Yashica 44

The Yashica 44 is basically a copy of the baby Rolleiflex, having very similar features. However they're considerably cheaper, and a great option as a first "serious" 127 camera. The camera shown here was obtained for virtualy nothing, on the basis of its rather scruffy apearance, but works perfectly (bar some slow shutter speeds), and has made some perfectly sharp images.

The original 44'a had a winding knob, but this was replaced with a lever, as seen here. The lever isn't interlocked into the shutter in any way (as on the rollei and Komaflex), but is geared so that one turn advances one frame.

To operate the winder mechanism, load the film, and wind until 1 appears in the red window. Then press the button under the winder, and close the red window. You cannot use the red window for counting frames, as it's in the wrong place - it lines up with the 1-8 cound rather than the 1-12 which you need. Once the winder is reset, the mechanical frame counter should reset to 1, and each crank of the handle should advance exactly one frame. When you've done 12 frames the count changes to a triangle/arrow. However it's worth firing of an extra shot, as you can certainly squeeze one more onto the film - with care maybe two, but don't rely on it.

Various lenses where used (see articles), but all used a Copal SV shutter (1-1/500th) f/3.5, with a self timer, and bay 1 filter mounts. There's also a switch for either electronic (X) or bulb (M) flash sync - beware that the blub setting can cause the camera to jam badly if used with the self timer.

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