They say "Looks aren't everything" but one has to admit that they're a start. Photographers can often tend to admire beauty, given that a photographer works strictly in a visual medium. This thought is hardly universal in that many have the more logical thought of placing form over function, and some of the most productive of professional photographers work with rigs that are weather beaten and anything but aesthetic. While I hardly consider myself a "photographer," I've generally tended to favor photographic devices that were easy to use while giving good results, allowing a sufficient level of control that was easy to access and utilize. I'd rarely considered the elegance of the overall device to be a factor in my decisions about equipment. Fresh from my frustrations from my first round of disappointments from the reactivation of my old Seagull camera, and prior to my ability to remedy that problem, I started looking at alternatives that included picking up a "new" TLR. I was hardly ready to outlay the money for a Rollei or Mayima, and had read good things about older models made by Ricoh, Minolta, and Yashica. Ricoh cameras were not too readily found, while Minolta Autocord cameras had a pretty established following that led to them fetching prices in the $200-300 range on auction, a bit more than I really wanted to pay for a hobbyist camera. Yashica cameras were pretty plentiful, but came in a very wide range of models over the decades, and took some time to figure out. There was the "A," the "D," the "Yashicamat," the "44," the "635," and a number of variations of the "124." Looking at auction results for "Yashica TLR," it was nearly impossible to tell what the distinguishing aspects of these particular cameras were. And then I spotted it, the prettiest of all the Yashica TLR's, sporting the most simple of model numbers: 12!
Ever ordered an appetizer sampler primarily for one thing only to discover that you liked something else on that same plate even more?
This sort of feeling would likely be the best way to describe my story with the Konica 85mm f/1.8 lens which I acquired back in early June.
And it worked! May as well cut to the chase!
You may recall in my initial "Return to Film" write up (or you may not), I was daunted by a focus calibration issue that was plaguing my hopefully triumphant return to film. Fortunately, I caught this when I was only partially through the next roll of film, so I could see a true before and after effect from the shots after I repositioned the lens in its socket and did some rough testing to compare the appearance of focus between the viewing lens and the focusing wheel's guide.
Here are a pair of photos taken before the focus recalibration...