Yashicamat camera

Fun With An Old Camera

I found this camera in the junk bin at the secondhand camera store. It didn't work, so I got it for $10. Modern cameras are impossible for an amateur to repair, but life was simpler when they made this, so I was able to find the problem in the shutter release linkage and bend things the right way so they worked again. Miraculously all the shutter speeds were working correctly. The only thing wrong was some scratches on the inner lens surfaces from careless disassembly in the past, and a missing flash sync contact so it will never fire a flash again.

I've never handled the kind of Rolleiflex that this is a clone of, but I did get a non-working Zeiss Ikoflex for $1 at a garage sale once, and the workmanship of that makes the Yashica look like something from the steam era. It's still a satisfying thing to handle though.

What I already had was a roll of 120-format black&white film that was still sealed in its foil wrapper, despite being 20 years past its expiry date. Somehow this fit perfectly with the camera. At the time I didn't have a period-correct handheld light meter though, so a modern LCD-display Vivitar 230LX had to do.

The film's 12 exposures were filled thus:

 Film #23:  Allied Photo-Pan 120 format 160ASA B&W film.  Expiry dated
            1970 (over 20 years out of date!).  Exposed in Yashicamat TLR,
            exactly at 160ASA (using light meter), 12 exposures.
            Developed in Ilfosol S, 1+9, 6 minutes, 22+ degrees C.
            Underdeveloped but printable.

 Fr  Date    Subject
 --  ----    -------
  1  910531  House at 50 Florizel Ave.                         1/125 at f/8.
  2  910601  Street musicians, Byward Market.                  1/250 at f/16.
  3    "       "       "          "     "                        "   "   "
  4    "       "       "          "     "                      1/250 at f/11.
  5    "     Parliament Hill from Major's Hill Park.           1/250 at f/8.
  6    "     Rideau Canal locks at Ottawa River, through trees. 1/60 at f/16.
  7    "     Ottawa River from Major's Hill Park.              1/125 at f/16.
  8    "     Canoeists, Glebe.                                 1/125 at f/8.
  9    "     Looking up into a tree, against the sun.          1/125 at f/8.
 10  910602  Focus test picture.                               1/125 at f/3.5.
 11    "     My landlord in the kitchen.                        1/30 at f/3.5.
 12    "     Florizel Ave.                                     1/500 at f/11.

Click here to enlarge

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