Yashica ML Lenses
Generally – The Yashica ML lens range are pretty decent performers for the prices they reach on eBay. They are generally not quite up to the same level as Zeiss, as a family they also have a cooler colour rendering plus a slight tendency to veiling flare. My experience has also been that they are more likely to suffer from fungus. That said I like them and have highlighted a few below;
Yashica ML 21mm f/3.5 One of Yashica’s very best. It’s sharp enough but does have a cool rendering and slight veiling flare. As with most wides it’s best a couple of stops down from wide open.
Yashica ML 24mm f/2.8 This Yashica wide has a pretty good reputation and I like the 24mm focal length. When one came up for a good price I didn’t hesitate and I can report that it’s… OK. Sharpness almost on a Par with the Zeiss 25/2.8 i.e. good in the centre but corners never really get biting sharp on my A7r. Typical cool rendering, So I moved it on and still have the Distagon.
Yashica ML 50mm f/1.4 Much like the 24 – slightly softer than the Zeiss and Cooler. In this case the price differential makes the ML lens a decent alternative.
Yashica ML 100mm f/3.5 Macro Another lens with a terrific reputation. Genuinely sharp but doesn’t quite have the pop and warmth of the Zeiss 100/3.5. Also one of the best built Yashicas.
Yashica ML 28-50mm f/3.5 Excellent, setting aside the limited range, this lens has no real vices sharpness to the corners is good – clearly better than the ML 24mm/2.8 at all apertures and focal lengths. Great build too.
Yashica ML 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 Approach with caution, while this lens has a good reputation I have found it impossible to find a copy without haze, fungus or other issues. I have now had 3 without finding a good copy.
Yashica ML 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 A strong performer with film, I have used this lens as my main lens for trips away and fond it very capable with the ability to give good 3d rendering at closer distances. Cheaper than the 28-85 and more likely to be usable.