Yashica 124G Question... Am I doing something wrong?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Xia_Ke, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    So before I get on with my question let me just say I have never owned, used, or even held anything medium format or TLR until yesterday, so the answer to this could just be that I'm an idiot but....

    Anyways, I got a used Yashica 124G in from Mark Hama yesterday. It was used and had paint loss but, he said everything was working properly and gave me a 6 month warranty with it. For the price I wasn't worried about physical condition so long as it works fine. Everything seemed to be in working order. Loaded in a roll of 120 Neopan 400 and went in early to work to shoot some pics on the beach before the start of my shift. Followed the directions in the manual and turned the lever until 1 appeared in the counter window. 1 turn clockwise to advance the film, 1 turn counterclockwise to cock the shutter. First couple shots go fine. After the third shot, I went to advance the film and it stopped after a quarter turn clockwise so I turned it back to start position. I looked in the window and the counter still said 2. Now I had shot 3 shots already and had started on 1 for the shot counter. The lever won't turn in either direction right now and the shutter won't fire. I made sure the pressure plate was set to 12 exp. for the 120 film before loading it. Am I doing something wrong or is something wrong with the camera?

    Thanks in advance for any help :sad:
    Aaron
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Don't know this particular camera (I have lots of experience with Rollei TLRs) but it sounds very much as if you have done everything right and the camera has simply jammed. I would return it if possible with the present film still in it (unless the 2 shots you got are very valuable, in which case take the film out in the darkroom, load another one and see if it jams again).

    Regards,

    David
     
  3. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks David. The shots weren't anything important. Just some messing around stuff trying to get a feel for the camera, the film (since I've never used Neopan), and MF in general. Guess I'll give Mark a call on Monday :sad:

    Aaron
     
  4. geezer7

    geezer7 Member

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    M X Lever

    Adjacent to the aperature setting dial is a lever which can be set to M or X. Make sure it is set to X. I've found that my 124 will jam if it is set to M. This lever is used for flash (X is for electronic flash). I have used a piece of tape to ensure the lever doesn't move.
    I have heard that Mark Hama installs a small screw to stop this lever from moving to the M position when he performs a CLA. If he has done this, then of course, this will not be your problem!!

    Good luck.

    Dave
     
  5. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks Dave :smile: He put a screw into this one so it can't be switched to M. I also read about problems sometimes with the self timer but, that wasn't touched either. I'll give Mark a call on Monday. I just wanted to make sure I didn't do something wrong. My only hope is it can get straightened out before the foliage is gone. Was hoping to get a few rolls of slide film run to catch the colors :sad:

    Thanks again,
    Aaron
     
  6. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Member

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    I shoot with a 124G all the time and it sounds as if you did everything correctly and your camera has jammed for some reason. I've never had a similar problem with mine. I'd give Mark a call. He helped me out when the rod that holds the advance lever fell out on mine. He was able to get me a replacement part right away.
     
  7. geezer7

    geezer7 Member

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    Aaron,
    I started having jamming problems with my 124 after about 5 rolls of film. I took it apart and managed to get it working again but have had recurring problems to the extent that I quit using it and bought a Rolleicord V. I've used that for two years with no problems other than sticky slow speeds (apparently very common). I finally sent it to Mark Hansen who performed a CLA for a very reasonable price and now it is working perfectly.

    I haven't done any side-by-side tests on the picture quality between the Rolleicord and the Yashicamat, but I feel they are pretty similar. However, the reliability difference between the two, from my admittedly small sample of two cameras, leads me to recommend that you get your money back and buy a Rolleicord instead. I bought both from the unmentionable auction site and paid $100 for the 124 and $80 for the Rolleicord V. Of course, you are taking more of a chance buying from an auction, but if the seller has a moneyback guarantee (mine didn't) you are somewhat protected.

    Dave
     
  8. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

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    The procedure of transport and the handling counterclockwise to cock the shutter is correct for the Yashica Mat 124-G.
    The M-X switch (for flash bulb or electronic flash) has to do with the self timer misfunction on M.

