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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdEye View Post
    Wow, can I also put a prism on a Yashica D??
    Yep. The finder parts are the same on both a D and a Yashica-Mat.

    The prism is a Hasselblad NC-2. There is a Kiev prism of similar design. Both models have a mounting plate that simply unscrews. then the prism fits right into the opening of the focus hood... well it fits right in after you remove all of the folding pieces. There is a pin front and back holding these parts in. Take some photos first to see how the springs are hooked in if oyu plan to reassemble it some day.

    I needed to shim the prism up about 1/4 inch (6mm) to get it to focus on the ground glass. Basswood from a model store did this fine. I don't know if the distance is related to my eyesight or not. Then just strong tape to hold the prism in place.

  2. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by h.v. View Post
    I don't like the idea of buying an Autocord and then sending it to Mr. Bryan for it to be perfected. The result may be awesome, but this just seems very time consuming and complicated (especially when I keep hearing about how simple loading/rewinding is more of a pain). This may be rather lofty, but I kinda want it to just work properly and be in a good condition so that it'll last right out of the box, like my 35mm cameras.
    Don't be too intimidated by service. Karl serviced an Autocord for me which had a broken focus lever (my second Autocord - the first was intacted but not in great condition over all). It was relatively inexpensive and he had the camera back to me in 4 days including shipping. He actually repaired it and had it one the way back the day he received it. I can't speak highly enough about him.

    I've had plenty of old 35mm cameras which required work. I did it myself in most cases but given how long it took and how much I learned along the way (ie how much I messed up), it would have been an order of magnitude more cost effective to send cameras to people who do these repairs regularly.

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by lesm View Post
    This is sage advice. When you're entering a new field like this it's very easy to get too much information, ask too many questions and end up thrashing around with no satisfactory outcome. To be honest, when you talk about wanting a perfect MF camera which you won't need to get serviced for 10 years but you only have a tiny budget it seems to me you're headed for disappointment. You might get lucky, but any of the experienced members here will tell you that's unlikely. Before you spend any money at all, I'd strongly urge you to follow Matt's advice. Look for a camera club, make friends at your local art school, talk to an art teacher from your local high school, ask at your local camera store, just do whatever it takes to find someone to help you with some hands-on experience. And if you have a decent library, ask them to get you some books on interloan, such as Michael Freeman's "Cameras and Lenses," which has a ton of information and lots of illustrations. Librarians are knowledgeable and usually really willing to help.
    I'm not looking for something perfect. Perfect would probably be a Rolleiflex...at least in the TLR field. To be honest, if a Yashica was built 50 years ago, and is still in working condition, I don't think it's out of line for me to expect at least 10 years with it still functioning properly. 35mm cameras seem more than happy to be old and still have life in them for years ahead. I would assume medium format isn't built to a lower standard which would allow them to fall apart easier.

    As for finding someone that may own a TLR that can show me how it works, I can always try looking, but to be perfectly honest, I'm content learning the ropes myself. When I was learning about how to work an SLR, I relied heavily on research and opinions to narrow my search down to a camera. Now, I had a few people who already own an SLR so I could try playing with it, but to be honest, I hadn't even learned about apertures and ISOs yet, so I was still not sure on how to use it. I also didn't really get to play around with anything in-store. I made the best decision possible with the knowledge I had obtained, and thought it was extremely likely I'd enjoy the SLR I purchased, even though there would first be a learning curve.

    I don't see how this would be any different with MF. Based on what I've read, the Mats and Autocords seem like fantastic, fun cameras. There are some worries and queries, and I think that's perfectly natural. I'm sure it will all make sense once I have a TLR in my hands and begin playing around with it. Until then, I want to know as much as I can about the camera before purchase, so I don't make the wrong decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Legge View Post
    Don't be too intimidated by service. Karl serviced an Autocord for me which had a broken focus lever (my second Autocord - the first was intacted but not in great condition over all). It was relatively inexpensive and he had the camera back to me in 4 days including shipping. He actually repaired it and had it one the way back the day he received it. I can't speak highly enough about him.

    I've had plenty of old 35mm cameras which required work. I did it myself in most cases but given how long it took and how much I learned along the way (ie how much I messed up), it would have been an order of magnitude more cost effective to send cameras to people who do these repairs regularly.
    I think that I'll keep that in mind if I obtain a camera not in full working order, but I really just want one that works right out of the box. No hassles to ship things out for repairs. Why can't it be that simple?

    --

    in addition to the question about 120 developing...I've read about the Yashica Mat 124G commonly having problems with flares and leaks sometimes. Has this been a problem for anyone?

