As a young photographer, I don’t have many experiences yet in operating an old camera, especially one that is way older than myself. This is a story of me and my Yashica MAT 124!
I bought my Yashica MAT 124 a few months ago. I was really excited about it, until I realized that I made a mistake…
I bought this camera at a local antique shop. At that time, I didn’t have any experience with choosing and buying non-Lomography cameras, so I didn’t have any idea on what to look for when I buy one. But still, I fell in love with it at first sight and felt like I must have that camera!
Only when I tried to operate it, I realized that I made a mistake. The light meter was not working! And I didn’t have any idea about exposure at that time. I thought that I could just learn it while photographing with the Yashica MAT 124 without any research. I have never been so wrong.
My first roll with the Yashica MAT 124 was completely blank. It was way overexposed. I was frustrated and almost gave up. But then I got the spirit to learn and do some research. I found an exposure table, so I grabbed a film to try it out.
It was better than the last time, but still not good enough. I only got 5 out of 12 photos.
After that, I did some more research and started to ask around for advice. One of the pieces of advice I got came from Lomoguru adi_totp, who said that I should set the f-stop at f/8 with the shutter stop at 1/125. So I tried it, and it went well!
But it’s still not enough. My mentor (who happens to be the owner of my usual lab) said that it’s still a little bit overexposed, so I took a month to take a break from learning and just continue after. My motivation to learn came back as one of the lomographers I met through Instagram, woodyshakti, said that I should use the sunny 16 rule. So I took the advice and continued learning. The result was better, but I still felt a little bit disappointed about it…
Now, I am close to getting the perfect exposure. Based on my experience, 16 is too bright, and when I use an ISO 100 film, I should set the shutter speed at 1/125, and so on. So during my next learning session, I set the f-stop at f/22 and shutter speed at 1/125 (i used ISO 100 film). And the result is satisfying! But still, I think that I can have some better photos with the f-stop at f/32…
That has been my story with my Yashica MAT 124. It was stressful, frustrating, and full of tears. But I love that camera as my photography skill is improving with it. I will take some more photos with it soon!