If the Yashica FX-3 Super 2000 isn't on your radar for mechanical 35mm cameras, it should be. This SLR is the definition of elegant essentials with no frills.
Starting with the shutter itself, the Super 2000 features a vertical metal-bladed mechanical focal plane shutter with speeds up to 1/2000th. Even though it has an exposure meter with a 3-LED readout in the viewfinder, the camera doesn't relay on its batteries to operate. That's because the shutter has a classic all-mechanical design. So regardless of where you are, you can depend on the Super 2000 to fire.
The self-timer is designed to also serve as mirror lock-up. So if you want a vibration free shot, enable the timer. The mirror will flip up and a few seconds later the shutter will fire. The Super 2000 accepts a traditional plunger styled cable release that threads into the shutter release button.
If you use a compatible Yashica or Contax flash, you will see the ready indicator in the viewfinder, along with the red/green exposure LEDs.
The FX-3 Super 2000 is a handsome camera with black finish and leatherette. It weighs only a pound and sports a compact design. It accepts both Yashica and Contax/Zeiss bayonet mount lenses.
The light meter is powered by readily available LR-44 button batteries. You set the shutter speed, look through the viewfinder, and rotate the aperture ring until the green light appears. The red LEDs above and below the green one indicate over and under exposure.
You can find the Super 2000 with Yashica 50mm lens on the used market for $45-$95. Because it's so light and dependable, it's the perfect analog companion for your digital gear while exploring far away places, or your own backyard. (For a super compact travel companion, add the Contax/Zeiss 45mm f/2.8 pancake Tessar lens.)
Camera Highlights: Fast, all mechanical shutter, lightweight, compact size, dependable performance, good looks, affordable price, accepts Zeiss lenses.
Nits include: No depth of field preview, doesn't accept an accessory winder.
Overall rating: 4 click-stops out of 5.