YashicaMat 124G

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by b1bmsgt, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. b1bmsgt

    b1bmsgt Member

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    Here are some pictures from my $22.00 YashicaMat 124G!

    Got it on eBay the other day as a parts/repair camera. The ad said that the film advance was inconsistant. I decided to buy this one and try to fix it. At the very least, I would have a nice display model if I couldn't get it to work right. I had always wanted one of these since back in the early 70s when I ran the Photo Department in a now-defunct New England department store chain. (Caldor) We sold them, and every so often I would pick up the display model and play with it. (Maybe that's why I got fired...)

    Anyway, it turned out that the takeup reel in the camera was worn and caused the advance mechanism to move erratically and stop the advance lever at a different point every time. I put in a newer reel and everything looked OK. Ran a roll of film through it and the frame spacing was Beautiful!!

    Looks like I got me a bargain... :D

    Russ

    PS My scanner leaves a little to be desired... The prints look a lot better. I think my Ciro-flex is sharper, though...
     

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  2. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    They are wonderful cameras. I've owned three and still have the third one. The first one I bought in Viet Nam in 70' and used it regularly on assignment as a photographer for the 25th Inf. Div. It took a heck of a beating in the field but worked perfectly every time. I sold that one shortly before I left the country and bought another while stationed in Germany. I sold that one when I left the Army in 72'. The last one I bought in the last year and did not fair as well. The lister on ebay used a photo from another listing and did not mention that the lens had fungus between the layers. I ended up buying a Rolleicord 1V with a lens in great shape and use it now. The 124G just sits on the shelf. I had great results with the 124 when shooting Plus-x and developing in Microdol at a 1to3 dilution.
     
  3. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    I learned on one of these back in high school. A couple of years ago my wife bought me a mint one off of ebay ($55 with shipping). I sent it off to Mark Hama for a CLA and love occassionaly running few rolls through it.
     
  4. Matt5791

    Matt5791 Subscriber

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    I just bought one the other day - so this sounds all good news.

    I have bought it as a back up for my Hasselblad when shooting weddings etc.

    Matt
     
  5. b1bmsgt

    b1bmsgt Member

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    Went on a little camera trip the other day and gave the 124G a proper workout. Here are some samples...


    Russ :D
     

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  6. BruceN

    BruceN Member

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    I have a Mat 124G that I was given as payment for a $60 debt. I love it. It's in beautiful shape and if I had to buy it now I'd certainly pay more that the $60 to get it back. It takes lovely photos.

    Bruce
     
  7. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I used to have one, several years ago, and what shocked me at the time was how much better the image quality you could get with a fairly inexpensive M/F camera than the expensive Nikon F system I was using at the time, and although I traded the Yashica in eventually for the Mamiya C330F system I still use I still remember it with affection. Enjoy
     
  8. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I love my two Yashicas a 124G and a D; both ebay bargains.
     
  9. PamelaHL

    PamelaHL Member

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    Matt, I don't know what your style is, and I don't know the accuracy of what I'm about to state ... When I was considering a Yashicamat 124 [which I purchased and really like excepting the poor visibility in the WLF in bright light outside], my research yielded an opinion that the Yashicamat would provide very sharp images since it was developed for military use in Japan, I think. This is not always valued in portrait photography, I understand--in fact, I have heard that Hasselblad is considered ideal for portrait photography [by some] because it can create a softer image with the portrait lenses. On the other hand, people always talk about how sharp the Hassy lenses are, but that might vary by lens. I think with the Yashicamat 124, I've found that the images are sharp throughout. I'm sure others on here will correct me, including you, since I am a total novice.
     
  10. paulownian

    paulownian Member

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    Using the 124G as a backup for a Hasselblad in wedding photography is asking for trouble. They are not even in the same class. I have both and would never use the 124G at a wedding. If any of my clients would see this, I would never shoot another wedding - let alone what my contracted studios would say. Leave the Hasselblads to the weddings and the 124G to their little end of the world - usually scenics, flowers, people in general, that type of photography; but, definitely not, I repeat not, in a commercial situation. I love my 124G - I bought it on ebay from a closing camera shop in Brazil. It came in the original box, unopened, unused, and in pristine condition. But I know it's limitations.
     
  11. DBP

    DBP Member

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    The ground glass on mine was so dim I replaced it with a Maxwell. It's a world of difference.
     
  12. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    And what ARE its limitations Paul?
     
  13. cdholden

    cdholden Member

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    5) Yashica was never popular for sending cameras to the moon.
    4) Yashica has fewer letters than Hasselblad.
    3) Yashica doesn't require giving up your firstborn child to purchase.
    2) Yashica doesn't support the use of Zeiss glass.
    and the number one weakness is:
    1) Yashica doesn't make cameras anymore.

    This is all BS as my 124G cranks out very sharp photos. My complaint isn't the camera, it's the 6x6 format.
    Chris
    p.s. I wanted to add that a Kennedy never got drunk and crashed a Yashica, but I don't know of them ever wrecking a Hassy either, so it was left out. Just because we didn't hear about it doesn't mean it never happened.
     
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  15. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Just remembered something, was that a Jashica-mat in "Big Mommas house" in the boat scene?

