Yashica LM 44, review, tech specs, film 127
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.
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.
Place of Manufacture
Date of Manufacture
|1958.4 ~ 1962.4|
|Twin lens reflex|
|Taking lens: 60cm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
Viewing lens: 60cm f/3.5 Yashinon (multicoated)
1 sec – 1/500 sec.
|Selenium cell mounted on camera body (above the lens ATL)
Cold-shoe mount on left side
PC-cable attachment on front side
Film type / speeds
|Type 127 film (medium format)
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.
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 Superslide. Kodak 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.
Overview of Yashica TLR Models
Source: Yashica Twin Lens Reflex Guide – Focal Press January 1964
The Yashica rollfilm reflex cameras are twin-lens mirror reflex cameras made in two sizes, one taking 12 exposures of a size 21⁄4 x 21⁄4 in. (6 x 6 cm.) on standard 120 roll film, the other taking 12 exposures 1 5/8 X 1 5/8 in. (4 x 4 cm.) on 127 roll film.
Two lenses matched for focal length are mounted one above the other on a common panel. The upper lens projects an image of the subject via a mirror on to a ground glass screen in the top of the camera, while the lower one projects a similar image on to the film: the ground glass image therefore shows at all times the full-size picture as it will appear on the negative, upright but reversed left to right. To compensate for any parallax between the viewing and taking lens, the ground glass is suitably masked. The ground glass on top of the camera is protected in the closed position by the folded- down finder hood. When opened, this forms a light-excluding hood 21⁄2 in. high; it carries a magnifier for critical focusing and has a built-in framefinder for eye-level direct vision.
The Yashica reflex cameras are focused by a large focusing knob on the side of the camera. This is geared to the front panel and smoothly and simultaneously controls both lenses. A depth of field indicator is incorporated.
A film speed indicator is built into the centre of the focusing knob except model D and 635, where it is in the film transport knob.
A tripod bush is located in the centre of the camera base. The back of the camera hinges open for insertion of the film. It carries a substantial spring-loaded pressure plate to locate the film precisely in its focal plane. The shutter is released by a body release knob on the front of the camera.
The body is diecast and leather covered. The dimensions of the 21⁄4 x 21⁄4 models are 5 5/8 X 4 1/8 x 3 3⁄4 in., weight from 32 oz. to 40 oz. The 4 x 4 models measure 41⁄2 31⁄4 x 31⁄4 in. and weigh from 24 oz. to 29 oz.
The various Yashica rollfilm reflex models are distinguished from each other by the type of lens built-in, the number of shutter speeds, various automatic features and built-in exposure meter.
Some discontinued models of the Yashica reflex, such as models B, C and 44 which were on the market only for a short time, are so similar to the current ones that they have not been dealt with in the guide separately. There are also several transition variations of the Yashica reflex models listed below. These variations are of a minor nature and the consequent change in manipulation self-evident.
Yashica Reflex Models
The 6*6 models are:
- Yashica A.
As general description above, fitted with Yashikor, earlier models with Yashimar f 3.5 80 mm. three-element, in four-speed Copal shutter, X flash synchronized, film transport by knob, non-automatic, accessory shoe fitted.
- Yashica B.
Similar to A with aperture and shutter speed set by levers on either side of the shutter rim.
- Yashica C.
Adds to model A semi-automatic film transport, speed range from 1 to 1/300 sec., field lens in focusing screen, full XM flash synchronization, Yashikor f3.5 80 mm. lens with bayonet mount for filters, built-in delayed action.
- Yashica D.
Similar to model C with increased speed range 1 to 1/500 sec., aperture and speed setting in cut-out window above finder lens controlled by thumb wheels.
- Yashica 635.
As model D with facilities for using 35 mm. miniature film by incorporating additionial transport knob, film counter and rewind control. Supplied with conversion kit.
- Yashica Mat reflex.
As general description above, fitted with Yashinon f3.5 80 mm. and finder lens f3.2, shutter 1 to 1/500 sec., built- in delayed action. fully XM synchronized. Aperture and speed setting in cut-out window above finder lens, controlled by thumb wheels with click stops. Film transport fully automatic by lever wind. Fresnel lens in reflex screen.
- Yashica Mat-LM.
As Yashica-Mat, but has built-in photo-electric exposure meter, uncoupled, scale built into focusing knob
- The 4 x 4 models are:
- Yashica 44.
As general description above with Yashikor f3.5 60 mm. lens in bayonet mount, crank handle for film transport. Copal shutter speeds 1 to 1/500 sec., built-in self-timer, fully XM synchronized, focusing screen with field lens.
- Yashica 44A.
As model 44 but lens with push-on mount, transport by wheel, non-automatic, shutter speeds1/25 to 1/300 sec., X synchronized, no delayed action release.
- Yashica 44LM.
As model 44 but with Yashinon f3.5 60 mm. lens, with built-in photo-electric exposure meter, uncoupled, scale built into film transport knob, semiautomatic film transport.
- Yashica 44.