Cheapish metered TLR

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by msbarnes, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

    Messages:
    385
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    one of my friends wants a metered TLR so I was thinking Yashica.

    1. Is this the best metered option (for the price)?
    2. What is the difference between the 124 and 124g?
    3. What is the approximate cost?
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,418
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Finding a Yashica with a still functioning meter is at best, difficult. I dont trust the meters in them due to their age. I always use a hand held meter with my Yashicamat(non-metered version) or use sunny 16 rule.I have a metered porro-finder for my Mamiyas that is accurate, I trust it and always hit the proper exposure.
    If I were to choose between the 124 and the G models, it would be the plain 124. The 124G has plastic innerds and is prone to early failure, while the 124 is all metal gearing, and better made. The G stands for gold, they used gold plating on the electrical contacts is all.
     
  3. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Location:
    NC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Finding TLRs with accurate meters is a long and trifling journey. You can have two of three: Cheap, meter works, everything else works.

    I'd either go with a non metered TLR and just use another camera to meter if necessary, or find another outfit. You can easily get 6x4.5 cameras with operational metering prisms (Mamiya 645 pro, Bronica SQ, etc.). You just miss out on the extra 1.5 centimeter, and get and extra two or three shots to boot.
     
  4. snay1345

    snay1345 Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2009
    Location:
    Joshua Tree
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a Yashicamat 124g which the meter works great on. If you know what you are doing you can go into where the meter assembly is at and adjust it if you need to.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,034
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use a Yashica 124 when I'm in Turkey, what surprised me was the meter was quite accurate, I did need to clean the meter's contacts as intitially it was intermittent. Like Rick A I prefer the 124 to the 124G.

    Ian
     
  6. antmar

    antmar Member

    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Location:
    Athens Greece
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1 My 124G meter works and it's quite accurate.
     
  7. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,533
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Yashica 124Gs light meter has gold electrical contacts.
     
  8. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

    Messages:
    385
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    what is the advantage of gold contacts?
     
  9. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

    Messages:
    385
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Last time I checked, I believe that the meters were the same technology (CDS). I didn't really understand the advantages of 124G. I too have heard that the 124's were built better and a better value because most people go for the latest cameras made. And is this the only affordable TLR with cds metering?
     
  10. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

    Messages:
    670
    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Location:
    Missouri, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The gold contacts are supposed to be less prone to corrosion.

    Sent from my AT100 using Tapatalk 2
     
  11. Yashinoff

    Yashinoff Member

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm
    By the time people became convinced that having a meter built into the camera was an essential necessity, there weren't really that many companies left in the TLR game... Just get a hand held meter which is more versatile and less awkward to use. Then you can use the same meter with any manual camera.
     
  12. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Location:
    NC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Or if you're like me and find it hard to shell out 100+ for a lightmeter, find a well calibrated SLR for as little as possible, or use one you already have. It's a little clunky, but if you absolutely need a meter, it'll do in a pinch. Obviously only works for standstill shots.
     
  13. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2003
    Location:
    Portugal
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use a 124, the meter works great using an earing aid battery (1,4volts), it has a strange internal flare issue that can be easely solved using d-c-fix self adhesive velvet tipe material that´s excellent to improve internal flare issues (also in other cameras... i used it in a deardorff, a burke and james and even in a recent shen hao and toyo and the flare was visibly lowered, i also use it in all LF lens boards!).

    The lens, before the flare correction seemed more vulgar and i thought i had a bad example of the tessar copy.

    After covering the film chamber walls i imediatly saw a huge improvment!

    great camera although!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

    Messages:
    385
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well this is for a friend. I personally would get a Rollei, and I do have Rolleis but when it comes to meters, camera preferences change.

    He is a serious digital shooter and has a handheld meter. He was impressed by my 120 images and wants a 120 TLR. However, he has never used a camera that does not have a built in meter. I imagine he wants to use this as a "point and shoot" so carrying a meter is a bit of a hassle, to him. I'm not so much a digital shooter but I don't feel like digital shooters carry external meters for casual shooting so this idea might seem weird to him. Yeah, 120 is a different style of shooting (slower paced, usually) but this is something that he will figure out himself.

