New Yashicaflex... Help?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by chloesavich, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. Hello,

    I just purchased a Yashicaflex online because I wanted to take the leap into medium format cameras. However, I am absolutely clueless. I have downloaded a light meter app and may be able to figure that bit out, but right now I'm stuck on the silliest and simplest thing!

    How does one change the ISO? I know my camera has a button with the ISO levels on it, and a little red indicator dot but I have no idea how to switch modes. Right now it's on ASA? I'm sorry this is a terribly foolish question! I just want to know how to use this and the manuals I've found don't talk about this? I also don't know exactly which model I have, as it was advertised as A-II but doesn't have a film reverse button?

    If you read this, thank you. I will take any help I can get :)
  2. The Yashicaflex cameras date to the early to mid-1950's and have no internal electronics or metering. The ASA dial that may be present on the camera is just a visual reminder to the photographer of the speed of the film loaded in the camera. You load the camera and set the ASA dial to the speed of the film. The ASA speed you set, though, has no effect on the pictures you'll take. You need to use and external meter and set the camera's aperture and shutter speed dials manually.

    I would assume your camera's dial lists film speeds in the older ASA standard because the ISO scale wasn't created until some time in the 1980's, long after your camera was made. The numbers are typically the same under each standard.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2020
    LMar, stuart_pratt and John Farrell like this.
  3. SCL


    The Yashicaflex is a twin lens reflex camera (TLR), the upper lens is used for focusing and the bottom is used to take the picture on whatever film you choose. Late models had a selenium cell exposure meter built in, but most of those rarely work these days. If you had one which did work and was accurate you would dial in the ISO/ASA and read out the choice of shutter speeds and apertures. As Joe mentioned above, the ASA/ISO "dial" itself has no effect on the exposure, it is merely a reminder of the film manufacturer's recommended speed, or used to adjust the exposure scale. You either need to use an external light meter or learn the Sunny 16 rule for estimating exposure. If you don't have a user's guide, look here: He doesn't have one listed specifically for the Yashicaflex, but has ones for very similar Yashica models where the basic operations are similar. Good luck and enjoy your camera.
    LMar likes this.
  4. Thank you both for the clarifications and help :) my model has no light meter, and I have been using an app but the aperture and shutter speed are limited, I'm finding. Doing my best, thank you for the encouragement. I am currently using film with an ISO of 400, but am finding that it may not be very practical for the future. We'll see how this roll turns out.

    Thanks again for the help!
  5. SCL


    Chloe - just another thought, since you mentioned using 400 film. In full sunlight your camera might not have sufficient shutter speed or diaphragm closure to give you proper exposure. The answer is to use a slower speed film, or use a filter over the taking lens. I often use a medium yellow filter with B&W films, as it typically cuts the light by about 50% and also increases slightly the contrast of clouds in the sky. The most common B&W filters to fit your camera are yellow, green and red, and you can also find polarizers and neutral density filters as well. Mostly have fun with your camera.
  6. Get on ebay and buy an old meter. I got 5 for £ I5, the favourite an old Yashica.

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