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Tag Archives: antique camera

Yashica Mat 124 in-depth review

Yashica Mat 124 – Review by Karen Nakamura

Overview and Personal Comments

The Yashicamat 124 is a twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera that is basically a copy of the Rolleiflex. It uses 120 size film (medium format) to shoot 6 x 6 square format photos (same as a Hasselblad). Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

I purchased this camera a couple of years ago to see if medium format was my thing. It was, the Yashica had excellent resolution and the tonality of medium format positives just blew me away.

Unfortunately, I was so entranced by the Yashicamat, I later on bought a Mamiya RB67 system and never used the Yashicamat after that. The RB67 is for the studio, while I have a Koni-Omega Rapid M for outdoor medium format photography. It’s just a bit difficult to frame when things are reversed in the TLR finder. I like the look of the 124 and the little Yashica 44LM, but I doubt I’ll ever use them.

Interesting quirks

The Yashicamat 124G is the successor to the 124. Everyone seems to want the 124G. The only change the 124G has was to add Gold meter contacts. That’s it. Which is odd since I’ve seen 124Gs that went for $400, but 124s are relatively cheap. They use the EXACT SAME OPTICS! Hmm.. People are pretty stupid. You don’t buy Yashicamats for the lightmeter, heck most of them are non-linear anymore. They use the EXACT SAME OPTICS!*

* OK, so the 124G had a nicer finish on the outside, BUT it also used wimpier (i.e., cheaper) gears. The 124 has sturdier internal mechanisms.


Sample Pictures

The Yashicamat 124 takes simply astoundingly sharp pictures. Here are some samples shot on Fuji Velvia (an E-6 slide film) and scanned with the Epson Perfection 2400, a standard flatbed scanner with a transparency adaptor that costs around $300. The resulting files are 5400 x 5400 pixels large, or 90 megabytes in size at 24 bit depth (at the scanner’s full 48 bit depth, the files are 180 megabytes large). That’s the equivalent of a 30 megapixel digital camera! You can print the scans at 240 dpi at a whopping 22″ x 22″ without interpolating. Try that on your $2000 digital camera!

A reduced version of each photo is shown along with a 8x zoom up. To put the zoomed in version in perspective, to view the zoomed version at 100%, the original file would have to be printed at almost 100″ x 100″ or an 8′ x 8′ mural. The actual slide shot is even sharper than the scan as the Epson 2450 is really a 1200 dpi scanner, not a 2400 dpi one.The slides themselves are extremely crisp. You can count the number of leaves on the trees in the autumnal photo (sample #2).

If you want the original sample files (about 3 megabytes compressed at JPEG 8; about 20 megabytes compressed at JPEG 12), please let me know and I will arrange to make them available.

The slight unsharpness here is caused by the scanner. With a loupe, you can make out the features of this person and easily identify him. Remember that this is the detail from an image blown up to about 8′ x 8′!


Technical Details

Camera Name
Yashicamat 124
Manufacturer
Yashica
Place of Manufacture
Body: Japan
Date of Manufacture
1968 ~ 1971
Focusing System
Twin lens reflex
Fixed Lens
Taking lens: 80mm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
Viewing lens: 80mm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
-Yashinons are 4 element Tessar types
Shutter
Copal S-V
1 sec – 1/500 sec.
Metering System
CdS cell mounted on camera body (above the lens ATL) – uncoupled match needle type
GN 1-10
Flash Mount
M-X switch
Cold-shoe mount on left side
PC-cable attachment on front side
Film type / speeds
Type 120/220 film (medium format)
ASA
Battery type
PX625
Use of this chart, text, or any photographs in an eBay auction without permission will result in an immediate IP violation claim with eBay VeRO. Violators may have their eBay account cancelled.

About Yashica/Kyocera/Contax

The Yashica Corporation began making cameras in 1957, releasing its first model in 1958 (the Yashica 35). They produced a very well regarded series of twin-lens-reflex (TLR) medium format cameras under the Yashica-Mat brand and 35mm rangefinders under the Yashica Electro name. Yashica became a subsidiary of the Kyocera Corporation in October of 1983. For the next two decades, Kyocera continued to produce film cameras under the Contax marquee, including a very nice 35mm Contax SLR series (which used Zeiss lenses), a medium format system, and the Contax G1/G2 rangefinders (also with Zeiss glass).The Yashica name was only used for a small series of dental cameras and point and shoots. In March of 2005, Kyocera announced that it would cease production and sales of film and digital cameras under the Contax marquee. Thus ends 30 years of a wonderful camera line. The Contax name will most probably revert back to the Zeiss foundation, thus who knows what will happen in the future. Right now, the name “Yashica” appears to have been bought by a Chinese company for their inexpensive digital cameras.


On the Net

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Approaches to replace mercury px625 battery

What is mercury px625?

The PX625 (also referred to by other names such as PX13) is a small button-shaped 1.35volt mercury battery which great number of camera models were designed to use.

