Geof did a review on Yashica 12 TLR. Based on the production quantity, the number of Yashica 12 produced is only one third of Yashica 124. Guess what, the number of yashica 12 existing is only 5.4% of the famous Yashica 124G.
The Yashica 12 is a 120 medium format camera. It takes 12 photos on a roll of 120 film, producing a 6x6cm or 2.25×2.25in negative. It has a 5×5 grid to aid composition. The square format was absolutely fantastic. Being used to a 35mm and similar digital aspect ratio, this format was a nice experience. It gave me fresh compositions, and forced me to think differently.
The camera is pretty straightforward. It’s entirely mechanical. The fact that it has lasted nearly half a decade is a testament to its durability.
Glass and Bokeh
While the Yashica-12 isn’t quite as iconic as the Rollei TLRs, it’s build quality is fantastic and the glass is fairly decent. The 80mm f3.5 Yashinon lens produces sharp images and pleasant bokeh.
This camera isn’t the lightest. But I wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a short hike. It’s dimensions fit pleasingly in the hands. The leatherette is still intact, and looks like it will last some time.
This camera is pretty fantastic. Sure, it doesn’t have iTTL, or even a functioning light meter (the mercury riddled batteries for it are no longer made). But, it’s enjoyable to shoot with. It’s slow operating, and only takes twelve shots to a roll. It may not seem attractive to todays PowerShot strutting user, but that’s not the point. This camera’s purpose is to enforce the user to take their time. Compose their image. And ask the often overlooked photography question: “Is this worth taking a photo of?”