    Don't know why I remembered that, but that was the first time I considered switching to MF. I thought, oh come on, if a mum can have MF to take pictures of her family, I can do it for my "advanced amateur" work

    And right now, I'm ten days from purchasing my first MF camera, it isn't much, It's going to be a 4-element seagull, will do some repairs and adjustments to it to correct its inherent flaws, and caution with the shutter issue, and It might just work like an old Yashicamat, exept smelling like new.
     
  16. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    The difference between a Yashicamat and a Hasselblad especially around the wedding croud is Chrome. Yashicamats are too black. No self respecting wedding photog charging $2200 would ever get caught dead looking down a chimney. Chrome is where it's at.

    At work I have an old Hassy 503 motor in a case with it's 3 lenses. I threw it on the junkpile the other day because the film backs fit so loosely it can no longer be trusted. It let me down once too often. I'd always considered it in the same class of mechanical things as a Mercedes 220 with a column shift 4 speed. It may have gone to the moon and back before I got it though since it does belong to a function of the US Govt.

    I will admit that I enjoy the sound the hassy motor makes. It's revolution sounds rather like a starter motor on a '53 Chevy.
     
  17. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    Don't tell me they've let you replace the Hasselblad with a LF camera... :D :D :D

    Lachlan
     
  18. paulownian

    paulownian Member

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    It appears that I have fallen into a snake pit of Yashica-loving, Hasselblad-bashing, non-wedding-shooting-for-a-loving, argumentative "photographers". I said that the 124G was a nice little camera, but if any of you think that it can handle the daily rigors of commercial photographic life, then you are in a fantasy world where you believe yourselves to be photographers who are watching real photographers through the looking glass. Jump out of the rabbit hole and take a few hundred actuations, or perhaps a few thousand, per week (day?), and see who the clear winner is. It's the same difference as between a Lincoln LS and a crappy Japanese import. The import may look good to a rave crowd at a street race. But, if your family, your house, your college loan payments, your car payment, your daughter's dental health all depend on what you bring home from photography, then you don't shoot weddings with a 124G! Get real; get a real photography job; and a real camera!
     
  19. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    How long has your 'blad spent in repair shops? Why don't you get a piece of real Japanese functional engineering like a Mamiya C330 - built like a tank and with some very fine lenses - oh, and they're currently selling secondhand in the UK for about £200 in excellent condition!

    Lachlan
     
  20. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Yes, but you still haven't mentioned one argument for the drastic difference between images from a Yashica and a Hassy.
    I'm not trying to make a fight here, I'm just being currious, because you seem to have both, so I want to know what is this drastic difference?
    Is it sharpness, contrast, what is it?
     
  21. cdholden

    cdholden Member

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    Some of us went and got a real job instead... and a real camera!
    Chris
     
  22. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    My Yashica 124 survived a year of field duty while I was working as a photographer for the 25th Infantry Div. in Cu Chi,Viet Nam (1969/70). It got dropped more than once, rained on countless times and never failed me.We also had Leica M3's and Graflex XL systems available.But they were rarely used because they did not survive the rigors of the field as well. You seem to be mixing up the words "cheap" and "inexpensive". The Yashica is the latter, not the former.

    Further, years later a commercial photographer I worked with who could afford any gear he wished dumped his entire hassy system for a Mamiya 645 system because he could not depend on the shutters in the hassy lenses.They were spending more time in service than in the field or studio.
     
  23. paulownian

    paulownian Member

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    I have several Mamiya products, including the entire TLR line. They are good cameras. I bought my first one back in the day ('67).

    I don't spend anymore time in maintenance than any good photographer would. Just as I take my vehicle for regular tuneups, I take my cameras in for regular CLA. I haven't replaced much beyond seals, and other minor parts since I began using Hasselbads. Even my lenses only have required minor replacements over the decades.

    I shoot weddings and portraits; therefore, I want the negative to be crystal sharp and softened at my decision. I use multiple lenses on a single body, and multiple backs. I can't stop shooting to reload in many cases.

    I have a great job, son. I also have many, many years, in military and government service, I've lived and traveled the entire world, I have 3 college degrees, I've worked in photography since I was a teenager in the mid-'60's, and I have a business contracting wedding, portrait, and commercial work to other studios and businesses.
     
  24. Ed_Davor

    Ed_Davor Member

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    Paul

    Are you saying that images from a Yashica-mat are not sharp enough for your purpuses? How much do you enlarge?
     
  25. b1bmsgt

    b1bmsgt Member

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    Since this was my thread to begin with, I thought I would chime in here...

    Sold my $22 124G the other day on eBay for $152! Turned around and picked up 2 124's for about $40 each. One is a fixer upper and the other is perfect, including the meter. The all black 124G is OK, but I decided I like the classic styling of the 124 and earlier models better. I use a handheld meter anyway, so the gold contacts in the G don't make any difference to me.
    I also mave a Yashica Mat and a Yashica D sitting on the shelf, but I haven't tried them out yet.

    Sounds like a touch of GAS, doesn't it?


    Russ :D
     
  26. Kino

    Kino Member

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    That's real cool, daddy. Maybe you will allow others to have their experiences as well as you have had yours.

    As much as I respect your portfolio, I think there's room for other interpretations of what is acceptable in any one application.