My ‘New’ 1960s Yashica-Mat TLR – TtV

posted in: Camera Gear, Film Photography, TLR | 3

Whilst I’m trying to figure out the best way to scan my colour negatives properly (boy is that hard to master), I thought I’d share a quick TtV (Through the Viewfinder), as it’s commonly known on Flickr, of my latest camera acquisition; the Yashica-Mat TLR from the 1960s. It’s a real beauty and I can’t wait to shoot some 6x6cm 120 medium format film through it. I also have my dad’s Lubitel 2 (a Russian TLR) from a similar period. I haven’t run any film through the Lubitel 2 yet but it has already whetted my appetite for TLRs; so I wanted another with higher quality optics and build without breaking the bank by buying a Rolleiflex 2.8! Well not just yet anyway…

The viewfinder is absolutely gorgeous and focusing with it, especially using the large built-in loupe, seems really accurate. Of course I’ll need to see the results before knowing this for sure. But it’s the feeling I get when composing an scene as I look down at the beautiful, giant (nearly 6x6cm), square viewfinder ground glass that seems to invoke an extra level of creativity and inspiration in me. I haven’t even exposed a single frame of film yet, but I already feel that the TLR camera format is going to be wonderful to make pictures with. The viewfinder shows the scene as a mirror image and so it adds a bit of confusion and time when composing a shot, but that ever-so-slightly abstract way of looking at the world is rather novel and interesting.

Here’s the view from our dining room window of the snowy crags opposite our house:

Yashica-Mat - TTV (Through The Viewfinder)Canon 5D MKII, EF 50mm f/1.2L, ISO 1600, 1/320s, f/3.5 (to match the maximum aperture of the Yashica-Mat :-))

3 Responses

  1. Peter Boyd

    Awww, I miss shooting medium format – I’ll have to get my Rollei SLX fixed and get my hands on some film!

    Incidentally, you should try VueScan software for colour neg scanning. I used to use it all the time and, in combo with a decent scanner, you can get bags of detail and tonal range from the negs.

    • James

      You definitely should get back into film, it’s really quite special after a long digital break! Thanks for the Vuescan tip, I’ve played around with the demo a bit but I found the watermark it adds (because it’s a demo) so distracting that I couldn’t appreciate the results. I think I might just have to risk it, buy it and give it a real trial. I still have some colour negs to scan that I’ve been avoiding! One of the things I really liked about Vuescan compared to EpsonScan is that it does a higher resolution preview, which means you can zoom in to crop the frame without it having to keep scanning new previews like EpsonScan does! That’ll be a huge time saver and will make scanning much more tolerable!

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