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Yashica Mat medium format twin-lens reflex cameras take unfeasibly good photographs, especially on transparency film like Fujichrome Velvia 100. But tehy are getting old, which means the lubrication inside is getting thick and sticky.

There are lots of people claiming to have fixed sticky shutters on Yashica Mat twin-lens reflex cameras, but not many giving advice on how to do it.

The easy route is:

  • Peel off the leather around the lenses - it will have gone hard and nasty and come off in small bits.
  • Remove the four largest screws.
  • Lift off the lens and shutter unit.
  • Set it for f3.5 and 1/500 of a second - this is to make it easy to get it lined up when you put it back together.
  • Remove five small barss screws holding the lens surround on.
  • Unscrew the lower lens.
  • Turn the locking screw on the daisy nut revealed by the lens 180 degrees.
  • Remove the daisy nut.
  • Lift off shutter cover plate (it is in two layers).
  • Clean the shutter mecahnism with the solven of you choice and allow to dry thoroughly. I used carb cleaner (outdoors, of course!
  • Clean everything of dust.
  • Lubricate sparingly with either an incredibly light oil like sewing machine oil (not WD40!) or graphite powder.
  • Do not lubricate the shutter 'leaves'.
  • The button at the left of the lens opening will allow you to cock and test the shutter.
  • Remember! If testing the self time the flash synch lever must be down (at X position).
  • Once working reassemble in reverse order after throughly cleaning the lens to remove dust.
  • Remember! Reset to 1/500 and f3.5 (fastest shutter, iris wide open). before fitting the lens shroud so the controls line up.

Now, all is working, but it looks awful without the leather front.

Download this free template to allow you to cut out a suitable piece of thin leather or vinyl (for example from an old wallet). Cut it out, trim to fit and stick in place with an impact adhesive.

Congratulations! Another wonderful old camera saved!