135compact.com 35mm half format cameras Kyocera (Yashica) Samurai Z2
The Kyocera Samurai Z2 was first released by Kyocera
in 1990. It has an unusual body format which looks like compact video
cameras of those days. The camera is a true SLR, giving 18x24mm
half-frame images, 72 pictures on an ordinary 36 exp. film. The Samurai
was marketed with both, Yashica and Kyocera branding. It's vertically orientated, so that the format appears in usual landscape mode whereas most half formats use portrait mode.
camera is fully automatic, exposure, focus, film wind. There are nearly
no manual settings. There were several predecessors, a X 3.0 first, quite big, a X 4.0 with a longer zoom,
with an even bigger body and a redesigned Z model, quite a bit smaller
with quite some manual settings. The Z2 is a Z minus some settigs. All were also made as left-hand
models. And there was a smaller APS model, which is a cheaply made
The camera's main features are:
35mm film half-frame camera, picture size 18x24mm (~17x24) Yashica Zoom Lens 1:4.5-5.6/25-75mm, 12 elements, closest focus 1m at wide, 0.7m at tele setting Shutter speeds 2 to 1/500 Size 108 x 119 x 63 mm, Weight : 530 gr. with battery ISO 50-3200, sequence shooting, self-timer, data imprint, diopter adjustment for the finder
Camera with cap, flash folded.
Front. Big lens (filter thread: 43mm) and flash unfolded.
view. Finder with diopter adjustment. LCD sreen, no date imprint set.
Date format choice and setting. Mode setting: Auto flash (default),
night mode (flash off), slow shutter sync and flash on. No proper flash off mode. Mid roll rewind.
Drive modes: Single mode (default), continuous, self timer and self timer 3 shots. Film presence window taped due to bad light seal.
Back with film presence window open.
Tele/wide switch, shutter release. The battery compartment lid has an integrated hand strap.
Compartment open, takes an unusual 2CR5 battery. There is a backup battery (CR 2025), not easy to access (see end of the page).
Right side. On switch, unfolds the flash. To shut the camera off, push the flash slightly towards the back an fold. The bottom has a tripod socket and a switch to open the back.
Full zoom. It doesn't extend a lot.
Camera, pouch and shoulder strap.
Camera in pouch.
Size comparison to a X 3.0.
The Yashica Samurai Z2 is still
big and quite heavy, it's not a compact camera properly speaking.
Nevertheless it was a big success in those days and it's still sought
after by collectors.
sharp pictures, no doubt about that. Wide or zoom, it's sharp. It's
completely automatic, but it gets it right even under difficult
circumstances. So this is point and shoot at a very high level. If you
can deal with its bulky body, it's a nice find.
backup battery is often a problem, if it's empty (indicated by a
blinking date) , the camera won't work properly. The X 3.0 is the
easiest for a battery change. The Z cameras are more complicated, I'll
explain below. I have read that on the X 4.0 the battery is solderd and
very difficult to access. Do not try to change the backup battery
without some basic DIY skills and understanding.what you do. It's at
your own risk.
Camera apart on my work table. You have to take off the finder housing.
It's 2 longer screws, keep all screws apart. There is a sliding plastic
part which seems to be a dust protection.
Then unscrew the bottom plate, it's 2 thicker screws.
The cover has 4 screws, 2 at the bottom, one in the front housing (the
hole is between the capacitor and the lens barrel) and one near the
strap lug. Do not touch the capacitor! Try to wiggle the cover free,
beginning at the bottom towards the back side, then wiggle towards the
top, still towards the back side, then try to lift it a bit without
forcing anything and keep tearing and wiggling towards the back. It
will free itself with a snap.
The battery, a CR2025, is now accessible. Make a photo how it sits to
remember where to put it exactly. It sits between 2 metal connectors
and can be cautiously pushed towards the bottom. Pay attention not to
damage the flat wires. To put the new one in, hold the inner (+)
connector down with a small screwdriver and shove the battery under the
outer connector. Have a look at the LCD screen, it should be
alive again and blinking should have stopped. Put back the cover, begin
by inserting it into the front housing. A bit of wiggling again and it
will snap back into place. Rescrew, put viewer housing and bottom plate
and you are done.
If necessary, you can reset
the camera via the mid roll rewind.