Yashica Mat 124 G

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kennedy, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My friend is giving me his for a week. Sort of a test drive in the hope I may purchase it. You know,shoot a few rolls,kick the tires,get the feel of the camera.
    Anything I should pay attention to as far as using the on camera meter? Any and all advice will be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. DBP

    DBP Member

    Messages:
    1,896
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Alexandria,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not that there is anything in particular wrong with the meter, but I never bother. I use either a hand held or sunny-16. It takes the old mercury cells, so you'll need a Wein cell or equivalent if there isn't one in it. The Yashicamats are nice cameras, though the advance can be a bit loud.
     
  3. roteague

    roteague Member

    Messages:
    6,671
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Haw
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I used to own one, years ago. I don't remember enough about it to give you advice, but I can tell you it was a pleasure to use.
     
  4. Elox

    Elox Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    Central Texa
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If the meter does work, there is an adapter to use regular Zinc-Air hearing aid batteries. It works with MOST camera that use the PX13 batteries. I don't have the link, but you can find it by Googling Nikon F meter batteries.
     
  5. AZLF

    AZLF Member

    Messages:
    359
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Tucson, Az.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ditto on using a handheld meter or sunny 16. I would suggest shooting some chrome as well as print film. I think you will be surprised at the quality of the images one can get with this relatively inexpensive camera. I know I was.
     
  6. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,702
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2003
    Good Evening, Mike,

    I agree regarding the meter. I've had a Yashica-Mat for years and use it occasionally. I can't recall ever depending on the meter and have long ago simply removed the battery. Enjoy the camera; it can produce very good results.

    Konical
     
  7. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

    Messages:
    1,416
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I did some research on good light meter for TLR use. The result is:

    http://wiki.silvergrain.org/wiki/index.php/L-208

    I'm more used to L-408 myself, but when I just walk around with my TLR and not even a camera bag, I found this cheap little meter is good enough for negative films. (I bought this meter just for my TLRs... and so far it's working very nicely. The only complaint is that they should make an L-shaped attachment so that I can read the meter from top! Can someone custom machine a "prototype" and give me one :smile:)
     
  8. magic823

    magic823 Member

    Messages:
    460
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I don't even keep a battery in mine. They're nice cameras. Two things to watch for if you get around to buying your own: 1. Make sure the film advance is smooth. 2. Have a CLA done by Mark Hama. Mark worked in the Yashica factory so he knows these things like the back of his hand. Oil from the shutter gets on the internal surfaces of the lenses.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2006
  9. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have both a 124 and a 124G. Removed the batteries years ago.
     
  10. MenacingTourist

    MenacingTourist Member

    Messages:
    895
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I have a 124 and a 12. When Carol Miller did the cla on the 12 I asked her to skip the meter part. I use a Polaris meter that is really basic and simple. It also fits in my pocket. Just developed a few rolls and I'm very pleased. The TLR is my secret favorite camera.
     
  11. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Why a secret? I like TLRs, and waist level finders on my other cameras. No secrets here.

    Like many others have said, that meter is probably gone by now. The cell does age, so unless you want to spend a bunch of money getting it replaced, just use a handheld meter.
     
  12. CGross

    CGross Guest

    Would you know the contact info for Mark Hama and possibly an approximate cost for a CLA?

    Thanks
     
  13. Chaska

    Chaska Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    markhama.com has his contact info. I have found that the meter on my 124g works very well, use it for chromes and neg.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. BruceN

    BruceN Member

    Messages:
    585
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Like many here, I love my 124G and have never had a battery in it. I use a handheld meter. It's a wonderfully sharp camera.

    Bruce
     
  16. magic823

    magic823 Member

    Messages:
    460
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My CLA cost $75 about 18 months ago. My wife actually bought me the camera for a present since it was the camera I learned photography on. She found a mint one on ebay for $55 (with shipping). Yashica was mispelled and it was in a wrong (non-photography) category.
     
  17. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,390
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Rural NW MO
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you do decide to shop for a Yashica TLR, consider the older ones, too. The Yashicamat is similar to the 124 series except it doesn't take 220 film and has no built-in meter. The Yashica D and 635 have knob film advance and manual shutter cocking, but otherwise perform much like the later models if they have the Yashinon lens instead of the three element Yashikor. I've found shutters on Yashica TLRs sometimes unreliable, but the cameras are now available cheaper than a CLA.
     
