As some of you may know, my previous MF camera was broken beyond reasonable repair.
So, I was wondering, I found A Yashica D in a junk shop the other day for $95, in working order, as far as I can tell. My 2 questions are;
1 Is this a reasonable price?
2 What should I check for to make sure it is woking fully?
Looking on the Bay the buy-it-now prices very from $60 to $400. the $60 one looks pretty rough and the $400 one looks like it just came out of the box. $95 sounds right to me. Offer him $70.
Ask if you can put a roll through it, maybe even without leaving the store, and see how it goes.
The D was avialble with both the 3 element Yashicor and the 4 element Yashiair, or is it the other way around? At any rate $100 for the 4 element seems to be the ball park for a D in good shape, but high for the 3 element lens. I have both D and 124s and like D for multiple exposures, the 124 with the crank is faster.
1) It's an ok price but not great. You say a 'junk' shop. I would either get a 14 day return, or have them knock the price down to $75. Unless it has the Yashinon lenses, where this is a good price if the rest of the camera is in usable shape.
2) DO NOT use the self timer. If you really must play with it, the flash sync MUST be set to X. Be prepared for it to grind to a halt. IF SET TO X, a light pressure on the lever should make it run out. Again, best to just ignore for now unless you KNOW it is critical for what you will be doing.
Seriously, DO NOT TRY THE SELF TIMER if the flash sync is set to M.
Open the back, put the shutter on B, open the aperture all the way, hold the shutter down while looking through the lens. You'll know if something is wrong- it should be clear.
Take a flash light to the front lens, glance it sideways, look for scratches, etc.
Try the shutter at different speeds. The odds are that it will be slow at slower speeds. This involves a cleaning, but if oyu don't use slow speeds, it won't be a problem. It's more of an indicator of age and dirt and lack of use.
Take an empty spool along. Put tape along one edge of the central core, and place this end at the left so the silver gear inside the take-up area rides on the tape (well, tape isn't required, just makes the counter work smoother). Close the back, wind the 'film.' It should stop at one. Push the center button on the wind knob, release it, then wind again. It should stop at 2.... keep going and test all numbers.
I prefer to bring an actual roll of film. I have some junkers for this. Load, wind to start, close and wind, etc. Except when I get to 12, I open the back up and look at where the film is positioned. There should be an inch or two still below the film gate. If not, there are some serious frame spacing issues.
OK, now for the viewfinder. See if it opens and closes easily. Make certain that there is a magnifier lens in the flip-up magnifier (the glass is removable). The odds are that the view will be a bit dirty and dim. Fixable with a cleaning and new mirror most times. When closed, the inner panel should sit evenly in the opening. Check for paint chips and wear- a good indicator of overall handling and care over its life.
Find an object at inifnity- 150 feet or more. See if the viewfinder shows it crisp, or if focus goes past infinity. Not a killer but an indicator of alignment problems.
Focus- go back and forth. Feel for bumps, jumps, binding, etc. Watch the front panel to see if it makes any twists or bends while focusing in and out.
Put the lens on infinity and look at where the back of the lens panel meets the body. This should be pretty even all around. It should not touch the main body before infinity, actually should stop just shy of the main body. If one side hits first while the other is still moving, alignment issue.
Check the mating between the main body and the back. That joint should be even and tight all around.
And then, how's it feel? You like its balance? How the shutter release acts? The viewfinder? Could you see using this camera day after day? A mint camera that doesn't feel right ain't worth anything to you if you want a user.
Last edited by Dan Daniel; 08-24-2011 at 04:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.
If it's in good working order, per Dan's testing, it's worth the asking with either 3 or 4 element lens. It's always good to get something you know is good in person than something you can get on Ebay of unknown condition.
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First thing I do in a junk shop is offer half price, and dicker from there. You would be surprised at how often you can get things for that. I use a "dummy" roll(respooled backing with no film)to test the film advance, you can open the back at any time without ruining film.
Yeah, it's far less of a gamble if you can hold it, or get one from someone here, than risking eBay.
Originally Posted by jp498
As for the the 3 element Yashikor vs. the 4 element Yashinon I would say use it as a bargaining chip, but unless you are trying to take very critical pictures it's not much difference. True, one can see a difference on a wide open Yashikor and a wide open Yashinon. But you get stopped down to f/8 pr f/11 and you need a loupe. Who looks at pictures with a loupe or a big enlargement?
Neither of them are going to give a good Rollei a challenge, but I do think there's a case to be made about bang for the buck. There's a lot of bang in a Yashica for not too many bucks, especially if you can whittle $25 or 30 off for that "cheap triplet" lens.
I think $95 is high from a "junk shop", unless a) pristine, b) has the 4 element Yashinon lens, and c) can be returned for cash refund (not store credit).
I think most of these 2nd hand shops have unrealistic expectations of value given the condition of their items. Or, as Rick suggests, they are testing the water to see if anyone bites at/near their asking price.
So, assuming it's a bit dirty/dusty (but otherwise OK), has the 3 element lens (likely), and you can test in the store but not return if after buying, I'd offer $55-60 and not go over $75-80.
When checking the lens, look for any signs of separation or fungus (more an issue than scratches). Also, focus at an object 20-30 feet away and see if the distance scale is correct. If not, the mirror may have slipped it's mount.
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
I've got a Yashica-C with the 3-element lens, and it's not quite as sharp as a Rolleiflex with a tessar at a middle aperture, it's perfectly excellent for 11x11" prints even wide open. The Rolleiflex clearly comes ahead on 16x16" prints, but I print so few of those, I don't worry about it, and would probably use LF for images I expect to make that size. Wide open, the 3-element is a little swirly if you have a complex shadowy background like a wood scene. f5.6 and smaller, it's a sleeper lens better than most people would suspect. It's nice to use.
Of course, it's worth talking them down a little; if they sold it online, they'd be in it quite a bit for fees and posting/shipping labor.
If it's a junk shop, offer them some junk for it.