Yashica 44

This camera was very much a surprise purchase. I was lamenting the fact I didn’t save any 127 cameras from my junk box find to try some 35mm sprocket shots. I have a few 120 cameras of course and my go to is the Holga 120 for sprocket shots. But I wanted something a bit better and 127 would mean less cut off in the viewfinder.

So I did a search, what is a good 127 camera? This one popped up. I looked on eBay and saw this one for sale with filters, case, and a telephoto add-on. Super. I noticed there was a “make an offer” button so I did and offered what I thought was a low amount. I never thought it would be accepted…but it was. I was stunned and almost wrote to the seller, “are you sure?” But sanity prevailed and I paid the money. A few days later this arrived.

It was as smooth as butter and everything worked. I immediately followed Mike Eckman’s instructions and took out the film bar…read the article…and loaded it with 35mm film. I then went for a walk. Once the film was used I developed and digitised the film using the pixiltr with sprocket gates and a Sony A37. By the way, anything you want to know about the camera you can find on that link too.

After seeing the developed film, I realised I should have read the article a bit more carefully as I didn’t wind on enough between shots. Mike Eckman clearly explains how much to advance, 2 advances. This other article says 1.5 turns which, after some experimentation, I also found to be enough and it gave me more shots.

As I forgot/just didn’t for my first film, my shots were overlapped. They were still useable, a kind of square-ish format. To take these shots I went on public transport to Leeds for the first time in months. Here are some of the results.

I love the look this camera gives. Recently I was given some prototype gates for the pixlatr, I used them to scan this film. You can read about those here.

I loaded the camera again very quickly and went to a cemetery in Bradford. It was the most amazing place I have been to for a while, so many huge or interesting gravestones.

And here is where there is a sad part…I dropped the camera after this trip. I was getting out of my car and picked up my camera bag. The top wasn’t fastened properly and it rolled over, spilling the contents. The camera rolled out and down. I shouted NOOOOOO as it crashed to the ground. When I picked it up, it seemed fine. I checked the shutter mechanism, it was ok..phew. Maybe I was lucky.

After developing the film I could see a leak that wasn’t evident on the first film, look at the fade on one side.

Oh and here are two shots with the telephoto add on.

Anyway, at first I thought the light leak was down to my scanning and extra light not being blocked out by the gates. I couldnt really see anything on the negatives. So I put the film bar back in and loaded some actual 127 film. Once I developed the film I could see the leak was way more evident with this wider format. I also left this film inside the camera longer so the leak had more time to fog the film.

To scan 127 film using the pixlatr, I used the 35mm and 120 gate. As a light source I used an ipad mini 4 for the first time. I don’t feel it was quite bright enough though. I even put my Sony on a tripod, wow look at me all prepared and stuff.

Here are some of the results from that film.

To try and solve the leak I decided to change the seals around the door. Then I loaded my last 127 film. I am not giving up with this camera. Oh and at this point I realised I had lost the filter over the viewfinder window, probably when I dropped it. This is not my lucky camera.

I took the camera to another cemetery, closer to my house this time. Plus I tried to find a way to to use my canoscan to digitise the film. The film is too big for the 35mm mask and too small for the 120 mask. I didn’t want to pay for a 3D printed mask if there was a work around. So I carefully used the 120 and the strip provided for when the film is curly. It worked well, though a little awkward.

The film was still fogged, but not as much. Here are some of the slightly fogged results.

So now I had to figure out where the light leaks were coming from?? When I dropped it maybe I damaged something. I tried to use a torch to try and find the leak but nothing was evident. So then I put on my big glasses and looked EVERYWHERE, every nook and cranny…suddenly I saw these…

And now for my final film for a while, if this didn’t work I wouldn’t be trying again for a while. This time I used the pixlatr, my larger, newer ipad and my phone.

And voila…no light leaks! Plus this ipad seemed to be brighter, my phone worked well. I might try the ipad with my Sony in the future.

Here are my final results.

Well this is a long post. I must be committed to this camera to go through all of this. I love it though, what a super camera. Super looking, super results…or so I think.

13 thoughts on “Yashica 44

  1. Kurt Ingham says:

    Excellent results. I strongly prefer 127 in 4×4 cameras (over 35mm)
    127 TLRs feel so nice in the hands- a perfect size.
    What do you use to convert your negatives to positives?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Acorn, it’s a cheap alternative to Photoshop. I use it for most stuff. It is about $30 and does everything I am capable of doing without subscription fees.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. arhphotographic says:

    Many thanks for sharing your experience and your results. I like the fogging it gives some of your images a ‘yesterday’ look.
    I remember going on a camping holiday at Castle Howard in the 80’s and took along a borrowed Yashica TLR and being totally enthralled by it. It certainly is an immersive form of photography , so I can totally understand why you enjoyed it so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      I like tlrs. I loved the yashicaflex I had. It was quite portable, more so than the mamiyaflex I have now. Unfortunately the yashicaflex broke, so I am happy to have something a bit similar.


  3. SilverFox says:

    Oh Peggy you may have just provided me with a wonderful solution and I thank you for that. I am the owner of a fantastic Yashica 44 that I love but due to the lack of 27 film available has been relegated to being a cherished ornament that doesn’t get used for what it is intended. I used this camera but a few times and loved it but with so many other cameras using cheaper and more readily available film I have shelved it for maybe being used occasionally if I really wanted to (after buying some more film). I hadn’t seen mikes post but now having received your post I now see I may be able to make much more use of my example than I had previously thought.
    I see this in my office every day and it seemed such a shame not to be using it more when I love it so much and now I see a solution. Thank you so much for sharing your experience I shall now be researching mikes post and the other link you shared to understand the process.

    Love the pictures and happy you found the source of you light leak

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Wow, what a lovely email to wake up to. I can’t wait to see your results. It is a beautiful camera. You obviously love it too which always shows in the photographic results.


      1. NigelH says:

        Don’t expect to see anything very soon, photography and film photography in particular has been a little slow of late

        Liked by 1 person

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