A completely biased review of the Yashica Mat 124 G

Bad Salzuflen – February 2018

Ok so this post (2 days in a row?!) is to officially introduce to this blog my wonderful Yashica Mat124G. I fucking love this camera and it has single handedly reignited my passion for film. It’s crazy because as soon as I came back from Vietnam I got a Nikon F3 with a Nikkor 35mm F2 lens, and THIS is the camera I never do a photowalk without. Luckily my Ona Bag fits both perfectly.

I found this camera at a Naples old-used-shit festival (otherwise known as Bidonville) which stops there 2 times a year and I have the weird feeling I tried to purchase the same exact camera off of the same damn guy at least twice before. These market people go to the same places, and I like to think he never was able to get rid of it. Every time it was the same damn price in different places, 150euros. So I tell him “I can’t go more than a hundred” to which he just told me to get lost. I pointed out it was the closing day and shop was about to close. He said not under 120. At that very moment the Napoli game was on the radio and we got a penalty kick. So the whole place just stalls. Napoli kicks, Napoli scores! We’re both happy and I tell him “c’mon, we’re done here for the day. One hundred”. To which he goes “Alright 100! But just because Napoli scored!”

Bad Salzuflen – February 2018

And that was it!! (Not to mention that same day I bought two Olympus Mju for 5 and 7 euros. But that’s another story…)

The lens on this is way sharper than I would have ever thought. These shots are not really reflective of an everyday situation as they are all long exposures, 20 seconds up to 52 at F8. But nonetheless there is really nothing to say in terms of sharpness and detail rendition. Shutter button is a little groggy and has got stuck at under 0 degrees condition, but the shutter cable has been able to fix that.

The view finder is a joy to use and the magnifying lens that flips up does help a lot to get the focus just right.

It’s a little on the heavy side, more than you would like, but it’s such an enjoyable camera that you really don’t notice it at all.

Bad Salzuflen – February 2018

Heads turn when you walk with this thing around your neck. A lot based on what my girlfriend told me. If you’re into that. I didn’t notice it but I think it’s funny.

I’m a really bad reviewer. I’m not able to be objective at all and not let my love for this camera get in the way. I can understand how one can see it as a display camera, but I can’t help bringing it along since I started using it. And the detail you get on a 6×6 negative is astonishing if all you ever shot was 35 mm.

So here are some more shots in daylight. The next one is at F3.5 and you can appreciate the depth of field you are able to get. Not a lot, but noticeable.

Rome – February 2018

I shot these in the park near my house (I think it was my first roll). I initially thought the light meter was broken, but later discovered that it only opens when you flip the viewfinder (smart) and it worked wonderfully still.

I looked at the prices for this thing and for the condition, worn but perfectly working aside from the groggy shutter button which actually does his job just fine, it was a real bargain.

Rome – February 2018

So all in all, I would really recommend this camera as an entry to medium format. Cheap, easy to use and you may be lucky to find one that still works. I didn’t get any accessories with it (no lens cap and no cover) but still.. I’m so excited to shoot this again, I got some rolls of color (to be developed) and today I got a couple of more FP4, cheaper than HP5 in 120 format, and I think it’s gonna be my go-to film for it. Maybe Rollei 400s but only if I have to shoot daylight as I don’t know any reciprocity information for it. But that subject is going to be for another time.

Rome – February 2018

Notes: First three shots shot with Fuji Acros developed in D-76. Literally NO GRAIN at all. Metered with my Android phone. Last three shot with Rollei 400s developed in Rodinal metered with in camera light meter. 


Hot Hot Hot Summer – Milan 2017

These pictures are in extreme contrast with my current environment.

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Milan – June 2017

Outside the temperature is around the -2 deg C. I’ve been in Germany since Friday for work and tried to make the most I could of my time spare here.

I was expecting to work the weekend and for reasons i’m not going to get into ended up having a day and a half all to myself. In light of the chance, i brought my two cameras of choice at this time. My blazing “new” F3 and semi-new Yashica Mat 124G. The first i only took out to test the light meter (i’ll get into that later, maybe), the latter has been my weapon of choice.

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Milan – June 2017

From a weather perspective, Saturday was a full blown shitty day. Rain all day, I drove around without a destination around lake Bodensee but didn’t have the slightest chance to take the camera out. Seriously, it never stopped.

