The Yashica Zoomate 165 SE, (also known as the Yashica Zoomate 165 EF apparently), by Kyocera, is a zoom lens point and shoot film camera released, as far as I can work out, around 2001.
This makes it one of the more ‘modern’ point and shoot film cameras, at least as far as compact 35mm film cameras go. I was unable to find a manual for the Zoomate 165 SE, so this review is written mainly from handling the camera.
The first thing that kind-of bugs me – and I appreciate that this is pedantry in the extreme – is the name. Clearly, what Kyocera meant was that it was supposed to be a zoom-mate, but branding it Zoommate obviously looks wrong, I get that. And I also get that it’s not supposed to be a mate that you take with you to the zoo, or even that it is mates with a zoo (even I know that’s going too far). So why call it Zoomate at all? OK, it’s a zoom camera and the marketing people probably wanted people to feel like it was a compact, friendly, easy to use ‘companion’ for photographers. But really, it’s a plastic point and shoot film camera, not a Leica. OK, I realise that it’s time to move on now.
Yashica Zoomate 165 SE Specifications
The Yashica Zoomate 165 SE’s lens has a zoom range from 38mm up to 165mm, with a lens ranging from apertures f6.7 to f13.1. There is an interesting focussing option of either using the five point multi autofocus area, or a central spot focus.
The shutter speed ranges from 2 seconds to 1/300th and there is the usual (for this type of point and shoot film camera) faux panoramic mode. Much like the Ricoh YF-28 Super, when in panorama mode, the camera simulates the view by closing ‘curtains’ at the top and bottom of the viewfinder.
I have a feeling that many camera manufacturers discovered the whole ‘power-saving’ ability at some stage in the 1990s and simply implemented it without too much thought.Irritatingly, in my opinion, like the Fuji DL Super Mini (amongst other compact film cameras), the Yashica Zoomate 165 SE powers itself off after a period of inactivity which. I have a feeling that many camera manufacturers discovered the whole ‘power-saving’ ability at some stage in the 1990s and simply implemented it without too much thought. But, for some people, perhaps this is a welcome feature.
There are the usual flash modes, auto, fill in, red-eye reduction, even a night mode. There is also the ability to switch the flash off, which is always a vote winner with me.
The camera uses DX-codes for film speeds, which range from 100 ISO to a slightly disappointing maximum of 800 ISO. There is no manual override for film ISO speed.
The Yashica Zoomate 165 SE in use
The Yashica Zoomate has a comfortable feel to it. It’s not especially light, but not too heavy either. The viewfinder is large and clear enough – not as small as the Ricoh RZ-728 or Ricoh RZ-735 at least. There is also a dioptre adjustment to the left of the viewfinder. The shutter button is large, which is good, and distinguishes it easily from the various mode adjustment and other settings buttons, which are on the top of the camera. Strangely, to change many of the modes, you have to first switch the camera off, make the mode selection and then turn the camera back on to use the camera in that mode.
And that’s about it. I’m not sure what market this was targeted at, but the Yashica Zoomate 165 SE appears to be a fairly straightforward, if basic, zoom lens point and shoot film camera.