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  1. #1

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    New Yashica MAT TLR - Issues with 120 film

    I am fairly new to TLRs, but today I managed to get my hands on a Yashica MAT TLR and a Tokiwa FirstFlex TLR.

    I'm fairly familiar with shooting 120 (mostly Ilford b&w and Fuji color) with my Holga. The FirstFlex is extremely similar in that it has a film window, so I can wind until I see the frame numbers on the film backing, just like on a Holga.

    The issue with the Yashica MAT, is that there is a film counter (just like on a film SLR) however it's a locking mechanism. This is an issue since there is no way for me to see the frame number on the film backing, and a bigger issue in that the film counter starts after only a few winds. I know on my Holga it takes half a dozen winds to get past the backing paper and get to the first frame, so I don't know how to load the film properly in this TLR.

    Is anyone familiar with the Yashica MAT at all? Just for clarification this is not a MAT124 or a MAT124G, just a plain MAT.

    Am I supposed to unwind the film and remove the backing, and trim it to feed into the 120 roll?

    Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Ottrdaemmerung's Avatar
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    I can't offer any advice on the Yashica MAT specifically, but I do have a few different TLRs, including a Yashica D.
    Yes, it does seem like the film winds forever on the Holga before you get to the frame counting numbers, but keep in mind that with a TLR, the winding knob or lever gives you a little bit more leverage, so fewer turns are required. Just load the film and wind it with the back open until the word START appears, then close the back and keep winding until your film counter starts.

    I've never heard of ANY camera that would require you to remove the backing from 120 film. If you need more assistance, go to http://www.butkus.org/chinon/yashica.htm and download the appropriate manual for your camera -- or a similar one, if the precise one isn't there.
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  3. #3
    DWThomas's Avatar
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    With the 124G version, there are two marks, one for 120, the other for 220, to which you line up the "Start" arrow, winding with the back open. They are both near the roller at the bottom edge of the opening for the exposure frame. With a 120-only camera, we would expect only one start mark. Once you've reached that position, you close the camera, which resets and engages the counter. From there, winding stops at the first frame. (And backing up the crank a bit cocks the shutter.)

    I imagine there should be something similar in yours. Best of course to find a copy of the manual.

  4. #4

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    Thank you so much!

    There are two red arrow markers, on either side of the frame when the back is open. I couldn't figure out what they were for. I wound the film with the back open until the Start marker, and held down the reset pin while I wound it to frame 1 (an old roll of ruined film, just for testing) and just as you said, it stopped on frame 1, 2 etc.

    Thanks!!! **runs off to take pictures**

  5. #5
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    I have a Yashica Mat. That's what I do. Load the film, advance till the arrows line up then lock the camera shut. Then, as you turn the crank, the film will advance till it gets to the first frame then the crank will lock. From that point on, advancing the film for each frame is done by swinging the crank forward then backward, almost like a pendulum.

    Check out butkus.org for Yashica instruction manuals: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/yashica...t_m-splash.htm

    This is where I got the manual for my camera and that is how I learned to use it.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

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  6. #6

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    You'll love the Mat. I have a semi-mint Mat 124 non-G, and it's a super sweet TLR. I actually like the focusing screen better than my Rolleiflex--it's brighter and clearer to my old eyes and I really like the orange grid. The Yashinon lens takes outstandingly sharp images, too. Like most of these, my meter doesn't work, but I use a tiny little Sekonic L-208 with it so that doesn't bother me. Best bang for the buck in a TLR out there, IMHO.

  7. #7

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    With the standard Yashicamat, and not the 124 models, line up the black arrows on the film backing with the red arrows in the back of the camera, close the camera and crank usually two or three times and you get to frame one, then an aditional half turn about for each consecutive frame. Yashicamat is a beautiful camera, have fun.



 

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