  18. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a slightly rough Yashica-mat sitting here waiting for a full service and upgrade to leather. Bought it for around $40 including shipping. Speeds are slow, and it's a little dirty, but otherwise decent. Also in the fix bin is a first model Rolleiflex 3.8, and a Frankencam Rolleicord V. I also have a really nice Yashica 635 that I recently finished, it's now dressed in bright red leather and looks great.
     
  19. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    [​IMG]

    The differences between a 124 and a 124 are extremely slight but the difference in price is usually 3x or 4x.

    Ironically, the older 124 has metal gears where the 124G uses nylon -- so there's a good chance that the 124's will ultimately last longer.

    (I too will vouch for Mark Hama, he patched-up my 124G after it was home... to an ant colony! (ack))

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I want to thank everyone for their replies.
    The meter is working but I'll use my hand held Sekonic.I contacted Mark H. about a C.L.A and was quoted a price of $135.00 for complete repair and CLA plus $30.00 shipping. Almost the price of the mat124 G.
    A bit off topic but last year when I spoke to Nortown (most recommended Canadian repair shop) about having my Nikon's C.L.Aed they said to use them until they malfunctioned rather then spend $$ on preventative maintenance. Kind of makes sense unless one was taking their gear into extreme conditions or out of country for a long period of time.

    Mike
     
  21. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

    Messages:
    1,416
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I prefer to use a magnifying hood chimney on the viewfinder. Usual folding WL viewfinders have difficulty in composing and focusing well outdoors, unless the viewfinder is shaded nearly completely. The easiest way to do so is to put the face right on the finder with magnifier poped up. So I just use the chimney with 3.5x (1e1g, most likely, coated) and 6x (3e3g, most likely, coated) magnifier (switchable) with my Mamiya C3, at 3.5x mode, almost always. With the chimney, I have to put my eye on it, but practically speaking this is exactly how you must use regular WLVF outdoors anyway, so in effect I lose nothing.

    I also carry this setup on a monopod, either Benbo Trekker or Manfrotto 3016.

    The quality of magnifier glass is superior on this chimney (sharp to corners) than the one on folding WLVF, and of course there is no stray light so I get very clear image on the screen, which is very easy to work with.

    Yashica MAT 12/24/124/124g use CdS photoresistors and simple circuitry so the cell doesn't go bad like selenium photocells. More of a problem is that the built-in meter sucks, since you just have to find a correct exposure first and then shift to desired aperture or shutter speed therefrom. With a L-208 or other meters you can get all combinations at a glance. Another reason why I carry heavy Mamiya beast is that I want better optics than Tessar (and I can't afford a Rolleiflex).
     
  22. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

    Messages:
    1,565
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Thunder Bay,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Yashicas are great cameras. I have a D with Yashinons and the results are tack sharp. I also have an A that I paid $15 for. The Yashikor lenses are clean, and the shutter is crisp at all four of its speeds. At f11, it's really hard to tell the results apart from the yashinon.

    Rick.
     
  23. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format

    I will say that the shutter on my 635 (and from what I looked at the same applies to the mat that I have) is not the easiest to service. If it is just running a little slow, it might be worth doing it for yourself. It's not too hard to get down to the shutter and take the top off to add a little light oil to a couple of key bearings. For more than that, it looks to be more difficult than the Syncro-Compur in the Rollei's. I've had the Syncro-Compur apart before, but when I looked at the Copal, it looks difficult.
     
  24. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

    Messages:
    775
    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Oh, and I'll sell you my Yashica-mat for $160.00
     
  25. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

    Messages:
    1,595
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    Eastern Cana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the offer Greg but the 124 G seems to be firing on all cylinders. I can't understand why the folks at Mark H. quoted me a repair/C.L.A price when I informed them the camera was working well.
    Just finished a roll of Tri-X which I shall soup as soon as the lunch crowd vacates my lab (kitchen).

    JMK
     
  26. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Had my 125G out this morning at the beach...trying to get a shot or two of a decent sunrise. Alas, the camera cooperated, but mother nature didn't...

    If the camera's in good shape and the price is right, I highly recommend snapping it up...you'll be hooked on it in no time flat!