Before the manufacture of mercury batteries was banned, many cameras were designed to use them. Because mercury batteries produced a constant and reliable voltage, many cameras were built without any voltage regulation in the metering circuitry. Unless preventative measures are taken, use of other kinds of batteries gives erratic exposures and meter readings.

Brands and Cameras designed to use px625 battery

Manufacturer/Brand Model
Agfa Optima 500 Sensor, Selectronic, Selectronic S, Agfamatic 300/4000/4008/5008/6008, Optima 535/1035/5000/5008/6000/6008
Alpa 9d
Argus 270 Insta-Load
Bell & Howell FD35, Autoload 340/341, Auto Reflex Dial 35
Bronica C2, S2
Canon FT, FTb, FTbn, FT-QL, TX, TLb, EF, F1 (some), Ex, EX EE Auto, A35F, Demi 17, Demi EE 17, Canonet QL17/QL19/19E/25/19E, Canonet New QL17/New QL17L/New QL19/New 28/G-III 17/G-III 19
Chinon SLR, 1000EL pocket, CS, CXII
Dacora Rapid D101, D202, D404
Edixa LTL, 35MM, Prismat, Amica Auto,TL 1000
Exakta TL1000, RTL1000, Examat & Travemat meter finders
Fuji/Fujica 35FS, 35GP, V2
GAF Corporation L-14, L-17, L-CM, L-CS, Anscomatic 726, Autoset Cds
GAF Bernard Auto 35, Model 503, Viceroy 5000
Hanimex 35EE, 35SL, 120, 620, Compact A
Hasselblad Meter Prism Finder CdS
Kalimar K650, K431 Cds meter, K433 zone meter, Zanit 2000CTL
Keystone K609H, K610H, K616D, K164H, K615H, K1010 Auto
Kiev 60 TTL (2 each)
Kodak AG Retina IIF
Konica AutoReflex T4/TC/Autorex, Auto S/S1.6/S2/S261 meter, EE-Matic, EE-Matic Deluxe F/FM, c35/c35 Flashmatic
Kowa SE, SER, SET, SETR, SETR2, 6, 6 MM, Super 66
Leica CL, M5, Leicaflex SL/SL2/SL-MOT/SL2-MOT
Minolta SRT 100/101/200/201/202, SR 1/7/7V/100/102/200/201/202, AL-F, AL-E, Autopack 700, Himatic 7/7s/9/11
Minox 110S
Miranda Sensorex, Automex II/III, F, FM
Nikon F, FTn, FT, T, Tn, Nikkormat FT/FTn/FT2
Olympus 35 series: 35DC/35LC/35RC/35RD/35SC/35SP/35SPN/35UC, EED, Pen FT, FTL, M-1, OM-1, OM-1MD, OM-1n
J.C. Penny SLR2/SLR3
Petri FT, FTIII, F1X, Racer, Petriflex 7
Praktica TL, TL1000, Super TL/TL2/TL3, LTL, LTL3, MTL3, MTL5, Praktica 66 meter, Prakticamat
Ricoh Simplex, Simplex II, SLX 500, TLS 400/EE
Rollei 35, 35S, 35T, 35 Classic, A26, 126, XF35, Rolleiflex SL35, SL35M, SL26
Spiratone Spiraflex TTL
Topcon RE Super, Super DM, 135EE
Vivitar 35EE, 35EF, 35ES
Voigtländer VF101, VS1
Yashica MAT 124, MAT 124G, Y12, Y24, Half 14, Lynx 14/14E/5000, Ministar 700D, Penta J3/J4/J5/J7
Zeiss Ikon Contaflex 126/SLF, Contarex Super/Super BC, Icarex 35S/35CS, SL706
Zenit Zenit TTL, Zenit 16, Zenit 18, Zenit 19, Zenit , Zenit Avtomat, Zenit AM, Zenit APK

Approaches to replace mercury px625 battery

a. CRIS MR-9 adapter.

http://www.criscam.com/mercury_battery_adapters.php

Good: Uses Silver Oxide batteries SR-44. More available than other adapters.
Potential Bad: Expensive

b. PaulBG’s Adapter

http://www.paulbg.com/Nikon_F_meter_batteries.htm

Good: Cheaper. Uses Zinc Air batteries aka Hearing Aid battery.

Potential Bad: The battery will die every 3 months regardless of usage. It is cheap but you have to check on the battery.

c. DIY from old PX645 battery

Remove the centre piece of the PX645 battery leaving only the ring. Place a Zinc air battery in the centre and uses aluminum foil between the battery and ring.

http://www.kyphoto.com/classics/mercurybattery.html

4. these easiest way: wein cell px625

can easily get from amazon, antiquecamera.com, ebay and other online places. A genuine piece of wein cell usually costs around 6-7 US Dollars.

Autocord, Diacord and Yashica TLR, which one will you choose

Flickr: Discussing Autocord (which one), Diacord G or Yashica Mat? in TLR.

here are some interesting and useful discussions on comparison between Minolta Autocord, Yashica Mat, and Ricoh Diacord.

 

I have not used an diacord before.

If you let me choose, I will most probably choose the Yashica Mat.