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  1. #1

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    difference between TLR and SLR

    I'm currently looking for a medium format camera. I use 35mm SLR and am ready to advance myself into the next level. Other then the obvious diffences; what is the diffence between TLR and SLR. Or maybe what would be better to work with as a first medium format camera? In addition what kind is recommended? I don't have a clue about medium format and would like to learn all i can. I was looking at a Rollicord TLR-- any thought? Thank you so much for your time and help.

    Hanaa

  2. #2

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    TLRs aren't very good for closeups. Many can't change lenses. A few can.

    What are you going to use it for? Will you be happy with one lens? A lot depends on what you like and what you intend to do.

    SLRs are all over the map. Some are little different then 35mm cameras.

    http://people.smu.edu/rmonagha/pw/suggest.html

    Go over that website.

  3. #3
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    With a TLR you are looking through the top lens while the camera takes the picture through the bottom lens. Therefore there is a little bit of parallax error, which gets worse the closer you get to your subject. TLRs tend to be smaller and simpler and have non-interchangable lenses, with the exception of the Mamiya C series.

    I think that a TLR is a great way to start often for purely economic reasons. A decent TLR such as a Rolleicord or Yashicamat will often be available for $100 or even less. If you have access to a good SLR for a good price, or are able/willing to spend more, there is no reason not to start that way as well.

    There are other advantages/disadvantages of each as well, I will let someone else chime in on those.

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    my main focus is scenery/landmarks/buildings and water.

  5. #5
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena
    Very nice site. I would only say that the prices for most of the SLR equipment should be somewhat less than what is on the page, as it is about four years old from the look of it. I think that TLR prices have dropped less over the last four years. For example, it is now easy to get a nice Mamiya 645 1000s with a prism and 80mm lens for less than $300.

  6. #6

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    Firstly. it is good to see you making a post. TLR cameras are quiet and dependable but without all the flexibility of an SLR. If you buy a Mamiya TLR you get a lot of bang for the buck and a choice of (7) lenses from 55mm to 250mm. Parallax can be nicely compensated for with a parrmender. If you buy a Rollei TLR you are buying a very highly evolved camera that is known to work very nicely indeed. Probably one of the best choices would be a Rollei with a 3.5 Planar lens. The 2 Mutars give some useful flexibility to this camera. It is extremely quiet. It is extremely reliable. The Rolleiflex models have the best film handling available. I have been watching the price on used Rolleis fairly closely. I bought a brand new Rollei TLR with 3.5 Xenotar in 1962 for $225.00 The market on Rollei TLR cameras has steadily risen over the past 30 years. The Minolta and Yashica TLRs also have their fans and are generally more economical to purchase. I used a Minolta Autocord for a period of time and it is a nice camera.

    In my opinion the biggest single draw back to a TLR is lack of DOF preview. I have little regard for the DOF scales on the Mamiya. The Rollei cameras that have DOF scales are really slick.

    HOWEVER, THERE IS NO REAL SUBSTITUTE FOR VIEWING THE IMAGE AT TAKING APERTURE.

    The SLR cameras do not have this draw back. They are louder. They are more mechanically complicated and have more items to breakdown. The only SLR cameras from Japan and West Germany that I would be concerned about the reliability would be the older Bronica cameras predating the S2. The Russian (Ukraine) cameras do not have a good reputation for reliabilty and I would not buy one. As far as optics are concerned I would steer away from the non P series lenses that are available from Bronica with the exception of the 75mm thru 110mm focal lengths...Nikkor lenses strongly excepted.

    You have disregarded the rangefinder cameras that are available for 120 film. If the camera comes with a ground glass back this may be the best choice of all.

    I guess YOU should think about what you are going to do with the camera and tell us so that better advice can be given.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  7. #7

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    If you live in or near a large city with a full service camera shop just go in and handel both. With the exception of the Seagull TRLs have not been made in 15 to 20 years so the selection is limited, but I really like my Yaschica 124 and D, lightweight good lens, rugged, very quite(no mirror), easy to hand hold at a 1/30th. I glued a #6 filter adapter to the taking lens of the D for both filters and a lens hood. SLRs are much more versital, better selections of lens, easer to get repaired, you see what you get. And with the exception of the Konomegaflex, all of the TLR are 6X6, with SLRs you have a choice of formats 6X4.5 6X6 6X7 and 6X9. Although Gower made a 4X5 TLR with interchangable lens.

  8. #8
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    I have, and use, both a TLR and SLR (Mamiya C220 and Pentax 67). Both have interchangeble lenses and lots of options (like a prism finder for the C220). As Claire outlined above, close-ups are very doable on the TLR and certainly very easily done on the P67. For your purposes, landscape and such, having DOF preview is very useful. The other important feature that only an SLR can provide is the easy ability to use a polarizing filter. Still, I love the 220 for its' square format (no need to tilt the tripod head), its' lightness, simple multiple exposure ability, and its' quiet operation. And I love the P67 for its' incredible ruggedness and flexibility and larger negative. Tough choice....good luck!!
    John Voss

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  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    One advantage that a TLR has is that it doesn't have a moving mirror, and most have leaf shutters, so they are quiet and handholdable at lower speeds. For street photography I am more likely to use my Voigtlander Superb TLR than my Bronica S2A.

    Some SLRs have interchangeable backs, which are not usually an option on TLRs.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  10. #10
    joeyk49's Avatar
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    Hanaa:

    TLRs are great fun! They're relatively simple and generally built like tanks. Waist level viewfinding definitely takes some getting used to, but hey, that's part of the fun! I highly recommend them...

    I've got two Yashicas... a 124G and a D; I've grown fond of them both.

    The 124 can utilize both 120 and 220 film, the D only uses 120, but can do double exposures. The 124 has a light meter (that I don't think I trust) and the D doesn't. I've become inseparable with my Gossen Luna meter. I even check my X700s meter against it; just to be safe.

    The wife is making me "trim the herd' so to speak, so I think the D is going to hit Ebay soon. If your interested PM me...

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