Yashica A

I feel like I haven’t posted much lately, but looking at the calendar at the bottom, I have still posted something each week. My room has cameras all over it, on the floor, under the bed, on the shelves and in boxes. I think that is why I feel a little overwhelmed. In the midst of all that I went to the Photography Show, a Camera Fair in Boston Spa, and on a photo walk in London.

This camera is connected to all of those events. I talked about Yashica 120 cameras with a friend on the way to the show, and we both decided we really wanted one. At Boston Spa, I saw this one being sold by another seller and we came up with a deal. Finally, I took it on the walk. Here is the camera with all the other stuff I got at the fair.

The seller gave me this for a fairly cheap price as he didn’t want to return home with the same number of cameras, his wife was sitting next to him and seemed very happy he was reducing his collection. The only issue the camera had was a missing cover on the focusing knob, but he had the cover and a very rough case. The cover was very easy to glue back on, but I noted the asa reminder might have been glued on at some point too as it didn’t move at all.

As this review points out, this is an entry-level TLR from the late 1950s but I didn’t care. I loved it. The first thing I needed to do was check it was working. I loaded it with my last roll of Fomadon 100 and headed for my local nature reserve. As it was a bit dark I decided to rate the film at 400. I also tried a fog filter for one of the shots.

Well, now I knew the camera worked. I did find it a little hard to focus at times, the subject matter didn’t help with that. Anyway, I could start to improve it a little.

The case was split in two and was of no use at all. I have never fixed a case before so decided to attempt it for the first time. Leather repair kits are cheap on eBay so I ordered one and waited. Once it arrived I watched this video and got down to work.

I used a straighter needle as it was the sharpest in my basic kit, though for some of my case that wasn’t necessary as it was so badly damaged.

Super…wait, this camera has a red window which I need to see to advance the film. The back of the case has no hole?? This is not the right case for this camera, bugger. Sod it, I will just cut a hole in it and the problem will be solved.

Perfect-ish.

I already knew I wanted to take this camera on the #sheheartsfilm walk in London. As I didn’t have a lens cover, I decided to order one from Simon Forster. He 3D prints many photographic-related items including gates for the Pixl-latr. He had many caps available, but not one for the Yashica A. Don’t give up I thought, maybe he could add this one to his collection and I contacted him. No problem he said, just send me the measurements. I did just that and a week later I had a lovely purple lens cover that fit perfectly.

Ok, so the camera was tested, the case was fixed, the knob cover was fixed back on, and the lens cap was attached. The last thing I wanted to improve was the mirror. I had already replaced a mirror on a TLR and knew it was pretty easy. I ordered one from this website. I had to wait for it to arrive from America, but it did and in time for the walk. These are very easy to replace by removing the screws on around the viewfinder, then sliding out the old mirror and inserting the new one.

The old mirror was damaged, but not the worst one I had ever seen so I have kept it in case I need one for another camera. As noted in this review, even with a spanking new mirror, the viewfinder can be hard to see in bright light. You might need to use your hands to further block the light.

So that was it, the camera was ready for London. I loaded it with Kodak TMax 400 and headed for the train.

The walk was in Stoke Newington and Abney Park. I haven’t been to that area of London before and loved it, it was very friendly for the most part. The one exception was the gentleman in the first photo, he became a little hostile after I took this photo. He did ask for it to be taken but became quite loud afterwards. Luckily another gentleman put himself between him and us, quietly, but obviously so. We soon left the area and the gentleman behind, to start our walk.

As always with She Hearts Film walks, it was very friendly. There was a lot of chatting, people helping each other, and examining of equipment. I left the group for a little while to explore on my own before rejoining them before we headed to the pub. I took a few cameras, but this is the only one I finished in the park.

Once home I developed the film in 510-Pyro and here are the results.

The new mirror seems to have helped with the focusing issue, but I do seem to have a problem hitting the sweet spot with trees. I love this set of photos and think I will be using this camera a lot in the future. AND, I am happy to note there is a bit of a swirl on the bokeh.

As for the walk with SHF, I loved it and a slightly odd thing happened in the pub. When we were in the bar, three women were sitting and drinking wine in the same area. They were not part of the photo walk, but they approached me and asked me to take their photo. Then they started chatting excitedly with me. They swear they knew me and asked if I was local. I said no I was from Yorkshire….no I couldn’t be because they knew me but couldn’t place me plus my accent was odd. I explained I didn’t know them so my voice reverted to my posher, teacher voice. I then demonstrated my Yorkshire accent and they relented a bit. They were full on and kept saying they knew me, was I famous and how friendly my face was. They suggested places I could visit and go to eat. I said it was lovely to chat with them but it was a bit odd, very unlondon-like. They were a bit upset by that as they wanted London to be known as a friendly place and actually it is. Each time I visit, someone approaches me for a chat. I think it is due to the vintage cameras I always have around my neck 🙂

3 thoughts on “Yashica A

  1. Stu says:

    Excellent results, especially your first shot of the awkward chap. You can probably get a new screen for it from Rick Oleson. It will probably be 100 dollars, but I did it with my Rollei and the difference was amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      I just looked that up and that would help with the focusing issue. I will have to save up for one or sell a camera to fund it. Thanks for the idea.

      Like

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