Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/01/22

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Subject: [Leica] Re: Yasuhara T-981
From: Jim Brick <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 15:04:18 -0800
References: <>

>It is the rather poor build quality of the Yasuhara camera that lets it
>down.  Like many, I had high hopes for it, and I was especially keen to see
>its 1.0x finder. The reality is rather grim though:
>On receiving my camera, the shutter release was jammed.  After releasing the
>shutter the release button stayed down and refused to pop up.  A drop of
>WD40 did the trick.  Next, the advance lever refused to spring back.  After
>firing the shutter and advancing the camera for about 1,000 times, while
>sitting in front of the TV, things got slightly better.
>Next, the self timer was very loose, as if it were to drop off the camera
>any time.  Yasuhara assured me that it was within spec.  The rangefinder was
>out both horizontally and vertically.  My good friend Shintaro Yaginuma (of
>black paint Leica fame) rectified this.
>I have also been warned that, since the shutter of the Yasuhara is based on
>an SLR, and there is now no reflex mirror in front of it, the shutter is
>prone to light leakage.  Since I have not been able to put a film in the
>camera (the back is jammed shut) I cannot confirm the leakage.
>The Yasuhara is made in China, and as with many 'foreign' goods made there,
>you get knock offs made by the same factory!  I have certainly seen many
>otherwise identical, but unbranded T-981 in China for a fraction of the cost
>of the real thing.
>To sum up, and much as I have said before, the T-981 was a great idea that
>had been executed poorly.


A couple of years ago, after hearing about the Yasuhara T-981 design and
how it was to be manufactured, looking at the early web information and
pictures, I commented about how it was probably going to be equal to a
Petri purchased at a military PX. And that repair service, which it would
undoubtedly need often, would be unobtainable. I was voicing my opinion
from the facts that were available.

I was told that Yasuharasan was the consummate engineer and the Yasuhara
T-981 would be equal to any Leica. That it would be solid. A masterpiece.

I was chastised unmercifully. Can you believe that... on the LUG?

But too bad... I told you so!


ps... Petri's, however, did work.  :-b

In reply to: Message from S Dimitrov <> (Re: [Leica] Yasuhara T-981)