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Cameras 031

Yashica-44 127 Film format.

The Yashica 44, 44A, and 44LM were a series of small twin-lens reflex cameras, designed to give 12 exposures of 4x4 cm on 127 rollfilm.

Yashica introduced the model 44 in 1958 as Japan's first 4x4 TLR.[1]. The camera was offered in several color options, but the gray version (no doubt inspired by the gray Baby Rolleiflex of 1957) proved to be the most popular.


The Yashica 44 featured crank film advance, with automatic frame spacing after the user aligned the number "1" in a red window. However a separate lever cocked the shutter, and there was no interlock to prevent double-exposures. The Copal SV shutter offered speeds from 1 to 1/500 seconds plus B in the standard geometric sequence; and the lens was a 3-element Yashikor 60mm f/3.5.

The original 44 sold at a price higher than a Yashica D 6x6 TLR with comparable specifications. Yashica subsequently introduced a more basic 4x4 model, the 44A. This is distinguished from the original 44 by using knob wind and a red window to advance the film; and only offering shutter speeds from 1/25 to 1/300 plus B.

The 44A model also dropped the bayonet filter attachment of the 44. Most Yashica 44A's are not identified as such on their nameplate, but can be visually identified by a row of short "teeth" extending below it. The 44A was offered in 1959 at a list price of USD $29.95,[2] roughly half the price of the 44.

The 44 LM was a more elaborate version of the 44, adding a semi-coupled selenium-cell light meter which greatly changed the appearance of the camera. The 44 LM has the knob wind of the 44A. Yashica also upgraded the lens to a 4-element Tessar-type 60mm f/3.5 Yashinon. A variant of this model may have appeared in some markets under the name Yashica Auto 44.[3]

NotesEdit

  1. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover).
  2. Modern Photography (USA) Volume 23, No. 9, September 1959. "Small size, small price, big value" (advertisement) pg. 6.
  3. McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover).

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