Value of the 635?
I'm looking at a Yashica 635 TLR with the 35mm adapter, mask, original leather carrying case, original manual, and a Focal brand flash attachment. The asking price is $100, which I'm comfortable with.
But, I've watched these on eBay for more than a few months now, and I've seen them go for as low as $45, and as high as $250. Even parts cameras sometimes go for $50 or more. In addition collectiblend.com lists them as about $100 for average condition, and mint condition being closer to $250.
Since I've never used a Yashica TLR, when I inspect the camera are there any specific things that I should look at to assess its true value? It seems to have a few extra knobs that I'm not familiar with, so I'll be heading over to Butkus' site to check out the manual. I'll check the overall condition, and shutter speeds if I can figure it out, as well as the lens quality.
Were these things built pretty sturdy?
I think the 635 has the 3 element taking lens rather than the 4 tessor type found on some D and the upper end Mats such as the 124. Given that the camera you are looking at is complete $100 seems like a good price. Stopped down to F 8 you will get a fair image. I had a 635 years years ago, like mid 70's, found it in a pawn shop. Got rid of it as my Nikon with 105 lens was much better than the 635 80mm, and my Yashica's Ds and 124 were better in 6X6.
Yashica TLRs aren't as durable as Rolleis, but can made good images, especially with the four element Yashinon lens. Earlier Yashikor three element lenses are reputed to be softer at wide apertures. It is said that some Yashikor lenses are actually the better four element Tessar design like the Yashinon. There seems to be almost a cult status with high prices on the later 124 series of Yashicas. I consider the older ones to be more cost effective. Careful shopping on ebay might be better than paying $100 for the 635.
Originally Posted by Jim Jones
I'm going to be able to inspect this one in person before I buy it. Its being sold locally.
Bear in mind that you may need to get the shutter serviced. I bought a 124 off this forum a few years ago and it cost me about 2/3rds what I'd paid for the camera for a CLA, however it was worth it.
I love using my Yashicamat they are fun and easy to use quickly, I don't need to be as precious with it as my Rolleiflex so I don't bother with a case. Unless the 635 is a very good price you might be better waiting for a 124 or similar with a Yashinon lens.
I really only wanted it to shoot 35mm with since it has the adapter. I know I could do the same with any one of my box cameras, but this sounded like more fun - and it would look nice in my display cabinet.
But I guess if I dont really need it, I could buy $100 worth of film instead!
I payed $120 for mine, but it was in mint condition. It did not come with the adapter though (wouldn't bother shooting 35mm with a medium format camera). They're built pretty well, but the plastic window that covers the shutter speed and aperture display can break off very easy and fall inside your camera, so be careful with that. Cleaning the focus screen is a bit of a hassle since it's held down with four little screws.
Hi Christopher, when you go to check out the camera, check out the M/X Sync lever - if it's jammed upwards on the M it means someone's made the mistake of using the self-timer while it was at M instead of X - that's one expensive fix, from what I've read.
Also, take along a roll of 120 backing paper (still attached to the spool) and a take up spool. It will give you a chance to run the camera through it's paces without wasting film and be able to check that the frame counter is working and the film is advancing as it should. My Yashica D is exactly the same as the 635, minus the ability to use the 35mm adapter so, to the best of my knowledge, it works in the same fashion. One thing I forgot about when I first got my camera was that, in order to wind film on, you need to depress the silver button on the winding knob every time. I honestly thought the camera was toast until I remembered that little factoid!
Having said all of this, you're receiving this "advice" from a girl who has had her hands on her very first Yashica TLR and very first medium format camera for LESS than 48 hours! I did do a LOT of reading, though, and the second TLR I got at the same time (a Yashica-Mat) has both problems mentioned above - M/X sync stuck, crank only intermittently winds on film.... but VERY pretty to look at!)
By the way, since I didn't put in an order for 120 film until I knew I had at least one working camera for it, I wound in a strip of 35mm film onto a 120 spool with old backing paper and shot that yesterday - worked like a charm and, unlike the 635's 35mm adapter, this exposes the sprocket holes as well. So, if the 635 doesn't measure up, you can shoot 35mm in any 120 camera doing what I did.
Hope the camera turns out to be in good working order for you. I would pay a hundred dollars for a usable Yashica TLR if I had my chance to get my hands on it and inspect it first without hesitation. With regard to how sturdily they're built, while I have nothing to compare them to, I do find it a very solid build. Apparently, the later 124G have a fair number of plastic components in them, whereas all of the earlier ones are all metal.
Value of the 635?
So the 635 doesn't expose the sprockets? I wonder if I used the adapter without the mask if it would work?
I'm going look at it tomorrow.
According to a post from Dan Daniel elsewhere on the boards, leaving out the mask WILL allow you to expose the sprocket holes as well :) Sorry, guess I didn't read nearly as thoroughly as I thought I had!