Looking for a twin lens reflex camera? I can help you decide


For anyone who wishes to start using film cameras, there could be no better idea than to begin with a twin lens reflex medium format camera (tlr from now on!).

There are many reasons for picking one of these cameras rather than the normal 35mm range. Firstly, using a tlr will teach you to slow down before pressing that all-important silver shutter button!

In this day and age, we are more than used to having virtually everything automated, be it washing our dishes, clothes or even the medium you are reading this on, your humble laptop or PC. And because of this automation, in my view, we are all falling behind in terms of using our brains (cue that very famous song by Zager & Evans of the 70s….”In the year 2525 — your arms hangin’ limp at your sides, your legs got nothin’ to do, some machines’ doin’ that for you….”).

So getting back to cameras, a tlr brings us right back to basics, showing us how to focus properly, how a photo can be composed so that it looks fantastic when it’s printed, what depth of field is, how parallax error can be corrected and much, much more….all or most of which we’ve forgotten!

And last of all, the size of the negative from a tlr…an absolutely whopping 6x6cm, which is so large, you can even make a contact print out if it, without the need for an enlarger as in the case of 35mm negatives, and it will still be good enough for your album.

This last reason is the main point why untold number of professionals still insist on using a 6x6cm camera, because of the size of the negative and it’s inherent ability to capture so much detail.

So, without further ado, here’s a list, by no means comprehensive, but a list nonetheless, of the most popular tlrs available today, and their qualities. I hope this helps you in making your decision:

Yashica Mat — standard tlr, very good quality, relatively cheap

Yashica 635 — as above, but can be used with 35mm film as well

Mamiya C330 – professional tlr; huge range of accessories

Zeiss Ikoflex — one of the very earliest tlrs; very good lenses

Seagull         — a chinese made tlr; cheap, good for beginners

Microcord   — beginner’s tlr; cheap, oldish, care reqd when buying

Rolleiflex     — top quality professional tlrs; world beating lenses

Rolleicord    — cheaper than the above, but good value

Lubitel         — Russian made tlr; good for beginners

Halina          — flimsy, poor quality, not recommended

Ricoh            — not recommended

:)

 

 

 

 

 

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About filmcamera999

ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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6 Responses to Looking for a twin lens reflex camera? I can help you decide

  1. I love my Yashica Mat. It takes great pictures and is really kind of fun to use because you have to be so much more deliberate with film than you do with digital.

    • excatly! you kinda hit the nail on the head…thats exactly what i am trying to say in my post! glad ur enjoying using it! i think i posted it sometime ago…that whenever im in need of some attention, i take my tlr along…guaranteed, instant attention in town…just call me a low-life attention seeker….hehe!

    • exactly! you kinda hit the nail on the head…thats exactly what i am trying to say in my post! glad ur enjoying using it! i think i posted it sometime ago…that whenever im in need of some attention, i take my tlr along…guaranteed, instant attention in town…just call me a low-life attention seeker….hehe!

  2. artsifrtsy says:

    My mom had a rollei that I learned on. Shot it in college and developed my own negatives and prints. I loved that camera – wish I knew where it was. Thanks for the tips! I need to start looking again.

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