Rolleiflex vs Yashicamat 124G (Or Others)

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I know the lineage of the Rollei's, they carry an outstanding reputation. But right now, the camera isn't in my wheelhouse and I'm desperately trying to break from my "best or nothing mentality" attitude and avoid spending 1000-1500 on a Rollei.

Yashicamat users, speak up... give me your 2 cents!

Dollar for dollar they seem to be a great value, how do they stack up in the TLR world.

Dan
 

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No longer a Yashicamat owner but I did have a 635 which is a better build camera than the 124G.
The images you get from any of those cameras will be very very nice. The Yashinon lens (Tessar) is very good stopped down a bit.
If build quality which is not on the same level as a Rollei is not a concern go for it. You can always sell again without loosing much money
 

Tom1956

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124G is a fine camera. Use it with confidence.
 

summicron1

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if it helps you any, the compur shutters on rolleis are a bit more finicky as they age than the copal shutters on yashica -- tolerances on the copals are a titch looser, I think, or something, because they seem to work better than rolleis when they are older.

The lenses are excellent, certainly better than you or I are a photographer. Shoot with confidence.
 
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I'm at a point where I want something clean and that works... the Rollei game gives me a freaking headache.

I'm held to a TLR for personal / philosophical reasons.

After years of using a number of rigs I want a Hadley Pro Bag with my M6 and a TLR (a whole slew of film) lightmeter and that's it... and to always have it with me.

As opposed to my 4x5, 8x10, RB67, 110a, ect etc etc that are so massive I bring them nowhere.
 

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I've had a Yashicamat EM with the Yashinon, a Model D (same as 635 minus the 35mm kit) with the Yashikor triplet and my lady friend has a 'Cord with a Xenar.

The 75mm vs 80mm makes more of a difference than any image quality issues, even the triplet is a great lens shot wide open. Maybe I just have an exceptional copy but it's better than I expected in sharpness, contrast and resolution when I hit focus and use fine grained film. They're all so good it doesn't matter unless it has been monkeyed with.

If you can forgo the crank, you save weight and money and gain reliability. On camera meter adds weight too. Early models definitely built better than the 124G.

Get one that has been recently serviced and don't let it sit on a shelf.
 

baachitraka

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A good repair man in his blog mentioned that Y Mats are good until they worn out. So he do not prefer much....

Save and get Rolleiflex or a good Rolleicord pref Vb.
 
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I've had a Yashicamat EM with the Yashinon, a Model D (same as 635 minus the 35mm kit) with the Yashikor triplet and my lady friend has a 'Cord with a Xenar.

The 75mm vs 80mm makes more of a difference than any image quality issues, even the triplet is a great lens shot wide open. Maybe I just have an exceptional copy but it's better than I expected in sharpness, contrast and resolution when I hit focus and use fine grained film. They're all so good it doesn't matter unless it has been monkeyed with.

If you can forgo the crank, you save weight and money and gain reliability. On camera meter adds weight too. Early models definitely built better than the 124G.

Get one that has been recently serviced and don't let it sit on a shelf.

few out on the bay serviced by Mark Hamma but a little on the expensive side... like 300-350
 

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Pick up a Autocord with a broken focus lever at a discount. Send it to Karl Bryan for a CLA and lever replacement. His prices are good, you'll get a CLA'd camera and it will have a robust new focus lever. It may be slightly more than a Yashica but in my opinion it is well worth it.

Edit: I picked up an Autocord like this for $40 locally. I put another ~$140 in to the lever replacement and CLA including shipping both ways. Absolutely killer camera when it came back and good to go for a long time. And Karl had the camera on the way back to me within a day of receiving it. He deserves all the praise he gets.
 
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Dan Daniel

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few out on the bay serviced by Mark Hamma but a little on the expensive side... like 300-350

Hmmm... by any chance are the person who was looking at an $800 Automat and then bought a $100 Automat that is a mess?

The Hama Yashica-Mat is as good as they will get. If you are serious about using a TLR, that's a very safe bet. Myself, I would go for a plain Yashica-Mat or at most a Yashica-Mat 124 (no G), but that is as much an aesthetic as a technical issue. You might not sell it for as much as you pay- maybe $50-100 less- but consider that rent while you learn if you do want to sell it.

If you want to sell that $100 Automat, drop me a note. See, that Hama is now $100 less!
 

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In my time I have had 3 Rollie's and any number of 'alternatives.' The Rollie's were by far the best, but a VERY close runner up was the Minolta Autocords. The build quality was superb. I have also had a couple of Yashicamats and whilst they were good, they were no where near as well built as the other 2, the Rollie's and the Autocords.
 

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I have a Rollei Automat and a YashicaMat 124G and they are different cameras with different personalities, but my YashicaMat is really a terrific camera. You know what else? When I am looking at those wonderful 6x6 images later on I'll be darned if I can tell which came from the Rollei and which came from the YashicaMat. :smile:
 

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Same here, I regularly shoot with both a Yashica-12 and Rollei Automat with 3.5 Xenar. They're both built very well, and neither has caused any problems. I can feel that the film transport is slightly clunkier in the Yashica, but I don't anticipate it wearing out anytime soon. Lately it seems as if I've had Portra or Ektar in the Yashica, while Neopan 100 is in the Rollei. When stopped down to 5.6 or smaller those lenses really shine! Side by side, they're both equally capable cameras that go beyond my photographic abilities.
 

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They are all TLRs the Rollicords are lighter than flex the Mamiya larger than the others.
 

Ian Grant

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I use a Yashicamat 124 in Turkey that I bought from this forum about 6 years ago it's a great camera to use and the resulting prints are superb, the meter is surprisingly accurate.

