Yashica-Mat 120 Film Camera Set – 1960

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Pretty close to the way it looked when it was unboxed back in 1960. This one was part of a short production run of only a handful of cameras. It was for sale at US Military Exchanges (stores) in Japan as it is marked *EP* which meant and exempt purchase. No taxes paid but it could not be purchased or sold on the Japanese domestic market. 

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It was Yashica’s first crank film advance TLR and it had auto cocking of the shutter. First released in April 1957.

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The quality of the images taken with a Yashica-Mat are outstanding – Yashica used high quality Yashinon f3.5 80mm lenses made for them by Tomioka Optical of Tokyo.

They are a joy to use and it’s a great camera to get into medium format photography. It produces large 6 x 6 cm negatives or slides.

Thanks for your visit!

Chris and Carol  ^.^

8 thoughts on “Yashica-Mat 120 Film Camera Set – 1960

  1. Beautiful camera! Just curious, have you shot with both the yashinon and yashikor lenses by any chance? If so, do you find there to be a clear difference in the resulting images between the two? I know the yashinons are reputed to be quite a bit better than the the yashikors on Yashica TLRs and cameras with yashinon lenses tend to be more expensive.

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    1. Thank you Anneli! Yes I have and to be perfectly frank about it, I can’t tell the difference at all. I imagine there are times under difficult lighting situations that an expert could pick out the differences between the lenses, but it’s like stereo equipment, everyone hears the same system differently. The same with the final image in photography – so many factors come into play (type film, lighting, cleanliness of the lens, film processing and finally printing) that each individual will see the final image differently. That’s the beauty of shooting with these old Yashicas – I’m just thrilled that a 50 to 60 year old camera actually works that I give the final image some leeway.
      My final thought is that as long as you’re happy with the look of your images it doesn’t matter if the lens that the light passed through has 3 or 4 elements or how hard the coating is.
      Hope that answers your question. I did ramble on a bit! lol ^.^

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was refreshing to hear your “ramble.” I usually tend to think the same way you do about cameras and lenses – it’s not the tools but the final image that matters and you can create amazing images with pretty much any camera as long as you know what you’re doing. All of my cameras (including digital) and all but one of my lenses are now long out of production, and, even given unlimited funds, I’d still choose what I have (but add that tilt-shift lens that I dream of, but even that is one of Canon’s oldest lenses still in production).

        It’s nice to hear that the “practical life” difference between the yashinon and yashikor lenses really isn’t as obvious as some claim. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! I appreciate your comments and views on photography – your images are always compelling and I enjoy your style of photography very much.
    My friend Paul Sokk has a wonderful site about everything Yashica TLR and more. I’ve known Paul now for about 3 years or so and I’ve contributed to his site. There are some parts (of his site) that I just can’t get my head around – he’s way too deep for me. But Paul is a photographer and top-notch researcher and his site shows it. Here’s a link to what he has to say about lenses and shutters. http://www.yashicatlr.com/LensesShutters.html
    If Paul has it in black and white on his site you know it’s been throughly vetted.
    My good friend Jim always told me to shoot with your heart and not your head… he also told me to ditch my Canon F-1 and get a Nikon! I’m glad I ignored his second bit of advice!

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  3. Astonishing find and what a handsome set! I found your excellent blog some three weeks and I’ve been a regular reader ever since – and will certainly continue to do so, as you have a great resource for all Yashica aficionados out there! By the way, do you know by any chance what happened to Paul Sokk’s excellent website on the Yashica TLRs? It seems down: when I type the address in the address bar I only get the annoying “404 – File or directory not found” message.
    I will keep in touch.
    All best,

    Alex

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very kind comments. Yes sometimes a collector can get lucky and all the pieces fall in place. I love to hear about other finds too. If you run across something interesting please share it. I see what you mean – I couldn’t find Paul’s site either. I’ll drop him a line. Thanks again Alex!
      Regards,
      Chris

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  4. You are welcome, Chris! I had that sort of luck a few weeks ago, when a brand new (never used) MAT-124G literally landed in my lap, courtesy of a childhood friend who inherited several cameras, lenses and accessories from a deceased relative. She decided to keep most of the SLRs (including a new, in the box black OM-1 with papers and all) and the occasional rangefinder. However, and since she never really managed to get used to TLR cameras, my friend remembered that I own a few medium format stuff (and like TLRs too), hence the gift… The lot includes the styrofoam inside the box, and all the paperwork, besides from lens cap, strap and case, a true time capsule from 1978! When I think of the prices currently asked for mint condition MAT-124 and 124Gs, I feel myself very fortunate am truly grateful, but genuine friendship is exactly like that and can stand the test of time. Thank you, dear Helena!
    Regards,

    Alex

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome story! Thanks for sharing it. I don’t have that model. I just see spending what it would cost to get one as nice as what I would want. Enjoy using it… it should be sweet!
      Chris

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