Filters for 127 cameras

Using filters effectivly is one of the great skills of black and white photography - one I don't claim to have even come close to having mastered. I'm therefore not going to write anything about the filtering process itself. However in trying to obtain filters for some of my camera's I've fallen foul of a few silly mistakes. Hopefully I can save you from the same errors.

Bay 1

Bay 1 (also sometimes refered to as B30) is one of the earliest standard filter mountings, and was developed for the Rollei TLR's. While the original baby rollei lacked these, the rollei baby sport has a bay 1 fitting on its taking lens. The post war grey and black's have bay one mount's on both lenses. Bay one fitting filters are relativly common, and not too expensive, and most work fine on the baby rollei's. The original Yashica 44 and the 44LM (but NOT the 44a) both also feature Bay 1 mounts (as shown in the image).

When is a Bay 1 not a Bay 1?

If the camera's have a standard mount then everythings fine isn't it? Well not entirely. Bay 1 is actually two mounts in one - a central mounting for small stuff like filters, and an external mount for lens hoods (and anything else the rollei engineers could think of). Anything on the internal mount should be fine on any camera. However, while these camera's all have the external mounting, the lenses are closer together than on the full size tlr's and hence some accessories may not fit. In particular a regular bay 1 lens hood will not fit. If you're purchasing anything for this outer mount, ensure that its 44 compatable.

To make matters worse, the gaps between the lenses are NOT the same on different 44 camera's. The Yashica 44 has a gap of about 3mm between the two lenses, while the post war rollei has a a gap of less than 1mm. This is (I presume) the source of the confusing rumour that the mounts may not be compatable. With the two camera's on the desk in front of me, I can clear this one up: As the gap is bigger on the yashica, lens hoods for the 44 Rollei should go on the yashica without problems. However Yashica 44 hoods MAY not fit the rollei.

Full size hoods don't work on either unless you''re prepared to cut a bit out of the hoods mounting ring. The 120 camera models are also slighting different in that the two mounts both have the same orientation, while on most 44's the lower mount is upside down. The rather rare Rolleilux, combination light meter and lens hood which is designed to be used on both types fof cameras has a small screw in the rim of the mounting ring. By looseing this screw, the whole front can by rotated to suit either type of camera. One red dot marks the correct orientation for 127, while two dots marks the 120 position.

Simlarly, because of this spacing difference, lens caps are not compatable - yashica caps will not fit the rollei and visa versa.

Yashica 44a

The Yashica 44a lacks the bay 1 mount of its big brothers. To use filters you need push fit adapter ring. The size you need is 28.5mm. I've got a whole load heading towards me (currently in the post), so if you need one, drop me an email. The ones I have are 28.5mm->series V. Series V is a standard screw mount (~32mm) with a retaining ring to hold simple glass disks approximate 30mm in diameter. A Bay 1 to Series V adapter was also made by Tiffen as the 522. Don't confuse it with the 522G which is for the larger Bay 2 mounting.

Komaflex

The Komaflex standard lens has a 37.5mm screw thread - a little tricky to find, but nothing weird. The auxillary lenses are both a standard 52mm screw fit, as sold in every camera shop you might happen to visit.

Brownies

I recently picked up a filter holder and lens hood with a 32mm push fit that fits a Brownie 44a very nicely. The classic brownie 127 model 1 takes a 23.5mm push fit, while the model 2 needs a 28.5 (though I found that a little too tight).

Help!

I've also got a whole load of 32mm diameter glass filters, which I haven't been able to mount. If anyone knows the necessary bit to adapt bay1 (or series V) to take 32mm filters (which would be about a 34mm thread), then I'd love to know.

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