Yashica-Mat EM – winding and focus

Most of the time I usually do not go deep into the winding side of the camera, as this tends to be working … I do open it up to clean and lube … but this time I had to go in.

When I got this camera the winding knob was loose. It appears that over time the bolt loosened, but was not tightened before worse things happened … so when I got it, the cams on both sides had slipped out of position.

First remove the strap holder arm.

Next is the winder arm. Push out the pin from the middle of the pivot point.
A pin punch would be handy right now … luckily the pin was not seized.

You can now pull off the arm.

There will be two other pieces under it that will come off.

You can now remove the seven screws that hold the cover plate on.

Upon removal of the cover plate you may find that a black spring washer may be attached to the back of it (due to old grease).

The winding mechanism (bottom section) can be removed as one piece.

The rest are gears for the counter and film take up spool.

Note: some are not secured so don’t let them fall out before you are ready to remove them.

Press the film door push pin and note how the gears and mechanism shift/engage.






The film counter dial is secured with a single screw.

The centre part has a spring mechanism built in so you will feel that release when you take this apart.

Note: when the back is open the counter red dot is pointing to the corner of the camera.



The long arm that goes down the front side will need to be unscrewed at the bottom to allow the removal of the winding mechanism.

You can also detach the film door push pin arm. Detach one end of the heavy spring, then remove the two screws that hold the arm.



The curved arm, above the central winder, will have to come off. It is secured by one gear shaft. Unscrew the pin.

Keep a note on the spring wire, and any others you may encounter.

The golden gear that couples to the winder rotates around a gear shaft. Unscrew the gear shaft and remove the gear … note the gear shaft is somewhat attached to the gear itself.

There are four large screws that hold the central winding mechanism onto the body. Remove these and you should be able to lift the whole thing out.

You can now see the focus cams on this side of the camera. There will most likely be a lot of old grease.

To remove the cams you have to remove the center securing screw.

You can now give this a good cleaning.

See the below illustration to put them back together … also add some new grease.

Note: make sure both the left and right focus arms are at the same length.

This is an illustration from a Yashica-Mat 124 service manual showing the two focus cams.

The focus wheel side has a mirror image of this.

Now we need to open the other side up.

Remove the strap holder on top.

Unscrew the plastic cover in the middle of the focus wheel.

A single bolt holds the focus shaft in place. Use thin pliers or a thin socket.

Remove the focus knob … note that there should be a washer in there also.

There are five screws holding the outer plate on.

Now you can access the focus cams.

You will probably see the same old grease as you did on the winder side.

Give a good cleaning.

To fit the focus cams back on you will need to first align the ones on the winding side … so get those two set first.

If those are not set properly you will not be able to fit the ones on the knob side in … I hate to say it this way, but … if the focus shaft is not fitted into the cams on the winder side correctly then there will not be enough shaft length on the knob side.

Put this side together first, as the focus knob will keep the cams in place while you put the other side back on.

When putting the winder mechanism back on you will need align the slot in the arm to the pin.

The arm with the pin extends out to the front of the camera and couples with the shutter cocking arm. If you don’t get this right the arm does not move while winding … and of course the shutter will not be set.

Take your time with this side to make sure the springs are attached and all the spring arms are in the proper position.

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