Awesome self-portraits using Yashica Mat 124 TLR. hand picked from flicker.com by TLRgraphy
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.
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.
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′!
Place of Manufacture
Date of Manufacture
|1968 ~ 1971|
|Twin lens reflex|
|Taking lens: 80mm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
Viewing lens: 80mm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
-Yashinons are 4 element Tessar types
1 sec – 1/500 sec.
|CdS cell mounted on camera body (above the lens ATL) – uncoupled match needle type
Cold-shoe mount on left side
PC-cable attachment on front side
Film type / speeds
|Type 120/220 film (medium format)
|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.|
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.
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 44.