The Yashica company made a long line of 6×6 TLR cameras, comprising many models which were the result of a gradual evolution rather than radical change; they are conveniently divided into knob advance models and the crank-advance models discussed here. These were branded Yashica Mat to reflect their automatic film advance, unlike simpler camera using a red window.
The first Yashica TLR with crank advance was the Yashica-Mat, released in 1957. The earliest models are equipped with a 75-mm 3.5 Lumaxar taking lens and a 75-mm 3.2 Lumaxar viewing lens, succeeded by 80-mm lenses with the same specifications. According to some authorities (most notably Mark Hama, who formerly worked in a Yashica factory), the Lumaxar was manufactured for Yashica in West Germany; according to others, it was made in Japan by Tomioka. The lens, a four-element design said to be of the Tessar type, was later re-named Yashinon. The Yashica-Mat used two different shutters the Copal MX or Copal MXV (i.e. with switchable M- or X-synchronisation, and with a self-timer in the latter case). The shutter speeds are marked according to the older system with 1, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/250 and 1/500. The speed is adjusted with the knurled wheel/knob on the right-hand side (i.e. the user's right) of the lenses. The left-hand wheel adjusts the aperture. The cable release is of the "Leica nipple" style which is also used on several subsequent models.