Yashica MAT meter question?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Mack, May 13, 2011.

  1. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    I am trying to decide whether or not to go on a hunt for a battery that will work in my Yashica light meter, or just say Oh, Well, and use a hand-held meter, which I'm currently doing. When I got the camera new, about 25+ years ago, the meter worked just fine, but I think that the batteries were different then, too. Now, I can get the meter to read in really bright light, but I don't trust the readings at all, at all. And in room light , it doesn't register at all, at all.:laugh: Do the meters drift, or get cooties, or burn out, or is it a battery issue?

    What is your collective experience?

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I have two Yashica's, Mat LM and a D, a hand held meter is all I use(or sunny 11).
     
  3. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

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    Yeah, Rick, I had forgotten about the Sunny 11 (or Sunny 16) rule, depending on the kind of film used.:laugh:

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    From what I recall when I overhauled mine in 1985, there are two trimmers for the meter. Whenever I see two trimmers I think of one setting the offset and the other setting the slope of the response but the only PDF 'service' file I have is just an exploded parts diagram, so I can't say for sure if that is the function of the two trimmers. ( http://www.photovintage.it/manuali vari/Yashica MAT 124 G Manual Repair.pdf ) Mine works fine the common zinc-air 675 batteries with a washer around the waist (like a Wein 625 cell).

    If you have a choice of setting the meter response, I usually go for dim light. As pointed out sunny/11 is usually a good standard for brighter light.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2011
  5. Pgeobc

    Pgeobc Member

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    Try googling C.R.I.S. They make a battery adaptor that should help. It works in mine.
     
  6. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    no point in a battery adapter, the material in the meter itself is probably exhausted its life anyway. selenium can break down in 20-30 years and will affect your results even if you get the right amount of stable current through it.
     
  7. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Up here in north central Pa. it's rarely blazing sunshine, mostly hazy or somewhat cloudy, the usual is sunny 11. I use a Sekonic L-397 when convenient.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    You mean cadmium??
     
  9. Роберт

    Роберт Member

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    If it's a Mat 124-G you need a PX625 Mercury 1.35V battery and that's a problem to get it.
    Alternative Silveroxide 1,55V with a reducer (to 1,35V) are available or the mentioned Weincells.
    Without the right and stable voltage the meter is not acurate.
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Yeah, if it needs a battery (my Yashica Mat124 does, not sure about the non-124) it isn't selenium. Mine is CdS - Cadmium diSulfide. I was pleasantly surprised when the thing actually worked. In practice I use my Luna Pro SBC with it, but I've been really surprised at how often I carefully take a reading with the Luna Pro, often moving up to the subject, and then when I frame it I see the camera meter fall into agreement.

    I don't, however, know what kind of battery is actually in it! I've only had it a few months and never bothered to open the battery cover since I use the Luna Pro with it.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've been surprised by how accurate the meter is on my Yashicamat 124, surprisingly reliable. I had no problem getting a battery replacement, not sure what it is as the camera's in Turkey and I'm back in the UK.

    So for the cost it's worth a try you might be surprised. There's a couple of contacts that can play up they change the resistance for different ISO settings and is/was a known problem which was why Yashica later Gold plated them in the 124G.

    Actually just like Roger Cole I was using my Lunasix or Luna Pro SBC alongside the Yashica and noticed the readings were the same :D

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2011
  12. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    Timely. I took my 124G for an outing last week and used a Sekonic L508 in spot mode. I'd forgotten how nice a picture this camera can make, so I played around with replacing light seals and checking out the meter. Various web sources recommended the 625 1.5V family of batteries (the pre- and suffixes vary with brand). I found a Varta V625U at my local watchmakers and spent some time with the Yashicamat, the Sekonic and a Voigtlander VC Meter II comparing recommended exposures.

    My less than expert conclusion was that the Sekonic as a spot meter was best for wide exposure ranges and contrasty situations, but that for relatively flat subject brightness ranges all 3 meters were comparable for everyday use.

    Measuring an evenly lit wall in full sunlight all 3 meters gave the same reading.

    I would myself ignore all the hairsplitting comments about true replacements for the original 1.35V mercury batteries, 1.5V doesn't seem to make a lot of difference.

    I found that the switch which activates the 124G when the viewer hood was raised was somewhat lazy, but a few up and downs has cured it (I have no idea where the switch is located and I do not choose to look for it)

    Regards - Ross
     
  13. Роберт

    Роберт Member

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    More then one F stop, so not very acurate I would say at least.......

    The Yashica Mat 124-G is not using a Wheat Stone bridge in the electronic circuit so you need a stable 1,35V source.
     
  14. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Mostly cooties, but sometimes the CDS cell will die, sometimes a cold solder joint, sometimes corrosion on the wire from the battery to the circuit board.
    Sometimes just bad Karma.
    Many of the older cameras used a bridge circuit and weren't very sensitive to voltage differences.