5 frames with...

5 Frames with a Yashica Half Frame 17 Rapid – by Denis Savinov

I’d been looking for a half-frame camera for a long time. Less film, more frames – a traveler’s dream. One day on eBay I found this legendary Yashica; 1965, excellent condition, working order and only 800 rubles (13$)! I quickly contacted the seller and a week later held it in my hands. But my joy was not long lived; it turned out that I did not read the description properly and as a result I bought a Rapid version of the camera. This meant I needed special rapid cassettes which have not been available for about 30 years…

But, thanks go out to the seller as he added 2 empty cassettes to the camera. After several weeks of experiments, I learned how to not only quickly charge the film for 24/48 frames (standard for rapid), but also how to remove this restriction and use 36/72 rolls of film!

The camera is beautiful! Yes, it is a bit heavier than I thought, but you only notice it for the first couple of days. The lens is great, you just need to learn how to calculate the scale of distances correctly.

The exposure meter works fine, and there’s almost no flawed images. So after a while, and some spoiled film, this is my favourite pocket camera for travel! The result is still sometimes unpredictable because of my focusing skills, but the pleasure of the process can not be replaced by anything!

I develop  black and white by myself and have a lab develop the color rolls. The shots below are from a roll of expired Kodak Ultramax 400, scanned on my Canon 9000f. The light leaks are the result of my experiments with full 36 film rolls.

I’d be happy to answer any questions!

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  • Reply
    Andrew Swingler
    September 10, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    I have a Fujica half with a moderately similar design to your Yashica. In terms of looks and build quality its my favourite camera, it’s a little heavy like you mentioned about yours. I like that though! They really don’t make them like they used too!

    I like the shot in the Car, really cool!

    • Reply
      September 15, 2018 at 9:16 am

      Thank you Andrew! Fujica is great! 👍🏻

  • Reply
    September 10, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Nice. Very pretty camera & well done for overcoming the obstacles in putting it to good use!

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