Yashica MG-1

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Lens:     Yashinon 45 mm f/2.8 lens composed of four elements in three groups.  

Shutter: Electronic controlled leaf-type shutter providing continuously variable speeds from 1/500 sec. to 2 sec. approx.; built-in self-timer; direct X contact shoe (shutter speed automatically sets at 1/30 sec. when the Auto Lever is adjusted to 'flash').4www.butkus.org

Exposure Control: Fully automatic CdS 'Top-Eye' exposure control through preselection of exposure symbol (lens aperture); red and yellow exposure indicator arrows in the viewfinder and camera top; EV range from EV2 to 17 (at ASA 100); ASA range from 25 to 800.

Viewfinder: Coupled range/viewfinder with parallax correction marks; image magnification: 0.59X; red and yellow exposure indicator arrows visible through the viewfinder

Focusing:   Focus secured by rotating the focusing ring and superimposing two images in the focusing spot at the center of the viewfinder field; distance scale from 1 meter (3.3 ft) to infinity.

Film Advance: One action film advance lever (180°) advances the exposed frame and charges the shutter multi-slot take-up spool for easy film loading; auto resetting exposure counter; rapid rewind crank-handle.

Power Source: 5.6V mercury battery (Eveready E164 Mallory PX32 or equivalent) 4www.butkus.org    See this link on a Wein Air replacement battery.

Size: 140.5 x 72 x 82 mm



Always use a 5.6V mercury battery (Mallory PX32, Eveready E164 or equivalent).
See this link on a Wein Air replacement battery.

1. Open Battery Compartment Cover on camera base by turning it in the direction of the arrow with the edge of a coin.4www.butkus.org

2. Install battery in Battery Compartment by matching polarity with diagram.  If the polarity is reversed, the indicator lamps will not come on and the shutter will fail to function properly.

3. After installing battery, replace Battery Compartment Cover.


(Always load in subdued light.)

1. To open Back Cover, lift up Film Rewind Knob and pull it out forcibly. As soon as Back Cover opens, Exposure Counter resets automatically to "S" (Start).

2. Place a 35rnm film cassette into film chamber and push down the Film Rewind Knob.

3.1 Insert film leader into Take-up Spool slot and advance film with Film Advance Lever making sure the perforations properly engage the sprocket teeth. Close Back Cover.

4. Take up the film slack in the cassette by turning the Film Rewind Knob slowly in the direction of arrow until it stops.

5. Advance film, then press Shutter Release Button. Repeat until the figure "1" appears in Exposure Counter.

6. Make sure the film is advancing properly. As you advance the film, Film Rewind Knob should rotate counter-clockwise, as illustrated.


Make it a rule to set the ASA film speed immediately after loading the film.

While pressing the ASA Film Speed Setting Lever, set it in alignment with the figure corresponding to the ASA speed rating of the film in use. Make sure that the ASA film speed is set properly, because it is a factor vital to obtaining correct exposure.

ASA Film Speed Rating
ASA speed rating denotes the degree of light sensitivity of the film emulsion. It is clearly specified on the outer box or the instruction sheet which comes with the film.


A bright frame is incorporated in the viewfinder. Make sure that you compose your subject within this bright frame.

When photographing a subject at a range of about one meter, see to it that your subject is placed within the parallax correction mark featured on the bright frame.4www.butkus.org

If this red Exposure Indicator Arrow comes on, over-exposure is indicated.

In the event this yellow Exposure Indicator Arrow comes on, it means that exposure will be made at a slow shutter speed and, therefore, the camera must be held steady.




1. Sight through the Viewfinder and turn the Focusing Ring until the two images in the center focusing area form one clear image. 

2. Compose picture within the bright frame.


Your Yashica MG-1 assures outstanding results in color on automatic mode of operation, regardless of whether the subject is in candlelight dimness or under brilliant sunlight.

1. Turn the Auto Lever and align the index with the 'Auto' setting. This simple step adjusts the camera for fully automatic exposure.

