35mm TLR information?

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TheSohnly

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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?
 

Michel Hardy-Vallée

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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.
 

gurkenprinz

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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...
 

Daire Quinlan

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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 :smile:
 

Steve Roberts

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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
 

Joe Brugger

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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.
 

juan

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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
 

mgb74

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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.
 

MattKing

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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
 

Michel Hardy-Vallée

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Depends how important that your master negative be in 35mm format. If you use a 120 camera, then you can either crop or cut the negative.
 
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TheSohnly

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Being as young as I am (21), I doubt I'll be in this area (northern Ohio) for more than 5 years before I move to warmer climates.
I'd eventually like the option to move to 120 when the opportunity for cheaper development arises, but for now 35mm is all that is financially sane. I can get slide film done very cheaply too thanks to a good friend.

On developing my own film: I will soon develop my own Black and White, but the c41 process is more expensive to do. I'd rather get my color film done at a local shop that I trust does a good job.

I want a TLR for both the "aesthetic" and "feel" of a TLR as well as the option to eventually switch to Medium format when I move somewhere that 120 is more easily developed.

Right now, it looks like i'll be doing the Rollei + rolleikin option.

Any more information that I could use? Anyone want to keep the discussion alive?
 

elekm

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contaflex_tlr_500.jpg


There is always the granddaddy of 35mm TLRs. One of the most magnificent cameras ever made -- the Zeiss Ikon Contaflex.

It was released in 1936. It has interchangeable lenses -- they were among the best available in the world at that time. It had a selenium meter and framelines inside the viewfinder for 5, 8.5 and 13.5cm. It was insanely expensive in the 1930s, and today it's still insanely expensive ... at least for a classic camera.

Of course, after buying the camera, you won't have any money left for film for a long time to come.
 

jon koss

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And don't forget about the unforgettable Samocaflex and the Toyocaflex. True 'native' 35mm TLR's.
 

r-brian

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And you can get 35mm backs for the Bronica ETRS and SQa cameras. Great cameras, great lenses, just switch backs to go back to 120 and relatively inexpensive now a days.
 

fschifano

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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.

There is a WLF finder available for the F3 as well. I have one, and it is an awfully small image that's hard to focus unless you use the built in magnifier or have very good young eyes. Using the camera in a vertical orientation is also quite a chore with this finder. It's not the thing for casual street shooting.
 

David Brown

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I'd eventually like the option to move to 120 when the opportunity for cheaper development arises, but for now 35mm is all that is financially sane. I can get slide film done very cheaply too thanks to a good friend.

Right now, it looks like i'll be doing the Rollei + rolleikin option.

Oh, good grief! Use a 35mm camera!

You're worried about the cost of processing the film, but you think buying a Rollei is the answer? :D
 

Anscojohn

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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
*****
My Practika VLC2 had a waist-level finder option. Great for nature closeups and on a copy stand.

Come to think of it, how about a Praktiflex or FX-2. They had waist-level finders only.
 
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