Yashica-Mat EM – lens and shutter

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I got this as a parts/repair item. The shutter does not move, the camera is covered in stuff, levers are stuck, finder is falling apart, and the focus knob is falling off … a complete tear down is needed.

Tools: dental chisel, screw drivers, qtips.

The first thing I did was remove all of the leatherette, and as expected some came off easy while other parts needed chiseling.

Safety tip: always hold the camera so that your hand is not positioned in front of the chisels movement … otherwise you might end up with a deep gash (I only did this once to get the hint) … don’t point the sharp end at parts of your body !!

Soooo, let’s start with the front.

There are multiple sets of screws holding the different plates on.

The outer four are the largest, and they secure the entire lens assembly to the focus rails. Remove the four large screws and pull off the assembly from the rest of the camera.

The next four set of screws holds the alignment/cover plate on. Remove those and pull off the outside plate. This plate also has the shutter button attached.

The last inner cover is secured by five screws. This cover holds the gears for the aperture and shutter speed dials.

This tends to get stuff gumming up the works, so I give it a good wash of Ronsonol.

At the top of this cover is a clear plastic window that displays the aperture and shutter speed. Most of the Yashica’s that I have encountered have a lot of crap stuck under the window and it has also yellowed over time (though I am not sure if it was slightly yellow to begin with).

Set the aperture and shutter to B / 22 or 500 / 3.5 (as you rotate both dials you can see the movement of the inner rings) … then scribe some reference marks on the bottom rings

Use a spanner wrench to remove the locking rings (note these will be on tight so you may not be able to take them off).

You can then remove all the pieces and do a good cleaning … just remember how they go back.

Set the inner ring aligned with your marks while putting the top set back in.

Now back to the other thing …

The front element group of both the viewing and the taking lens can be unscrewed.

In order to get to the shutter mechanism you need to remove the taking lens front group.

Unscrew it counter clockwise.

If you are here just to clean the shutter or aperture then you do not need to go further. You can access both now.

There is a small screw on the left that will need to be turned in order to unscrew the ring that secures the top plate.

Note the red dot should like up with the screw (in this image it was not aligned yet.

Remove the cover plate.

The speed cam plate aligns with a couple of things underneath so make a note of its position before removing it.

The three slots and shapes set the shutter gears underneath to the various positions for the different speeds.

Now you can clean out the shutter mechanism.

The slow speed set in at 2 o’clock.

Self timer is at the bottom

Shutter cocking is at 11 o’clock.

Shutter release is at 8 o’clock.

In most cases a good dose of Ronsonol and some exercise cleared things up to get everything working again.

Concerning the back end of this …

The shutter is held on by the circular light baffle. You can unscrew this, though it really is not necessary to do so to work on the shutter.

Note: for cameras that have an electronic flash sync (like this one) there is a wire attached to the shutter section that can easily be broken off … so take care.

The shutter release cam will fall off so you may want to detach the spring first. You can now clean this area … and you can access the rear taking lens elements for cleaning.

When putting the front cover piece back on (over the shutter) make sure to set the shutter speed and aperture to fast/wide open, then set the front cover to match … this will align the two pieces. If you turn the dials you should feel the click stops of the shutter speeds and you can view the aperture from the back side.

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