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  1. #1

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    35mm TLR information?

    hello Apug
    Recently I've been looking for a quality TLR that I can use 35mm film on natively. I've only found two TLR's that can take 35mm film natively: a "Blackbird, Fly" (a toy camera) and a Yashica 635 (with an adapter).
    I will primarily/exclusively be using it for street photography (because people pose more often the weirder the camera looks) and for documenting the different events I go to.
    The entire reason I want a 35mm (and not Medium Format) TLR is that it costs around $10 to develop medium format film here in north ohio rather than the $2.00 it takes to develop 35mm film.

    The "Blackbird, Fly" is a toy camera made by the same people who make holgas, so there is no way I want that junk in my collection. (wont even discuss it, don't even try)

    The 635 is definitely the winner of these two, but the 80mm f/3.5 Yashicor lens is really soft wide-open (i've seen scans when searching several online galleries) and they go for about $150-250 with the 35mm adapter. Talking with people, I have heard about a version with a Yashinon lens rather than a Yashicor lens, but it is unconfirmed.

    Are there any other TLR's that use 35mm film natively?

  2. #2
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Rolleiflexes and certain models of Rolleicord can use an accessory called the rolleikin, with which you can use 35mm on your TLR.

    The only two native 35mm TLRs I know of are the Contaflex TLR and the Tessina. The first is worth only as a collectible, the other is still very expensive.
    Using film since before it was hip.


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  3. #3

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    There is also the Meopta Flexaret for which there is a 35mm adapter. As I do own this camera (but without the adapter) I can tell you that is not much sharper wide open than the 635...

  4. #4

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    There's this, its an issue of gakken magazine with a 35mm TLR kit, mine is already winging its way from Japan.

    I doubt it could be described as a 'quality' TLR though, probably worse than the BBF. OTOH you -can- actually focus properly through the viewing lens (the BBF is just zone focus). And it's about a 1/2 the price. And you get to make it yourself

  5. #5

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    If it's the weird-looking/35mm combination that's important, why not something other than a TLR like a Pentax MX (small and neat) recovered in red vinyl with the chrome bodywork sprayed some other colour? Both easy to do and don't have to be that good if it has to look weird. You then have access to plenty of lenses and accessories and don't have the reversed image issues that would bother me for something like street photography.

    Just a thought.

    Steve

  6. #6

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    I agree with Steve.

  7. #7

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    Try a Nikon F minus the prsim; that can work at waist-level, if that's the viewpoint you're going for. There's also a Rolleikin adapter that allows that brand to use 35. The obvious, equipment-free solution is to develop your own film.

  8. #8
    juan's Avatar
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    I had a Yashica 635 when they were new. I never got the 35mm adapter to work reliably. As a 120 camera, it was fine, but the shutter went bad after about a dozen years. I'd be concerned that any available today would have bad shutters.
    juan

  9. #9

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    To expand on Joe's point, there were waist level finders for the Nikon F and F2. I don't know about later models.

    Using a waist level finder on a 35mm body will force you into a horizontal perspective. Using a 35mm adapter on a TLR, will force you into a vertical perspective (and a short telephoto effect). I don't know which, if either, you prefer. But I think that a WLF on a 35mm body will give you better results than a 35mm adapter on a TLR.

  10. #10
    MattKing's Avatar
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    IIRC, some of the Miranda SLRs (the original ones, not the re-badged ones) also offered waist level finders.

    The Rollei 3000 series SLRs also offer waist level finders.

    Matt

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