Ran a roll of Ilford HP5 through a Yashica 44A

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kennethwajda

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I picked up this Baby Rolleiflex "tribute" at an estate sale for a Jackson, popped in a roll of HP5 in to see what it could do, and took a walk in my downtown. Interesting effect if you need sprockets in the frame. A bit taller frame than 35mm, 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 there (as seen in the viewfinder)--the 35mm film is not as wide as 127 film.

https://kennethwajda.com/yashica44/ - 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 spindle gets fatter as it fills up, 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.)
 

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momus

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What a great idea. The sprocket holes are part of the the image on your shots (which came out great). On 35mm cameras, the effect isn't quite the same. Wish I had known about this when I bought a little Sawyers TLR in an antique store years ago. The selection of 127 film was so limited and their cost so high, I ended up selling the camera.
 
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kennethwajda

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What a great idea. The sprocket holes are part of the the image on your shots (which came out great). On 35mm cameras, the effect isn't quite the same. Wish I had known about this when I bought a little Sawyers TLR in an antique store years ago. The selection of 127 film was so limited and their cost so high, I ended up selling the camera.

From what I read online, I don't think a 35mm film canister will fit in all 127 cameras. It fits in the little Yashica 44 when you remove a roller (two screws simple). It doesn't sound like it's possible with a Baby Rollei and I'm not sure about your Sawyers TLR. Those are good-looking cameras, for sure!
 

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It won't work in the Rollei. That camera needs the film to be the full 46mm wide in order to trip the little switch that tells the camera when the film begins and engages the frame counter and the shutter cocking arm. It will cock the shutter and fire without the frame counter engaged, but then framing becomes a matter of guesswork. In any case, the film feed chamber on the Rollei is almost certainly too small for a 35mm cassette. The Primo Jr/Sawyers Mark IV uses a toothed wheel at the edge of the film path to measure frames and the feed chamber is almost identical to the Rollei, so I doubt 35mm would work there either. I no longer have any Yashica 44As but I imagine that, being the simplest of the 44 series, they'd be the best candidates. Looking at the regular 44, though, it seems like it might be workable, since you start the frame counter with the button beside the crank. When you've passed the 12th frame on the 44, it doesn't stop the advance mechanism, it just makes a clicking noise to let you know you've reached the end. Because it's a crank advance, guesstimating framing might be easier. Looks like the film chamber is the same size as in the 44A too. And, of course, the Yashicas have a shutter that cocks separately from the advance mechanism.

Edit: I had a friend from England who tried the 35mm in a 4x4 trick years ago and it worked well for him. Of course I don't recall what camera he used. Myself, I just buy 127 stock from Ilford in the ULF sale.
 
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kennethwajda

kennethwajda

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It won't work in the Rollei. That camera needs the film to be the full 46mm wide in order to trip the little switch that tells the camera when the film begins and engages the frame counter and the shutter cocking arm. It will cock the shutter and fire without the frame counter engaged, but then framing becomes a matter of guesswork. In any case, the film feed chamber on the Rollei is almost certainly too small for a 35mm cassette. The Primo Jr/Sawyers Mark IV uses a toothed wheel at the edge of the film path to measure frames and the feed chamber is almost identical to the Rollei, so I doubt 35mm would work there either. I no longer have any Yashica 44As but I imagine that, being the simplest of the 44 series, they'd be the best candidates. Looking at the regular 44, though, it seems like it might be workable, since you start the frame counter with the button beside the crank. When you've passed the 12th frame on the 44, it doesn't stop the advance mechanism, it just makes a clicking noise to let you know you've reached the end. Because it's a crank advance, guesstimating framing might be easier. Looks like the film chamber is the same size as in the 44A too. And, of course, the Yashicas have a shutter that cocks separately from the advance mechanism.

Edit: I had a friend from England who tried the 35mm in a 4x4 trick years ago and it worked well for him. Of course I don't recall what camera he used. Myself, I just buy 127 stock from Ilford in the ULF sale.

Good information. Thanks for letting me know. I wondered if it would work in those other cameras. I probably won't shoot 4x4 very much, I prefer 6x6, but this is a fun walkaround camera for something different since it easily loads 35mm.
 

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I like 127 for street shooting. I can fire away with my Rollei Baby and no one seems to see it. And the technical quality of those 127 TLRs is very good.
 

Donald Qualls

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If you have 127 spools, it's easy to recut 120 to 127. You'll get a little extra space between 4x4 frames, but the longer roll gives 16 exposures. Works best with red window advance and 4x4 cameras; the framing overlaps a few millimeters on full or half frame, because the 6x6 frame track is barely 6 cm, not 6.5.
 

