I didn’t know much about Yashica SLRs from the 1970s until I came across one this beauty in a thrift store. Cosmetically the camera is perfect and I don’t think it had much use. After validating it functioned, I paid the forty bucks and brought it home. On retrospect I probably paid about the average price for a retail location, but on EBay these can be found for 20-30 bucks. Realistically forty dollars for a fully functional, metered manual, SLR is a fine deal. The TL Electro-X utilizes the common M42 lens mount so quality lenses are easy to find from many manufacturers. The 50mm Yashinon-DS that came with the camera produces great results, and my superb 50mm or 135mm Pentax Super-Takumar lenses can also be used. The metal focal plane shutter provides speeds from 2 seconds to 1/1000 plush Bulb for long exposure, and flash X-sync at 1/90. The TTL CdS exposure system works correctly and is accurate within a half stop. There is a battery check button, mirror lockup, self-timer, hotshoe, pc sync terminals for X and FP flash sync, and DOF preview.
Like the superior Pentax Spotmatic the CdS metering system in the TL Electro-X is engaged by pushing down a lever on the right side of the lens mount. Correct exposure is indicated in the viewfinder with red arrows signifying under or over exposure. Turn the aperture dial on the lens or the shutter speed dial on the top of the camera in the appropriate direction to turn off the arrow(s). This lever doubles as the DOF preview. Ensure the lens indicator under the lens barrel is set to ‘A’ so the diaphragm remains wide open for metering, push all the way down on the Meter/DOF lever to get the correct depth of field through the viewfinder for the aperture setting currently selected on the lens.
Film is loaded by pulling down on the release lever on the left side of the camera to open the back. The ISO/ASA selector is located on the shutter speed dial. I personally think this is an underrated SLR. It has plenty of features, is solidly built, and accepts a huge array of available M42 lenses either by Yashica (about twenty) or many other manufacturers. Other accessories include extension tubes and bellows, right-angle viewfinders, and more.