another way to skin a cat

Ad for Yashica Electro 35GT camera

Toronto. It’s the 1970s and your camera doesn’t have a socket for the ubiquitous magicubes. Nor can it use Kodak’s super simple Instamatic film cartridges. What do you do? Well Yashica advertised that their cameras let you take indoor photos without flash! Mind you, even then a tripod was necessary given the slow speed of colour film.

Today’s smartphone users for the most part are blissfully unaware that auto exposure and auto flash along with fast sensors simply eliminate any need for tripods or external flash – just a youthful steady hand for good indoor shots.

In the above ad from page 20 of the May 14, 1971 issue of LIFE magazine, Yashica touted their Electro 35GT 35mm film camera with its fast lens (f/1.7) and automatic CdS light intensity sensor, and computer controlled shutter.  The line featured aperture priority – for a given light intensity, adjust the aperture for depth of field and the shutter automatically speeds up or slows down. And the lens far exceeds the capabilities of the less expensive box cameras packaged to look like fancy 35mm cameras at a fraction of the price.

If you spot the catch-light in the baby’s eyes, you can see soft illumination was perhaps from a close by window and daylight. Even then, a tripod may have been needed and not just a photo prop for this ad.

Thanks  again to friend and fellow PHSC member, George Dunbar, for showing us this delightful piece of photographic history!

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