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Milan – June 2017

So I was left with Sunday – woke up early (as i usually do lately) – and went to the pier.  Shot a roll of FP4 around there, loaded a CN200 roll and took the car and drove east along the lake. Almost completed the roll with 2 shots left.

Now I know – it’s not a lot. But still… I’m ok with it. There’s actually one shot still left.

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Milan – June 2017

Saturday was however good for one reason. I found an old Gossen Sixtar light meter at a thrift store. Initially 10 euros, but when i asked to see if was working the lady opened the battery compartment to show all kinds of corrosions…. so two euros. DEAL!

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Milan – June 2017

During lunch i moved the battery from the yashica to the light meter and lo and behold.. it works!! So that’s been my companion for the rest of the weekend..

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Milan – June 2017

Unfortunately i wasn’t able to find the reciprocity failure corrections for the Role film, so i did hesitantly shoot 1 picture at night (cause that’s all that i’m left with after work) and i still got one in the barrel…

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Milan – June 201

I did go running (twice!!) this week which surprises myself considering i haven’t been out in more than a month..

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Milan – June 2017

So that’s my week so far. A lot of beer, film and pictures, Hop Along songs, a black Mercedes E200 that parks on its own and with a sucky bluetooth, fucking cold weather, bad food, running and work.

NOTES: Shot during (you guessed it) a business trip in Milan back in June 17. Only an afternoon at my disposal but managed to burn through a roll of Fuji Across (literally NO GRAIN). Spotmatic F – swapping the 35 mil 3.5 with the 50 mil 1.4.

Vietnam – December 2017

Ok so this is not how I saw this going… I took a long break from this blog but it doesn’t really correspond to a break in my pictures.

I written and deleted a lot of stuff here for this post..but this round i’m just going to let the pictures do the talking.

Here are some pictures from Saigon from December, shot with my backup Spotmatic body in Vietnam with Tri-X 400 pushed to 1600.

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Saigon – December 2017


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Saigon – December 2017


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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017
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Saigon – December 2017

Conquering Goals

Waking up late on a Saturday morning is not my preferred way to start weekends. I would honestly prefer waking up early with the entire day ahead of me, but then again, I normally think about sleeping in literally every single day of the week. So sometimes I allow myself to stay in bed a little longer. And this was one of those days…

Melbourne – February 2017


I got out of bed around 10:15 and stayed on the balcony for a few minutes. I had a choice. Either go make coffee and breakfast, have a cigarette and spend some time browsing random youtube videos on TV (my favorite couch potato activity). OR grab my cheap running gear, down a glass of water and get out of the house.

For me this is usually like jumping off a cliff. I just need to take that step. And so i did.

Melbuorne – February 2017

Ran 4.5km in 34 mins and my knee was killing me half way. Not much at all, but enough to keep me starting again.

Melbourne – February 2017

NOTES: All shot on trix pushed at 1600 (this was before my latest commitment). Not the pentax as usual (it was on the sidelines) but the trusty backup minolta m7000.

Film makes a Comeback

Melbourne – February 2017

It’s been a long time since i posted any pictures taken on film here.  There’s a very simple reason behind it actually: my trusty Spotmatic started giving me some bad signs last July, with the mirror not coming back down randomly after shots. I did bring it along with me to Seattle for a couple of rolls, but once it started to produce the same erratic behaviour i definitely put it to rest until i was going to be able to fix it.

Melbourne – February 2017

Plus the fact that i was till down in Grottaglie didn’t help, there was no one i could go to…

Then came the move to Rome, but the new house was a priority. So long story short, i finally found a place here and brought it over to a small shot and got it repaired a little over a month ago.

Melbourne – February 2017

So for this Melbourne trip i was from earlier this year i was really upset… No Pentax, no backup (it was in storage) and just a compact Olympus XA to get me through. Luckily we found a house, got the shipment and took the Minolta M7000 with me for this one. No manual rewind, but better than the XA.

So fast forward to nowadays, late April, i’m back reunited with the Spotmatic and trying to make up for the lost time. Back into developing and scanning (already more than 10 rolls this last month).