Tel

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I bought one of those slicing blocks that were for sale on ebay--to cut 120 film down to 46mm. In the end, I only use it to make 127 backing paper out of 120. Shortly after I got it I bought five 100-foot rolls of 46mm portra stock from a guy in St. Louis who used to do school portraits. Apparently there was a specialized camera for that purpose that used a 100-foot cassette of 46mm stock and shot very wide angles. (Who knew?) I'm still chipping away at my Portra stash in the freezer and I get my b&w fresh from Ilford every summer. Love shooting 127...
 

Donald Qualls

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If you're using recut 120 backing, however, you still have the framing issue with full and half frame cameras -- like my Autographic Vest Pocket Kodak and my Baby Ikonta.
 

Tel

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Wow, half-frame. Got to dig out my little Bencini Comet; it probably feels neglected. Baby Rolleis don't care about frame numbers though.
 

Donald Qualls

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Baby Rolleis don't care about frame numbers though.

Well, no, but they probably get confused when you try to get 16 frames on a roll...
 

GRHazelton

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I have a Komaflex S, a leaf shutter SLR waist level finder, auto film stop, manual shutter cocking 127 camera. It has a rather good f2.8 lens and is a pleasure to use. My example, however, has a sticky diaphragm, which I discovered back in the day after a grossly overexposed roll of film! If there were a better selection of less expensive 127 films available I'd try to find someone to fix this old warrior, but from what I can tell the camera is hard to work on, and of course no spare parts are available. And so it goes.....
 

Tel

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Sadly the affordable option for 127 is roll-your-own. I rigged up a rolling "machine" (totally manually powered) that speeds up the process a bit. And I got lucky with that stash of 46mm Portra. (Though it's beginning the telltale green shift as it ages, despite being frozen.) That Komaflex sounds interesting. What's the shutter it uses?
 

GRHazelton

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Sadly the affordable option for 127 is roll-your-own. I rigged up a rolling "machine" (totally manually powered) that speeds up the process a bit. And I got lucky with that stash of 46mm Portra. (Though it's beginning the telltale green shift as it ages, despite being frozen.) That Komaflex sounds interesting. What's the shutter it uses?

I don't have the Komaflex in front of me, but IIRC it is a Seikosha shutter, with the then-new LVS linkage. I bought it new in the early '60s, and used it with pleasure until it gave the problem. I have the case and the instruction manual, carefully saved all these years. Here's Mike Elek's take on the Komaflex S http://elekm.net/pages/cameras/komaflex-s.htm
 

Donald Qualls

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Exakta's very first SLR was 127, full frame as I recall. Waist level finder, but with a focal plane shutter -- basically a first-gen Varex only bigger. Not common, but they're around.

At this point, if I were going to spend money on another 127 camera, I'd look for a Nagel/Kodak Vollenda half-frame folder, and 3D print a mask for the frame gate to eliminate the frame overlaps with recut film.

One of these or a Baby Ikonta are literally the smallest camera you can carry with a negative at least as big as full frame 35 mm -- and 24 exposures on a roll (recut from 120) isn't bad. My Baby Ikonta is smaller than a 35 mm folder.
 

Tel

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That Komaflex is fascinating. I looked for it on the evilbay and found none for sale there. Just a few cases but no cameras. I've been working on Seikoshas lately--the S model that Mamiya used on the C-series cameras. Finally got my head around the B lever operation; the rest of it is pretty comprehensible. So it shouldn't be too difficult to get the Komaflex serviced if you want to shoot with it.
 

momus

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You can usually get to the real lens element on most cameras GR. I've managed to clean shutter/aperture blades by removing that rear element and using Q-tips and alcohol on the blades. You let the alcohol run around to the front side of the blades, fire the shutter, and repeat as needed to get them clean.

It takes a while, but it beats taking the whole shutter apart. You can also clean the inside of the front element this way while you're in there.
 

Donald Qualls

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I foresee some issues getting to the shutter unless the Komaflex has mirror lock-up.
 

Roger Cole

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I bought one of those slicing blocks that were for sale on ebay--to cut 120 film down to 46mm. In the end, I only use it to make 127 backing paper out of 120. Shortly after I got it I bought five 100-foot rolls of 46mm portra stock from a guy in St. Louis who used to do school portraits. Apparently there was a specialized camera for that purpose that used a 100-foot cassette of 46mm stock and shot very wide angles. (Who knew?) I'm still chipping away at my Portra stash in the freezer and I get my b&w fresh from Ilford every summer. Love shooting 127...

Ilford does 127 as part of their annual unusual (well, no longer popular) film sizes thing? Somehow I only thought it was for sheet film.

I've eyed some of the 127 TLRs even though I can't really say why I would want one since I have two 6x6 TLRs and they aren't that much smaller, though some. But somehow, I do. I can buy the stuff of course but while I could certainly shoot some with the 127 I can buy ready-spooled from B&H and probably other places, it just bothered me to potentially pay considerably more for smaller negatives, even if it would be in cool old somewhat smaller cameras. If I can order all the B&W Ilford I want (which is all I really shoot in B&W these days anyway) every summer for 120-like prices I'd probably buy a 127 camera.

