Value of the 635?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ChristopherCoy, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I'm looking at a Yashica 635 TLR with the 35mm adapter, mask, original leather carrying case, original manual, and a Focal brand flash attachment. The asking price is $100, which I'm comfortable with.

    But, I've watched these on eBay for more than a few months now, and I've seen them go for as low as $45, and as high as $250. Even parts cameras sometimes go for $50 or more. In addition collectiblend.com lists them as about $100 for average condition, and mint condition being closer to $250.

    Since I've never used a Yashica TLR, when I inspect the camera are there any specific things that I should look at to assess its true value? It seems to have a few extra knobs that I'm not familiar with, so I'll be heading over to Butkus' site to check out the manual. I'll check the overall condition, and shutter speeds if I can figure it out, as well as the lens quality.

    Were these things built pretty sturdy?
     
  2. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I think the 635 has the 3 element taking lens rather than the 4 tessor type found on some D and the upper end Mats such as the 124. Given that the camera you are looking at is complete $100 seems like a good price. Stopped down to F 8 you will get a fair image. I had a 635 years years ago, like mid 70's, found it in a pawn shop. Got rid of it as my Nikon with 105 lens was much better than the 635 80mm, and my Yashica's Ds and 124 were better in 6X6.
     
  3. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Yashica TLRs aren't as durable as Rolleis, but can made good images, especially with the four element Yashinon lens. Earlier Yashikor three element lenses are reputed to be softer at wide apertures. It is said that some Yashikor lenses are actually the better four element Tessar design like the Yashinon. There seems to be almost a cult status with high prices on the later 124 series of Yashicas. I consider the older ones to be more cost effective. Careful shopping on ebay might be better than paying $100 for the 635.
     
  4. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I'm going to be able to inspect this one in person before I buy it. Its being sold locally.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Bear in mind that you may need to get the shutter serviced. I bought a 124 off this forum a few years ago and it cost me about 2/3rds what I'd paid for the camera for a CLA, however it was worth it.

    I love using my Yashicamat they are fun and easy to use quickly, I don't need to be as precious with it as my Rolleiflex so I don't bother with a case. Unless the 635 is a very good price you might be better waiting for a 124 or similar with a Yashinon lens.

    Ian
     
  6. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I really only wanted it to shoot 35mm with since it has the adapter. I know I could do the same with any one of my box cameras, but this sounded like more fun - and it would look nice in my display cabinet.

    But I guess if I dont really need it, I could buy $100 worth of film instead!
     
  7. DSLR

    DSLR Member

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    I payed $120 for mine, but it was in mint condition. It did not come with the adapter though (wouldn't bother shooting 35mm with a medium format camera). They're built pretty well, but the plastic window that covers the shutter speed and aperture display can break off very easy and fall inside your camera, so be careful with that. Cleaning the focus screen is a bit of a hassle since it's held down with four little screws.
     
  8. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    Hi Christopher, when you go to check out the camera, check out the M/X Sync lever - if it's jammed upwards on the M it means someone's made the mistake of using the self-timer while it was at M instead of X - that's one expensive fix, from what I've read.
    Also, take along a roll of 120 backing paper (still attached to the spool) and a take up spool. It will give you a chance to run the camera through it's paces without wasting film and be able to check that the frame counter is working and the film is advancing as it should. My Yashica D is exactly the same as the 635, minus the ability to use the 35mm adapter so, to the best of my knowledge, it works in the same fashion. One thing I forgot about when I first got my camera was that, in order to wind film on, you need to depress the silver button on the winding knob every time. I honestly thought the camera was toast until I remembered that little factoid!

    Having said all of this, you're receiving this "advice" from a girl who has had her hands on her very first Yashica TLR and very first medium format camera for LESS than 48 hours! I did do a LOT of reading, though, and the second TLR I got at the same time (a Yashica-Mat) has both problems mentioned above - M/X sync stuck, crank only intermittently winds on film.... but VERY pretty to look at!)

    By the way, since I didn't put in an order for 120 film until I knew I had at least one working camera for it, I wound in a strip of 35mm film onto a 120 spool with old backing paper and shot that yesterday - worked like a charm and, unlike the 635's 35mm adapter, this exposes the sprocket holes as well. So, if the 635 doesn't measure up, you can shoot 35mm in any 120 camera doing what I did.

    Hope the camera turns out to be in good working order for you. I would pay a hundred dollars for a usable Yashica TLR if I had my chance to get my hands on it and inspect it first without hesitation. With regard to how sturdily they're built, while I have nothing to compare them to, I do find it a very solid build. Apparently, the later 124G have a fair number of plastic components in them, whereas all of the earlier ones are all metal.

