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  1. #1

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    Yashica Mat optical quality...through the years...

    Are they any significant optical quality variations in between different years of the same Yashica model? I ask because I managed to get a hold of another taking len elements that has a better looking front element. However, the lens model, same Yashinon, is of older model than my Yashica Mat. The older model, both Yashinon, has an all brass lens mounting. The front element is thinner and 1mm larger in diameter. Because of the larger front element diameter, I wasn't about to swap just the front element but must swap the entire set. However, I was curious to see what would happen to my images if I swapped it. And I did swap it and to properly calibrate the focus too. This is just based on my subjective interpretation of a scanned negative from a low budget flatbed scanner. The photos taken with the older lens model seem to be sharper. In terms of the contrast...... hard to tell. It depends on the scene and the film I was testing with. I was testing with Tmax 400 and developed with HC110.

  2. #2
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    On these older TLRs sometimes the condition and straightness of the front standard, back and even the body can make more difference than the lenses.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

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  3. #3

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    But the only difference would be is the distance between the front and rear elements since I am using entire lens set. How would the spacing or the distance between the front and rear elements change the image? Again, I was testing using Tmax 400. I used to like Tmax400 when I was shooting with a RZ67. With the Yashica mat, because of the older lens design, the film is having some issues producing deep enough shadows. Ilford fp4+, on the other hand, works great though.

  4. #4

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    I thought this shot turned out pretty nice but would have preferred darker, deeper shadows.

    richard by vracing, on Flickr

    The lens here is pretty sharp but would have been better if more contrast...without tweaking it later.

    myblock by vracing, on Flickr


    These were shot with an orange filter with a hood on, around later in the evening. Metered at zone 3 and developed in N+1, HC110, dilution H. 12m. I think I need to shoot with my favorite Ilford fp4+ next time to see if I am or I am not getting the contrast I want with the older lens elements.

  5. #5

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    There are variations in all older lenses. I've had a few different Yashinons, Xenars, Tessars, Rokkors- lots of variation in the quality of the lenses.

    Coating technology was changing constantly throught the late '50s and '60s. I assume that Yashica for the Yashinons just went with whatever the rest of the optical line was using that month/year/decade.

    And then you add in the variations of shutters, lens boards alignments, etc.

    The sharpest Tessar-type lens I've had was a Xenar on a Rolleiflex. Then a mid-run Rokkor, then a mid-run Yashinon, then a pre-WWII uncoated Tessar. Go figure....

    Considering the number of Yashica-Mats made over the years, and that Yashica was not aiming for the highest quality (cf. Linhof selecting Schneider or Zeiss samples for its cameras), sample variation is probably more than most other quality TLRs.

  6. #6
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    Tessars can be very sharp. The Solinar on my Super Isolette is very sharp as is the Tessar on my Zeiss Ikoflex Favorit. Hard to tell the difference.

    Interestingly the Tessar on my Contaflex Super does not seem to be as sharp, but I forgive it because it does absolutely gorgeous things to color film.

    The Yashinon on my Yashica Mat just does not seem to have the same bite, but I've always assumed that was my copy since everyone else has reported good results.
    Dan

    The simplest tools can be the hardest to master.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    Are they any significant optical quality variations in between different years of the same Yashica model? I ask because I managed to get a hold of another taking len elements that has a better looking front element. However, the lens model, same Yashinon, is of older model than my Yashica Mat. The older model, both Yashinon, has an all brass lens mounting. The front element is thinner and 1mm larger in diameter. Because of the larger front element diameter, I wasn't about to swap just the front element but must swap the entire set. However, I was curious to see what would happen to my images if I swapped it. And I did swap it and to properly calibrate the focus too. This is just based on my subjective interpretation of a scanned negative from a low budget flatbed scanner. The photos taken with the older lens model seem to be sharper. In terms of the contrast...... hard to tell. It depends on the scene and the film I was testing with. I was testing with Tmax 400 and developed with HC110.
    The optical glass catalogue changes frequently.
    So modern thin triplets are better than old on on MTF machine.
    Do you use a lens test chart, slow film, solid concrete tripod and microscope? Try panf or tmax100.
    Most yashicas had poor baffling, many lenses will need cleaning internally, many will have fine micro scratches externally.
    You are planning on a Frankenstein lens. Gear fetish is bad find a road roller and throw them both under.
    I use a set of single coated interchangable lenses from 56 - 62 for signature but they won't be as good on lens testing chart. Cosina do some of their current lenses in single coated and multicoated lots of people buy single.

  8. #8
    flavio81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooManyShots View Post
    Are they any significant optical quality variations in between different years of the same Yashica model? I ask because I managed to get a hold of another taking len elements that has a better looking front element. However, the lens model, same Yashinon, is of older model than my Yashica Mat. The older model, both Yashinon, has an all brass lens mounting. The front element is thinner and 1mm larger in diameter. Because of the larger front element diameter, I wasn't about to swap just the front element but must swap the entire set. However, I was curious to see what would happen to my images if I swapped it. And I did swap it and to properly calibrate the focus too. This is just based on my subjective interpretation of a scanned negative from a low budget flatbed scanner. The photos taken with the older lens model seem to be sharper. In terms of the contrast...... hard to tell. It depends on the scene and the film I was testing with. I was testing with Tmax 400 and developed with HC110.
    It's not always a good idea to do such "frankesteining" of lenses, because the very same lens can be recomputed for different glasses (or better performance) over the course of its lifetime.

    For example the Nikkor-S 50mm f1.4 (pre-AI) was re-computed three times over the course of its lifetime. And the only way to know was to look at the serial numbers. More info at Marco Cavina site:

    http://www.marcocavina.com/articoli_...uto/00_pag.htm

    So you will frankesteining and you'll still got an image, but performance might not be the optimum.

  9. #9

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    It sounded like he was going to swap the entire shutter, not an element. He knows the front elements aren't the same size.
    If the diameter going through the lens board is the same, it's not a hard swap. You don't like it. Swap it back.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10

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    Just swapping the entire taking lens elements... Is pretty simple. I am not even mixing different lens elements since the front element is too big. Is no big deal. The only concern here is that which designs (the older one or the newer one) would produce better negatives. They are obviously not the same because I had to recalibrate my focus with the older taking lens elements. In terms of sharpness, is there. This shot was taken indoor, during the Sat PDN PhotoPlus Expo in NYC, Javits Center. Shot at F4 1/125s. EI at 400. The shot was underexposed by 2 stops though.

    Don't mind the banding vertical lines on the left. My scanner is acting up. Sigh....
    indoor by vracing, on Flickr
    Last edited by TooManyShots; 11-04-2014 at 12:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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