They're a very good camera. The lens is a Tessar type, and performs about like any other Tessar. The overall build quality is not quite as nice as a Rollei, but what is?
Originally Posted by ToddB
The solution to the battery "problem" is to use #675 hearing aid cells. If you look at those cells, you will find (after peeling off the tab) four air holes. Block three of these holes, use tape or glue. This will extend the life from a few weeks to a year or more. Use an O-ring from the hardware store as a bushing to keep it in the center of the compartment.
As for the image quality, it depends more upon whomever is using the camera than anything else. Just like the Rollei in this respect, there's no difference whatever. ;)
Extend the life of your battery by keeping the hood closed (it triggers the meter when opened). I recommend the Yash and even think the meter is pretty damn good, within limits (400 ASA and somewhat imprecise settings). I've shot plenty of transparencies on mine and cannot recall ever having a bad exposure - unlike my Rollei SL66SE.
I recently purchased a Yashica Mat 124G off of eBay. The seller said that the camera was used once and put on shelf. It does seem to be in good cosmetic condition. I haven't run a film through it yet, but the film winding crank seems to have a ratchetty sound when wound. Is this normal for this camera?
I have a 124G and have used it for several years - I paid for a CLA when I bought it and it has been great. I might be getting a pair of Rolleiflex's in the next couple of months so I don't know how much I will continue to use it but it really is light and easy to carry around. Printing at 11x14, I can't tell a difference between it and my RZ (I tend to shoot both at F/11).
kmallick - I have had a single problem with mine, in that the advance worked (it advanced the film) but would not stop to tell you when it was at the next frame; so you put in a roll and wind through the whole thing. It made a ratchetty sound for several weeks prior to doing this and while I cannot say for certain that yours is going down the same path, I would get it looked at. However, this is a different noise from the clicking sound that advancing the film makes - it was more of a sound of a gear not meshing properly than a grind.
Yes, that's normal.
Originally Posted by kmallick
Mine has made that sound since the day I bought it new. It can be a little disconcerting, but in my case nothing bad has yet come of it.
For what it is worth I swear by my Mat (the very first camera I ever owned) and a recently acquired mint 124G. My father used to work for Yashica (NYC) and he sold one of his friends a 124G who used it once or twice and packed it back up to put in storage. After my father's death the friend gave it to me earlier this year as a memento. I used this link to find an alternative to the battery problem and it seems to work really well: http://www.criscam.com/mercury_batte...s.php#gotohere. To say that I love the camera would be an understatement!! Hope you like yours! cheers, Sam