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  1. #1

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    Battery for a Yashica Mat 124g

    A friend, now retired, wants to start using her Yashica Mat 124g again after years with digital.
    The camera looks to be in good shape and the shutter too, just by sound.
    The screen is bright but fairly dusty on the underside.

    Does anyone know if the meter will be useable, at least for a test roll, with a common alkaline 1.5 v battery -example 625 types ?

    I read comments by some that the meter was problematic anyway.. - ?

    Incidentally, the camera was opened up yesterday first time since around 1975 when the front half of the leather cover was blown off a ferry out of Milwaukee and had an exposed roll of
    "AP70/C41" film with some German text at end of roll, so maybe Agfa. I have brought the film back to process in next batch of Digibase C41.

    Thanks for any battery info , or other info on this old camera .

  2. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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    An alkaline 625 battery will give you incorrect readings, which will most likely vary as the battery is slowly drained.

    The voltage will start out too high, and then will vary over time.

    Others may be able to tell you whether the meter is reliable with the correct battery.

    The "625 battery using" cameras and meters that I use work well with either an adapter that uses silver oxide cells (includes a voltage regulator) or an adapter that modifies the size of 675 hearing aid batteries (contact Jon Goodman here on APUG).

    The Wein zinc air 625 cells are another, somewhat expensive alternative.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3

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    While a 1.5V battery is incorrect, my experience is that they will probably work fine. Just adjust the ISO setting a little to get it to agree w/ a good hand held meter (chances are you're gonna have to do this even w/ a 1.35V battery), and ck it now and then. I have a 1.5V in my Canon FTb camera, and it's kept a stable voltage for a year now. There's two of those batteries in my Nikon EM that have been in there for over 2 years, and the last time I checked them they were reading 1.44V, and this is a camera that needs them for the shutter and the meter, not just for the meter like yours. If you just want to go w/ a closer voltage for whatever reason, hearing aid batteries are far cheaper than the Wein cells, and last just as long....not very darned long.
    Last edited by momus; 08-11-2014 at 01:28 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    I believe the metering circuit does not employ the voltage-independent "bridge" design. This renders reading voltage-dependent. When that feature is present one can get away with a wider range of voltages.

    So as Matt says, using the wrong battery, while it will operate the meter, usually gives incorrect readings. Except for that brief moment when the battery decay passes through the 1.35-volt mark, which is what the nominal voltage of the now discontinued PX625 mercury oxide cells generated.

    Adjusting the ISO setting to compensate is, as mentioned, a fiddly but usually acceptable shorter-term workaround. The problem arises because the discharge curves for the different replacement cells are not the same as the original mercury cells. This means if accuracy is desired, one must relatively frequently recalibrate (readjust) the ISO setting to follow the decaying replacement cell. Mercury cells held a very constant voltage over their entire working lifespan.

    When the correct voltage is supplied, the meter is surprisingly accurate in normally lighted situations. I am an original owner of a Mat 124G and have a lifetime stash of the original mercury cells in the freezer. I once asked my camera repairman if he would officially calibrate the meter. He was hesitant as they are not particularly robust, but I insisted. After he finished I checked it against my handheld meters (again, in normal lighting situations, not in excessively dim light) and it matched exactly.

    Years later it still matches. Note that I am not a heavy user of this meter. But when I have used it, it continues to read correctly.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  5. #5
    GRHazelton's Avatar
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    Heh. My problem is getting the battery compartment off the camera! I really don't want to use a pair of pliers. Any suggestions out there??
    This email is a natural hand-made product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and in no way are to be considered flaws.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRHazelton View Post
    Heh. My problem is getting the battery compartment off the camera! I really don't want to use a pair of pliers. Any suggestions out there??
    I had the same problem, I put on a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves and managed to twist it off, the gloves gave me a better grip without searing my fingertips off.
    "Art is is a picture of some dude I never met smoking under a lamppost at 6400 ISO and in BW."

  7. #7
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRHazelton View Post
    Heh. My problem is getting the battery compartment off the camera! I really don't want to use a pair of pliers. Any suggestions out there??
    Maybe one of those rubbery "gripper" sheets that help in unscrewing stuck jars in the kitchen? Press down really hard with your thumb while rotating?

    Note that stuck battery compartment covers can sometimes be that way due to corrosion from a leaking cell still inside...



    Ken

    [Edit: Ahh... I see 'Cybertrash' beat me to it.]
    Last edited by Ken Nadvornick; 08-11-2014 at 01:48 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Added [Edit]...
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    When I got my 124-G in 1975 the CDS meter was a step above the 'other' TLR with a meter. Although the competitor was German made, it had a selenium meter. Currently I use a Zinc/air battery with success.

  9. #9

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    Hopefully the battery was removed before storage. If its corroded, the lead wire will need replacing anyway. The voltage issue would bother me for slide film but not so much print.
    "If its not broken, I can't afford it."

  10. #10

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    You could always for go on board light meter and use hand held. They are for faily good price no days.

    Todd

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