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  1. #1

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    Battery for Yashicamat 124

    I purchased a Yashicamat 124 (not "G") off of E-Bay recently. It's in great shape but it needed a battery. The manual said that it needed a 1.3v mercury battery which I understand is not being produced anymore. I went to the camera shop and the guy there put in what he said was a replacement for it, but now I'm not sure that it was. When he put the battery in the meter worked and we even double checked the exposure that it gave with another functional camera and it was dead-on correct. But just a few hours later the meter is not working. The packaging for the battery said it was a 1.5v battery. Can someone tell me what is the best replacement battery for my camera? Thanks in advance for your input.

  2. #2
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    1.3v mercury batteries are hard to find. I bought some on a trip to SE Asia a few years ago - they were expensive, and the clerk in the store refused to give me a sales slip. Apparently, selling them in that country is illegal and he didn't want a paper trail.

    The Wein air cell is supposed to be the best replacement, but it has a problem. It uses the same technology used in the batteries used in hearing aids - they are sealed at the factory, and the seal must be removed when they are installed. Once the seal is removed, the life of the battery is brief - a few days at most. That may be what the dealer installed for you.

    Depending on the specific battery required, it may be possible to purchase an adaptor that will allow you to use a smaller silver cell - basically a spacer that allows a physically smaller battery to fit into the camera. This will have longer life but the voltage and aging characteristic will be different.

    I have an Olympus 35RC that uses the PC625 mercury battery (that I bought in SE Asia). The current battery is going strong, and I have a few spares (one of the more significant advantages of mercury batteries was the almost infinite shelf life), but when I run out I have an even older hand-held selenium-cell light meter that I plan to use with the camera in manual. You might consider that option.

  3. #3

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    If you are handy with tools, a 1N34A diode wired in series with a 1.5 silver oxide battery will drop the voltage to 1.3 volts. There several sites on the web which describe the procedure for an Olympus OM-1 camera. You can get a description about the polarity of the diode there. After reading the procedure installing one in a Yashicamat 124 should be fairly easy.

  4. #4
    rjs003's Avatar
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    You could do what I have done with all of my Yashicas. Use a hand held meter; lots of them available on e-bay. Once I learned how to properly use a hand held, I wouldn't use a built in meter.

  5. #5
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monophoto
    The Wein air cell is supposed to be the best replacement, but it has a problem. It uses the same technology used in the batteries used in hearing aids - they are sealed at the factory, and the seal must be removed when they are installed. Once the seal is removed, the life of the battery is brief - a few days at most. That may be what the dealer installed for you.
    I have used Wein air cells for periods of months in a 124G, Olympus OM1 and Luna Pro. I have found that the best way to handle them is to buy a mess of the hearing aid cells that they are based on and when they do expire, swap the cells out of the washer that makes them fit in the camera. I forget which cell it is, but there are very cheap hearing aid batteries that fit like a charm and cost very litle.

    If the packaging says that the battery is 1.5v, it is not the Wein air cell. I am more inclined to think that he sold you a battery that was about dead. Hopefully that is all it is and not a meter problem that has decided to crop up just now. Theoretically a 1.5v battery will give you less than optimal results, but it should be pretty close.

  6. #6
    joeyk49's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjs003
    You could do what I have done with all of my Yashicas. Use a hand held meter; lots of them available on e-bay. Once I learned how to properly use a hand held, I wouldn't use a built in meter.
    I have a 124G which has experience meter "issues". The simplest and most useful solution is to use a handheld meter. I hear they're more accurate than the camera mounted ones anyway.

    A side benefit (for me) is that it slows down the capture process. It makes me consider my shots longer and has improved on the average quality of my exposures.

  7. #7
    clogz's Avatar
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    Try www.criscam.com They may have an adapter.

    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

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    Or if you don't like that idea look at these adapters:

    www.paulbg.com/Nikon_F_meter_batteries.htm

    I bought several and have been very happy with them. I have found a few places they don't work, but they work fine in my YashicaMat 124G and a couple of older meters.
    JeffW.

  9. #9
    Pragmatist's Avatar
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    The MR-9 adapter made by CRIS is your best answer if you want to use the internal meter. It has the diode built in and holds a readily available silver 386 battery. I put one in my 124, and luckily the meter is fairly accurate for general shots. Good luckand have great fun with your TLR!
    Patrick

    something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...

  10. #10
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elox
    Or if you don't like that idea look at these adapters:

    www.paulbg.com/Nikon_F_meter_batteries.htm

    I bought several and have been very happy with them. I have found a few places they don't work, but they work fine in my YashicaMat 124G and a couple of older meters.
    Basically, the Wein cell is identical to what you get with this adapter. The Wein cell also consists of a washer type device that provides spacing for the battery. I just buy the Wein battery and when it dies, replace the inner battery part with the same hearing aid battery this guy uses. It is cheaper and you don't have to order over the internet if you have a decent camera shop in town.

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