Quote Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
I've overhauled a few Yashica-Mats, including the 124-G. The Yashinon lens is a very good Tessar-type lens. The internals mechanisms are solidly done; not Rolleiflex solid, not Rolleiflex precision machining, but competently done. I'd consider the Yashica-Mats the bottom level of a 'real' TLR that will give you solid results that could be used professionally.

They made hundreds of thousands of them, it seems. Working on them, I got the sense that the factory slapped them together; there would be a little fiddling if things didn't work or meet specs, and any out-of-range cameras would then simply be dropped in a parts box. In other words, not really designed to be maintained over the years. When people talk about good or bad lenses on the Yashicas, I bet that this is primarily due to good or bad alignment and such. The focus rails and lens board are not built as solid as Rolleis ('flex or 'cord).

In other words, condition is important. Get one in good alignment for a good price, you'll have a nice camera.

Then again, for what 124-Gs go for these days, a Minolta Autocord has a better lens and almost no chance of being out of alignment. The Yashica-Mat 124 (no G) is a better-built camera all in all. A Rolleicord will most likely be in better alignment and such. The meter is of no concern to me since I wouldn't use it anyway.
I have a 124 non-G. I've heard before that they are better built, mainly with having more metal gearing in place of some nylon or the like, though I don't know how true that is. I do know they sound different in winding. I think they're better looking in a classic antique way too, but that's subjective. I wouldn't shy away from a good sample of either.

I find I probably enjoy using that camera more than any of my others, including all my 35mm, my Mamiya 645 Pro with multiple lenses and backs, and maybe even my Linhof. Of course there are things it just isn't suited to and I'd never want to give up large format or 35mm. But the Yashicamat is just plain fun to use, always gets smiles and often polite questions from people, and produces excellent results.

Mine does yield inconsistent frame spacing but there's always enough frame spacing and I always get my 12 shots so I've seen absolutely no reason to have it looked at on that account.

Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
I enjoy using my Yashica124 and haven't had any issues with the meter/battery, in fact I'm surprised how accurate it is. It's possible it was adjusted to take modern 1.5v batteries befire I bought it.

At some stage I'll buy a second to use here in the UK. I bought the first on a whim on this forum I hadn't used a TLR since the early 1980's when my Mamiyas were stolen and found it became a mainstay of my photography in Turkey/Greece etc.

Mine came with a battery, and I haven't even opened it up to see if it's a 1.5V or a Wien cell or the like. It's still working though, and as long as I've had the camera that argues against a zinc-air. I suppose I should take a look.

I always use it along with my LunaPro SBC so it really doesn't matter to me how well or if it works, but as long as I'm often surprised at how it agrees very closely with the LunaPro. The meter on my 124 only goes to 400 though, requiring some mental compensation if I wanted to use it with Portra 800 or Delta 3200, both of which I've done. I don't know if this applies to the G model.

Excellent camera if you get a good one. You'll almost certainly like it, and if you just find that TLRs or WLF or whatever aspect is not to your liking you should be able to sell it for about what you pay.