I recently came into possession of a Yashica-Mat LM, as you may have seen in the previous post. We used it as a prop in our high speed flash sync experiments, and not much else came out of it. So… I threw in a roll of Reala 100, and off I went.
The first thing to be said about operating this camera is that ergonomics have come a long way… this is no modern DSLR in terms of ease of control. The shutter and aperture controls are next to the lens, and are only displayed right on top of the viewing lens. This is just one part of the camera that slows you down.
The next thing is the meter… it’s fantastic! I really expected it to be way off considering its age, but it has been spot on every time. The way in which the meter reads is interesting, though. On the front of the camera is a light sensitive window, and above that are the numbers from one to ten, and a little red needle. The needle moves across these numbers, and once the number is read, the corresponding exposure can be read from the left hand side of the camera. It was a little strange to get used to, but has been a lot of fun. Another part of this camera to slow you down.
The final major difference is the viewing screen. While not nearly as bright and pretty has the one in the Mamiya 645, this is still one hell of a fun viewfinder to look into. Of course, the image is reversed, and this takes some getting used to. When you think you’re going to move the image one way, and it goes the other… it is quite an experience to begin with. This is the part that really slowed me down to begin with.
All this slowing down has been great, it makes for a lot less quick snapshots. Everything you do is thought through before you push the button. Here are some of my shots from the first roll.