Bring a watch with a second hand (or digital with a readout) so you can see if 1 second is on or not. The shorter speeds are evaluated by just seeing and hearing (to the best of your ability) if they seem 1/2 the duration of the next longer speed. 1/500, if it's close to accurate, is almost impossible to see when looking at the shutter through the front of the lens. Many cameras' shutter are really slow once you get down lower than 1/15; the question is whether you'll ever even use those speeds. However, if they're off, it's an indication the whole shutter will need cleaning at some point.
If you're going in person, waste a roll of film through it. Just to make sure it can wind/advance properly. Once it's done with the film, fire it with the back open looking through the taking lens to see that it's shutter is working right. The main problems you are apt to have is shutter being off / unreliable, film winding not working right, and physical lens damage such as scratches or fungus damage.
If you get a good working yashica for $45, excellent. I had someone give me a yashica-C, then I spent $100 on a CLA to make it work like new, and have shot a bunch of really nice photos with it despite it not having the most desirable lens option. Still a good deal in my book.
A cheap rolleiflex would be the automats with the 75mm tessar f3.5 lens. I bought one for $200 and it's excellent. The big money rolleiflexes have mostly planar lenses.
There is a thin scratch I can see on the taking lens, but it doesn't look like a big deal. I only have rolls of 120 film I can run through it, no 220. x.x Do you think that would work fine? And I'll bring a timer or something, so I can test the shutter to the best of my ability. He did say he's used it and has good prints from it, so it sounds like it's working fine, but I guess it never hurts to test it. And 200 bucks is a bit out of my price range. x.x Maybe if I shoot it for a while and really like it, I wouldn't hesitate to invest more.
Originally Posted by jp498
I've never used 220, so take other's advice on film choice. A tiny thin scratch you can't be too picky about for $45. I wouldn't bother to time the shutter, I'd just see that it's consistent with repeated firings, and works OK at the slower speeds.
Wait and save money for something good
If you are in Australia I have a Meopta Flexarette V you can borrow for the cost of postage - This would get you used to the format and the Beliar is a reasonable four elephant lens
I think Flexarettes go for about Au$60 in Australia, they have a microscope substage type quadrant focus which is actually OK to use - Mine was a birthday present which is sitting on my office shelf, I would rather see it used than gather dust
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$45 for the Yashica sounds like a winner of a deal unless something is really badly wrong. To me, a bad 1-second speed wouldn't be an issue as long as B was working.
Those Super Ricohflexes someone else posted about look interesting. Are the lenses 3 elements or 4?
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
$45 for a Yashica is a great deal. I have 4 myself -- bought pretty cheaply, but not as a cheap as that! Like others, I would recommend running a roll of film (slide film preferably) through it, going through each shutter speed/f-stop combination. You should be able to cover all speeds on one roll of film. In all likelihood the slower speeds may be a little off, but not by much. I wouldn't worry about the scratch, although if you can find a lens hood (any brand) to cover the taking lens that should help you against any flare.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
The Yashica's are fairly robust cameras if you don't beat them up. I bought a Yashica D from a wedding photographer 34 years ago. He had used it since new as a daily shooter. It has never been serviced and still has accurate shutter speeds and winding with no overlap. It seems that the most important thing is to use it or at least exercise the shutter on a regular basis. Cameras that just sit around or have been stored for long periods tend to have problems with the slow speeds most of the time.
No, it won't work fine with 120 film. It will work somewhat but it's made for 220 film which is twice as long and half as thick.
Originally Posted by edmyloo
Forget the timer. You can test the shutter well enough by setting at 1 second and releasing it and counting "one one thousand."
What you should bring is a small flashlight. Set aperture to widest setting and shutter to "B." Open the back, and shine the light through the lens while the shutter is held open. If there is fungus or haze in the lens, forget it (unless you want to fix it yourself. If just some dust specks, it's OK.
But, I really don't think buying a Yashica 24 is a good idea for a newbie. Almost any other 120 film Yashica TLR would do much better IMO.
As johnelvis said, 120 is no problem. The scratch should be no problem but if it bothers you fill it in with some black paint and a fine tipped brush. Light rays bend around either one but the scratch May introduce flare under some(not all) conditions.
$50 is an excellent price if the shutter is consistant. When you check the slow speeds there should be no hesitation just a steady zzzzp.
(hope I spelled that right)