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  1. #1

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    Need advice on buying a TLR.

    TLR's seem like the best "bang for buck" entry into medium format. Right now I've kinda decided on a Yashicamat (specifically a 12 or 24). The camera will probably be mainly used for landscapes and portraits. What should I be looking for when buying a used Yashicamat (I'm not too sure about prices either)? And are there any problems I should be looking for if I find a local deal? And also are there any better alternatives for landscapes and portraits that cost under $100?

  2. #2
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I would suggest that if you can afford it, you buy a Rolleiflex, if not a Rolleicord.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  3. #3
    ColdEye's Avatar
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    I have a yashica D and I am very happy with it. easy to do multiple exposures, fairly small (for me), and it works like a charm and you can buy them for a very nice price.

  4. #4

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    Rollei's are quite expensive. I do know the glass is just on a whole nother world, but it's not within my budget for an entry into MF. Also, if I grab a 24, does anyone know where I can buy 220 film? All I can find from the big retailers is Portra. I'd like maybe some Velvia, HP5, or Ektachrome, but I can't seem to find it at the bigger retailers.

  5. #5
    fotch's Avatar
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    When buying used, you should figure the possibilty of needing service. If the $100 is your total budget, you might want to look at other alternatives. The Yashica TLR is probaly a good choice other than that. Good Luck.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by fotch View Post
    When buying used, you should figure the possibilty of needing service. If the $100 is your total budget, you might want to look at other alternatives. The Yashica TLR is probaly a good choice other than that. Good Luck.
    Are there any tell-tale signs whether it needs service or not? I've used one a few times, but I'm obviously not too knowledgeable about the mechanics or anything.

  7. #7
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Rolleicord, hands down. And most older TLRs could use a servicing/CLA to perform their best. Harry Fleenor the best for that but not cheap.
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  8. #8

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    Yashica TLRs were made with a few different lenses. The Yashinon is generally considered the best of the Yashica TLR lenses, but differences may be minor. The big thing to verify the condition/accuracy of the shutter. Leaf shutters (as in most, if not all, TLRs) like to be exercised on occasion. Make sure the little focus magnifier pops up properly and stays up. Make sure the focus distance as shown on the focus knob is close to the distance to the object you're focusing on. Finally, make sure the film winds correctly and does not overlap. All this applies to any TLR, with the exception of the Yashinon lens.

    $100 is optimistic for a Yashica in good condition, but you might get lucky.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  9. #9
    nsurit's Avatar
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    Although I'm just another guy with an opinion, you might watch for a Super Ricohflex and use the extra $50 to $60 left in your budget to buy film. You will have no disappointments. An amazing bargain. Bill Barber

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mgb74 View Post
    Yashica TLRs were made with a few different lenses. The Yashinon is generally considered the best of the Yashica TLR lenses, but differences may be minor. The big thing to verify the condition/accuracy of the shutter. Leaf shutters (as in most, if not all, TLRs) like to be exercised on occasion. Make sure the little focus magnifier pops up properly and stays up. Make sure the focus distance as shown on the focus knob is close to the distance to the object you're focusing on. Finally, make sure the film winds correctly and does not overlap. All this applies to any TLR, with the exception of the Yashinon lens.

    $100 is optimistic for a Yashica in good condition, but you might get lucky.
    I'm gonna take a look at a Yashica-24 tomorrow. He offered $45, so I guess it sounds like a good price. Is there anyway I can verify the accuracy of the shutter on spot when I'm taking a look at it?
    And everyone seems to be recommending Rolleis. Can you get a Rollei for $100?


    Quote Originally Posted by johnielvis View Post
    you can run 120 in a 24 with no problems at all.
    And thanks! If I choose to pick i up tomorrow, I'll be sure to keep this in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by nsurit View Post
    Although I'm just another guy with an opinion, you might watch for a Super Ricohflex and use the extra $50 to $60 left in your budget to buy film. You will have no disappointments. An amazing bargain. Bill Barber

    How do the Super Ricohflexs compare in price and in performance? An extra 50 bucks for film would be pretty helpful. Film is pretty expensive.. x.x

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