Yashica TLR Thread

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Murph, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Murph

    Murph Member

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    Many years ago, I purchased what would be the first of several Yashica TLRs, with no light meter, It was a LM, and then a Yashica Mat. I was sneered at by the Rollie shooters, and the "high tech" 35mm guys. Yesterday I found a roll of Kodak Ektachrome that I had shot 20+ years ago right after I had married my lovely wife. Due to various trials and tribulations, I had to stop shooting film (too much cost), and got out of photography for many years. But I did manage to hold on to my negatives 35mm, 2 1/4, and 4x5. I am now marvelling at the quality of images out of the "lowly" Yashica TLR cameras.

    Anyone else here have some loving for the Yashica TLRs? I still have my LM, and actually found a roll of film (way out of date) that I might shoot just to see what comes out.

    IMO the Yashica's were tough, no frills, decent cameras with good to excellent optics that made wonderful images with a little TLC.
     
  2. asp.artist

    asp.artist Member

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    I've got an A and a D. Love the A for being my first MF camera. Love the D for the pictures it makes for me.
     
  3. spolly74

    spolly74 Member

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    I just picked up a D a while ago, and you nailed it. Certainly no frills, but it's fun to use and gets the job done.
     
  4. Merg Ross

    Merg Ross Member

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    My first 120 camera was a Yashica, purchased in 1957. It was an excellent camera, no meter, but very good optics. I was already using 4x5 and 8x10 cameras, so had a good idea as to what I wanted from the smaller camera. It did the job.

    Fifty years later, in 2007, I purchased my second Yashica, a "G", and again, it did the job. I purchased it for travel, my favorite camera being a heavier Rollei 66 which I have used since the early 70's, but wanted something lighter.

    Along the way I have owned a Minolta Autocord, several Mamiya TLR's, a Fuji 6x7, but that first Yashica will always be fondly remembered.

    www.mergross.com
     
  5. chrism

    chrism Member

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    I have a Yashica Mat from 1957 w/ original leather case in basically new condition. It's a nice camera, but I don't use it because the GG is quite dim. Does anyone make a replacement GG for it that is more modern and brighter?
     
  6. brian d

    brian d Member

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    I picked up a 44 and 635 both cheap at flea markets last year, havent used the 44 yet-having a hard time coming to grips with paying more for a roll of film than I did for the camera.
    Really suprised at how well I like the 635 though, nice camera. I doubt I'll ever even try the 35 mm adapter that came with it, just cant see the point in using 35 film in a MF camera
     
  7. LyleB

    LyleB Member

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    I have just recently picked up a Yashica A and a D. Ended up having to send the D in for a CLA, but it should be a great camera for a long time now. Not sure how comfortable I'll get with the waist level finder, but It's fun to play with.
     
  8. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I bought my Yashica D used in 1978 and still use it on a regular basis. Light weight, great optics and easy to use. My Sekonic L-86 of the same vintage supplies accurate exposures.
     
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I bought my first Yashica D back in 1969, and loved it. I think I shot my best work with it. I traded it for transportation(a Suzuki motorcycle) and have regretted it since. I picked up another D a couple of years ago, its just as good as my first, though its an older model. I laso have Mamiya C-220 and C-330's, and Kodak Duaflex TLR's, the Yash is still special(and light weight).
     
  10. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    It seems to have good respect here, if not a little cult following.

    I have a yashica-C. Newer ones have better lenses, but I like it and have made some realllllly nice photos with it. It is very quiet and charms people everywhere I go.
     
  11. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    My first MF was a Yashica 635 (built-in portrait lens on 35mm!). I got great results with the 3-element Yashikor stopped down. Lately I found an almost mint early YashicaMat with the 4-element Lumaxar for a bargain price, $80. That camera is a perfect copy of a Rolleiflex except for the automatic first-frame feature, which is no big thing.
     
  12. brian d

    brian d Member

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    Had'nt thought about it that way. That does make it sound a lot more worth while.
     
  13. Stew

    Stew Member

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    I have a Yashica D . It's a great little camera once you get use to the film winding procedure. If you forget to wind the film after your exposure you end up with a double exposure for the next shot!
     
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  15. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    chrism: The problem with your viewfinder is most likely a tarnished mirror. You can get a new one here:
    http://www.uscamera.com/yashicatlr1005.htm
    It's an easy swap- remove the hood (4 screws), push down on the little tab of metal in the middle of the upper edge, and push the old mirror out. While you are in there, clean the back of the lens since it is probably coated with evaporated grease from the focus bearings. The new mirror (front-surface so do not touch. I wear gloves and handle only by edges) can be slid into place. Since it is located by cast parts in the body, and both new and old mirror are front-surfaced, there is no need to adjust focus.

