Sunday, November 13, 2016

Yashica 44 - A Mini TLR

I was given this really cool Yashica-44 earlier in the year.  I looked in pretty good shape.  All the moving parts moved, the shutter seemed to be smooth and the glass clear.  The only issue was that the film advance and focus dials are very loose.  Not fall off loose, but not tight.  No problems.  I was happy to add it to my collection.  The only challenge...yep, it shoots an odd sized film, 127.  While the film is still available, it's somewhat hit or miss to find and kind of pricey.

About a month ago I tried to figure out how to shoot 35mm spockets with it, so at least I could give it a go.  No joy, couldn't figure out how to get it set up.

OK, I decided to break down and buy a couple of Rera Pan 100-127 rolls from Freestyle Photo in LA. Each roll was $12, so I bought 2.   I hadn't shot the camera before, so I wasn't sure if it was going to work or a dud.  For this reason I decided to only shoot one roll, have it developed and see if it worked.  If it didn't then I'd have a spare roll of 127 to shoot in any other camera I came upon that needed it.

A few weeks ago I was NYC so I decided to give it a try.  Guess what, it worked!!  Easy to load, and everything seemed to go smoothly.  I metered the camera using a Luma-Pro that I had.  Loading was straight forward, just like any TLR.  

I'll definitely use it again, and this time I'm going to also investigate how / if I can roll my own 127 film.  A few of the shots in NYC.  I love the old-skoolie look of the film, the massive amount of grain and the soft focus.

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