Terry Richardson vs. Robert Frank : The quest for the perfect camera-man.

This was the toughest comparison i had to make in a long time. Not only my search for honesty in photography was the criteria, also the workflow, quality, originality and down right charisma!

It’s absurd to compare Richardson to Frank in a literal and aesthetic way. So i will only compare their TOOLS and not the photographers themselves.

After all, any camera is available to any photographer at any given time.

Lets Change the title to Yashica T4 Super VS. Konica BigMini

Konica has been in Robert Frank’s hands since it came out, and Terry Richardson have been photographing major assignments with the Yashica for years now.

They seem to be the right tool for what they are using these cameras for. But are they the right tool for you?

P&S Rangefinders by nature, they offer tremendous ease and quality when threatened by big, heavy SLRs

Small, light, fast, quiet and unassuming. Perfect ingredients for the right photographer!
Both offer a 35mm f3.5 lens of different designs. Tessar design on the T4 seems to be slightly sharper than the  Konica’s answer. Both upto par with most SLR lenses out there.

They are about the same size in general but the T4 is slightly thicker, making it a delight to hold with one hand, leaving your left hand to fondle the model you are photographing.

But you still look like a douche bag driving a Chevy Cavalier Z24 with the granny rack still attached to it. Nothing pretty about this black blob of plastic!

Konica on the other hand could have very well be designed by Pininfarina . Although there is no lens cover to protect the lens when not in use, you are not a kind of man to throw this in your leather jacket pocket along side of some change, condoms and a pipe if you use this camera daily.

Yes, Konica is prettier, but is it a better performer?

Turning them both on at the same time, Konica growls and screams into life as the lens protrudes its crevices. Its actually quite loud. I make a habit of leaving it on before a quiet performance photography. Its loud enough to make people think that you have a mechanical dick operated by servos. bzzztttt….grrrrrwwwww….thunk!

Yashica, jumps straight into action without much noise and is ready to shoot within seconds. no fuss, no fireworks.

Then you put the camera right to your face.  If you are retarded like i am, you will never find the window of the T4 right away. Its not a high magnification window so your face needs to be planted to it to see through it. But once you do, its a dreamy rangefinder. Clear lines, clear image and accurate as a rangefinder can be!

Konica can be further away from your face to see through the window, yet its a shitty view once you do. Blurry and fuzzy.

Yet you get focus confirmation and close-up focus activation symbols! Which are pretty sweet.

Then the heavens open,

you want to make an image.

You see the life as it lays down in it’s birthday suit right infront of you. As fragile and pure as it can be.

You frame;

you press the shutter…

And sudden whirr and clicks of both cameras startle the beauty. Flash, pop, crackle!!!

Konica, again growls like a drunken man in an italian suit driving a Maseratti, and the T4 does it with the precision of a honda v-tec engine. Very un-exciting yet, very efficient.

The controls on both cameras are stupid. No way to push them when you want to, and almost always in the wrong setting!

Buttons are very small and almost impossible to operate with fat fingers or gloves. I have shot with both cameras in -20C weather and they both performed beautifully. Good luck getting the models to pose for you naturally in those conditions anyways. So I am not even sure if this measures into the equation.

I am a big fan of exp. compensation button on the Big Mini. +- 1.5 stop exp. comp with the push of a button. Which also cancels the flash operation. Brilliant!

Perfect for instant over or under exposure for those backlit situations. Yashica also seems to do this automatically, yet you are NEVER aware of it working. So lets just assume the worst and say it doesn’t!

Flash on both cameras are excellent.. suprisingly. and both cameras can focus in near dark!

So lets say, the model was actually good and you managed to burn through 37 dreadful frames(37 frames got to be the most annoying number in the world. You cant put them in sleeves without that one frame just sticking out like a sore thumb)

Let the cameras rewind the film back into the casette. Which will render your camera useless for close to a minute! SLOOOOOWWWWW

SO this is one of those times that having both cameras helps cause you can just keep shooting. Or just buy 2 of the one you decide on!

I loaded mine up with some Kodak Tri-X.

So it needed some souping in XTOL… 1:1…for super fine grain and sharp negatives.

Conclusion?

Konica for those days when i am out to impress the girls.

Yashica for the days when i am out to photograph the girls I already impressed with the Konica.

Konica sells for $30

Yashica selld for $200 these days

Here are some samples from both cameras.

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8 responses

  1. Skye

    I like the Olympus Stylus Epic (aka mju-ii) myself. I’ll have to give the Konica a try, the T4 is too expensive for dicking around.

    August 4, 2010 at 2:37 am

  2. Mike

    I fondled both these cameras for a bit before choosing the Konica Big Mini as my pocket camera a couple of years ago. It is rather noisy, isn’t it? 🙂 That’s one of the charms for me: I think of it as the friendly but rather stupid slobbering dog who’ll chase anything and do his damndest to bring it back, be it stick or Mini. It takes lovely pictures, though.

    I don’t understand your comment about the viewfinder: mine is clear, bright and accurate. Perhaps yours got banged around a bit too hard — or maybe there’s oil or some other substance rubbed on it… Hey, it’s a tough job: I’m glad you’re doing it so I don’t have to!

    🙂 Mike

    August 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm

  3. hello my love!

    August 11, 2010 at 6:54 pm

  4. This is a wonderful post and may be one that should be followed up to see what the results are

    A buddy sent this link the other day and I’m desperately awaiting your next piece of writing. Proceed on the first-class work.

    August 31, 2010 at 5:20 am

  5. P&S explorer

    Sorry to disappoint you, but none of this two is a rangefinder. They are compact AF cameras.

    March 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

  6. Hey P&S explorer, you seem more disappointed than I am!
    I never argued that they are actual rangefinders. I said P&S Rangefinders, as in, you just point them and shoot.
    Maybe it’ll be more fun to just enjoy this silly review??

    March 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

  7. I had both of these cameras. I loved the Yashica rarely used the Konica. Actually like the looks of the Yashica better – and it slides into a pocket perfectly. Sharpe lens — great for B&W photography. But I went to the dark side — digital — and sold them both last year. Got next to nothing ($20?) for the Konica — got about $250 for an abused but still working properly Yashica. I think I should thank Terry for that. (BTW — I use Panasonic digital and love my LX7 — as well as my ZS3 which is completely P&S with outstanding IQ. Makes me think of the Yashica I used to have.)

    January 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm

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