Yashica FR II
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(posted 3-28-02)


Congratulations on purchasing the FR 11. This camera was designed with maximum ease of operation in mind and features fully automatic exposure control. Siliconphoto-diode metering has been employed for instantaneous exposure readout and an exposure compensation dial is provided for adjustment in special lighting situations.

However, the FR 11 doesn't stop at being merely one of the finest automatic SLR cameras on the market. It is part of a whole system of Contax and Yashica accessory equipment to make possible and endless variety of uses. To begin with, it features the Contax/Yashica mount for accepting a wide range of Yashica and Zeiss T* interchangeable lenses. It's feather-touch electromagnetic shutter release, in addition to making possible blur-free pictures, also enables use with a variety of remote control release systems such as cable switches and the wireless Infrared Controller Set. In addition, its electromagnetic release system permits use with the highly advanced RTF 540 electronic flash unit. And when both the RTF 540 and the Yashica Winder are used jointly with the FR 11, it is capable of sequential flash up to 2 frames per second. These are just some of its uses. Be sure to look into the countless other advantages and special uses for your FR 11 to enable you to enjoy hour after hour of virtually unlimited photographical enjoyment.

* FR is a licensed trademark of Cine Magnetics, Inc.

Specifications ... ... ..

Description of Parts ....

How to Mount and Remove the Lens .

Battery Installation ......

Battery Checking .......

Film Loading ..........

Film Rewind ........

Shutter Control Dial . . .

Viewfinder . .

Focusing .........

Shooting Posture . . .

Automatic Exposure . . .

Exposure Compensation

Self Timer ........

Flash Exposure . .

"B" (Bulb) Exposure/Release Socket .

Infrared Photography . .

Depth of Field .......

Ambient Temperature . .

Camera Care . . .

Precautions ....

Type: TTL metering fully automatic exposure 35 mm SLR camera

Standard Lenses: Yashica Lens DSB 50 mm f/1.9, Yashica Lens ML 50 mm f/1.7, Yashica Lens ML 50 mm f/1A, Yashica Lens ML 55 mm f/1.2 (each with automatic diaphragm).

Lens Mount: Contax/Yashica mount.

Negative Size: 24 x 36 mm

Shutter: Electronically Controlled horizontal run focal plane shutter. Shutter speeds automatically varied between 4 sec. to 1/1000 sec. at AUTO setting, Bulb setting (B) for long exposure and electronic flash synchronization setting (I) for manual operation.

Self Timer: Built-in lever type; releases in 7 sec.

Shutter Release: Feather-touch electromagnetic release release socket on camera body for auxiliary shutte; release.4www.butkus.org

Exposure Meter: TTL aperture-preferred fully automatic exposure control. Center-weighted full aperture light metering via SPD cell.

Exposure Check Button: Push Button/slide type; lockable with film advance lever slightly cocked.

Exposure Range: Between EV 1 - 18 with f/1.4 standard lens using ASA film.

Exposure Compensation: +2 EV

ASA Filrn Speed Settings: ASA 12 - 3200

Power Source: 6 V silver oxide battery (Eveready 544 Ucar 544, Mallory PX-28 or equivalent). 4www.butkus.org

Viewfinder: Through-the-lens reflex viewfinder; shows a field of approx 92% of the actual picture area with an image magnification of 0.87X. Shutter speeds indicated by pointer from 1/1000 sec. - 1 sec.

Focusing Screen: diagonal split-image centerspot with microprism collar.

Film Advance: single-frame advance via film advance lever with 140 degree full stroke, or multiple short ratchet stroke advance; frame count registers on exposure counter. Sequential film advance to 2 fps with optional Yashica Winder unit.

Film Rewind: via film rewind crank.

Back Cover: Standard back opens by lifting out on film rewind crank.

Other Features: Battery confirmation lamp; lens release button, memo holder, direct X contact accessory shoe.4www.butkus.org

Size and Weight: 142.5 x 87 x 50 mm 650 grams (body only)


1.  Exposure Counter/Battery Confirmation Lamp

2.  Magnetic Release Button

3.  Film Advance Lever

4.  Shutter Control Dial

5.  Direct X Contact

6.  Accessory Shoe

7 Battery Checker Button

8. Exposure Compensation Dial

9. Film Rewind Knob4www.butkus.org

10. Film Rewind Crank

11. ASA Film Speed Ring

12. Lens Release Button

13. Self-Timer

14. Self-Timer Start Lever

15. Aperture ring

16. Focusing Ring

17. Film Rewind Stud 

18. Film Chamber 

19. Shutter Curtain 

20. Viewfinder Eyepiece 

21. Sprocket Wheel 

22. Exposure Check Button 

23. Film Take-Up Spool 

24. Release Socket 

25. Camera Back 

26. Film Pressure Plate 4www.butkus.org

27. Motor Drive Coupling Terminal

28. Tripod Socket 

29. Film Drive Coupling 

30. Film Rewind Release Button 

31. Battery Compartment Cover 

32. Memo Holder

How to Mount the Lens
After removing the camera body cap, set the lens in the mount by matching the red dot on the lens barrel with that on the camera body. Then, while gripping the lens barrel firmly, give it a right turn until it self-locks with a click

