I recently acquired a Yashica-D Twin Lens Reflex camera, made somewhere between 1961 and 1973. From the number range I’d say about 1968 or so. It’s the Japanese-made brother of the Rolleicord I’ve had for a number of years. Both cameras have f/3.5 lenses, and both have their controls in the same basic places. They are identical in weight, size, and basic layout. Side by side, I’d say the aperture and shutter speed controls on the Yashica are arranged with better ergonomics: they are accessible by spinning the two wheels between the lenses and their values are visible through a window on the top of the viewing (top) lens.
I brought it on our beach vacation so that I could orient myself to how the camera works and shoot some 6×6 film of our friends and family. Looking through some online videos, I found one that describes how to load and unload the film, which was super helpful. This and a couple of other links were enough to get me up and running with the basic settings, and then I was off and running.
I brought along my Minolta X-700 so that I could use the built-in light meter to eyeball the basic aperture and shutter settings before switching to the Yashica, and to also shoot a test print on 35mm film of the same basic frame. If I had more time between shots I’d be taking notes on the technical specs but with an 8 and a 6 year old (and now a 2-year-old) as subjects I’m lucky if they’re still in front of me while I’m fooling with the second camera.
So far I’ve got one roll of 12 prints in the can, and I know I’ve screwed up at least two of those frames. It’s easy to forget, in this digital age, that one has to advance the film manually, and there’s no lockout mechanism to prevent double-exposures on the Yashica like there is on the Minolta. I think that I’ve got a couple of really good portraits on that roll though, and I loaded another roll this evening for tomorrow’s pleasant weather.