2. Rotate the Aperture Ring and align the required Exposure Symbol with the index.

The following example shows the standard settings when using an ASA 100 film:

3. Give the Film Advance Lever a full wind. In the course of the film wind, a slight click will be heard, indicating that the automatic exposure control has been set to 'standby'.

4. Sight your subject through the viewfinder and press the Shutter Release Button half-way

If the red Exposure Indicator Arrow fails to appear in the viewfinder, correct exposure is indicated. Therefore, depress the Shutter Release Button all the way to trip the shutter.

· The red and yellow Exposure Indicator Arrows are also located on the camera top.4www.butkus.org


The Shutter Release Button serves two purposes. When depressed half-way, it activates the exposure indicator system for effective checking of the exposure. If pressed all the way down, it trips the shutter. The Exposure Indicator Arrows are featured within the viewfinder and on the camera top.

1. When the Exposure Indicator Arrow fails to come on.

Press the Shutter Release Button half-way down. If the Exposure Indicator Arrow fails to appear, go ahead and trip the shutter by pressing the release button all the way down. In this case, correct exposure will be obtained at a shutter speed faster than 1/30 sec.

2. When the Red Indicator Arrow ( >) appears

If the red indicator arrow ( Ad) appears when the Shutter Release Button is depressed half-way, over-exposure is indicated. In this case, rotate the Aperture Ring in the direction of the arrow until the red indicator arrow turns off. If the red arrow fails to go off, mount an ND filter over the lens.

3. When the yellow indicator arrow (< ) appears

It means that correct exposure will be obtained but that the shutter will function at 1/30 sec. or slower speed. Therefore, brace the camera to prevent camera shake. The yellow indicator arrow will come on when shooting night scenes or photographing subjects indoors under subdued light.

Picture-taking precautions when Yellow Indicator Arrow turns on

1. Rotate Aperture Ring in the direction of the arrow. If Yellow Indicator Arrow turns off, it means that hand-held photography can be safely attempted, since the shutter will operate automatically at a speed faster than 1/30 sec. If Yellow Indicator Arrow fails to go off, refer to instruction given below or switch to automatic flash exposure.

2.  If Yellow Indicator Arrow fails to turn off even when Aperture Ring is rotated all the way, mount camera on a tripod or brace it steadily to prevent camera shake.4www.butkus.org


If Exposure Counter shows figure equivalent to exposure-load of film loaded in your camera, do not attempt to forcibly advance the film beyond this point, because the film may tear and rewinding of the film into its cassette may become impossible. Before opening the Back Cover, make sure the film is rewound into the film cassette.

1. Press the Film Rewind Release Button.

2. Fold out the Film Rewind Crank-Handle on top of the Film Rewind Knob and turn it in the direction of the arrow. A slight resistance will be felt when the film pulls off the Take-up Spool, but keep rewinding until the crank-handle rotates freely.

Open the Back Cover and take out the film cassette.

· In case the film fails to advance midway, do not manipulate the Film Advance Lever force fully. Instead, push the Film Rewind Release Button and rewind the film into its cassette.


The Shutter Lock Ring is featured around the Shutter Release Button.

· When the lock ring is set at 'L', the shutter locks, thus preventing it to be tripped even when the Shutter Release Button is depressed.

· When the camera is not in use, make it a rule to reset the Shutter Lock Ring at 'L' or else have the shutter uncharged.

When locked, accidental tripping of the shutter is prevented, thus providing against undue drain of battery power.


If you want to include yourself in the picture, use the Self-Timer and proceed as follows:

1. Advance the film.

2. Move Self-Timer Lever down all the way in the direction of the arrow.

3. Press Shutter Release Button and the shutter will be tripped about 7 seconds later.



Although the basic rule calls for front-lighting of your subject, there are instances where you have no other choice than to shoot backlit or spotlit subjects. In such cases, your main subject will be either under-exposed or over-exposed if automatic exposure is attempted in the normal manner.