The method of mounting is the same with all lenses. Improper mounting will result in poor focus and/or exposure.
How to Remove the Lens
While keeping the lens release button depressed, turn the lens barrel all the way to the left and lift the lens straight out of the lens mount.

· Avoid touching the I inkage systems on the camera body and the lens.

· Avoid direct sunlight when interchanging lenses.

· To remove or reset the lens cap, press the knobs on both sides of the cap. The lens cap can be set even when a filter is in use.


Make sure the battery is installed properly. Without the battery, the shutter system and the exposure control of Your Yashica FR 11 will not function.

[1] Open the battery compartment cover on the camera base by turning it in the direction of the arrow with the edge of a coin. ~

[2] Install the battery properly by matching its polarity with the diagram.4www.butkus.org

[3] After ascertaining that the battery is installed properly, tighten the battery compartment cover securely.

· Always use a 6 V silver oxide (Eveready 544, Ucar 544, Mallory PX-28 or equivalent) or 6 V alkaline (Eveready 537, Ucar 537 or equivalent) battery. 

Webmaster: these batteries are special order batteries but are available.


The shutter will not function when batteries are low. To prevent this, check the battery on the following occasions.

· When inserting a new battery

· When the camera has been left unused for some length of time.

· When otherwise necessary.

To Check: Press the battery checker button. If the battery confirmation lamp illuminates the exposure counter window on the top right hand side of the camera, battery power is sufficient.
If the lamp fails to light, replace the battery.
(When using a new battery, check first to see that it has been inserted properly before replacing.)

· The battery confirmation lamp also functions to illuminate the exposure counter in poor lighting conditions.


Avoid direct sunlight when loading film. Always use a standard 135 film cassette (12, 20, 24 or 36 exposure load).

[1] Open the camera back by pulling the film rewind knob all the way out. As soon as the camera back is opened, the exposure counter will reset to 'S' (start) position.

[2] Install the cassette in the film chamber and push the film rewind knob back in. If it fails to return to its original position immediately, twist back and forth in either direction while pushing, until it slips in place.4www.butkus.org

[3] Insert the tip of the film into one of the slots of the take up spool as illustrated. Avoid inserting the film too far.

[4] Slide the film advance lever out past the ridge of the camera with your thumb and advance the film slightly until the sprocket teeth properly catch the perforations on the edges of the film.
Close the camera back and press until it locks in place. m Fold the film rewind crank out and turn gently in the direction of the arrow to take up film slack.

Before advancing the film, set the shutter control dial either to the "B" or to the flash synch (I) setting. Film wind-on may also be performed on AUTO provided it is done in bright light with the lens cap removed. Otherwise attempts to advance the film on AUTO for film wind-on will be hindered be excessively long exposure.

[6] Wind the film advance lever and trip the shutter alternately until the exposure counter reaches '1' (The film rewind knob will rotate counterclockwise when turning the film advance lever if the film is advancing property.)

· Film may be advanced either by winding the film advance lever with one full turn or several short strokes. The electromagnetic release will not function, however, until the lever is completely cocked.

· The film may also be wound on automatically by using the Yashica Winder unit which is sold as an optional accessory. Detailed instructions for use of the winder are given in the winder instruction booklet.4www.butkus.org

Exposure Counter
The exposure counter registers the number of exposed frames and is calibrated from 1 to 36 for frame indication, with the numbers 12, 20, 24 and 36 in red to indicate the last frame or respective film rolls. Counter automatically resets to "S" (start) when the camera back is opened.

Memo Holder
The memo holder on the rear of the back cover is handy for exposure information. Insert the end of the film box to remind yourself what type of film you are using and how many exposures are on the roll.

Setting the film Speed
The ASA film speed rating denotes the degree of sensitivity of the film to light. After loading the camera, always make it a point to set the ASA film speed to assure proper exposure.

To Set: Lift the ASA film speed ring (surrounding the exposure compensation dial) and turn it until the figure corresponding with the speed rating of the film in use aligns with the orange index. Various ASA film speeds ratings are as follows.


