New in the Shop – Yashica-Mat 124G

Perfectly operating Yashica-Mat 124G twin-lens reflex (TLR) 6×6 cm medium format film camera. Whew!

The last TLR in a very long line of innovative and quality made cameras by Yashica. The last 124G rolled off the assembly line at the Okaya factory in 1986 (Kyocera was in “control” and was about to kill off the Yashica name. Yashica’s first TLRs? The Pigeonflex and then the Yashima Flex (1953, 1954).

This model’s serial number is 164216 (roughly 1983) and it’s never been offered for sale before. I purchased it directly from the original owner who kept it unused as part of his collection. It’s been thoroughly tested – the light meter is spot on (I’ve installed a new battery), the shutter is accurate at all speeds, the lenses are crystal clear, and the aperture blades are snappy and oil free. I see only the slightest specs of dust on the reflex mirror inside which is typical (even straight from the factory there was dust as the mirror chamber is not sealed). It’s a joy to use and all controls operate as they should – smooth and precise. I’ve installed new light seals after carefully cleaning away the old ones. The CdS meter is built-in and coupled. BTW, these later model 124Gs are built as rugged as any of Yashica’s previous models – you get the benefits of a newer TLR with a fresher CdS meter with gold contacts. You should be able to use this camera with proper care for another 30 years or more!

It’s available for purchase in my camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com or you can buy it directly from here by clicking on the PayPal payment button and get free USA shipping!

Vintage 1983 Yashica-Mat 124G Twin-lens Reflex (TLR) Medium Format Camera (120 or 220 Roll Film) Producing 6×6 cm Negatives & Slides

Nearly new Yashica-Mat 124G TLR that's been completely tested and is in 100% fully operational condition. Open the box, load some film and you're a medium format square shooter! I've installed a new battery and new light seals. It comes with the original plastic Yashica lens cap (correct for this model). This camera is perfect for the discriminating collector or an active photographer. They don't come nicer than this well cared for beauty. It will ship FOR FREE within the USA via USPS Priority Mail and I'll mail it worldwide with some exceptions. Please contact me first for a quote. Thanks, Chris

$475.00

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Heavyweights 1954-1955

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On the left is the Fujicaflex Automat by the Fuji Photo Film Company – Fuji’s first and only twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera. On the right is the Yashica Flex S (aka Yashicaflex S) by Yashima Kogaku Seiki Company.

Yashima (later to be known as Yashica) went on to build TLRs until 1986 producing thousands encompassing over thirty models.

The Fujicaflex was under development by Fuji since around 1948 and the direction they took was to build a high-quality camera geared to the serious amateur and semi-professional photographer. By all accounts, it was a bust in the marketplace (way too expensive) as Fuji never attempted to follow it up with a second model and ending production in just about a year.

The Fujicaflex is noticeably larger than the Yashica Flex S – the Fuji weighs 1,323 grams and the Yashica comes in at 1,117 grams. Both cameras were weighed with a roll of 120 film loaded.

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The Yashica Flex S was the first ever TLR with an attached exposure meter. I imagine you could say built-in as the meter’s cells were located behind the nameplate flap and were connected to the meter on the camera’s left side via wires. The non-coupled selenium cell meter was built by Sekonic and was marked “Sekonic CB-1”.

We’ll continue to feature the Fujicaflex in upcoming posts and hopefully soon we’ll be able to post some images taken with it. I’ve got a roll of Fujichrome Velvia 100 in it now.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out some of our unique photo gear in our shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Chris

Restoring a Yashima Yashicaflex A-II from 1955

After some light sanding and cleaning with lacquer thinner a cast on serial number was under the painted on one.

After some light sanding and cleaning with lacquer thinner, an etched or cast-in serial number was under the painted one

Finally found something that removes the 60 year old enamel from the nameplate.

Finally found something that removes the 60 year old enamel from the nameplate

Yashicaflex A-II Box

Six decades of dirt and moisture = corrosion… Big Time!

Over the next few months (turns out 14 months) I hope to be able to document my attempt to “restore” my 1955 Yashima Yashicaflex A-II. I have years of experience in cleaning and adjusting TLRs and SLRs, but I’ve never attempted a complete restoration on this scale. So why the Yashicaflex? Well it’s relatively common (especially in Japan), not necessarily a historic camera in terms of Yashima’s history, and it was in really bad physical condition overall. So why not? It was purchased from a seller located in Hiroshima, Japan, and if you know anything about Japan, Hiroshima is in the very hot and humid southern part of Honshu. When it arrived, I had to pry the camera away from the leather case as the two had become welded to one another. It must have been trapped in that case for years. The leather case with the felt liner did a good job of holding the moisture against the aluminum body of the camera hence the super bad pitting and overall corrosion. The leatherette covering on the camera was so brittle it just fell away in some areas but has stayed super stuck in others. I’ve had little success so far in removing it. So sit back and enjoy my “interpretive restoration” of this vintage Yashica. The good news… even with all the corrosion the lenses appear to be fungus and mold free! The lenses were made by Tomioka Optical for Yashima and somehow managed to avoid the ravages of moisture. The shutter works well, the aperture blades are clean and snappy and the focus is sharp. The reflex mirror was original and it looks terrible. I ordered a new one custom cut to fit. This camera will be a “user” so I will appreciate a clear view and sharp focus.

July 2014... my first look at what I would be up against!

July 2014… my first look at what I would be up against!

My first look at this disaster! Pretty nasty!

My first look at this disaster! Pretty nasty!

Yep... lots of dirt!

Yep… lots of dirt!

Nasty... nasty... nasty!

Nasty… nasty… nasty!

Slow progress being made. Some of the paint removers did nothing to the 60 year old paint!

'Simple Green' did nothing! A total of nearly 6 hours of soaking and a stiff scrubbing... not even a hint of paint removed.

‘Simple Green’ did nothing! A total of nearly 6 hours of soaking and a stiff scrubbing… not even a hint of paint removed.

More parts to clean.

More parts to clean. Keeping track of all the removed screws and what-nots will be critical.

The major assemblies removed from the body. Lower right (blue thingy) is the new custom cut mirror

The major assemblies removed from the body. Lower right (blue thingy) is the new custom cut mirror

Close-up view of the camera back showing the radical pitting of the aluminum body.

Serial number painted on and the original factory black enamel peeling off.

Serial number painted on and the original factory black enamel peeling off.