I picked up this Yashica 44, an obvious “homage” to the Baby Rolleiflex, at an estate sale last weekend for a Jackson. Got it home, quick mod, then popped in a roll of HP5 in to see what it could do, and took a walk in my downtown. Interesting effect if you like sprockets in the frame. A bit taller frame than 135, as you can see it shoots 9 sprockets instead of the usual 8 with 35mm. You have to watch the viewfinder and frame the center vertical area since the edges aren’t included in the photo, as seen in the square viewfinder–the 35mm film is not as wide as the 4x4cm 127 film.
Here’s the gallery of photos: KennethWajda.com/Yashica44/ – So simple to modify the camera to use 35mm.
I only got 25 shots on the roll. I turned the advance one full turn the first 5 frames, then 1/2 turn the rest of the roll. The take-up reel is very thin and the spindle gets fatter as it fills up with film, so you need smaller turns as you go if you don’t want to waste a lot of film with big blank spaces between images.
Take a look at the gallery to see the photos large. The Yashica proved to be a fun walkabout camera. The ability to shoot 35mm film in a 4×4 TLR doesn’t seem to be as easily accomplished with a Baby Rolleiflex or a Primo Jr/Sawyers Mark IV, but the modification to the Yashica 44 is a cinch–two screws to remove, a trio of pennies, a bit of tape over the red window, and you’re in business.
Fun stuff, sprockets and all.