Yashica-A

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by bjscharp, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. I've long wanted to give both medium format and TLR cameras a try, and so I have just picked up an old Yashica-A in good condition. The ground-glass and mirror can use a cleaning, but it seems to be in good working order.
    I have some questions though, and hopefully someone here can help me:
    • The manual states: "It is advisable to set the shutter speed before you cock the shutter at all times.". Does advisable mean "it's ok to do, but rather not", or will I damage something if I do it? (The camera uses a Copal shutter with B, 25, 50, 100 and 300 speeds).
    • On my model, the B setting isn't working (it doesn't stay open). Is this a known/easy to fix problem with Copal shutters of this kind, or will it need a full servicing?
    • The camera takes push-on 32mm filters. Does anyone know of places where I can get these new (or even better: A push-on to thread converter), or will I have to search second hand?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
    Regards,
    Bernard
     
    1. It's common for older leaf shutters to be left uncocked until immediately before use. So, you should set the required shutter speed, then cock the shutter and take the picture.
    2. Are you confusing 'B' with 'T'? 'B' or 'brief' setting means that the shutter remains open only so long as the button is held down. So, if you are on 'B', press the shutter release and then let go, the shutter will close. 'T' or 'time' is a different system, where you press the shutter release to open it and then perform some other action to close the shutter.
    3. Push on filters aren't as common as they used to be. If you're in Europe, it might be worth trying Rocky Cameras. He has an amazing range of old kit, often quite reasonably priced. I will sound a note of caution, though, as his business model, in my experience, is Steptoe and Son, rather than Saville Row.
     
  2. The b setting seems to fail on Yashicas as they age. There is a lot jabber about it at the kyphoto repair forum (http://www.kyphoto.com/cgi-bin/forum/discus.cgi?pg=topics). Anyway, you need to get a series 6 push on adapter ring and use series 6 filters and hoods. These are available used.
     
  3. Thanks for the reply.

    1. I'll remember to do it that way then.

    2. Yes, I'm sure it's supposed to be B, but even when I keep the shutter button pressed, it closes immediately, on what sounds like the slowest speed setting (1/25).

    3. Thanks for the tip. I'll have a look.

    Regards,
    Bernard
     
  4. I just opened up the front of the shutter (very easy), and the problem was very easy to find: The lock mechanism for the bulb setting was over-tightened. I lubricated it slightly and adjusted the tightening a bit, and now it's working perfectly.

    Also took the opportunity to clean the mirror and glass, and I can see things a lot clearer now!

    @Tom Cheshire: Any suggestions where I could find such an adapter?
     
  5. I've had god luck giving the TLR and SLR mirrors a quick wipe w/ a lens cleaning tissue w/ whatever it is in those little red bottles found in lens cleaning kits, then another light wipe w/ a dry tissue. The other day I had a piece of paper towel on the table and decided to use it instead of the lens tissue, which required getting up and going over to the cabinet where it was stored. Bad idea! I got several scratches on the mirror. It doesn't show when using the camera once the screen/hood/ etc are back on, but you could sure mess one up using those things. I will only clean the top side of the focus screens. There may be a way to clean the bottom, but after messing up several I just leave that side alone now.
     
  6. Try eBay for adapters.
     
  7. I had a Yashica A years ago. I wish I still had it now, but at some point I traded it in when I wanted to get some more 35mm gear. I seem to recall that the shutter button would stick IN sometimes. The shutter worked fine but the button would bind rather than springing back out. A little graphite would usually set it right for a while. I recall taking some B&W with it at a carnival that turned out nicely, despite my having been very inexperienced in guessing exposures without a light meter. I did a little "studio" work with it, taking pictures of book covers for a column in a newsletter the graphic arts dept I worked in prepared the layouts for every month or so. It always did a great job. The waist-level viewfinder (I couldn't have afforded upgrading to prism hood) didn't lend itself to the kind of pictures I wanted to take then. Now I would appreciate it more. I also am more interested in having big fat (with information) negatives.
     

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