Advertisements

Yashica LM 44, review, tech specs, film 127

A review of Yahsica LM 44:

Overview and Personal Comments

The Yashica 44 LM is a twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera that is basically a copy of the Baby Rolleiflex. It uses 127 size film (just slightly smaller than standard 120 medium format) to shoot 44mm x 44mm “superslide” square format photos. The LM added a “Light Meter” to the Yashica 44, which is based on the Yashicamat system. The 44LM is the last of the 44 series. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

I purchased this as part of a larger lot of cameras at an auction in North St. Paul in 2003.01. I was originally going to sell it to fuel my habit hobby, but looking at the photos that other people have taken (see links below), I was swayed to keep it. The Tessar type lens seems to really glow but in the end I ended up selling it.

Interesting quirks

The camera does not sport a cold-shoe for flash mounting! Instead you use an accessory shoe that mounts over the viewfinder.

 

I talked with Mark Hama who worked in the factory that made these cameras. Apparently the 44LM came in 7 different colors and was known as the “rainbox” camera. My own is a light grey. This is the 40 year precursor to the multicolored Hasselblad 501CM! Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

Very new to that age, the camera has a built-in partially coupled CDs lightmeter. You dial in the ASA speed of your film, the camera body automatically relays the shutter speed, and you push the black “meter” button on the rear of the camera. The dial on the tells you which f/ stop to set your lens to. Great!

I can’t figure out for the life of me why there’s a ASA/DIN film reminder on the left focusing crank; and also one on the right film winding crank! One’s to calibrate the light meter, the other is…. all I can guess is that they kept the crank from the older 44.

127 film is harder to get these days, but you can still get it from B&H Photo in New York or Freestyle Photo in California. Yashica 44s are rare, most people will think you have a Baby Rollei.


Technical Details

Camera Name
44 LM
Manufacturer
Yashica
Place of Manufacture
Body: Japan
Date of Manufacture
1958.4 ~ 1962.4
Focusing System
Twin lens reflex
Fixed Lens
Taking lens: 60cm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
Viewing lens: 60cm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
Shutter
Copal S-V
1 sec – 1/500 sec.
Metering System
Selenium cell mounted on camera body (above the lens ATL)
GN 1-10
Flash Mount
M-X switch
Cold-shoe mount on left side
PC-cable attachment on front side
Film type / speeds
Type 127 film (medium format)
ASA 6-400
Battery type
hah!
Dimensions and weight
 
Note: Using the text, table, or images on this site in an ebay auction without permission is a violation of your ebay Terms of Service. I will report you to ebay if I discover such a violation taking place. This may result in your account being cancelled. I also reserve the right to file claim for civil penalties.

About Yashica/Kyocera/Contax

The Yashica Corporation began making cameras in 1957, releasing its first model in 1958 (the Yashica 35). They produced a very well regarded series of twin-lens-reflex (TLR) medium format cameras under the Yashica-Mat brand and 35mm rangefinders under the Yashica Electro name. Yashica became a subsidiary of the Kyocera Corporation in October of 1983. For the next two decades, Kyocera continued to produce film cameras under the Contax marquee, including a very nice 35mmContax SLR series (which used Zeiss lenses), a medium format system, and the Contax G1/G2 rangefinders (also with Zeiss glass).The Yashica name was only used for a small series of dental cameras and point and shoots. In March of 2005, Kyocera announced that it would cease production and sales of film and digital cameras under the Contax marquee. Thus ends 30 years of a wonderful camera line. The Contax name will most probably revert back to the Zeiss foundation, thus who knows what will happen in the future. Right now, the name “Yashica” appears to have been bought by a Chinese company for their inexpensive digital cameras.

 

Manual for operating Yashica LM 44 can be found here.

The yashica LM 44 uses 127 film, which is very rare nowadays. developing the film is also going to be a problem.

here is an introduction to 127 film and places you can find them.

The 127 film is a paper-backed rollfilm, 4.6cm wide, originally designed to store eight pictures in 4×6.5cm format. It was created by Kodak for their Vest Pocket model – hence 127 was often called Vest Pocket film. Many of the first generation of 127 film cameras were similar folders, and frequently inherited Vest Pocket or VP in their names – for example the Dolly Vest Pocket. See Category: 4×6.5.

In 1930, during the Great Depression, the camera makers tried to optimize the use of film, and cameras began to appear taking 16 exposures in 3x4cm format on the 127 film, the first one being the Zeiss Ikon Kolibri. See Category: 3×4.

In Japan, the 127 film was called “Vest film” (ベストフィルム; Besuto firumu) until approximately the 1950s, because the film was introduced for the Vest Pocket camera.

In the 1950s there was a short revival of the 127 film with cameras designed to take 12 exposures in 4x4cm format. Several firms produced high-quality cameras, primarily twin-lens reflexes, in this format. The film was available in color slide emulsions, and the resulting 4x4cm slides could be projected in a normal projector designed for 24x36mm slides. They were advertised as SuperslideKodak made such a range of very basic cameras. Rollei made a more advanced Rolleiflex Baby camera until the beginning of the 1960s. Togudu and Yashica in Japan produced outstanding examples. See Category: 4×4.

After the 1960s, 127 film declined in popularity as camera manufacturers focused on 35mm. Kodak ended production of 127 in 1995 and other major manufacturers immediately followed.
Fotokemika in Croatia was an exception, and it is still making highly-regarded “Efke” brand 127 black and white films. In 2006, Bluefire in Canada began manufacturing 127 C-41 color print films which are made using film stock from major factories, which is machine-rolled onto custom-manufactured spools and backing paper. Dick Haviland, a retired Kodak executive, has for many years made 127 films by hand from salvaged spools and custom-printed backing paper, which he sells through major on-line retailers. It is expected that 127 will continue to be available from boutique manufacturers for many more years.

If you lives in UK, you may try this.
If you want to repair your Yashica LM 44, Mark Hama is definitely one of the best expert on this.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: