Daily Archives: July 29th, 2012

Overview of Yashica TLR Models

Source: Yashica Twin Lens Reflex Guide – Focal Press January 1964

The Yashica rollfilm reflex cameras are twin-lens mirror reflex cameras made in two sizes, one taking 12 exposures of a size 21⁄4 x 21⁄4 in. (6 x 6 cm.) on standard 120 roll film, the other taking 12 exposures 1 5/8 X 1 5/8 in. (4 x 4 cm.) on 127 roll film.

Two lenses matched for focal length are mounted one above the other on a common panel. The upper lens projects an image of the subject via a mirror on to a ground glass screen in the top of the camera, while the lower one projects a similar image on to the film: the ground glass image therefore shows at all times the full-size picture as it will appear on the negative, upright but reversed left to right. To compensate for any parallax between the viewing and taking lens, the ground glass is suitably masked. The ground glass on top of the camera is protected in the closed position by the folded- down finder hood. When opened, this forms a light-excluding hood 21⁄2 in. high; it carries a magnifier for critical focusing and has a built-in framefinder for eye-level direct vision.

The Yashica reflex cameras are focused by a large focusing knob on the side of the camera. This is geared to the front panel and smoothly and simultaneously controls both lenses. A depth of field indicator is incorporated.

A film speed indicator is built into the centre of the focusing knob except model D and 635, where it is in the film transport knob.

A tripod bush is located in the centre of the camera base. The back of the camera hinges open for insertion of the film. It carries a substantial spring-loaded pressure plate to locate the film precisely in its focal plane. The shutter is released by a body release knob on the front of the camera.

The body is diecast and leather covered. The dimensions of the 21⁄4 x 21⁄4 models are 5 5/8 X 4 1/8 x 3 3⁄4 in., weight from 32 oz. to 40 oz. The 4 x 4 models measure 41⁄2 31⁄4 x 31⁄4 in. and weigh from 24 oz. to 29 oz.

The various Yashica rollfilm reflex models are distinguished from each other by the type of lens built-in, the number of shutter speeds, various automatic features and built-in exposure meter.

Some discontinued models of the Yashica reflex, such as models B, C and 44 which were on the market only for a short time, are so similar to the current ones that they have not been dealt with in the guide separately. There are also several transition variations of the Yashica reflex models listed below. These variations are of a minor nature and the consequent change in manipulation self-evident.

Yashica Reflex Models

The 6*6 models are:

  • Yashica A.
    As general description above, fitted with Yashikor, earlier models with Yashimar f 3.5 80 mm. three-element, in four-speed Copal shutter, X flash synchronized, film transport by knob, non-automatic, accessory shoe fitted.


  • Yashica B.
    Similar to A with aperture and shutter speed set by levers on either side of the shutter rim.


  • Yashica C.
    Adds to model A semi-automatic film transport, speed range from 1 to 1/300 sec., field lens in focusing screen, full XM flash synchronization, Yashikor f3.5 80 mm. lens with bayonet mount for filters, built-in delayed action.

  • Yashica D.
    Similar to model C with increased speed range 1 to 1/500 sec., aperture and speed setting in cut-out window above finder lens controlled by thumb wheels.

  • Yashica 635.
    As model D with facilities for using 35 mm. miniature film by incorporating additionial transport knob, film counter and rewind control. Supplied with conversion kit.


  • Yashica Mat reflex.
    As general description above, fitted with Yashinon f3.5 80 mm. and finder lens f3.2, shutter 1 to 1/500 sec., built- in delayed action. fully XM synchronized. Aperture and speed setting in cut-out window above finder lens, controlled by thumb wheels with click stops. Film transport fully automatic by lever wind. Fresnel lens in reflex screen.


  • Yashica Mat-LM.
    As Yashica-Mat, but has built-in photo-electric exposure meter, uncoupled, scale built into focusing knob
  • The 4 x 4 models are:
    • Yashica 44.
      As general description above with Yashikor f3.5 60 mm. lens in bayonet mount, crank handle for film transport. Copal shutter speeds 1 to 1/500 sec., built-in self-timer, fully XM synchronized, focusing screen with field lens.


    • Yashica 44A.
      As model 44 but lens with push-on mount, transport by wheel, non-automatic, shutter speeds1/25 to 1/300 sec., X synchronized, no delayed action release.


    • Yashica 44LM.
      As model 44 but with Yashinon f3.5 60 mm. lens, with built-in photo-electric exposure meter, uncoupled, scale built into film transport knob, semiautomatic film transport.


Yashica TLR Price Guide

Yashica TLRs are generally more affordable than other TLRs among the top 5 brands. They are solid and built economically, made in Japan. The weight is also generally lighter.

I personally owned 6 yashica TLRs and all of them performed better than expected. Images are sharp, easy to carry and operate, bokens are beautiful (even much much better 5D Mark II with 50mm prime lens).

The yashica 124G is well sought after as it comes with meter, although the battery for the meter is no longer in production. Users can still find some fresh batt in ebay, mostly in HK.

Yashica D is one of my favs, very affordable, light weight and beautiful results. A very quiet baby and you hardly can hear anything when shooting.

I believe that the Yashica TLRs are still a bit undervalued.


Source: Yashica Camera Club

Perhaps up to 70% of Yashica TLR cameras seen for sale today are worth from just $20-$100. These are cameras that, due to their mediocre condition, either cosmetically or mechanically, are not of interest to the serious collector or to someone who wants a great-looking camera and expects to be able to use the camera for producing great images.

Cosmetic Condition Glossary

A – Immaculate
B – Signs of light use
C – Signs of moderate use

It is assumed that all camera functions are operating correctly. Consider the inclusion of a case, user manual, lenscap etc as a bonus

Reduce price by around $100 for each of the following faults:
Faulty winding mechanism
Slow speeds faulty
Self-timer faulty
Loose lens board
Loose/faulty focus
Significant dent
Bent viewfinder hood
Missing leg on base
Cracked, split, missing leatherette


Yashicaflex, early models
Yashicaflex, late models
Yashica A & C
Yashica B. Grey version add 10%
Yashica Auto
Yashica Rookie
Mat, 635, D, LM, Yashicaflex S
Mat LM, EM, 12, 24, 124
Yashica 124G
Yashica 44, 44A 44LM
For rose or lavender colours add 25%

Flickr TLR Groups

Places for TLR discussion:

Twin Lens Reflex Group, nearly 12000 members

Minolta Autocord Group, about 400 members

Rolleiflex & Rolleicord, more than 3100 members

Mamiya TLR, nearly 3200 members

Yashica TLR Unlimited, nearly 2500 members