I have my mother's 127 box Brownie which was actually the first camera I ever developed film for. It's what she/we had and I started teaching myself darkroom work, aged 12 or so not sure, before I even HAD a 35mm camera which my dad bought me for Christmas a year or two later. The first film I ever developed, with a kit I got from Edmund scientific which came with a little plastic horizontal fixed enlargement enlarger, was 127 Verichrome Pan I shot in that camera, and seeing the print come up in the little 4x5 developer tray sealed my interest in darkroom work for life. :smile: My mother died on Thanksgiving morning of 2014 (aged 86) and I have that camera which obviously I will never, ever, part with, and I've been meaning to get a roll of 127 to shoot in it just...well, just because kind of thing. But I wouldn't shoot that much in fixed aperture fixed shutter meniscus lens box Brownie. I would if I could get affordable film for a 4x4 TLR. :smile:
 

Donald Qualls

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Ilford does 127 as part of their annual unusual (well, no longer popular) film sizes thing? Somehow I only thought it was for sheet film.

As I recall, they offer bulk rolls of 46 mm bare film, no backing, no spools. These can be used to reroll on existing 127 spools with either original or recut 120 backing.

A roll of Fomapan 100 in 120 costs about $6 or so these days (buy nine or more from B&H and you get free shipping). If you have two 127 spools, you can cut the 120 to 127 and respool it in fifteen or so minutes per roll (maybe less, if you do several at once). The cutting can even be done in daylight (I've done it), though a little extra tape is helpful to keep the roll on the 120 spool until you finish the cut. This will get you 16 frames in 1 4x4 that can use red window advance. Less than thirty cents a frame before processing seems reasonable...
 

Roger Cole

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As I recall, they offer bulk rolls of 46 mm bare film, no backing, no spools. These can be used to reroll on existing 127 spools with either original or recut 120 backing.

A roll of Fomapan 100 in 120 costs about $6 or so these days (buy nine or more from B&H and you get free shipping). If you have two 127 spools, you can cut the 120 to 127 and respool it in fifteen or so minutes per roll (maybe less, if you do several at once). The cutting can even be done in daylight (I've done it), though a little extra tape is helpful to keep the roll on the 120 spool until you finish the cut. This will get you 16 frames in 1 4x4 that can use red window advance. Less than thirty cents a frame before processing seems reasonable...

How the heck can you do that in daylight? I saw where you said it was easy but I can't imagine it being easy, nor that quick. I'm clearly missing something about it. You somehow cut it down narrower while it's on the 120 spool, then turn the lights off for the re-spooling I presume. I might be able to do the respooling if it were cut, probably sacrifice a roll to play with in the light first, but I can't imagine how to cut the 120 down narrower in the light. I would have thought you'd have to stretch it against some kind of guide in the dark, which would also open the possibility of getting dust on it as in loading sheet film holders.
 

rknewcomb

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I had one of these baby Komaflex cameras back in the day. It had shutter and film advance problems. I had Southeast Camera repair work on it twice and they could never get it to work correctly. FWIW
Robert
 

rknewcomb

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Donald Qualls said,
"If you're using recut 120 backing, however, you still have the framing issue with full and half frame cameras"
Why and how is this? And, doesn't "full and half frame cameras" cover all of them?
Just trying to learn something here.
Thanks,
Robert
 

Roger Cole

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Donald Qualls said,
"If you're using recut 120 backing, however, you still have the framing issue with full and half frame cameras"
Why and how is this? And, doesn't "full and half frame cameras" cover all of them?
Just trying to learn something here.
Thanks,
Robert

If they rely on the red window and frame numbers on the backing paper, the 120 paper has frame numbers that are spaced for 120 format images leading to wider spaces on 4x4 or … 4x6? Whatever the 127 camera shoots.

Come to think of it, I really don't know what format cameras like my mom's old Box Brownie shoot. It's been many, many years and I don't think I have any negatives now. It's rectangular and the film move horizontally so it may be 4x6. In that case I'd think maybe the 120 frame numbers would actually work (if they aligned with the red window, which would be another aspect of cutting it properly.

I'm sure Donald will weigh in. I'm kind of curious myself. I found a guy on eBay who custom prints negative carriers and I have a 6x7 on the way as that was the one I need that didn't come with the Saunders 4550II package I just bought. Even if I just shoot an occasional roll of pre-made expensive 127 in that Brownie for funsies and old times, I'll need a carrier. EDIT: and “we’ll duh.” It’s probably wide enough for 6x4.5 so is that the format?
 
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