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 (in my repair post) 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.

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