. All twelve cameras in my test group covered. Next up will be my full comparison and that’s out on the 27th – Next Friday!


~ Ray

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Ray Rapkerghttp://www.rapkerg.com
I photograph people, including fashion photography, quirky portraits and art nudes. I feel photography is mainly about the images and the people in them, but secretly I am a bit of a gear-head as well! I like using a variety of medium format film cameras (current faves: Rolleiflex 6008AF, Pentax 67II) and, sometimes, 35mm cameras.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Most of the good compact 4 element lenses are a zeiss tessar copy. Minox GT, Olympus XA, MJu ect. They give satisfactory (good) results for that reason.

  2. Most of the good compact 4 element lenses are a zeiss tessar copy. Minox GT, Olympus XA, MJu ect. They give satisfactory (good) results for that reason.

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