I bought this Yashica Mat in a small shop in Antwerp specialized in second hand photo gear. The year was 2008.
The shop is long gone and I can’t remember having ever used this camera. Soon after acquiring this beauty my attention was needed for something completely different but that is a whole other story.
The first Yashica TLR with crank advance was the Yashica Mat, released in 1957. The earliest models are equipped with a 75-mm 3.5 Lumaxar taking lens and a 75-mm 3.2 Lumaxar viewing lens. It was succeeded by a 80-mm lenses with the same specifications. (source Camerapedia)
This it the model I own. It takes 120 film and gives 6×6 negatives.
The camera has been sitting in my cupboard for years, safely tucked away in the furthest corner and hidden by a few lenses I never use.
Yesterday I got it out though and it feels heavy and sturdy and looks simply beautiful.
Albeit I know I’m not going to use this camera a lot I decided to put a film in it. When I opened the back I noticed it contained a roll of film. Apparently I had used it but never had taken the film out.
Wow, forgotten frames I thought while sitting in my bathroom with the lights out winding the film on the spool so I could develop it.
I developed the film a little longer than I would do for an Ilford HP5 Plus anticipating on the age of the film and so.
Finally I guess 9′:30″ was a little too long and the negatives are somewhat denser than I prefer.
Scanning them was a whole other story.
The HP Scanjet G4050 is not the best scanner around and for some reason the HP software was giving horrible results on my iMac with OS X Yosemite. The results were somewhat better when scanned with HP Software on Windows 7 running as a virtual machine on my Mac.
It was only when I downloaded a demo version of Vuescan that things changed for the better. The software offers a ton of options and I finally purchased a license. It works well with my Minolta Scan Elite 5400 as well and offers options I don’t have with Silverfast SE8 like multiple passes.
I am not completely satisfies with the scans but I think this is the best I’ll get with the HP Scanjet. I’m putting some money aside so I can get the Epson V750 or V850.