Buying a Yashica Mat 124G

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by EosNoob, Jul 14, 2005.

  1. EosNoob

    EosNoob Member

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    Hi,

    I want to buy a secondhand Yashica Mat 124G. Could you give me tips on how to check if the camera's any good?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. dmr1

    dmr1 Member

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    You could buy mine. :smile: 125.00 includes lens hood and shipping. Everything in perfect order. I bought it several years ago and it just sits on the shelf. Needs a good home. :smile:

    Email me at dsc7072002@yahoo.com if interested.
     
  3. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I have gotten lucky with the two I have purchased. Both sellers thought the meters were not functional. One needed a battery and the other seller didn't know that you need to open the viewing hood to turn on the meter. I guess its just like any other old camera you might buy. They do seem to be pretty stout in my limited experience, however. Much more so than the cheap old rangefinders I was trying to buy.

    By the way, I think that the offer from dmr1 is a good price assuming that it indeed matches his description. The hood is a nice thing to have with this camera. dmr1, I might suggest you consider donating 3% to APUG as is the convention when selling through the site.

    Paul.
     
  4. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    I got mine on ebay a couple of years ago for $55 (with shipping). The person had put it in the wrong catagory and mispelled Yashica. It came in mint (possible unused) condition with case and owners manual.

    I understand that on some of the latest builds the tooling was getting a little worn, so they gearing may not be as tight. So check the film advance carefully. The other thing to expect is that there will be fine specks of oil on the internal lens elements. This is expected. Some people disassemble and clean it themselves (make sure you have the right tools before you even think about it). I sent mine to Mark Hama in Altlanta, GA (www.markhama.com). He worked in the factory building these things and is probably the best tech in the world for them. He charged me $75 for a CLA. Well worth it.

    When you get yours, welcome to the club.

    Steve
     
  5. EosNoob

    EosNoob Member

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    Thanks for the tip. Sending the camera to Mark Hama is no option for me though...I live in The Netherlands...so I'll have to clean the lens elements myself or find a good technician here... Can I see the oil-specs when I shine a light in the lens?
     
  6. EosNoob

    EosNoob Member

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    Thanks for the offer but I'd rather buy a used camera after I have seen it, touched it and inspected it. I can buy one of those camera's for a similar price in my hometown. I'd like to know what to inspect in particular so I can judge if it's a good camera...
     
  7. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    Yes, it looks like a fine misting on the inside of the lens.

    Make sure you have a good set of spanner wrences (nice thin blades). Take good notes and don't force anything. There are a few disassembly instructions that are on websites. I'm at work so I don't have the links handy.

    These are great cameras with very sharp lenses. My wife found the one on ebay for me. She knew I wanted one because it was the camera I first learned photography with. Earlier this year which on a photo shoot, one day I limited myself to only shooting it. Brought back memories. Batteries are the only problems. You need to use Wein cells (which go dead soon and don't work well anyway because the battery compartment is air tight) or get an adapter (a guy in England makes these for about $15). My battery went dead so I used the sunny-16 rule - I enjoyed it even more!
     
  8. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Don't fuss if the light meter doesn't work.

    I've read numerous times that the meter isn't all that accurate. I purchased a handheld Gossen Luna for a song on Ebay and it gives me more info than the camera's meter would.

    I love my 124! In fact, since I'm at the beach (vacation/holiday), I think I'll drag it out and play in the dunes a little...

    Gotta go, now
     
  9. edz

    edz Member

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    The biggest tip: Get a Yashica 124 or (even better unless you need 220 capability) a 12. Better built cameras and (typically) less money.
    Forget the meters they don't work even when they work.
    Check the advance--- this seems to be the weak point of the cameras.
    Check the shutter. As always check the slow speeds. Most good shops have a testing device so they can even check if the shutter speeds are within tolerance or not (and fix them if need be).
    Check the objectives etc. (as with any camera).
    The rest.. well it can only (easily) be tested by running a roll through to confirm that its OK.

    They are good camera.
     
  10. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    My friend David (who is on APUG somewhere) just kept buyand and selling repeatedly until he got a pair of 'mats he really liked. The round-trip cost was near zero, since he could sell for about what he paid.

    I got lucky, bought my first one NEW :smile:

    Mark hama rules.
     
  11. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    I have purchased three of them off E Bay and haven't gotten a bad one yet.
    By all means check the wind mechanism for wear and make sure it operates smoothly.
    I haven't yet found any problem with oil on the shutter leaves, but I have had to clean the back side of the lens and the mirror will probably need to be cleaned. One other word of caution, it you are going to use the self timer mechanism make sure the flash sync. lever set to the X position. If you try using the self timer in the M mode the shutter will jamb.