Chris's camera pages
Yashica Minister D
Manufactured around 1963, this 35mm rangefinder camera is fitted with a Yashica Yashinon 4.5cm f/2.8 lens in a Copal-SVL shutter (speeds 1 to 1/500 sec, B,M,X , delay action).
The Minister D has an uncoupled CDS exposure meter, which uses a PX-13 or 625 mercury cell, and does not have any read-out visible in the finder. The meter needle is visible on the top of the camera, and measurements are taken while holding the meter button, which is on the back of the top cover.
The EV, or exposure value reading from the meter is then transfered to the shutter by rotating the ring with the red numbers until the required setting is at the top. The shutter speed and aperture setting dials, which are locked together, can then be rotated to the settings that best suit your requirements, probably a faster speed for action shots, or a smaller aperture for a wider depth-of-field for scenic shots.
The viewfinder has parallax correcting frame lines that shift according to the focus setting, and you can see the rangefinder patch in the middle of the frame.
A Minister D was the first 35mm camera I ever owned.
I bought my one back in 1973, it always returned nice sharp pictures, and was a joy to use.
I was tempted away by the allure of SLR cameras, and although I took lots of good photos with my Zenit E, and later my Spotmatic F cameras, it was never as easy to get sharp pictures as it was with the Yashica. Now I put that down to the smooth, and very quiet shutter action in the Yashica, and of course no mirror to flip up out of the way.
The Minister D is a robust camera, and is not especially prone to problems other than those common to all leaf-blade shuttered cameras, sticky shutter blades. I have seen this model more than once however, with a long pin connecting the shutter speed setting ring with the control plate inside the shutter, completely sheared off. This can probably be attributed to someone forcing the shutter speed ring beyond the range of speeds available for the particular selected exposure value.
Get your Minister D repaired