When the exposure counter registers the number equivalent to the exposure load of the film in use, avoid advancing the film forcibly. If the perforations of the film tear or the film pulls away from the cassette, it will become impossible to rewind the film.

[1] Push in on the film rewind release button on the camera base. It is unnecessary to keep this button depressed all the while during film rewind.

[2] Fold out the film rewind crank and turn it in the direction of the arrow to rewind the film.  Pressure will ease up somewhat when the end of the film leaves the tape-up spool. Wind a little further until the crank rotates freely, indicating the film is completely rewound into the cassette. When you are sure the exposed film is completely rewound, open the camera back and remove the film roll.

· When the film fails to advance, push the film rewind release button and rewind.4www.butkus.org

· Make sure the exposed film is rewound into the film cassette before opening the camera back.


Shutter speeds are fully automated with the Yashica FR 11. For normal shooting without flash the control dial is set to AUTO. Including AUTO, the dial has the following three settings.

AUTO . . . For automatic shutter speed control. Auto exposure control with the FR 11 is aperture preferred: When you preset the number, the camera automatically selects the correct shutter speed. The speed the camera selects is indicated in the viewfinder by pointer index.

flash synchronization . . . Set the dial to this setting to synchronize the camera for use in conjunction with an electronic flash unit. (See page 56.)

(B) . . . The "B" (bulb) setting is used for exposures in excess of 1 sec. (See page 60.)


[1] split-image

[2] Microprism Collar

[3] Shutter Speed I ndex

[4] Shutter Speed Pointer

[5] Overexposure Zone

[6] Long exposure Zone


Split-image Microprism
This camera features a dual focusing spot for easy focusing which consist of a diagonal split image center with a microprism collar. (See page 34 for focusing details.)

Shuter Speed Pointer
When the exposure check button is depressed, the pointer will indicate the shutter speed to accord with the f-number in use. Exposure is correct if the pointer registers between the 1/1000 sec. and 1 sec. extremes of the index. (See page 40 fo; exposure setting details.)

Overexposure Zone
When the pointer climbs into this zone, the shot will be over-exposed. For adjustment, refer to page 40.

Long Exposure Zone
When the pointer is in this zone light will be sufficient for up to a 4 sec. exposure. (See page 40.)


Turn the focusing ring while observing the subject in the split-image center spot, microprism collar or matte area of the viewfinder.

Split-image Center Spot Precise focus is secured when the images in the diagonal split-image center spot are brought into alignment.

Microprism Collar and Matte Area When the multiple glitter disappears in the microprism collar or when the image appears clear and sharp in the matte area, precise focus is secured.

· The method of focusing remains the same regardless of whatever lens or accessory is in use.

Eyesight Adjustment To permit adjustment of the viewfinder to the eyesight of the individual, eight types of diopter lenes (-5 to +3 diopters) are available.


To obtain good results, it is important that the camera be held steady. Erratic movement of the camera at the critical moment of exposure constitutes the most common cause of poor (blared) photographic results. Before attempting to take your first series of photographs, familiarize yourself with all functional controls. As illustrated, the camera can be held in either horizontal or vertical posture, depending on your photographic requirement. In either case, support your camera firmly with your left hand, with your left elbow held close against your body. Avoid gripping the camera body too firmly with your right hand and press the magnetic release button gently.

· For extra steady support, the trunk of a tree or wall of a building or other structure can be used most effectively.

· When using a telephoto lens or when making exposure at a slow shutter speed, the use of a tripod is recommended.


Your Yashica FR II features fully automatic through the-lens electronic exposure control. By simply presetting the film speed and lens aperture, its exposure control system varies the shutter speed continuously according to subject brightness to assure correct exposure under any light conditions.

[1] Turn the shutter control dial to AUTO, and set the exposure compensation dial to 1 X.

[2] Preselect the lens aperture by setting the required f-number to correspond with the index. The following table serves as a guide for selecting the appropriate f-number under different lighting conditions when using ASA 100film.

Light Condition F-stop
Outdoors under bright sunlight 16, 11, 8
Outdoors (overcast) 5.6, 4, 2.8
Indoors or night photography 2, 1.4


[3] While sighting through the viewfinder, slide the exposure check button to the right. If exposure is adequate --between the 1/1000 and 1 sec. shutter speeds--focus, compose the picture and release the shutter.

· For shutter speeds below 1/30 sec. pictures will blur' unless utmost precaution is taken to prevent camera shake. This can be avoided by resetting the aperture ring to a wider lens opening which will give a faster shutter speed.4www.butkus.org

· When shooting at a slow shutter speed is necessary, brace the camera firmly or use a tripod.

