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zig-123 Dec 21, 2008 4:29 PM

Hi All,

Attached is a candid taken of my daughter, Adrian using a Yashica MAT 124 Twin Lens Reflex Film camera. It was taken Christmas morning 28 years ago. It's a rather ordinary looking candid taken by a proud father on a Holiday, repeated countless times by countless mom's and dad's around the world.

Whatmay be of interest is as follows:

Back before the days of digicams, I primarily used the Yashica MAT124 TLR. It's a medium format camera - actually a knock off of a Rolleifllex TLR that produce a 6" x 6" print. I stopped taking picutres with it years ago and it sat in my camera cabinet for well, 28 years. A couple of weeks ago, I dragged it out and started to clean it up as I decided to sell it. WhenI opened the film compartment, there inside, was an exposed roll of film. Having no idea, how long ago it was exposed, or what was even on it, I sent the rolll to a film developing lab, in norwich, CT.

This past Friday,I received a CD with 9 photos on it. The photo of my daughter was one of them. The roll of film had sat in that camera for 28years waiting to be developed.

And no, I'm not making this up.


Bynx Dec 21, 2008 5:07 PM

Ive had the same thing happen to me with an old Instamatic camera. It was only about half as old as yours though. What a pleasant surprise. What were on the other 8 shots?

zig-123 Dec 21, 2008 5:31 PM

Hi Bynx,

There were 3 more of my daughter, a couple of my son, then 12 - now approaching 40 and two of nephew and neice. It was a 12 exposure roll, so 3 were not able to be salvaged. Probably as a result of my opening the film compartment. The originals were all in color and after this lenght of time, the edges of the prints were a bit discolored. I decided to turn this particular photo into B&W in PP and added some much needed contrast. Other than being a bit discolored on the edges, the prints came out surprisingly well.

I'm glad to hear that someone else has had a similar experience. I thought it next toimpossible for exposed film to last that long.

My daughter stopped by this weekend with her two kids. she was stunned to see pictures of herself that hadn't seen before.


[email protected] Dec 23, 2008 8:47 PM

Yah, that's very cool, a blast from the past!

I had a different but similar experience.

My father sent me an email giving me advice regarding how to buy a car.

However, my computer at the time wasn't working.

My father passed away, and about three months later I got my computer working and I received his email.

I was stunned to see his email in my inbox - realizing he sent it about 2 weeks before he died.

zig-123 Dec 24, 2008 7:03 AM

Hi Terry,

Itmustan eerie feeling, to get get something such as an e-mail from a loved one whose passed away.

For me, getting the photos was a step back in time. My wife and kids have had some great conversations recalling what was going on in our lives during that Christmas.

Have a great Christmas!

P.S. did you take your dad's advice?


[email protected] Dec 24, 2008 7:11 AM


Actually, I didn't take some of his advice, and he proved to be right.

He told me not to buy a Mitsubishi because there weren't a lot of dealers around here in the US.

Although I own the MItsu now, I've had trouble getting it serviced because of the lack of dealerships!

Actually, I own a Yashicamat myself, which drew me to the post. It's a pretty funky camera, looking down into it. Each time you tilt the camera it does the exact opposite in the glass plate viewfinder.

The yashicamat still works 0 but I haven't taken a picture with it in about six years. One day I set it down on the hood of my car and a wind gust blew it off! It was only slightly dented in one corner but continued to work!

The old Rolliflex have gotten really expensive on the used market. It's still possible to get a yashicamat in good condition used here in the US for about $50-100 USD.

My father owned a yashicamat back in the 1970's. It was one of the only cameras he ever sold that he regretted selling.

I still have my Yashicamat plus his old Canon AE1 film camera and equipment. ONce in a long time I take it out - it's very heavy. The old Canon FD lenses are all there.

Anyways, glad you had some nice memories from that old film left in the camera. Must have been difficult to find anyone who would expose the old roll film these days.

zig-123 Dec 24, 2008 7:36 AM

Hi Terry,

Funny how people's perceptions of the value of a piece of equipment, at times, is not based on reality. I say that because, you're right the Yashica MAT 124 generally sells for between 50 to 100 bucks. While the Yashica MAT 124G, which came out later, sells for about double that. Yet the only difference between the camera is that the G model uses a gold contact for the metering sensor. Otherwise, the cameras are identical.

Incidentally, if you ever want to ressurect your Yashicamat and need a battery, you can substitute a #675 hearing aid battery for the mercury batteries that were originally used. A small mod is required. Here is a link on how to do that:

There are still a few companies aroundthat develop 120medium format film. One that comes to mind is Lustre Color on Rte 138 in Canton. It's where I had my film developed before I moved down to the Cape.

I chose to have the film developed by Cooper Imaging in CT. since they could develop the negatives and burn them onto a CD instead of prints. Aah, the power of technology!

As for your Canon AE1, great camera, I have been tempted many times to buy one at various estate sales that I go to here on the Cape. There is such a lack of interest in the old 35mm cameras these days, that an EA1 can be had for about 35bucks complete with a 50mm prime.


[email protected] Dec 24, 2008 9:24 AM

I should try it out!

The film is only about $6 a roll.

I also have an old "folder" camera which I tried a couple of times. The non-coated lens couldn't handle much contrast ratio and the flare was insane.

However, the Yashicamat (and G) are classic cameras in my mind.

I'm seeing many of the higher end medium format cameras and viewfinder cameras selling for a song these days. Not difficult to get an old mamiya setup for $300 and Hasselblad for $1000.

Twenty years ago those were setups a serious amateur could only dream about.

I probably could have got $100-200 for my fathers AE1 and 4-5 lenses a few years ago, now I could probably get $50 if lucky. Won't sell it though - it's just a momento.

Hope you have a great XMAS!

lesmore49 Jan 1, 2009 9:59 PM

Great story and picture...I bet your family got a kick out of it.

I'm another with an old Yashicamat 124, also a Mamiya 220 Pro F, an old Leica, a few old Pentax SLR's one dating to '68. I should check and see if they have any film in them. I maybe surprised.

I'm keeping all my old film cameras ..going to make up a display I think in our house.

zig-123 Jan 2, 2009 5:44 AM

lesmore49 wrote:

Great story and picture...I bet your family got a kick out of it.

I'm another with an old Yashicamat 124, also a Mamiya 220 Pro F, an old Leica, a few old Pentax SLR's one dating to '68. I should check and see if they have any film in them. I maybe surprised.

I'm keeping all my old film cameras ..going to make up a display I think in our house.

I never realized how large the fraternity of Yashica MAT users were out there 'til I Googled the camera. Amazing (to me). the amount of interest still out there for this particular camera.I ended up finding a good home for mine as I knew that I would never use it since,I need aDSLR equipped with image stabilization.

I still have and willl never sell a Konica FT-1 Motor 35mm slr. Just too many good memories to part with it.

Good luck with your display. It should be a great conversation starter.

As for my daughter, this is what she looks like today, 28 yrs later;

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