    Unfortunately you have a jamming problem with the Mat 124-G. I had the same kind of problems 15 years ago with my first Yashica Mat 124-G. After repair it was OK. Since a few months I have a Yashica Mat 124-G again. The transport mechanism is the weakest point of the Mat 124-G. The Rollei TLR is more heavy duty build in this way so in general it depends how often the Mat 124-G is used. The price-quality of the camera can be tremendous good. Important is the use of a sun hood (bay I) to prevent flare with this camera. The camera is pretty sensible for this. The Yashinon f=80mm/3,5 lens is very good and sharp.

    Well after some repair I hope you can enjoy this camera.

    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  9. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I popped open the back and took out the film... Low and behold, it now works????? Did several fires at several shutter speeds (no film) and it seems to be working fine. I read somewhere, I think it was about a Rolleicord, that you should do all shutter and aperture changes prior to cocking the shutter. I know I changed shutter speeds after cocking the shutter once. Could this have been the issue? Seems to be working fine but, I don't want to be wasting more film by jamming mid roll.
     
  10. Doug Smith

    Doug Smith Member

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    Changing shutter speed or f stop after cocking should be no problem. Occasionally in the field I don't get the spools on exactly right. The two retractable holders on mine are extremely tight and if I'm not careful either the feed or takeup spool can go on misaglined. I've learned to watch for this as I advance the film to the start mark. I can't say that this has ever caused the camera to jam though.

    I'd put another roll in and see what happens. Good luck.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2007
  11. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks Doug :smile: I watched it as I advanced to the start mark and the spools seemed straight and on the money. I'll load it up and take it out shooting tomorrow. Hopefully it was just a fluke.

    Aaron
     
  12. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Hopefully it will be OK, but what may be happening is that the film transport is slipping and the film is not advancing enough to release the interlock (which is why it's OK with no film). Try again by all means but I think a CLA is due!

    Regards,

    David
     
  13. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks again David :smile: The film transport makes perfect sense given what I'm experiencing. I'll give it another shot tomorrow and give Mark a call on Monday to see what he has to say.

    Aaron
     
  14. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Well, just as a quick update, in a bulk lot of film I got on Ebay, there were a couple rolls on color film that I hadn't planned to do anything with as I mainly bought it for the B&W rolls, so I grabbed one as a tester and the whole roll cycled through fine without a hitch. I dunno, I'll take it out for some real shooting tomorrow and see how that goes.

    Aaron
     
  15. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Hmph, well just finished processing a roll of HP5 that I shot today. Everything looks good. Shot without a hitch today. Not sure what was going on before but, just wanted to say thanks everyone for your help/input. Everything seems fine now, though I'll still give Mark a call tomorrow to make sure.

    Happy Shooting,
    Aaron
     
  16. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

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    Glad it worked out. I have three Yashicas (D, 12, 124) and love them all. I actually bought the D so I had one to loan out. It's a sickness I guess.

    Alan.
     
  17. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    I have heard the same things about the 124G's film transport as Robert. I have been lucky with my own 124G. So far, at least.

    Essentially, the issue is that the dies Yashica were using towards the end of the 124G's production run were beginning to wear and that certain parts could not be produced to the desired tolerances. This causes occasional binding in the film transport mechanism.

    For this reason, the 124 is considered more desirable than the 124G.
     
  18. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Member

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    Thanks for chiming in guys :smile: aldevo, I read the same thing somewhere about there dies and tolerances towards the end. Oh well, I really can't complain at the price I paid for it. I still think I got a great deal. I only paid $125 w/ 6 month warranty :smile: Hopefully that jam wa just an isolated fluke or maybe even operator error.
     
  19. geauxpez

    geauxpez Member

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    And just an FYI on Mat 124G gears: According to my local "camera doctor", the gears on the 124G were made of a softer metal than those of the 124. When he CLA'd my 124G, he replaced the gears with those of a 124. Might be a good thing to do at the next rebuild.
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I think it was just your inexperience with loading 120 film, it seems the camera is OK. I bought a 124G more than twenty years ago to see how the picture quality compared with 35mm ( I had a Nikon F2 several Nikkor lenses at the time) the Yashica blew the Nikon out of the waterfor a fraction of the cost.