  4. #54

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    These are cameras up to 60 years old, with unknown histories in most cases. I have a Rolleiflex that looks like crap but I know it was overhauled a year before I bought it, I know who overhauled it, and I know the guy's reputation. I have bought Autocords that look pristine which were useless except for parts. Look, a basic overhaul by Mark Hama, who is the premier Yashica-Mat guy in the US, will be $165 or so. Karl Bryan on an Autocord will be maybe $75 to $150. Either case, you WILL now have no hassles. Short of this, or short of knowing when a camera was last serviced and by whom, you will be taking a chance.

    This is just how it is. I've worked on Yashica-mats, Autocords, and Rolleiflexes. Yashicas WILL wear out- the design is solid but the parts are medium quality. Minolta parts are better and the design is better. Rolleiflex parts ooze quality machining and casting, and they STILL wear out.

    Seriously, this is what you should do: start following Autocords on Ebay. Look for either well-established camera dealers or people with 25-200 sales of assorted cameras and other things. Check feedback. Ask about the lens specifically, is it clean, no scratches, no fungus. This gives you leverage if they were lying. Be patient. Bid no more than $125, max, and only on a sweet one. Eventually, one day, you will win one. When it arrives, check the lens. If the lens is clean, box it right back up, send it to Karl Bryan. Wait less than a week, and NOW you have what you want: a hassle-free camera straight out of the box.

    Again, these cameras are old. Be patient, be thorough, and be realistic.

    Yashicas- internal reflection (info applicable to many cameras; I flocked my Autocord, also)- http://www.flickr.com/groups/yashica...7622734630140/
    Door seals being gummed up and needing replacement, you contact Jon Goodman, he sends you parts and instructions for $10 or less, you get dirty for fifteen minutes, problem solved-
    http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/sealreplacement.html

    There is so much camera-specific information out there that getting answers to all questions about any possible model will become a never-ending thread. You want info/answers about specific cameras, start a new thread with the camera name in the subject line.

  5. #55
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    I have a Yashica D that I bought from a forum member here for a REALLY good price, and I am very happy with it. It works nicely and is a joy to use. You might not want to deal with forum members for whatever reason you have (that is fine, I also had the same aversions first, but some of the best deals you can get are from people in forums like this. As for the flare a hood will minimize it, that was the first accessory I purchased for my TLR.

  6. #56
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    I have two medium-format cameras, both with waist-level finders. One is a Yashica 635 (an older cousin of the Yashicamat 124), the other a Mamiya RB67. I've used them both for street photography, although I prefer to use a 35mm with a wide-angle lens for that sort of work. I rarely meter when doing street photos, usually I just go with the sunny 16 rule, and adjust my aperture if I go from sun to shade. My observations include the following:

    - The Yashica is very quiet, while the RB is rather loud (that mirror is huge). The 635 has a knob wind (as opposed to a crank), and shutter cocking is a separate operation from winding, making it a little slower but again quieter.
    - With either of these cameras, double exposures are easy to do accidentally if in a hurry - which sometimes happens in street photography!
    - Scale-focusing or zone-focusing is easier with the Yashica TLR, in my opinion, because there is a nice focus scale where the RB has that bellows scale on the side, much harder to read distance from (but the RB lenses have DOF preview).
    - I used a monopod with my RB for a while, until the camera BENT the attachment screw - more a symptom of a cheap monopod than the camera, but still the weight helped make that happen. The Yashica is definitely easier to carry for long periods of time.
    - In my own experience the RB67 attracts attention. People have asked if I am filming a movie, or if I'm working for the local newspaper, and once I was even asked if I was insurance adjuster (huh?). The TLR is noticeable too but it seems to get a friendlier response.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
    These are cameras up to 60 years old, with unknown histories in most cases. I have a Rolleiflex that looks like crap but I know it was overhauled a year before I bought it, I know who overhauled it, and I know the guy's reputation. I have bought Autocords that look pristine which were useless except for parts. Look, a basic overhaul by Mark Hama, who is the premier Yashica-Mat guy in the US, will be $165 or so. Karl Bryan on an Autocord will be maybe $75 to $150. Either case, you WILL now have no hassles. Short of this, or short of knowing when a camera was last serviced and by whom, you will be taking a chance.

    This is just how it is. I've worked on Yashica-mats, Autocords, and Rolleiflexes. Yashicas WILL wear out- the design is solid but the parts are medium quality. Minolta parts are better and the design is better. Rolleiflex parts ooze quality machining and casting, and they STILL wear out.

    Seriously, this is what you should do: start following Autocords on Ebay. Look for either well-established camera dealers or people with 25-200 sales of assorted cameras and other things. Check feedback. Ask about the lens specifically, is it clean, no scratches, no fungus. This gives you leverage if they were lying. Be patient. Bid no more than $125, max, and only on a sweet one. Eventually, one day, you will win one. When it arrives, check the lens. If the lens is clean, box it right back up, send it to Karl Bryan. Wait less than a week, and NOW you have what you want: a hassle-free camera straight out of the box.

