When Kyocera purchased Yashica in 1982 the names on the camera became kind of interchangeable. They also purchased Contax lenses. As far as I can make out the brand Yashica was used for the international market, probably because it was already established, and Kyocera was used for the home market. The home market being Japan.
The Kyocera 230AF was produced in 1987 and was one of the last, if not the last, SLR they produced as they switched to point and shoots. I think that is a shame as this is an awesome camera. It did not come with a built in flash like some other cameras, but you could buy a separate flash unit. I was lucky enough to find a body with one attached.
I bought the body and lens separately and as you can see from some of my test photos below, the mirror was only moving half way and not locking up.
The lenses produced for this camera only fits this camera, so I assumed that I had bought the wrong lens and the mirror was getting stuck on a part of the lens. But I could tell I liked the camera, it was sharp, it had great features. So when I was back in the UK I tried to find another lens. I bought another cheap lens after researching which one I needed. The same thing happened, so it was the body. Try again. I found a really cheap body on eBay…it didn’t work at all and the seller refunded me. Try, try again. I found another full set up for less than £5 and it worked perfectly. By this time I was due to leave the UK so rushed through a film. I didn’t know if it worked until I had the film developed back in Japan. Here are the shots.
Look at my lovely sister’s chin 🙂 engrossed in Pokemon Go which had just been released in the UK. Finally a working camera. As you can see it is nice and sharp and I found the autofocus worked really well. It is also clear with no haze, the photos lovely and contrasty. For the most part the 230AF is like every other SLR I have tried, except for one feature. The ‘trap focus’. This feature allows you to choose a focusing spot and when the subject enters that area and becomes focused it fires the shutter. This is perfect for sports, pets and children. On the first, broken camera I tried it and it worked perfectly. I didn’t try it on this replacement. I finally got great photos of the dog…but only half of it was there.
Anyway, I did not bring the working one back with me, in fact I only brought one camera back with me at all. I knew I had some in my house in Japan and others were cheaply available. Actually I am off wombling right now.
So keep or sell: keep – I have too many keeps.