So I got more and more on my hands. This is the first decent shot from the rejuvenated Pentax.

Rome – March 2017

So a few of good resolutions:

  1. Less push on Tri-x when it is not needed. It’s not winter, there’s enough daylight and unless i’m on business trips where i only get out at night, i really don’t need to shoot at 1600 all the time. Plus 24 mins of development time is too fucking much… And i honestly like the plain Tri-X at 400.
  2. Get away from Tri-X. This came from shooting Japan Camera Hunter’s film (shots above in Melbourne). I really like how it looks, to the point i want to diversify. Who gives a fuck about continuity on the style. It’s just black and white… So i already shot a couple of HP5s and bought 4 more.
  3. The most difficult and important: use my lunch breaks to walk around and shoot.
  4. Same difficulty as 3. Start running again. Really need it.

Below, is HP5.

Napoli – April 2017


Tel Aviv – All work/no Play

Tel Aviv – March 2017

Between February and March I had a rough 2 weeks straight on business trip. I drove down from home to Frosinone for a couple of days, drove straight down to Foggia to teach a class, came back to Naples on Friday afternoon to say hi to my parents, then drove right back up to Rome late in the Evening. Saturday morning I hopped on a train that took me to the airport where I took a flight that eventually brought me to Israel.

Tel Aviv – March 2017

I got there late in the evening, and the next morning I was already at work. Israel has a different work week, that starts on a Sunday and ends on a Thursday.

Tel Aviv – March 2017

I didn’t really get any time to discover the city. All i was left with were the late evenings, so all my photos were taken around that time and on the drive to and from work. At least i wasn’t driving…

Tel Aviv – March 2017

It’s really different from where i’ve been up to this point. Mostly due to my ignorance, but i had some tension going in. The beefed up security doesn’t help, but after a couple days i eventually got used to it, and can’t wait to get back there this Summer.

Tel Aviv – March 2017

So the pictures are really not that great and all taken with my phone.

Tel Aviv – March 2017

I wasn’t sure whether they should have stayed in color or black and white, BUT i fixed my Pentax a few weeks ago and already got some rolls through, so there’s gonna be tons of film rolling (pun intended) in the blog soon.

Tel Aviv – March 2017

To my surprise i developed 5 rolls, and soon enough 6 more are on the shelf waiting. The house is shaping up nicely and i have my desk and scanner back all working AND the 24 inch monitor (which helps a lot when editing).

Tel Aviv – March 2017

Looking forward to 4 days off work now, so hopefully i’ll get some more down time to write, develop, scan and shop for some developer and film. And who knows… i got my eye on a Mamiya M645…… we’ll see!

Tel Aviv – March 2017

Another 2 week Stint – Frosinone_Foggia

I had very little time to enjoy the house and it was back on the road again, the place where i spent the most of this 2017. And I’m not in either of those places anymore… Writing from Tel Aviv. But that’s another post.

Frosinone – February 2017
Frosinone – February 2017

This time around I did not rent. I felt like driving my own car, and thoroughly enjoyed it, I must say. Even without the speed control, the little-to-no care of driving a rental, the park-where-I-feel-like type of approach, I missed my good old focus and hopefully will get her on the road as soon as I get another chance.

Frosinone – February 2017
Frosinone – February 2017

With that said, it hasn’t been too bad being away from home as I think. The hotels are decent and I get to see cool places. I would like to spend some more time and get to know Rome better. It’ll come…

Foggia – March 2017
Foggia – March 2017

This last hotel in Foggia, i knew what i was getting into. Some kind of Shining deal… but it’s comfortable and peaceful. Maybe a little too much.

Foggia – March 2017

And the restaurant sucks.

Foggia – March 2017

Last morning.. go to work, drive 4 hours home with a pit stop at home to surprise my parents, and off back to Rome with one night stop at home. Next morning, afternoon flight to Tel Aviv.

Foggia – March 2017

Notes: All S7 again. I’m shooting Tri-X@800 with the Olympus XA but I have a huge backlog of film to develop. I sent the rolls of color to the lab and will pick them up next week, so more film to come. For now just cell 😦 i did learn through these posts that the cell phone editor is fine but not phenomenal. Tried one picture with Snapseed and liked it much more, so I will stick to that going forward.