    Again, these cameras are old. Be patient, be thorough, and be realistic.

    Yashicas- internal reflection (info applicable to many cameras; I flocked my Autocord, also)- http://www.flickr.com/groups/yashica...7622734630140/
    Door seals being gummed up and needing replacement, you contact Jon Goodman, he sends you parts and instructions for $10 or less, you get dirty for fifteen minutes, problem solved-
    http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/sealreplacement.html

    There is so much camera-specific information out there that getting answers to all questions about any possible model will become a never-ending thread. You want info/answers about specific cameras, start a new thread with the camera name in the subject line.
    Seriously? You expect me to throw out another $100+ to get it repaired, not to mention shipped all the way out to the U.S.A.? I will still be taking a chance if I send it to this Karl or Mark person, will I not? I mean, something could happen during the shipment process, and even without that, the camera is still going to wear. I don't see why I'd need to shell out that kind of money and just ship it right back out if the camera comes as advertised (full working condition, the kind I'm seeking). If it works, why bother? If it doesn't, I can ship it back to whomever sold me it and get my money back.

    I never realized medium format was such a frustration. I thought it would be fun to learn about something different, but the more I read, the more it seems like a hassle and annoyance, despite the really cool cameras.

  8. #58
    dpn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
    You want a nice street TLR, get a Minolta Autocord. The way the focus lever sits at the bottom, you can cradle the camera in the left hand and focus with it, hold steady and fire the shutter with the right hand, I find it easier than a rollei-style focus knob on the side.
    I'm a big fan of TLRs myself, but, dang, that Minolta Autocord focusing lever is a maintenance nightmare waiting to happen. I speak from personal experience. $250 initial purchase price, but $500 in maintenance since 2003. LOVE the images it produces, though.

    What about a nice Yashica Mat 124? I also think that Ricoh Diacords are undervalued currently.

    And don't be afraid to get a TLR without a meter. I use a Sekonic L-208 meter, but a DSLR and/or an iPhone with a light metering app will do the trick, at least for print film.

  9. #59
    dpn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Legge View Post
    Don't be too intimidated by service. Karl serviced an Autocord for me which had a broken focus lever (my second Autocord - the first was intacted but not in great condition over all). It was relatively inexpensive and he had the camera back to me in 4 days including shipping. He actually repaired it and had it one the way back the day he received it. I can't speak highly enough about him.
    I second the Karl Bryan recommendation. He got my Autocord back in less than a week, with reasonably-priced service that included a CLA, swapping my taking lens (which had separating elements), and replacing my focusing lever. I wish I could find someone as reliable to service my Pentax DSLR lenses!

    I'm well on my way to breaking the replacement lever, unfortunately. The quick release plate on my tripod bends the replacement focusing lever if I forget to take the camera off of the tripod before changing film. This has happened a few times due to my sheer stupidity, the metal feels weaker, and I'm waiting for my replacement focusing lever to break. Totally my fault. Frustrating all the same.

    In my opinion, anyway, non-Rollei TLRs can be bargains -- even with the cost of service, which should be done as a matter of course. I'm just ticked at Minolta for their poor focus lever design, and myself for causing damage to its replacement. I think that "normal" twisty-knob focus is the way to go with a TLR.

  10. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by h.v. View Post
    Seriously? You expect me to throw out another $100+ to get it repaired, not to mention shipped all the way out to the U.S.A.? I will still be taking a chance if I send it to this Karl or Mark person, will I not? I mean, something could happen during the shipment process, and even without that, the camera is still going to wear. I don't see why I'd need to shell out that kind of money and just ship it right back out if the camera comes as advertised (full working condition, the kind I'm seeking). If it works, why bother? If it doesn't, I can ship it back to whomever sold me it and get my money back.

    I never realized medium format was such a frustration. I thought it would be fun to learn about something different, but the more I read, the more it seems like a hassle and annoyance, despite the really cool cameras.
    The attitude is a bit off-putting. It seems like you feel entitled to the help you're getting in this thread, rather than thankful.

    In any case, that's a massive generalization. Medium format in itself is not a frustration. Neither are the cameras. By all means, buy a camera and it will most likely work. These things are all built to last. However, if you want an optimal shooting experience, you'd do well to get your camera serviced. I've been on both sides of the fence - I sent my Leica M6 off for service promptly after receiving it, but my newly acquired Mamiya RB67 is a beater and it's running just fine without the help of a technician. It's really up to you. If you're pressed for cash, skip the repairs and hope for the best.

    If you do decide to opt for repair, it needn't be in the States. There are plenty of people in Canada that could help. Most people on the forum seem to be American, so they suggest what they know. Everyone's just trying to help.

    Note that is is true of all mechanical cameras, not just medium format. If you've never needed to service your 35mm cameras, great. Consider yourself lucky. Maybe your luck will continue with a TLR.



 

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