· When the pointer is in the overexposure zone, correction can be made by stopping the lens aperture down to give less exposure (i.e., f/8 to f/11 or f/16, etc.). A neutral density filter may also be employed for exposure adjustment.

· When the pointer is in the long exposure zone, unless extend exposure is desired, open the lens aperture (f/8 to f/5.6 or f/2.8, etc.) to obtain a faster shutter speed. Long exposures (up to 4 seconds) may be made in this zone if a tripod is used.

As the FR II uses an aperture-preferred automatic exposure control system, shutter speeds may be varied by adjusting the aperture ring. Check, beforehand, that the shutter control dial is set to AUTO and the exposure compensation dial to 1X.

[1] Depress the exposure check button and check the shutter speed in the viewfinder.

[2] With the exposure check button engaged, turn the aperture ring until the pointer aligns with the desired shutter speed.

The following table serves as a guide for preselecting shutter speeds:

Subject Shutter Speed
Fast-moving objects 1/1000, 1/500 sec

Landscape and general outdoor photography

1/250, 1/125 or 1/60 sec.
indoor or night photography 1/30 sec. or slower


Exposure Check Button
 In addition to providing instantaneous exposure readings, the exposure check button may also be locked to give longer readings. To lock the check button, pull the film advance lever out past the edge of the camera to the point where it catches (see illustration) and slide the check button all the way to the right until it locks. To unlock the button, push the film advance lever all the way in toward the shutter control dial.

· Once the button has been lock, the film may be wound without disengaging the lock mechanism.

· Always make it a point to unlock the button after setting exposure to avoid excessive battery drain

To prevent battery power drain, make it a rule to switch off the Check Button when in locked position by returning the film advance lever fully each time after exposure checking.

When using some Contax accessories such as the Infrared Control Set, the Check Button should be in the switched "off" position.


For normal shooting, the exposure compensation dial should be set to 1 X. When shooting backlit or spotlighted subjects, or when special effects are desired, exposure compensation is required.

The exposure compensation scale has four click stop settings (2, 4, 1/2 end 1/4) in addition to 1X. It can also be used at in-between settings. Operate the dial by rotating it until the required compensation factor aligns with the black index mark. Always remember to return the dial to 1X when exposure compensation is no longer required.

For Backlit Subjects
When shooting against the light or when photographing subjects against a window or bright snow scene, the main subject will be underexposed. To compensate for this and bring out the details of your subject, set the exposure compensation dial to either "2" or "4".

The "2" setting doubles the amount of light reaching the film:
Thus a shutter speed of 1/250 sec. will automatically lower to 1/125.

The "4" setting quadruples the amount of light reaching the film:
Thus a shutter speed of 1/250 sec. will automatically lower to 1/60 sec.

The top photo was made employing 4X exposure compensation. The bottom photo was made without exposure compensation.

Spotlighted Subjects To prevent overexposure of the main subject resulting from the intensity of spotlighting, it is necessary to reduce the amount of light reaching the film by setting the exposure compensation dial to 1/2 or 1/4.4www.butkus.org

The "1/2" setting reduces the amount of light reaching the film by one-half: Thus a shutter speed of 1/250 is automatically increased to 1/500 sec.

The "1/4" setting reduces the amount of light reaching the film by one-forth: Thus a shutter speed setting of 1/250 is automatically increased to 1/1000 sec.

The top photo was made with 1/4 exposure compensation; exposure compensation was not employed for the bottom photo.


When you wish to include yourself in the picture, mount the camera on a tripod and trip the shutter with the aid of the self timer.

[1] Advance the film and secure precise focus.

[2] Shift the self-timer lever on the front-face of the camera body all the way in the direction of the arrow (see illustration).

[3] Push the self-timer start lever in the direction of the arrow to activate the self-timer. The shutter will be tripped after a delay of approximately 7 seconds.

· When using the self timer for shutter release, slide the rubber eyecup over the viewfinder as illustrated to prevent exposure inaccuracy due to excess light entering through the viewfinder. Then, fold the rubber rim of the eyecup down over the finder.


· If the film advance is incomplete, the self-timer will be activated through manipulation of the self-timer start lever but it will not trip the shutter. In such a case, manipulate the film advance lever to complete the film wind.

· If after activating the self-timer you wish to suspend the self-timer exposure, simply reset the self-timer start lever manually to its original position.

· The magnetic release button will function normally even when the self-timer is charged.


An electronic flash unit greatly aids in making correct exposure for night and indoor photography, and is useful for providing fill-in light for outdoor photography as well. The FR II's accessory shoe is equipped with a direct X contact for X flash synchronization. Only cordless direct X synchronization flash units may be employed.4www.butkus.org

[1] Slide the flash unit firmly into the camera's hot shoe. (There is no hazard of electrical shock as the contact is active only when the unit is properly mounted.)