· Backlit Subjects

To obtain finer details of the dark areas of your main subject, set the camera's ASA film speed one or two settings below the normal setting. For instance, if an ASA 100 film is in use, set the ASA film speed to either 50 or 25.


· Spotlit Subjects

Automatic exposure in the normal manner will result in over-exposure of your main subject. Make sure the ASA film speed is reset by one or two settings above the normal setting. For instance, if an ASA 100 film is in use, reset the ASA film speed to either ASA 200 or ASA 400. 

· After shooting backlit or spotlit subject by readjusting the ASA film speed always see to it that the ASA Film Speed Setting Lever is returned to its original position.



In case of flash exposure, set the Auto Lever on the camera top at the flash symbol ( ). The shutter will then be set automatically at 1/30 sec. For best results, use an electronic flash unit or flash gun featuring a hot-shoe (direct contact shoe).

1. Mount the electronic flash unit on the camera. As soon as the unit is mounted on the accessory shoe (featuring direct X contact), circuit contact will be established. Make sure it is introduced all the way into the accessory shoe.4www.butkus.org

2. Set the Auto Lever at the flash symbol ( ). When thus adjusted, the shutter speed will automatically be set at 1/30 sec.

3. Secure focus.

4. Read the camera-to-subject distance off the distance scale.

To obtain the correct aperture setting, divide the guide number of the electronic flash unit (or flashbulb) in use by the camera-to-subject distance. The correct aperture setting thus obtained must then be transferred to the camera's aperture ring.

In flash photography, the correct exposure is determined on the basis of the guide number of the electronic flash unit or flashbulb. This guide number is normally indicated on the package or in the instruction manual. To obtain the correct lens aperture, divide the guide number by the subject distance (meters or feet) as shown below (distance in meters).

Guide Number (32)/Subject Distance (2m)= Lens Aperture ( 16)


When the camera lens is focused on a given subject, objects in the foreground and background will appear acceptably sharp in the picture. The area in which objects appear sharply defined is called the depth of field.

Photos on this page were taken by maintaining the same focus (lens focused on the median object). At maximum aperture (f/2.8), the objects in the foreground and background appear blurred. When the lens is stopped down to f/16, however, the same foreground and background objects will appear sharply defined. In other words, the depth of field becomes more extensive as you stop down the lens.

· The depth of field for a given lens aperture can be read off the depth-of-field scale on the lens barrel.  When the lens is focused on a subject at a distance of 2 meters, for example, the depth-of-field scale will show that the extent of the depth of field will be from about 1.4 to 4 meters when the lens is stopped down to f/16. In other words, the extent enclosed by the figure 16 (or the figure equivalent to the aperture setting in use) on both sides of the red index will be the area in which all objects will appear acceptably sharp in the picture (depth of field).4www.butkus.org


Accepts 55mm screw-in type filters. Compensation for filter factor is unnecessary.

Lens Shade Accepts 57mm slip-on type lens shade. Use the lens shade to ward off extraneous reflected light.

Yashica Grip/Tripod ST-7 A versatile accessory, it permits use as a camera grip, chest support, wall support, etc., in addition to its original use as a tripod. It is compact and lightweight and is an invaluable aid in steadying the camera when shooting at a slow shutter speed.

Compact, lightweight electronic flash unit best suited for use with the MG-1

GN 20 (ASA 100 m) GN 14 (ASA 100 m)


· Avoid exposing your camera to excessive heat. Do not leave it under direct sunlight, in the glove compartment or trunk of your car. Excessive heat may affect the film emulsion, mercury battery, as well as the electronic system which may result in failure to deliver correct exposure. If by accident it is left for a considerable length of time in hot places, leave the camera for some time in a well ventilated spot to cool before using it.

· Do not wipe the lens surface with your handkerchief. Clean the lens occasionally by using a lens brush.

· The most common causes of breakdown of a camera are exposure to humidity or saline wind and knocks or jolts. Do not subject your camera to rough handling. It will give you a life-time of faithful service if handled properly.

· Before the camera is to be left unused, trip the shutter. Always see that the camera is stored with its shutter uncharged.