The Camera Site

Kyocera Corporation, Japan


Yashica Samurai X 4.0 (1988)

Just imagine, this wonderful Samurai jumped to my hands one sunny summer day. ... There has to be a connection with my good neighbor P.P. because I do not especially believe in miracles.

Samurai X4.0 is a compact, auto-focus single-lens-reflex camera equipped with a 4x zoom lens. In addition to its several novel features it has one rarity. It is a half-frame camera sometimes known as a single-frame or split-frame camera. Compared with the ordinary negative size (24x36) on appropriate 35mm film this takes 17x24 mm negatives. Let us say, kind of APS of the past. The focusing, exposure and film advancing are strictly automatic. There were both left-hand and right-hand versions made. Unfortunately half-frame format was not widely supported by the developing labs. "Hand Made" photos became too expensive and that definitely diminished the popularity of Samurai.

This camera has a provision for automatic exposure compensation to let you take beautiful pictures even in backlight so it can compensate exposure automatically by comparing the brightness in the entire picture frame and the central area so that the main subject is correctly exposed. Exposure compensation is achieved by either TTL spot metering or daylight flash, which is switched as required.


Type: Compact 35 mm auto-focus SLR camera with
zoom lens, fully automatic operation.
Negative Size: 17x24 mm
Lens: Zoom lens 25—100 mm F3.8—4.8(14
elements in 12 groups).
Shutter: Programmed electronic shutter (3—1/300
sec). Electromagnetic release.
Exposure Control: Programmed automatic
Metering System: TTL center-weighted light
metering with SPD cell, automatic switchover to spot
metering. Metering Range: EV 3—18 (ISO 100)
Film Speed: Automatic film speed setting with DX
films of ISO 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200.
For other DX films with intermediate ISO ratings, the
film speed is set to a lower ISO number; for non-DX
films and DX films with speeds lower than ISO 50, the
film speed is automatically set to ISO 100.
Auto-focus System: TTL phase difference
detection. Focusing is effected by depressing the
shutter release halfway; green lamp turns on when
the subject is in sharp focus. Auto-focus Sensing
Range: EV 3—18 (ISO 100).
Focusing Range: 0 8 moo.
Focus Lock: Focus is locked by depressing the
shutter release halfway after the lens is focused on
the subject (except for continuous shooting).
AE Lock: Exposure is locked by depressing the
shutter release halfway after the lens is focused on
the subject (except for continuous shooting).
Exposure Compensation: Automatic exposure
compensation for backlighted subjects; provided with
automatic daylight flash capability.
Electronic Sound: Electronic beep sounds when
the lens is focused on the subject (except for
continuous shooting) and while the self-timer is
Viewfinder: Single-lens-reflex viewfinder with
provision for diopter adjustment (+ 1D-- 4D), field
of view ... 83%, magnification ... 0.53X—2X(at infinity).
Display in Viewfinder: Focusing frame, sharp-focus lamp (turns on when the subject is in sharp focus, and blinks when focusing is not possible), flash indicator lamp (turns on to indicate that the flash will fire automatically, and blinks while the flash is charging).

Display Panel: Displays automaticflash activation mode, night scene mode, slow-shutter synchro-flash mode, on-demand flash mode, exposure counter, continuous shooting mode, self-timer shooting mode, continuous three-frame self-timer mode, quintuple exposure mode, battery check mark, film transport/rewind mark, date display, date print confirmation mark.
Film Advance: Automatic film advance with built-in motor, auto loading, automatic first frame positioning, continuous shooting up to max. 2 frames/sec. (not including the time for auto focusing; according to our testing standards). Film Rewinding: Auto-return, auto-stop; film can be rewound in the middle of a roll with manual rewind button.
Exposure Counter: Automatic resetting, additive type, counts up to 99.
Multiple Exposure: Continuous 5 exposures on a single frame is possible with drive button. Self-timer: Quartz-controlled electronic self-timer with about 10-sec. delay; provided with self-timer lamp; cancelable after it was once started. Flash: Flashmatic system interlocked with zoom operation, 0.8—3 m shooting range (ISO 100), about 3.5 sec. recycle time (with new lithium battery, at normal temperature; according to our testing standards). Slow-shutter synchro-flash and daylight flash shooting with mode button. Accessory Shoe: Direct X contact (with direct synchro contact).
Power Source: One 6-volt lithium battery (2CR5) for camera operation; built-in lithium backup battery. A 6V lithium battery provides power for exposing about 700 frames (50% with flash; at normal temperature; according to our testing standards). Battery Check: Battery check mark blinks when battery power is low.


Number of Pictures Taken: This camera lets you take the following number of frames on a roll of film: 12-exposure film ... 24 frames; 24-exposure film ... 48 frames; 36-exposure film ... 72 frames. Dating Unit: Built-in quartz clock with liquid crystal display; date and time up to the year 2020 can be printed; dating modes ... year-month-day, day-hour-minute, no print, month-day-year, day-month-year; automatic correction of date and time. Filter Size: <j>52 mm (screw-in). Dimensions: 73.5 (W)x 125 (H)x 146(D) mm Weight: Camera ... 690 g (without battery) 6V lithium battery (2CR5)... about 40 g

  Samurai X4.0 manual.pdf/4,14Mt

A peek to a Samurai Culture

"One who is a samurai must before all things keep constantly in mind…the fact that he has to die. If he is always mindful of this, he will be able to live in accordance with the paths of loyalty and filial duty, will avoid myriads of evils and adversities, keep himself free of disease and calamity and moreover enjoy a long life. He will also be a fine personality with many admirable qualities. For existence is impermanent as the dew of evening, and the hoarfrost of morning, and particularly uncertain is the life of the warrior…" (Hagakure,18´th century)

Perhaps one of the most fascinating arts that has come to be linked with the samurai is the tea ceremony. Thoroughly refined and thoughtful and yet evolved through such troubled times. Complicated and yet utterly simple, at once straightforward and deep. In many ways it is a metaphor not only for the samurai ideal but also for the land of Japan itself. It attests that samurai culture is no only for the warriors of war, it is also the signpost for the warriors of life. Maybe it´s not as fascinating but the truth is that the battle of a man takes place mostly on the fields of the ordinary life.

©2007 Reijo Lauro