    Assuming that your hood has the Fresnel screen, this is two pieces. Glass on top (what you see when focusing) and plastic on the bottom, inside. If you are up for disassembly, press the clips down and slide sideways.... this may make sense when you are in there. Use dish washing soap on the Fresnel, and on the ground glass to avoid removing guidelines.. Note that the screen is not symmetrical! Both lines and the center clear spot of the Fresnel are off-center. Make notes/marks. Be sure everything is dry before reassembly.

    If the screen is still disappointing, Rick Oleson will sell you a new one:
    http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-175.html
    You will see on his site that he says that his screens and the stock Yashica-Mat will not show much difference. My experience says to start with a new mirror, clean the back of the viewing lens, a cleaning of the ground glass if you are up for it, and see what happens.

    Anyhow, about a year ago I bought a Yashica-D to try medium format again. I hadn't shot film for more than 20 years when I started again in the spring of 2009. I used to have a Rolleicord, and the Yashica seemed a nice return. I lucked into a late model D with the Yashinon lenses and the 2.8 viewing lens. Since then, I have bought 5 more Yashicas of various models (all with Yashinons). Right now I have a D and aYashica-Mat with Lumaxar lenses. I am in the middle of getting another Lumaxar ready to sell. I tend to use my Minolta Autocords theses days, but every time I pull out one of the Yashicas I am impressed.

    They are great cameras, hitting a sweet spot between price and quality. Probably the best way to see what medium format is really about. And given their price, you can do things like this without too big a grimace- a Hasselblad NC-2 prism finder scabbed onto a Yashica-Mat (go to Previous for another view)-
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/180672...4647805714/in/set-72157624555271098/lightbox/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2010
  16. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    I got a pretty good deal on my 124G due to the meter being inoperative. It had a prettier dirty mirror too but it was very easy to clean and made a big difference.

    I've been very, very happy with it. I had been trying to find a good deal on a Rollei since I am on a tight budget but the deal on the 124G was too good to pass up and I've got no regrets. The images are fantastic, it makes me look like a half-decent photographer, lol.

    Adam
     
  17. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I have a Yashica 44a. I got mine in near-mint condition and really enjoy the 127 format. The camera is very compact.

    I have taken it out in public and people often approach me and comment on the camera. It's quite popular.

    For color film, I bought a 100' roll of 46mm Kodak Portra (I think they quit making it so it's harder to find now). Then I roll it up on used backing papers and spools I recovered from decades expired film. I haven't tried splitting 120 film but that's another option.

    I now develop my own film since it's hard to find labs that will process it for a reasonable price and they can lose your precious papers and spools.
     
  18. Dan Grisez

    Dan Grisez Member

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    I have an A and love it. Very underrated compared to the "higher profile" Yashicas.
     
  19. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I started 120 with an older C, in the early 80's and sold it a few years later (Poor student days). It took great pictures.

    Two years ago I was gifted what would have been my grandfather in law's A. It had layed unused since about 1972. It worked just fine. I had (still do) too many cameras at the time, and when a young guy came along and expresed an interest in stepping beyound 35mm and into film, I sold it to him. I would rather see cameras being used than collecting dust around my place.

    For a week last month I was vacationing at a cottage that came ready equipped with a darkroom and a D. I was pleased to run several films through it.

    They are so much lighter than my C330, and accordingly, I may be tempted to step back into the Yashical TLR world again.
     
  20. drumlin

    drumlin Member

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    Just bought a 124 (no G). Needed a CLA to get some of the slower shutter speeds to work properly, but it's a great camera. Shot and developed two rolls this weekend, and the images were surprisingly good. Bought off an old pro who had it tucked away in a closet since the late '80s. Glad to resurrect an old dinosaur into working conidtion!
     
  21. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    I've had my YashicaMat (Yashinon lens) for at least twenty years. It has been a good travel camera, and it is still likely to be the camera I grab for a casual day out. I keep a No.2 close-up set on the strap along with the hood and a yellow/green filter. Just add film and a light meter.
     
  22. RobertV

    RobertV Member

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    My first TLR was a Lubitel in 1967. Then it was all 35mm till 1991. Then I bought a Yashica Mat 124-G. Sold it in 1994 for some extra to buy a Mamiya 645 Pro.
    However in 2007 I bought a Yashica Mat 124-G again, in very good condition and made a CLA. It's working perfect and I like the camera very much for IR-photography.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Vincent Brady

    Vincent Brady Subscriber

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    I have the 124G Mat. Wish I could get back ito the habit of using it again.
     
  24. Fourtoes

    Fourtoes Member

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    I recently bought the Yashica Mat EM. Great little camera.
     
  25. Hikingman

    Hikingman Member

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    Found an 'A' and LM this year in very good condition. And, it's been fun alternating back and forth. The A model is available-if anyone wants this gem.
     
  26. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Yashica equipment is nothing to sneer at, and it still sparks nostalgia among many Japanese here. They are great TLRs when you can't afford $2000+ for a Rolleiflex.

    You've inspired me to go window shopping today :smile: