Baby Yashica (44)

The Yashica-44, as described earlier is a 127 format TLR … and this one had a problem that the shutter mechanism was jammed.

In order to get to the shutter you have to take the front panel off and that means revealing the screws. The leatherette is brittle (like the Primo-Jr) so you will not be able to salvage it. You will need to take off the leatherette underneath the shutter cocking arm and the sync lever.

Remove the four screws from the front plate. Set the sync to between M and X. Carefully pull off the cover … and note that the flash port has a wire attached to it, so you will not have much play … tilt the left side of the cover plate up and then shift the cover to the right.

Now typically the problem with shutters is that they get gummed up with something … and with a lot of cameras with Copal shutters you can just unscrew the front lens element and then flush the shutter with Ronsonol … I decided to take a closer look.



Since the shutter was jammed I took the covers and speed cam off of the shutter and took a look. The shutter would cock, and the release released … but not much happened. I cleaned up some gummy stuff and put some Ronsonal on the shutter blades. This helped a bit, sometimes the shutter would release but most of the time not. Hmm, confusion … so I searched the web.

There appears to be a problem that plagues certain Yashica TLR’s … the shutter jam (and not the blueberry kind). In researching the disassembly/repair of the Yashica-44 I came across a number of forum posts concerning shutter jams. In most cases there is a warning from others about forcing the self timer lever if the camera is set for M Sync, or if the shutter is gummed up.

I added some arrows to point at different levers that line up with the speed cam

I took a really close look around the self timer mechanism and discovered … wait for it … still wait … a bent arm. A shutter release arm/lever moves down when the shutter is released, and normally fits into an open slot of the self timer arm. If the self timer is engaged the shutter release arm/lever will will stop at the self timer arm until the slot turns around to the correct position … thus letting the shutter completely release. I am guessing the shutter arm/lever (whatever you want to call it) was bent by the action of someone forcing the self timer lever while the shutter mechanism was partially engaged (possibly due to gummed up shutter blades).

Note: when the sync lever is set to M, a metal cover comes up to stop the self timer arm from engaging … so don’t try to force it, because it is supposed to not work.

Remember to check the pins after putting the speed cam back on … also the shutter release lever is on a spring so it will need to be pushed down a bit when putting the front cover back on.


3 responses to “Baby Yashica (44)

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