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Yashica DS-M glass - good as ML?
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PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2023 10:17 am    Post subject: Yashica DS-M glass - good as ML? Reply with quote

Even before Yashica joined with Porsche and Zeiss to create the Contax RTS (Real Time System) it had earned a pretty decent reputation for its lenses and cameras. With the arrival of the Zeiss optics and Yashica's new ML range, its M42 lenses tended to be completely overlooked but there remain some real gems in there. Among some of the best are those of the Auto Yashinon DS-M range - indeed I have yet to find one that is not a great performer.

Seen in the piccie are 3 of its finest: the 24mm f2.8, 50mm f1.4 and the Tomioka 55mm f1.2. Each of these has a ML equivalent with a C/Y mount but I have yet to be able to tell the results apart; indeed, the multi-coating on the DS-M lenses must be very similar to that of the ML range as flare resistance and contrast appear identical.

The addition of the Tomioka name to the 55mm reminds me of one of the other gems from the old M42 days - the Tomioka Yashinon 60mm f2.8 Macro lens. It is simply one of the sharpest lenses I've ever used - it gives the Zeiss S-Planar 60mm f2.8 more than a run for its money. Sadly, the moment you see Tomioka on the bezel of a lens, you can expect to pay a hefty premium, whether truly warranted or not.

The lovely camera seen in the photo with the 3 DS-M lenses is the elegant and sophisticated lump that is the TL Electro X ITS, a camera which in 1971 had almost every bell-and-whistle available. This one is still working beautifully after more than 50 years with only two changes of light seals needed so far. The other piccie shows the Tomioka Yashinon macro lens on board a Contax AX which is a truly amazing combination as not only does the use of the AX turn the 60mm macro into an AF lens, it amplifies the macro ratio way beyond its native 1:1.


PostPosted: Mon May 29, 2023 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have three copies of the Yashinon DS-M 50/1.7 and it is indeed a wonderful lens. Never had a ML to compare but I highly doubt differences are important.