My First Yashica TLR!

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by camperbc, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Hi all,

    I have just acquired a truly lovely Yashica 635 after a lengthy and exhausting search for one in pristine condition. I have noticed however, that the dial knobs (aperture/shutter control wheels) don't appear to be original. I believe they are genuine Yashica, just not the right ones for this model; is this correct? Perhaps someone can shed some light on this... were these black plastic radials ever standard equipment on a 635? If they are not original, how difficult would it be to find the correct knobs? Silver ones would look sooooo much nicer! Or would I in fact have to buy another 635 to swap the parts? (Yikes!) Perhaps someone on this fine forum has extra knobs they might consider selling?

    I am assuming that a lens hood is quite essential. Are the generic (ie Ebay) plastic ones a fairly suitable substitute, or am I better to pay a rather princely sum to get the real deal? (keeping in mind the fact that my fixed disability pension prevents me from being in the same league as Thurston Howell III)

    This camera did not come with a case, and after pricing some online, I am admittedly getting a bit worried. My gosh, I saw some cases for over $200! Any and all advice/tips/suggestions regarding my beautiful new camera would be very much appreciated. This is all very new to me. If there are sources out there for things like dial knobs, cases, filters, hoods, etc, perhaps some of you can pass this info on to me.

    As you can well imagine, I am very anxious to start shooting with this gem of a camera. As it is not yet even in my possession, I can only hope that it is mechanically as pristine as its appearance. (I have been assured that yes, it is indeed mechanically mint... though we all know that this may be wishful thinking) I should have it in my hands within a week or so, and I'll report back with my findings. In the meantime, any things in particular that I need to look for?

    Finally, I wonder what is considered a fair price for a camera like this. Assuming that it is mechanically fine, what would one generally expect to pay for this? (I paid about $100; included was a complete 35mm kit, hand grip, manuals, original lens cap, cable release, and some other odds and ends)

    Thanks,
    Glen


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  2. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    For the lens hoods, the cheapo plastic ones work well (I used them on a yashica D that I had). IMO a hood is a must.
     
  3. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    Any square hood in the Rollei/Yashica Bayonet I size will fit. I think $100 is a really good price for a mechanically sound 635, especially if it includes the 35mm kit, which is usually missing.
    Here's a sample listing for a suitable hood, priced too high in my opinion:
    http://www.camera-depot.com/TLR.htm
    I agree with ColdEye about a hood being necessary. Some patient searching on eBay will probably turn up one at a better price.
    I had a 635, fine camera, wish I still had it. As long as they work right, I wouldn't care about those black aperture/speed wheels. But that's just me.
     
  4. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    As long as the knobs correctly rotate the proper wheel on the camera I would leave well enough alone. Messing with it might cause more problems than it would fix. As long as the motion is relatively smooth LEAVE IT ALONE !!!!
    LOGAN
     
  5. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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  6. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    Pretty knobs? - If they work and you can make pix with it just use it

    What you really need for this camera is film, lots of film and lots of paper and developer and a tripod, L/hood and YG filter
     
  7. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Plastic hood is 100% fine. No difference, as long as it's opaque, fits, and shades the lens. I use one on my 124.

    Case is totally not necessary. I got one with mine, removed it, tossed it in the closet, and haven't seen it since. I got a nice little bag made for the digital folks that neatly holds the camera, my Luna-Pro SBC and all the accessories I normally carry plus film. It's the smallest bag in my set of bags except for my digisnapper, and the camera lives in that.

    Enjoy. If it's as good as the 124 you'll love it. I love mine.
     
  8. Laurent

    Laurent Subscriber

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    Congratulations !

    When I want to travel light, I use a Nova Micro, which can carry my rolleiflex (worked as well with my Yashica some years ago ;-) ) plus some filters and a meter.

    As Roger, I got rid of the case almost immediately and never regretted it.
     
