Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive
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Old 04-20-2011   #1
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Default Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

Yesterday the mail person delivered a kind of nice Yashicamat Twin Lens Reflex, and a not as nice Kodak Six-20 Duo.



Both needed a bit of a clean up.

The focus on the Duo seemed froze up at first, but after the day warmed up it moved very stiffly. However, since the focusing threads are accessible from the front when you move the focus to its closest distance, I was able to renew the grease and it now moves, if not freely, at least not so stiffly. There are also some corrosion bumps on the back, and where the lens door is riveted onto the hinge. I will have to find out the best way to remove the leatherette without damaging it to fix that. The camera has the Kodak Anastigmat 75/3.5 lens and a Compur Rapid shutter so it is likely the top of the line version. It was probably made some time around 1937, and shoots 16 exposures on a roll of 620 film. 620 is available, barely, and of course you can respool 120 on 620 spools. Some of you may remember that I had posted about buying one of these before, but returned it because it arrived damaged. This one is not in as nice condition, but is higher spec'ed than the other one was. It seems like there was a lot of variation in these, for a camera that was only produced from 1932 to 1939.

The Yashicamat cleaned up nicely, and appears to have been serviced fairly recently, as all the controls work smoothly and easily. This early Yashicamat, probably made between 1958 and 1965, is a copy of the Rolleiflex Automat. It misses a couple of features and does not have the fit and finish of a Rolleiflex, but seem to be a fine camera in it own right. There may, or may not, be a problem with the film transport mechanism. The second roll of film just wound straight through with out stopping; I took that to mean I should respool it for use in the Duo.

I hope to develop that first roll of film tomorrow. I have high hopes for this camera. It will eventually serve as a companion to the Iskra folding camera, giving me both an eye level RF camera and a waist level reflex camera in my kit.

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Old 04-20-2011   #2
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

Very nice, Tom.

Hopefully it won't be too expensive to find someone to process the films and print the pictures from these classic cameras.
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Old 04-20-2011   #3
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

Very nice indeed. I'm glad that you appreciate older cameras. The WOW factor is great when you take them out in public.
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Old 04-20-2011   #4
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

You're right about the WOW factor, Wade. I recently too out my Nikon F (circa 1974) and found a lot of people staring at me. A few older guys told me they had 'one of those once', and 'they don't build 'em like that anymore'.
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Old 04-20-2011   #5
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

Wade, I find it strange that people see TLR's and folders, and say, "I never saw a camera like that". To me they were ubiquitous at one time. Sometimes, I get, "My grandfather had a camera like that". I must be getting old.

Wolf, I do my own processing of B&W. While I have to mail order 120 film, I can get 120 color processed at Walmart, sent out, back in a week. There is no place around here where I can get 4x5 processed, so I am limited to B&W in that format.

Surprisingly, I do not find being limited to only one focal length, none of my larger than 35mm cameras have interchangable lenses, all that limiting.

Another surprise, for those who do not know, is that the Rolleiflex style camera is about the most ergonometric I have ever used. Cup your right hand under the camera, and the shutter button falls under your thumb. Adjust the focus with your left hand. The shutterspeed and f/stop wheels are just a twitch of the thumbs away. With the camera against your chest, you only have to look down to see the viewfinder image. And that viewfinder image is the size of a small print, it is like looking at the photograph you are going to get before you take it. Of course the LCD screen on the back of a digital camera give you that, but without the very steady 3 point grip, and the Rolleiflex came out in the 1930's.

Too bad that those ergonometrics do not extend to film loading (grin).
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Old 04-21-2011   #6
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

One of the test shots from the Yashicamat:

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Old 04-22-2011   #7
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

Don't you just love the big negatives! Very nice test shot. I agree about the ergonomics of the Rollei type TLR's. I have a Yashica D and love using it too. I'm old enough to remember press photographers using Speed Graphics. My 1st good 35mm camera was an Exakta which I still have and use. Most people my age, and yours Tom, remember these cameras. Still, people our age will marvel at the fact that we are still using them and it brings back fond memories. A lot of younger people have never seen these types of cameras hence the WOW factor. It's fun to explain it to them.
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Old 04-22-2011   #8
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

I only got rid of my Yashicamat last year having gone digital, amazingly rally miss it. Served me well for 40 years and was a replacement for a writen off Rolieflex. Even then it was second hand as funds were short and needed an imediate replacement. A replacement I never regretted, wonderfull camera gave me years of hard work and never let me down.
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Old 04-22-2011   #9
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

I also have an old yashicamat and think it was a lot of camera in it's time for the money.
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Old 04-22-2011   #10
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Default Re: Yashicamat & Kodak Six-20 Duo Arrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade D View Post
Don't you just love the big negatives! Very nice test shot. I agree about the ergonomics of the Rollei type TLR's. I have a Yashica D and love using it too. I'm old enough to remember press photographers using Speed Graphics. My 1st good 35mm camera was an Exakta which I still have and use. Most people my age, and yours Tom, remember these cameras. Still, people our age will marvel at the fact that we are still using them and it brings back fond memories. A lot of younger people have never seen these types of cameras hence the WOW factor. It's fun to explain it to them.
Speed Graphics? What are those? Oh, you mean like on my
Graywolf Photo web site (GRIN!)

Funny thing about those old Exactas, When I bought my first SLR, I thought they were cheap junk cameras, because the New York dealers in the photo magazines were selling them so cheap. It was years later that I realized that the reason they were so cheap is that they had just been discontinued, and they were made in East Germany where their money was worthless. When I was 16-18 I knew all the answers, it took years for me to realize it was the questions I did not understand.


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