Yashica 24 Owners - Shooting 120

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by pauls52, May 9, 2011.

  1. pauls52

    pauls52 Member

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    This is more a collector than a user question but you may find the background interesting anyway. Questions have been asked on a number of forums, including this one, about the possibility of shooting 120 in the Yashica 24 which according to the manual, the label inside the camera and advertising blurb, is a 220 camera only.

    Various answers have been given including apparent success at just loading 120 and going for it (one guy used some sort of sticky labels/notes as shims for the pressure plate). It has been noticed that some cameras at least have both a 220 and 120 film start mark (related to my question later) and it has sometimes been claimed that cameras with the 120 mark can be used unmodified for 120. Unfortunately, this is only half the story, regardless of whether anyone has experienced success this way (possible, this is more about the pressure on the film with/without paper packing than any physical restriction).

    Whether the camera has the mark or not, to use 120 correctly requires the use of a Yashica accessory back for the Yashica 24 which has a big external label that says “12 EX. 120 FILM ONLY YASHICA”. Whilst it does not appear to be mentioned in any versions of 24 manuals fellow collectors have seen, the back is clearly identified as an alternative in the official Yashica assembly charts. I have recently been shown a photo of one fitted to a camera, an Australian collector has just bought one on sale in the UK and I am aware that a US collector has two of these backs (at least one might be for sale).

    What we (two Aussies and a Yank) would like to find out is whether the 120 start mark appeared in all Yashica 24 cameras and if not, which serial number did it first appear with. What we are asking Yashica 24 owners is to let us know your serial number (you can make the last three digits “xxx”) and whether the 120 start mark is there. I know that this is not a common user camera but if anything useful comes of this, it will eventually appear on my web page at http://www.tlr-cameras.com/Japanese/Paul_Sokk_Yashica_6x6_History.htm

    Thank you,
    Paul
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Why not just find a trashed Mat 124 or Mat 12 and swap backs onto your shooter Mat 24. The start marks are from the factory utilizing bodies that will work for both, and puttting on a 24 back.
     
  3. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I thought Paul was more interested in information about the Mat 24 line than fixing his personal equipment.

    But I have no information to offer, unfortunately.
     
  4. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    I have a yashica 24...it IS DESIGNED to shoot 120 as well as 220

    there is one "start mark" for 220 and a different "start mark" for 120...theonly difference is that when you reach#12 on 120 and shoot it...you have to shoot till the film and trailer paper is on the top spool before opening it up...it doesn't give you free-cranking at the end of the roll--the counter will keep clicking off 13, 14, 15, 16....like that....not a hassle at all. These cameras have nice yashinon lenses too--very desirable to those that know...takes rollei bayonet#1 accessories like rolleinars -- I got one--best accessory you can get!

    the only thing I hate is the stupid cable release is not standard--it's a bigger external thread...oh well....

    check the butkus.org website--there should be a yashica-24 manual in there that tells all about it.

    OH---the pressure plate MYTH---the reason some cameras move the pressure plate is to tell the FILM COUNTER that it's 12 instead of 24...THAT IS ALL---cameras, like mine, with different start marks do NOT have moveable pressure plates! This goes for rollei too (I understand). So the pressure plate moving has nothing to do with film pressure needs, but it's actually an internal switch for the frame counter, and auto end of roll freewheeling mechanism

    you can take ANY 220 and shoot 120 in it with no mods---no kidding

    120 to 220 may be different depending on the camera though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2011
  5. moki

    moki Member

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    What about the Kowa Six then? It has a pressure plate that can be set for 120 and 220 film and has no mechanical coupling to the body except the springs that hold it. The number of frames can be set to 12 or 24 with a separate switch on the side. So you can basically set the pressure plate for 120 film and the switch to 24 exposures, though such films don't exist. Ok, I don't understand, why 220 film would need different pressure than 120, because the picture should be sharp as long as the film is pressed to the film gate, but why would they include the possibility if it's totally unneccessary? There's only one starting mark but but the length of paper at the start is exactly the same for 120 and 220 . Why would you need different starting marks when the film needs to be advanced by the same distance until the actual film starts?
    I didn't try, if there is any difference in sharpness between the two pressure plate settings... does anyone know anything about that?

    camera-wiki.org says:
    As I read it, that means, only the 124 is built to accept both films while the 12 and 24 are made for only one kind. I generally trust that site, but now I'm confused.
     
  6. pauls52

    pauls52 Member

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    I'm not sure where to start. I think that I probably made my post too complicated.

    First, I don't own a 24 but the other two guys do and at least one of them shoots his Yashicas regularly. I have the Butkus sourced manual and the others have the originals. The three of us have the Yashica assembly charts. Plus many Yashica TLRs between us. We do understand a thing or three.

    My post did say many people have success shooting 120 with no modification. If you do, there is no argument. BUT WITOUT MODIFICATION, IT IS NOT DESIGNED TO USE 120. Not saying it can't do it but Iam saying that it is not designed to. That is why the manual talks about 220 film only and why inside the back there is a label that says to use 220 only. The 120 start mark is there, as I said, if loading 120with the accessory back which is clearly identified in the Yashica assembly drawings. Why is it shown if not needed? Indeed, why was it offered for sale?

    Now different people have different ideas about whether you really need to worry about the difference in pressure on the film by the presence of backing paper or not. I don't care one way or the other. This was not the issue. Yashica designed the camera for 220 use only. They made that very clear regardless of what users may achieve or think in 2011.

    What I was asking for was whether your camera had a 120 start mark (and it clearly does, probably all do) and the serial number (with "xxx" for the last 3 digits if you prefer). If you do not want to provide me the serial number, that is your call.

    Regards,

    Paul
     
  7. pauls52

    pauls52 Member

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    A Yashica 24 owner responded on another forum: "Opened up my 124-G and looked at the pressure plate, and indeed the tabs on the pressure plate are at different heights for the 120 and 220 film positions. The height difference is less than 0.010 inches - probably the thickness of 120 backing paper."

    Cheers,
    Paul
     
  8. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    probably also the thickness of spring creep over 40 years

    man...really---does the extra distance make THAT much difference in pressure---it's not measureable experimentally the difference would be so small--it would be less than the error tolerance of the measurement with those low stiffness springs back there--really, folks....use the noggin--and DON'T feed the fire by spreading DIS information....

    I opened up my hasselblad and there NO difference in the a-24 which hasselblad says you can shoot 120 in....!!!!!!!! WHOA

    MYTH----BUSTED
     
  9. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    If it is a myth, why does Bronica also go through the bother of creating different offsets for 120 and 220 film? And on a 124, when you move the pressure plate, you will find that the tabs which rest on the outside of the film channel are different heights and will create a channel of a different depth.

    A pressure plate ideally DOES NOT push the film against the film gate. It is designed to rest at a specific height above the film gate and create a CHANNEL for the film to move through. The springs are there to overcome curl from paper and film, NOT to push the film hard to the film gate. If the paper or film curl isn't too strong, the springs are simply pressing the plate against the hard stops, not pressing the film to the film gate. The channel is just a touch deeper than the expected film.

    The idea that a variety of manufacturers waste their time creating channels of different depth that just happen to be the same from manufacturer to manufacturer with a thousand or two, and that varies consistently between 120 and 220 film, seems strange.

    The fact that you say that the measurement tolerance is greater than spring stiffness tells me that you are measuring the wrong thing. Again, the height of the pressure plate is defined by a hard mechanical system and the springs are there to accommodate materials out of tolerance.

    None of this means that 120 film won't work in a 220 system. Maybe having the film float above the film gate is a leftover from days of softer emulsions.