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hey guys, i just got a yashica mat 124 g, i opened it and took off the finder to clean what i could (not an expert). the camera seems to be firing at all speeds and apertures, but there are some issues:

 

1.the 'knob' to open and close the back, is very stiff, what could i do to 'soften' it?

2. the flash selector is stuck and will not move

3.asa dial is very stiff, but still working (on meter reading too)

4. the shutter button kind of gets a bit stuck when pressed all the way (does not affect actual shutter)

 

could i get a bit of help? i can work around some of the issues (not using flash), but was looking for an 'easier' fix

 

thanks guys !!

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I own one of the 124G's uncles, - a Yashica 12. First of all, if the flash selector is stuck on X, consider it an enhancement and don't try to move it. The Yashica Mats are fine cameras but one flaw that they do have is the tendency for the shutter mechanism to lock if the self timer is used with the flash selector in the "M" position. Unless you're planning on using old-style flash bulbs, you won't use the "M" setting anyway. The problem is so prevalent that people that do repair work on these cameras will often intentionally use a small screw or something else to lock that lever.

 

If the lever is in the "M" position, then you'll definitely want to free it somehow.

 

As for as number 1 and 3 go, I would first just try to operate those knobs a number of times to see if they loosen up on their own. For the knob on the bottom of the camera, make sure the latch isn't bent and can move freely. If it won't loosen up, I don't think there's be any harm in shooting a small amount of light lubricant in there.

 

I'd be reluctant to spray any lubricant on the ASA dial since that could easily end up places you don't want it. If you remove the finder box, and if the 124G is like my 12, you'll see two small screws on the back of the meter housing. Remove those and you can then remove the back cover of the housing. That will allow you to see inside the meter and you might be able to see what's causing the stiffness. I believe the ASA knob will actually rotate the Galvanometer. It could be that whatever lubricant was there has dried up. You can try to clean it up with a little isopropyl alcohol and maybe apply a very small amount of light lubricant to the gears.

 

I'm not sure what's causing the trouble with the shutter button. Make sure the lock lever is all the way in the unlocked position.

Edited by tomspielman
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Download the repair manual for your camera here: Yashica MAT 124G Repair manual

Its 7 pages showing the parts breakdown. Essential for disassembly type repairs.

Use CRC Quick Dry Contact Cleaner to flush any part of the camera that is sticky/hard to turn CRC 11 oz. QD Electronic Cleaner-05103 - The Home Depot Available at many retailers.

90% Isopropyl Alcohol also works well for cleaning and is electrically safe if power is removed and not applied until the alcohol has dried.

TriFlow https://www.amazon.com/Tri-Flow-Lube-Drip-Bottle/dp/B000C17R7Q/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508393777&sr=8-3&keywords=triflow , clock oil are good oils to use in cameras, WD40 and 3in1 oil are not.

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Don't worry about the ASA dial. The built in meter is about as accurate as sticking a wet finger in the air and guessing an exposure. Buy a handheld meter instead.

 

Incidentally, I have a Yashimat from around 1960 that's still in perfect working order; never having needed any repair or maintenance.

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On my 124G I used a bit of silicone lube (a spray, but transferred to the camera via cotton bud) on the knob that latches the back; the contact cleaner mentioned upthread should have similar effect. Over time and three dozen rolls of film the knob has become much easier to turn than when I got it, although there is no fear of it opening accidentally!

The flash selector may well be intentionally locked if it's presently on X. I glued a small, shaped piece of craft foam next to the lever on mine to keep it on X. It's visible, so there will be no doubt for anyone looking at it.

The ASA dial on mine moves OK, but the meter is intermittent at best and I've not had the time or patience to look into as I have two external meters, one the very compact Gossen Digisix, (plus a phone app or two!)

In general they are a great camera, I've used mine on several major trips. Good conversation starters among other things.

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I find it interesting that so many people disparage the 124G's meter, when it is essentially the same as a Gossen lunasix. When calibrated, it is quite accurate. And it is way easier to calibrate than the Gossen.

 

The OP's fault description describes a mechanism that has old stiff grease, and just needs a cla.

 

The Flash selector works like the self timer (is that stiff as well?). In "M" mode, the shutter opens 20ms after the flash is triggered (it's essentially a very short self timer). Stiff grease on the clock work mechanism will seize the lever. As Tom says, you really don't want to change it, unless you have some flash bulbs.

 

A stiff ASA dial is not bad, as you generally want it to stay in place.

 

The rest could benefit from a little tlc.

"Manfred, there is a design problem with that camera...every time you drop it that pin breaks"
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