Yashica Mat 124G TLR Camera
Over the years I have been handling a lot of twin lens cameras, and have learned they all have there own individuality in handling and capturing imaging, but during this time there has only been three TLR cameras which really stood out: The Rolleiflex, Mamiya C Series and Yashica Mat 124G.
The Rolleiflex TLR’s are undoubtedly the top of the range with there unique craftsmanship, lenses and outstanding quality throughout there range, and therefore they don’t come cheap, and I must admit having a problem walking by a Rolleiflex on sale. The Mamiya C220 and C330 with there very sharp interchangeable Minolota Rokkor Lenses, aimed at studio-bound professionals as they are heavy in weight and carry the nickname ‘The TLR-beast on the world’. Yashica tried very hard to match the Rolleiflex, and the 1970 Yashica Mat 124G was there finest example. I have owned a few different Yashica Mat TLR Cameras through the years including the 124G, and if I didn’t have the money to invest in a Rolleiflex TLR, the Yashica Mat 124G would be without a doubt my first option.
Yashica TLR Cameras
Yashica made many TLR cameras throughout the 50′s-80′s. They can be split into two camps: knob winders and lever winders. The cameras tended to be evolutions of the previous model, rather than revolutions, but this worked in Yashica’s favour, and their final TLRs where some of their best.
Yashica TLRs are generally regarded as cheap, yet robust and reliable. The MAT series were the first Yashicas to have the aforementioned crank winders and auto shutter-cock. The 124 and 124G series introduced the ability to use both 120 and 220 film. The great thing about the MAT 124(G) is the incorporated battery-powered lightmeter, which, when working, is surprisingly accurate. The difference between the Mat 124 and Mat 124G are small, with the ‘G’ standing for ‘Gold’, adding gold connectors to the electronics.
The Mat 124(G) are great cameras, but recently they have come into vogue, pushing their prices upwards.