    Good Luck!

    Molli
     
  9. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    So the 635 doesn't expose the sprockets? I wonder if I used the adapter without the mask if it would work?

    I'm going look at it tomorrow.
     
  10. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    According to a post from Dan Daniel elsewhere on the boards, leaving out the mask WILL allow you to expose the sprocket holes as well :smile: Sorry, guess I didn't read nearly as thoroughly as I thought I had!
     
  11. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    YAYYY for sprockets! LOL
     
  12. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    Well, I hope the camera is a winner for you.... I'm totally in love with mine. Even the one that doesn't work.... they're just so damn pretty!

    (Yeah, yeah, I know, not what a guy looks for in a camera... but it's about three days past my bedtime so ditziness must be excused!)
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Visible sprockets = film that may not be as flat = uneven/inaccurate focus

    But hope that you have fun with it anyways
     
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  15. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    Uneven/inaccurate focus in some photos, is like the knots in pine wood floors... It adds character! LOL
     
  16. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    So I went to pick up the camera. Overall, it looks to be in REALLY good shape. There are really only a few things that I can find slightly less than satisfactory at this point:

    - The shutter sticks on bulb a little, otherwise all other speeds seem accurate.
    - The shutter release button sticks a little, sometimes I kind of have to pull it out.
    - There are only two or three specks of paint loss on the viewing window door.
    - One side of the fork for the 35mm adapter is broken, however I tested it with an empty 35mm case and it still works fine.


    All the shutter speeds aside from bulb seem to be accurate. The M/X sync switch moves freely. The self timer works. The shutter speed knob moves freely, as does the aperture knob, and the window that shows both is in tact and clear. All other knobs move freely as well. The inside is clean as a whistle too. It came with the original leather case, that still has the original Yashica satchel full of silica gel, as well as the original 635 manual too.

    And as a bonus, I got a roll of Kodak Ektar "Special" that has been exposed and sealed. This guy and his father who originally owned the camera are sailors and as employment they delivered sailing vessels all over the world. I'm hoping that SOMETHING comes out when I send this up to the Darkroom for devloping.

    Anyway, here are some pics. I think it was worth the price of $100.
     

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  17. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    ..
     

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  18. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    ,,
     

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  19. Spicy

    Spicy Member

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    Congrats on the purchase. My 635 was my first experience with MF; got it back in April.

    Just a heads up -- there's a little knob on the left side that has something to do with the 35mm loading side. All it does on mine is make a dark shadow on my negatives, even when I remember to pull it out and rotate it (there's a little tooth in it that's supposed to line up). I can't figure out if I'm just doing it wrong, but I always forget to check, or bump it (it's spring loaded, so it'll go back to the Mess-Up-Negatives position).

    Not sure if there's anything that can be done about it. Mine always gets in the way -- I might look into filing it back a bit or something...
     
  20. Molli

    Molli Subscriber

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    Congratulations on your new Yash, Christopher. I hope you have a blast playing with it.
    I'm also looking forward to hearing if the exposed roll came out and what, if anything, was on it. I LOVE discovering old rolls of exposed film. They're like time capsules just waiting to be unearthed. It's particularly good that you know who the photos belong to and can share the results with them. The few rolls of exposed film I've developed from old cameras are of completely unknown heritage.
     
  21. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    The 635 isn't a great camera but it sure is a lot of fun. The 80mm lens for 135 shooting does a quite presentable job for a portrait lens. It's not an 85mm Nikor but what is? Only issue is you really can only shoot portrait, landscapes in 135 don't work real well.

    tim in sanjose
     
  22. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    I got the 635 out today and ran two rolls through it. I must say, this thing rocks my world!! It handles so nicely! Now I know why Rollei lovers love Rolleis! A TLR this size, with even BETTER lenses...what a dream! Can't wait to develop these rolls tonight!
     
  23. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    First time it's been used in YEARS! First roll of HP5! I'm in LOVE!!!

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1355109639.837677.jpg
     
  24. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Better than a Rollei.

    Sounds like a Troll to me.

    Glad you are happy with your 635. Let me know if you ever want a 127 Yashika TLR. Nice camera but... why?

    tim in san jose
     
  25. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

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    No, I meant a TLR with better lenses, as in the Rollei. In other words, if I love the Yashica like I do, I can only imagine how much I would enjoy a Rollei!

    Check out this photo of a photo of my still wet and hanging to dry negatives! I can't WAIT to print these. 635 + TMAX 100.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1355209260.834571.jpg
     
  26. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Fair enough. Could be read both ways.

    Good luck with the 635.

    tim in san jose