Yashica Mat-124 G … winder side, not side-winder.

This camera has a problem with setting the shutter. A complete wind does not set it, so you can never take a picture … hmm, sounds like something is not coupling correctly.

The first thing you have to do … and you already know this … is to remove the leatherette. Take off the one back/strap holder arm before removing. With the one that I have here it was fairly easy to peel the leatherette off without damaging it. Take your time.

Push out the winding arm pin. Remove the arm and the four items that go with it.

Now you can unscrew the plate.

The rotary disc for the winding arm it attached with a circular nut.

Note the position of the golden arm.

Unscrew it and remove the stuff underneath it.


Remove the spring from the counter reverse lever (right), remove screw and take out arm.

Remove the 12/24 exp indicator plate, first pull off the two springs.

Pull out the silver gear.

The counter change gear arm (bottom) is the next to go.

The counter dial has a spring loaded screw in the middle. Take that off with the dial and the dial plate underneath it.




The counter reverse lever (top) is held on by one screw on the right. Slightly lift the arm on the left to pop it off for removal.

One screw holds the winding stopper arm (centre) , and you should release one arm of the spring.

The middle golden gear (bottom) has one pin screw in the middle that is unscrewed clockwise … very important.




Now you can remove the winding assembly by taking out the four screws.

Now you can see the shutter cocking arm … and in my case it is bent upwards. This means that it will never push down to its full distance.

You can try to rebend it back into shape.

If you want to take that part out you will need to remove the front lens/shutter component.

Here is my bad attempt at bending the arm down … which actually caused more metal fatigue, so when I put it back in it bent itself out of shape again.

Note: on the back side of this part is a riveted switch that prevents double exposures … do not damage this part, as it will cause a lot of headaches. If this part does not freely move, the winder will be in a locked position after the shutter is released. I am guessing this is why some people force the winder and bend the arm.

As I mentioned before, the Yashica Mat-EM has the exact same part (just not golden) so you can just replace it.

When putting back together you should be very careful that the arm is positioned above the shutter release mechanism.

You will also need to reload the spring on the counter dial. If the counter dial is not spinning freely, then loosing the screw and move the dial around so it sits properly.

… and be aware of the little springs that are all over the place.

Yashica … MAT-124G … flaw ?

Out of all the TLR’s out there, I’ve noticed that the Yashica MAT-124G is one of the most sought after cameras … even more than the Rollei because it is more affordable (hmm, actually all TLR’s are more affordable than Rollei’s).

The G, is the moderized/improved version of the plain old 124/12/24. The G refers to the addition of gold contacts in the meter. Some parts were changed from metal to plastic, and the chrome is covered in black paint … to make it a darker camera. In terms of IQ, it has the same optical components as the other models … so don’t think the G is the best Yashica TLR in that respect, especially when the price of the G can be much higher.

You can read more at the yashicatlr.com site.

In my repair of this camera I came upon a subject that has been mentioned on the web before … incomplete shutter cocking. After taking it apart and doing a lot of mental battles about how the mechanisms work/interact, I came to the “personal” conclusion that there is a design flaw with the newer winding mechanism.

The shutter cocking plate has an elbow that is pushed down by another arm that is connected to the winder cam plate. As the cam plate rotates it pushes/pulls the shutter cocking arm … this arm pushes down to rotate the shutter cocking plate. The problem I have with the design is how high the elbow sits … it seems to me that they placed it too high … and since the shutter cocking plate moves in a circular motion and the shutter cocking arm moves in a linear motion it (the arm) requires most of its force when starting the movement from its highest position.

Now this all works fine when the camera parts are all in original condition, but I think after some time the arm has a greater chance to become stressed (typically when some users unfamiliar with the camera, force the winder when they shouldn’t). Once the arm is bent it will no longer be able to obtain the full motion to complete the shutter cocking … and it does not take much deviance in the arm … and once the metal gets fatigued it will continue to bend out of shape easier … and even after it is straightened (as the straightening process placed additional fatigue on it) it will continue to do so.

The image shows my sad attempt at straightening the arm … it’s riveted in place which made it not so easy.

Now … to the good news. I made a guess … yes I still have brain cells that can do that … based on the number of Yashica TLR’s I’ve taken apart, the parts appear to be the same. The Yashica-mat EM that I just repaired (and nobody wanted to buy) now became a parts camera … and my guess is right, same part. I think the E, LM, EM, 12, 24, and 124(G) share most the same mechanical parts.

There be knobs !!

There was one particular “tool” that I mentioned that could be one of the most important ones to have … or have access to … and that is a friend who has a machine shop.

I had completed the work on the Mamiya Six some time ago, but sadly the camera came to me with a missing part … one of the film spool supporters.

I thought, hmmm, possibly my awesome friend Craig could machine a new one for me … and that’s what he did.

The old one is on the right.

It’ not an exact replica, but I was not expecting that, just something similar.

Hey, it works … and looking almost like it’s original is a bonus !!

