I recently discovered that my Yashica 124G had a pretty dirty taking lens and it was quite substantially effecting the quality of the images. The main symptom was a kind of glowing halo on bright days
and around high contrast areas
, which I had noticed for a while but not thought much of.
So I did a little online searching and discovered that it's not uncommon for these cameras to have oil from the aperture blades grease up the lens (the camera is from the 60s to be fair), so it was either that or fungus. Either way, I did another quick search and found a very helpful repair shop in Edinburgh in the form of Joe Plahay's JP Cameras
. A a few emails later and I'd shipped it up to be repaired for a very
reasonable fee then a few days later it was back in my hands looking so much cleaner (see final comparison photo).
A few weekends ago I took it out for a play over a weekend loaded with Fuji 400h Pro metered at 100 (looking for that creamy look) bought from Hillfield Trading
in Castle Road, Southsea and on advice from Hamish Gill
I decided to give UK Film Lab
a try over my usual (cheaper) AG Photolab
. I can't say how pleased I am with the results, it's so much sharper, and clearer and the tone and hue of those Fuji 400h Pro (at 100) photos is lovely.
I currently have some Portra 400 (at 200) in the Yashica and my Leica M6 which I'm giving a second try at after I previously used it at 800 and wasn't overly excited by the results. I'll also use UK Film lab for these just for consistency, but as they are some degree more expensive than AG Photolab and I am entirely happy with AG for my colour AgfaVista and black and white Kentmere I will continue to use AG also.
Here's a selection from the 2 rolls I shot over that weekend.