However the Yashica's build quality is not as good as my MPP Microcord (essentially a British made Rolleicord III) or my two Rolleiflex cameras. My main miniature format camera in the UK is now a Rolleiflex Automat with an Opton Tessar that I bought at a flea market early this year for £50/$80. I occasionally use a 3.5E Rolleiflex with a Xenotar.

In terms of the quality of results there's not much between any of my TLRs, there's a slight tendency for flare in some conditions with the Yashicamat, the Xpres lens on the MPP is sharper at wider apertures than the Yashinon or Opton Tessar and as good as the Xenotar.

There's plenty of good Rolleiflex Automat for the same prices as Yashicamats or Autocords you shouldn't need to pay more that £140/$220. You'll pay a lot more for a later Rolleiflex with an f2.8 or f3.5 Planar/Xenotar.

Ian
 

TheFlyingCamera

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IF you shop around and take your time (and that's a big if), you can find a 2.8E Rolleiflex for under $600. It will almost certainly need a CLA at that price point, but then you'll have a phenomenal camera that will last you the rest of your life. That said, Ian Grant is right about the Automats and Rolleicords. Regardless of which camera you get, be it a Yashica, Minolta, or Rollei, do yourself a huge favor and invest in a lens shade for it.
 
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Hmmm... by any chance are the person who was looking at an $800 Automat and then bought a $100 Automat that is a mess?


The Hama Yashica-Mat is as good as they will get. If you are serious about using a TLR, that's a very safe bet. Myself, I would go for a plain Yashica-Mat or at most a Yashica-Mat 124 (no G), but that is as much an aesthetic as a technical issue. You might not sell it for as much as you pay- maybe $50-100 less- but consider that rent while you learn if you do want to sell it.

If you want to sell that $100 Automat, drop me a note. See, that Hama is now $100 less!

That's me... As always! Any interest in the automat? I'd like to just get out what I put in.
 

Xmas

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I use a Yashicamat 124 in Turkey that I bought from this forum about 6 years ago it's a great camera to use and the resulting prints are superb, the meter is surprisingly accurate.

However the Yashica's build quality is not as good as my MPP Microcord (essentially a British made Rolleicord III) or my two Rolleiflex cameras. My main miniature format camera in the UK is now a Rolleiflex Automat with an Opton Tessar that I bought at a flea market early this year for £50/$80. I occasionally use a 3.5E Rolleiflex with a Xenotar.

In terms of the quality of results there's not much between any of my TLRs, there's a slight tendency for flare in some conditions with the Yashicamat, the Xpres lens on the MPP is sharper at wider apertures than the Yashinon or Opton Tessar and as good as the Xenotar.

There's plenty of good Rolleiflex Automat for the same prices as Yashicamats or Autocords you shouldn't need to pay more that £140/$220. You'll pay a lot more for a later Rolleiflex with an f2.8 or f3.5 Planar/Xenotar.

Ian
They all need lens hoods some will also need a baffle between the lens and film postcard material and black board paint time, most have a baffle already.
Even a lubitel from pre Lomo production is ok for slow work with a hood and baffle think I got mine for 10$ and is light enough for Nepal.
The Microcords are real nice but inflating in $ they are low production.
 

baachitraka

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...as well as Rolleifix for rolleis. Mine came with a bent back door. With it, camera is so safe on tripod.

IF you shop around and take your time (and that's a big if), you can find a 2.8E Rolleiflex for under $600. It will almost certainly need a CLA at that price point, but then you'll have a phenomenal camera that will last you the rest of your life. That said, Ian Grant is right about the Automats and Rolleicords. Regardless of which camera you get, be it a Yashica, Minolta, or Rollei, do yourself a huge favor and invest in a lens shade for it.
 

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I had a Yashica 124G that I absolutely loved, meter was dead on as well as the shutter speeds. Decent build and still in pristine condition.

Then one day I picked up a Rolleiflex.......
 

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Still running a Rollei T bought used in 1970. 2 CLA's in 40 years. Parts are a real issue as there are not many folks parting out Rollei's. .Face it you are talking about cameras that have withstood the last 30 - 40 years even for the newer Yashica's etc. Keep an eye out for e buy parts babies and buy what is avalilble now to shoot. Several good wonder workers for repairs, Zach's did my Rollei CLA. The 6 x 6 TLR's are all survivors. I don't think any one of them would be a mistake. Get one and shoot a roll. And you'll know why each one has a loyal following.
 

Ian Grant

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They all need lens hoods some will also need a baffle between the lens and film postcard material and black board paint time, most have a baffle already.
Even a lubitel from pre Lomo production is ok for slow work with a hood and baffle think I got mine for 10$ and is light enough for Nepal.
The Microcords are real nice but inflating in $ they are low production.

The lens hoods never get taken off my TLRs when in use. The Yashicamat flares on dull days where the sky is bighter in the background, rather than in sunlight.

Ian
 
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I knew the Rollei would be getting the votes but I'm surprised more people didn't stress the value. If both cameras were a grand then yes, but one is 250 and the other is a 1000
 

Ian Grant

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I knew the Rollei would be getting the votes but I'm surprised more people didn't stress the value. If both cameras were a grand then yes, but one is 250 and the other is a 1000

My point earlier is that there are Rolleiflex cameras like the Automats and the T which sell for similar prices as the Yashicamats and Autocords, while they may be older the build quality means they keep going.

At some stage I'll have to replace my Yashicamat as it has a twist in the focus frame and will wear our, my repairer spotted it when he did a shutter CLA but it's not economic to repair given the price I can get a mint one for. The twist affects the wind mechanism and has no impact on image quality.

Ian
 
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