The continual search for a tripod … it’s orange this time, not so flexy … MeFOTO, youPhoto.

So … as you know the GorillaPod was not the tripod that worked best for me. It is still a pretty interesting tool, especially for those people that will use a lightweight camera … the ability to wrap the legs around things actually is pretty handy. For my SLT and Macro lens, it was just too much for it.

I have been keeping an eye on Mefoto. Recently they just released their new Air series. I like them, but not enough to spend that much money on them … I mean for my need of a small tripod, for cheap (I already have a Manfrotto tripod). Knowing the need for people to upgrade or change, I have kept an eye out for those wanted to get rid of their old ones … so I ended up getting a good price on a MeFOTO Daytrip.


The MeFOTO Daytrip is (what I consider) a mini-tripod … cause it is small, even at max height it’s still small. The photo above shows a comparision to my GorillaPod, and due to the positioning and angle of shot, it looks like the Daytrip is much taller … it is in fact the same height when I took this shot.

The last time I took out the GorillaPod I was hunting mushrooms in Algonquin Park. I noticed that it was just not steady enough … the great things about the Gorilla is that I did not even notice I was carrying it (weight), and the legs can wrap around things … but for my shots had too much camera shake, and because of that I had to look for something else (I was hoping it would be sufficient).

When I was first hunting for my macro tripod I did consider the Daytrip … but the cost was just too much. I was hoping the Gorilla was good enough.

That was last year … MeFOTO has made a new series of AIR tripods, which look great, and I was hoping that this would drive the price down on the older stuff. Just last week I did find a mint used Daytrip (now discontinued) for less than the price of the GorillaPod !!!

Construction is solid. The small ball head locks without any drift … and is secure. The rotating locks feel like they do the job. Overall this tripod is made very well.

I slapped my Sony A77II with the Sigma 150 f/2.8 macro on it … snapped some 20s (yeah, full seconds … not 1/20s) exposure shots.  Even with full centre column extension it did well. I think this is the one … well for now. The middle leg position seems to be the best overall for steadiness and low height. Note that the leg locks are not spring loaded, so you got to push them in to lock. Not sure if it was worth it putting the sand bag hook on the bottom, as there is not much room down there … possibly for those who actually crank this thing to full height (in which case I would suggest getting a different tripod).

So for those of you looking for a steady tripod to shoot close to the ground, or even just something very small … I suggest you give this MeFOTO Daytrip a consideration, and keep an eye on those used ones … I think many people going to upgrade to the Backpacker AIR.

The Gorillapod would be great for not so long exposures, just enough to steady, or selfies, or if you just like wraping legs around something … and if you have a mirrorless camera (it would be a great companion for my Sony NEX-6).

Below is a shot (yeah not the best but you get the picture … literally) of it attached to my Lowepro Transit Sling 250. I could have folded it to its most compact size, but it was too short for the upper strap.


Some thoughts to start 2017 …

Oily oily oxen free …

Have you noticed I have not used any “oil” yet ?

I mention it in my section of tools.

I am not actually sure if any oil was used in the creation of cameras. Yes, there is the use of grease on many moving parts … especially on focus helicoids and the focus mechanism of TLR’s … but I don’t think oil is needed.

From the many discussions on the web … camera shutter mechanisms/gears are designed to run dry. Without access to the manufacturers service manual, you really do not want to guess what parts can be lubricated with oil, better safe than sorry.

If you add too much oil or the wrong type of oil, to escapements they can slow down … throwing off the timing of the shutter. If you add too much oil then it can leak onto the shutter and aperture blades … which is something you really do not want to gumm up.

I have used watch oil (though I never stated it) on heavy movement arms … but never anything close to the shutter, or apertures blades. When I do use it … it gets applied with something like a metal pin/needle.

Many of the cameras/lenses that I have encountered do have gummed up shutters or aperture blades. Most of the time is comes from old helicoid grease that degraded, liquified, and has leaked into the wrong places … sometimes it is just crud … and sometimes a DIY job.


Can’t get enough of that sugar crisp … or at least screwdrivers.

I am always needing screwdrivers. For some reason or another I tend to need one size/type that I don’t have … or is not exactly the right shape … length … etc. Now most of the drivers that I have are ordered online, since they are of very small point size I can’t get them easily … but recently I was at the local hardware store for something and noticed a cheap micro screwdriver set. It was the Home Depot brand, the Husky 8-in-1 Ratcheting Precision Screwdriver.

It comes with eight (yes, as the name says) reversable snap-on tips.

Slotted: 1.5 mm, 2.5 mm Philips: 0, 00, 000 Square: 0 TORX:T7, T15

After using this, I have found that I am using it half of the time … and the Torx is great when I am working on Laptops. The quality of the metal tips is pretty good, and you can get a good grip when necessary. The only thing I really have not used the ratchet, as I keep forgetting that it has that feature. They do make a version without the ratchet and added a twist top (handy for small thin drivers), but they did not have that at my location … and all for $9, yes less than 10 bucks (for you Americans it probaly means $5) !!!


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