My first MF was a Yashica 635 (built-in portrait lens on 35mm!). I got great results with the 3-element Yashikor stopped down. Lately I found an almost mint early YashicaMat with the 4-element Lumaxar for a bargain price, $80. That camera is a perfect copy of a Rolleiflex except for the automatic first-frame feature, which is no big thing.
Had'nt thought about it that way. That does make it sound a lot more worth while.
Originally Posted by tessar
Real men use Speed Graphics and flashbulbs.
I have a Yashica D . It's a great little camera once you get use to the film winding procedure. If you forget to wind the film after your exposure you end up with a double exposure for the next shot!
chrism: The problem with your viewfinder is most likely a tarnished mirror. You can get a new one here:
It's an easy swap- remove the hood (4 screws), push down on the little tab of metal in the middle of the upper edge, and push the old mirror out. While you are in there, clean the back of the lens since it is probably coated with evaporated grease from the focus bearings. The new mirror (front-surface so do not touch. I wear gloves and handle only by edges) can be slid into place. Since it is located by cast parts in the body, and both new and old mirror are front-surfaced, there is no need to adjust focus.
Assuming that your hood has the Fresnel screen, this is two pieces. Glass on top (what you see when focusing) and plastic on the bottom, inside. If you are up for disassembly, press the clips down and slide sideways.... this may make sense when you are in there. Use dish washing soap on the Fresnel, and on the ground glass to avoid removing guidelines.. Note that the screen is not symmetrical! Both lines and the center clear spot of the Fresnel are off-center. Make notes/marks. Be sure everything is dry before reassembly.
If the screen is still disappointing, Rick Oleson will sell you a new one:
You will see on his site that he says that his screens and the stock Yashica-Mat will not show much difference. My experience says to start with a new mirror, clean the back of the viewing lens, a cleaning of the ground glass if you are up for it, and see what happens.
Anyhow, about a year ago I bought a Yashica-D to try medium format again. I hadn't shot film for more than 20 years when I started again in the spring of 2009. I used to have a Rolleicord, and the Yashica seemed a nice return. I lucked into a late model D with the Yashinon lenses and the 2.8 viewing lens. Since then, I have bought 5 more Yashicas of various models (all with Yashinons). Right now I have a D and aYashica-Mat with Lumaxar lenses. I am in the middle of getting another Lumaxar ready to sell. I tend to use my Minolta Autocords theses days, but every time I pull out one of the Yashicas I am impressed.
They are great cameras, hitting a sweet spot between price and quality. Probably the best way to see what medium format is really about. And given their price, you can do things like this without too big a grimace- a Hasselblad NC-2 prism finder scabbed onto a Yashica-Mat (go to Previous for another view)-
Last edited by Dan Daniel; 08-14-2010 at 08:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I got a pretty good deal on my 124G due to the meter being inoperative. It had a prettier dirty mirror too but it was very easy to clean and made a big difference.
I've been very, very happy with it. I had been trying to find a good deal on a Rollei since I am on a tight budget but the deal on the 124G was too good to pass up and I've got no regrets. The images are fantastic, it makes me look like a half-decent photographer, lol.
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I have a Yashica 44a. I got mine in near-mint condition and really enjoy the 127 format. The camera is very compact.
I have taken it out in public and people often approach me and comment on the camera. It's quite popular.
For color film, I bought a 100' roll of 46mm Kodak Portra (I think they quit making it so it's harder to find now). Then I roll it up on used backing papers and spools I recovered from decades expired film. I haven't tried splitting 120 film but that's another option.
I now develop my own film since it's hard to find labs that will process it for a reasonable price and they can lose your precious papers and spools.
I have an A and love it. Very underrated compared to the "higher profile" Yashicas.
I started 120 with an older C, in the early 80's and sold it a few years later (Poor student days). It took great pictures.
Two years ago I was gifted what would have been my grandfather in law's A. It had layed unused since about 1972. It worked just fine. I had (still do) too many cameras at the time, and when a young guy came along and expresed an interest in stepping beyound 35mm and into film, I sold it to him. I would rather see cameras being used than collecting dust around my place.
For a week last month I was vacationing at a cottage that came ready equipped with a darkroom and a D. I was pleased to run several films through it.
They are so much lighter than my C330, and accordingly, I may be tempted to step back into the Yashical TLR world again.
my real name, imagine that.
Just bought a 124 (no G). Needed a CLA to get some of the slower shutter speeds to work properly, but it's a great camera. Shot and developed two rolls this weekend, and the images were surprisingly good. Bought off an old pro who had it tucked away in a closet since the late '80s. Glad to resurrect an old dinosaur into working conidtion!
I've had my YashicaMat (Yashinon lens) for at least twenty years. It has been a good travel camera, and it is still likely to be the camera I grab for a casual day out. I keep a No.2 close-up set on the strap along with the hood and a yellow/green filter. Just add film and a light meter.
I feel, therefore I photograph.