  9. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Quite sick with the flu at the moment, but just wanted to post a quick thank-you for your kind replies. Very informative, thanks! More later.
    Glen
     
  10. moto-uno

    moto-uno Subscriber

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    If your spring is any thing like it is here on the west coast,a lens hood is a bit of a waste.I've
    got three YashicaMats and have fine pictures without the hood,keeping in mind that I don't shoot
    into the sun.I'm with the others here concerning the knobs,if they're secure,leave them be.
    Regards,Peter
     
  11. OliMonster

    OliMonster Member

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    Some of my best pics have come from my 635 with 35mm. $100 sounds fair, I paid £70 for mine with hood, UV filter, never-ready case and a case for the hood. I rarely use the hood, the spring holding it in place has gone a bit mushy so I'm always scared it'll fall off before I get around to fixing it, and it sits slightly squint anyway. I've never really had a problem without it. The camera case has never been used, it's sturdy enough to be slung over my shoulder as it is with a broad strap. Don't use a narrow one, they weigh a tonne... If you're really after a bag for it, though, the Manfrotto Bella V is absolutely made for them. If you play it right, the divider with the red flap (if you look at one you'll see what I mean) holds 6 film canisters, the middle one is perfectly sized for the camera itself, and I keep the 35mm kit and the hood in their respective cases in other end section. Well worth a look at.

    Shooting wide open on 120 can give some slightly softer edges on the earlier Yashikor 3-element lenses like mine, but that's gone after a couple of stops, and with 35mm it's not a concern because the worst of it never sees the negative anyway. Yashinon 4-element lenses are, by all accounts, a tad sharper. If you use 35mm, I hope you like portrait, they're a pain to turn sideways...

    As for the knobs... Wouldn't be unknown for a manufacturer to use something up and start putting in bits from other models. Just a thought, I could be talking rubbish.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2012
  12. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Well, it took quite awhile to get here, but I'm happy to report that my Yashica 635 with the unusual black control knobs finally arrived in today's mail! It was packaged very well, and is in absolutely perfect condition. It really is flawless; both lenses, screen, leatherette, chrome, everything looks just like new. The dials, focus, everything is so silky-smooth; not so much as a speck of dust, haze or cleaning marks in the lens. I have tested all shutter speeds and find them accurate. It really is a gorgeous camera.

    Unfortunately, it could be another week or two before my film arrives from the USA. (I have to date been unsuccessful in finding affordable 120 here in Canada) I have a lovely new hand-stitched leather strap on order, and once my film arrives I'll be using this beauty to capture my Fogo Island (Newfoundland) landscapes.

    As this is indeed my very first Yashica TLR, you can imagine my excitement when I opened the parcel to discover that it truly is as perfect as the seller had described! I want to thank everyone for your interest in my camera, and Paul from RFF, for offering to help with the mystery of the unusual control knobs. Seems some are liking the idea of it having the rare control wheels. The camera was not even yet in my hands, but I was getting offers right and left to buy it, including someone who offered far more than I paid, while another simply said "name your price"! But I think I will be keeping it for a long time!

    Thanks again,
    Glen
     
  13. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Glad to hear all is in order! The real test is with film though! =]

    My first TLR was also a Yashica, very nice cameras indeed.
     
  14. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Thanks Newt! Here are a few nicer photos of it, taken last night.

    Glen

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  15. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Except for the adjustment knobs, looks like my camera. Takes wonderful environmental portraits with that 80mm lens on 135 film. A bit on the soft side contrast wise. Still overall, a nice camera.

    tim in san jose
     
  16. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    My first TLR was a Yashica D purchased in 1969. You may think it heavy, but really it's a light weight compared to my Mamiya C-330 w/prism finder. I've since owned several Yashica TLR's until just recently. Your 635 is a D with provision to adapt 35mm film for a cool effect. Did yours come with the adapter set for 35mm film??
     
  17. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    A Yashica TLR heavy? Not unless your comparison is a P&S digisnapper or a 110 or Minox or something.

    Mine is lighter than most of my 35mm cameras by the time I add the zoom I'm normally using on the latter, and in an entirely different league from my Mamiya 645Pro with its AE prism and winder grip, while shooting a bigger negative. (Of course, with fixed lens, not interchangeable backs, rudimentary meter at best etc. TANSTAAFL.)

    One of the things I like so much about the Yachica is that it's so easy to carry around and use.
     
  18. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Nice camera, thanks for posting.
     
  19. camperbc

    camperbc Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone! Yes, it came with the 35mm kit.
    Glen
     
  20. mr rusty

    mr rusty Subscriber

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    I have a 635 as well which I really like.

    Don't forget NEVER try and use the timer with the X-M lever in the M position - the shutter will jam requiring dismantling.

    I cut a little plastic piece out of a film can so that it clips in behind the lever and keeps it in the X position - its easy to knock otherwise.

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