Yashicamat 124 and 124G

Medium Format Cameras:

Yashicamat 124

by Karen Nakamura



Overview and Personal Comments

The Yashicamat 124 is a twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera that is basically a copy of the Rolleiflex. It uses 120 size film (medium format) to shoot 6 x 6 square format photos (same as a Hasselblad). Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

I purchased this camera a couple of years ago to see if medium format was my thing. It was, the Yashica had excellent resolution and the tonality of medium format positives just blew me away.

Unfortunately, I was so entranced by the Yashicamat, I later on bought a Mamiya RB67 system and never used the Yashicamat after that. The RB67 is for the studio, while I have a Koni-Omega Rapid M for outdoor medium format photography. It's just a bit difficult to frame when things are reversed in the TLR finder. I like the look of the 124 and the little Yashica 44LM, but I doubt I'll ever use them.


Interesting quirks

The Yashicamat 124G is the successor to the 124. Everyone seems to want the 124G. The only change the 124G has was to add Gold meter contacts. That's it. Which is odd since I've seen 124Gs that went for $400, but 124s are relatively cheap. They use the EXACT SAME OPTICS! Hmm.. People are pretty stupid. You don't buy Yashicamats for the lightmeter, heck most of them are non-linear anymore. They use the EXACT SAME OPTICS!*

* OK, so the 124G had a nicer finish on the outside, BUT it also used wimpier (i.e., cheaper) gears. The 124 has sturdier internal mechanisms.




Sample Pictures

The Yashicamat 124 takes simply astoundingly sharp pictures. Here are some samples shot on Fuji Velvia (an E-6 slide film) and scanned with the Epson Perfection 2400, a standard flatbed scanner with a transparency adaptor that costs around $300. The resulting files are 5400 x 5400 pixels large, or 90 megabytes in size at 24 bit depth (at the scanner's full 48 bit depth, the files are 180 megabytes large). That's the equivalent of a 30 megapixel digital camera! You can print the scans at 240 dpi at a whopping 22" x 22" without interpolating. Try that on your $2000 digital camera!

A reduced version of each photo is shown along with a 8x zoom up. To put the zoomed in version in perspective, to view the zoomed version at 100%, the original file would have to be printed at almost 100" x 100" or an 8' x 8' mural. The actual slide shot is even sharper than the scan as the Epson 2450 is really a 1200 dpi scanner, not a 2400 dpi one.The slides themselves are extremely crisp. You can count the number of leaves on the trees in the autumnal photo (sample #2).

If you want the original sample files (about 3 megabytes compressed at JPEG 8; about 20 megabytes compressed at JPEG 12), please let me know and I will arrange to make them available.


Sample 1: Reflection in Pond Zoomed in 8x

With a high power loupe, you can easily make out the fine details. My scanner is really at its limits here.



Sample 2: Autumn in Brunswick, ME Zoomed in about 8x

The slight unsharpness here is caused by the scanner. With a loupe, you can make out the features of this person and easily identify him. Remember that this is the detail from an image blown up to about 8' x 8'!




Technical Details

Camera Name
Yashicamat 124
Place of Manufacture

Body: Japan

Date of Manufacture
1968 ~ 1971
Focusing System

Twin lens reflex

Fixed Lens

Taking lens: 80mm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
Viewing lens: 80mm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
-Yashinons are 4 element Tessar types


Copal S-V
1 sec - 1/500 sec.

Metering System

CdS cell mounted on camera body (above the lens ATL) - uncoupled match needle type
GN 1-10

Flash Mount

M-X switch
Cold-shoe mount on left side
PC-cable attachment on front side

Film type / speeds

Type 120/220 film (medium format)

Battery type
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About Yashica/Kyocera/Contax

The Yashica Corporation began making cameras in 1957, releasing its first model in 1958 (the Yashica 35). They produced a very well regarded series of twin-lens-reflex (TLR) medium format cameras under the Yashica-Mat brand and 35mm rangefinders under the Yashica Electro name. Yashica became a subsidiary of the Kyocera Corporation in October of 1983. For the next two decades, Kyocera continued to produce film cameras under the Contax marquee, including a very nice 35mm Contax SLR series (which used Zeiss lenses), a medium format system, and the Contax G1/G2 rangefinders (also with Zeiss glass).The Yashica name was only used for a small series of dental cameras and point and shoots. In March of 2005, Kyocera announced that it would cease production and sales of film and digital cameras under the Contax marquee. Thus ends 30 years of a wonderful camera line. The Contax name will most probably revert back to the Zeiss foundation, thus who knows what will happen in the future. Right now, the name "Yashica" appears to have been bought by a Chinese company for their inexpensive digital cameras.


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