[2] Set the camera's shutter control dial to the flash synchronization setting.


[3] Focus and then read off the camera-to-subject distance indicated on the distance scale of the lens. The correct f-number to accord with the subject distance may be computed by dividing the flash unit's guide number by that distance. For example, at a distance of 5 meters with a guide number of 20 (ASA 100 in meters), the correct f-number is f/4: GN 20 / 5 (distance in meters) = f/4.

· When the guide number is given in feet, see that the flash-to-subject distance is converted to feet.

· For further details on flash photography refer to the instruction manual for the respective flash unit.

· The Contax RTF 540flash unit with a built-in electromagnetic shutter release can also be employed with the FR II. For operating details, refer to the RTF 540 Instruction Manual.


"B" (Bulb) Exposure
For exposures longer than one second, set the shutter speed control dial at the "B" setting. As the shutter will remain open for as long as the electromagnetic release button is depressed, always use a tripod to prevent camera movement. Use of the Cable Switch (sold as an optional accessory) is also convenient when shooting at the "B" setting.

Release Socket
The electromagnetic shutter system of the FR 11 makes possible use of the camera with various remote release systems and accessories. For such purposes, a release socket is provided to the right of the exposure check button to serve as an auxiliary release and accessory input terminal. The release socket receives the electrical signals for accessories such as the Infrared Controller Set, assorted Cable Switches, the RTF 540 flash unit's integral release system.


In case of infrared ray photography using the infrared ray film in combination with the red filter, focus must be secured in the normal manner and then compensated accordingly in order to obtain sharp images. The Yashica ML and Zeiss T*lenses feature R index permitting ready compensation of focus.

First, secure focus in the normal manner without using the filter. Then, read off the subject distance and align it with the R index. After making this compensation, mount the filter over the lens.4www.butkus.org

· Always use the red filter when attempting infrared ray photography.

· For correct exposure setting, refer to the instructions accompanying the infrared ray film.


When a lens is focused on a given subject, objects in the foreground and background will appear acceptably sharp in the picture. The extent over which all objects will be reproduced acceptably sharp in the picture is called the depth of field.

In the photo taken at f/1.4, the foreground and background objects appear blurred.

The depth-of-field scale on the lens barrel will show the extent of the depth of field at different aperture settings. In case the standard 50 mm lens is stopped down to f/16 and focused at 2 meters, this scale will indicate that all objects within the range of about 1.5 and 3 meters will appear acceptably sharp in the picture.

· With a specific lens, the depth of field varies according to the following;

[1] It increases as you stop down the lens.

[2] It is more extensive in the background than in the foreground.

[3] It is more extensive as you focus on a distant subject.



Your Yashica FR 11 is tested to provide faithful! function in ambient temperature ranging from + 45° to-s° C. In extremely low ambient temperature, however, give utmost precaution to the following matters:

· A battery which may function properly in normal ambient temperature may not provide the required performance in extremely low temperature. If the battery confirmation lamp fails to come on, replace the battery with a new one or use the battery adapter set available as an optional accessory.

· Avoid exposing your camera to excessive temperature fluctuation.

When your camera is brought into a warm room suddenly after exposing it to cold outdoor temperature or vice versa, small droplets of water may accumulate on the internal mechanism. If left in this state corrosion may set in, causing serious malfunctions. Protect your camera from excessive temperature fluctuation as much as possible.

· Do not expose your camera to excessive heat. Never leave it in direct sunlight or in the glove compartment, trunk or on the rear seat shelf of your car. Exposure to excessive heat may adversely affect the film emulsion, battery and/or camera systems and cause exposure inaccuracy. If it is accidentally exposed to heat, leave the camera to cool to normal temperature before attempting to use it.

· Knocks and jolts, as well as exposure to humidity and sea breeze are counted among the common causes of malfunction. To obtain maximum service, take good care of your camera and avoid rough handling.

· Do not keep the shutter charged when your camera is to be left unused over any great length of time. If possible, take the battery out of its compartment.4www.butkus.org

· Never expose your camera to sudden changes in temperature, because the electrical contacts may corrode, thus causing malfunction due to poor electrical contact.

· Before installing the battery in the battery compartment, wipe both ends with a clean, dry cloth. Oily smears on the battery ends may caused poor contact.

· In case your camera is to be left unused over a great length of time, take the battery out of its compartment.

· When going out on a long trip, take along a couple of spare batteries.

· To avoid hazards, do not attempt to dismantle the battery or throw it into an open fire.