My First Pictures With The Yashica MAT 124 G

    This is a follow up post from my experience buying a film camera and getting into film photography. 

    I went back to Whampoa Color Centre to develop the first roll of film shot. Fingers crossed that they all turn out okay!

    The mechanics of the camera worked well to me. Nothing felt loose or cranky. In fact, the camera felt solid in my hands.

    The only sticking point was perhaps that the shutter speed dial was bit stiff. Maybe this is due to infrequent usage compared to the aperture dial. With a bit of force, it is still workable.

    For now, I’m just sticking to 1/iso for the shutter speed and not tinkering too much with it.

    For my first 12 shots, I took them in a variety of locations and situations for the fun of it. Let’s review them one by one together!

    All photos are straight out of camera.

    My very first shot with film and I am so happy with this picture. The colors look rich and I happily called it ‘The Banana Man’. This was shot straight after I got the film from the shop.

    It was shot handheld. Shutter speed set to 1/60.

    This was before I got the light meter so it was a gamble so it was very gratifying to see it turn out so well.

    Had a hard time framing the shot due to the opposite direction of alignment for TLR. Something I need to get use to over time.

    The cool thing about using a TLR is that because I’m mostly looking down, it does not seem intrusive and the uncle seemed oblivious to what I was doing.

    After getting paranoia about not getting my exposure correct, I went to Funan to get my TT Artisan light meter.

    The Yashica Mat 124 has a horseshoe mount by the side but the light meter only fits loosely. I tiled the camera when carrying it and the light meter dropped on the floor within minutes of my purchase.

    Good thing is it does seem to work okay still. (I dropped this meter a couple of times more later on).

    This was shot with the meter, F11 and 1/200, handheld. Everything came together nicely with the human as perspective and road cleared of traffic. Happy with the turn out too.

    Decided to venture to the national gallery side and caught this scene. Actually, I thought the framing could be better when the two ladies in front were standing more towards the right of the frame.

    However, I was struggling with the framing due to getting used to the opposite alignment and missed the moment. Got this instead.

    I stopped after the 3rd picture. This was taken on the next day when I decided to quickly finish the roll and develop it to test the results.

    Shot on a tripod. I thought I should shoot this place as a memory of my first film purchase. The retro building facade is something I liked too.

    Wanting to shoot colorful buildings, this place in Little India popped into my head. This is a memorable place for me as we took our wedding shoot here too!

    Shot on a tripod, I was testing out the 10 second self timer. Seems to work okay!

    Same location but from another side. Love the harsh shadows. Waited a bit for an interesting person to walk past before I pressed the shutter. Gives context to the location.

    Still in Little India. I thought I nailed the shot. The I forgot that the viewing lens is different from the shooting lens resulting in possible parallax error. So lesson learnt to be mindful of obstacles being too close to the camera.

    Went back to some place closer home and this is the Punggol beach side. Shot handheld. The difference this time was I held the camera lower to the ground. Steady hands. This late afternoon timing.

    I was also eager to test out the capability of this camera in low light situations. I have been warned that it’s best to only keep the use to daylight situations. I thought I have got a tripod and I can try a longer shutter speed.

    I screwed up the first picture due to forgetting to set the aperture properly.

    This is something we really shouldn’t be rushing when using a TLR.

    Next, I remember to set the settings right. Opened to my widest aperture of 3.5 and the shutter speed adjusted accordingly.

    It was set on a tripod. The blur I feel was due to the slight shake when I press the shutter button. For such situations, I would be better off using a self timer or perhaps consider getting a cable release button to prevent such slight shake.

    In conclusion, I am happy with the shots I got and how the camera turned out to be working fine. Am ready to bring it to Japan and hopefully capture some beautiful shots of sakuras!

    Kevin Yeo
    Kevin Yeo
    IG: @kevinyeo82

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