    I told him that meters aren't that accurate and they add a premium to the price. He asked how I metered, and I told him that I just incident and oftentimes guess, and hardly ever screw up my negatives but he wants a meter and is willing to pay more. He asked if he thought he can get one with a working meter for under $500 and I told him that 1/2 of that, is probably too much. I figured Yashica is probably the best bet since they were in the game later than other non-rollei manufacturers. And with meters I figured that younger is better and hence 124 and 124g.

    Another possible option is a vc meter. I looked online and it looks like the yashica's have a cold shoe? Again, the built in meter is something that he wants and he is willing to pay more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2012
  16. EKDobbs

    EKDobbs Member

    Messages:
    124
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Location:
    NC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can find TLRs with working meters, but you're right, you pay for it. That, and buying film equipment online can be a real pain. They may say the meter works but then the mirror is crap and the gears need CLA. I'd keep an eye on the classifieds if I were him, and maybe ask around a local used camera store, because the only real way to know that it works is to hold it ;D
     
  17. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,959
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is he shooting slide film? If not using his hand held meter and adjusting by opening a stop or two for scenes in the shade should be easy if using as a "point and shoot". Plus using your head and getting used to adjusting and thinking of scenes as differing stops greatly improves your photography in my opinion. I have a few Rolleiflexes with working meters but other than referencing them as I'm heading out, and maybe once or twice later if light conditions change radically, I'm doing adjustments in my head and applying it to the aperture or speed on the fly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2012
  18. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

    Messages:
    706
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have two very good meters - an Ikophot and a Leningrad - that each cost me £5.00 on Ebay.
     
  19. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

    Messages:
    755
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    For the price, yes.

    The 124G has a reputation for having some plastic gears and other parts where the 124 has metal. And the 124G is a butt-ugly monstrosity while the 124 maintains some grace of the older TLR look... well, I guess that's a matter of opinion :smile:

    They will go for $150 to $350. For $350, you can get an overhauled 124/G from Mark Hama where everything will be working well. Short of that, be patient and you'll find something that works well.

    I'll echo what others have said about the internal meter. If you let go of that as a requirement a whole world of wonderful TLRs opens up to your friend. But if an internal meter is what will get him using the camera, that is the way to go.
     
  20. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

    Messages:
    959
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Some late-model Minolta Autocords have CdS meters. I don't know what batteries they need or whether the meters can still be repaired. But it might be worth asking around to find out, because the Autocord is otherwise a really nice camera.
     
  21. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,269
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    France
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1 for the comment on look. The G is all black and not as cute as the "non G" 124.

    My 124 was accurate enough for B&W film, and a very nice camera (don't ask me why I sold it please)
     
  22. RobertoMiglioli

    RobertoMiglioli Member

    Messages:
    69
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Location:
    São Paulo, B
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I think that have a built-in meter is a great deal. I don´t like handheld meters, they are chunky and its one more thing to carry and take care. I use it only when the camera doesn´t have one. Or I use Sunny 16.

    I had once a Yashica MAT that I bought at an used furniture store (no kidding). The camera was covered in dust and clean it cost me more than I paid for it (was really cheap). Although the camera was 40 years old the selenium meter was working perfectly.
     
  23. artobest

    artobest Member

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    South Wales
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Since the metal parts in Yashicamats were often stamped, I don't see the practical difference in having metal or quality nylon gears in the 124G - it still works well, is generally newer (obviously) and the meters, when working, do the job - apart from the fact that the ASA dial is small and somewhat imprecise. Also, IMO the black case is less a Rollei clone and all the better for it.
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,533
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's true, also gold is an excellent conductor of electricity.
     
  25. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,390
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Rural NW MO
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Yashica-mat 124 seems to have almost cult status and price. Consider the older Yashica-mat LM. However, a handheld meter may almost as practical, and more reliable.
     
  26. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,470
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If we are talking about non-photovoltaic meters then as far as I know the choice is between the Rollieflex FX and the Yashica 124(G). I'd go for the Rolleiflex FX.