When it comes to cameras there are many that hold a place in photographic history and in the case of Twin Lens Cameras, there are many that stand out as a fixed point in development history. And in the case of the twin-lens reflex camera market than Franke & Heidecke. Paul Franke and Reinhold Heidecke established the company in 1920 as an optical instrument manufacture, but they moved quickly into cameras and began to develop what would become the industry standard for TLR cameras. Now the TLR is not a new concept the first one being produced in 1880, but the two Germans were aboutRead More →

I’ve always found the TLR to be an enjoyable camera to operate. From my very first Lubitel 2, the Yashica-12, and my current Rolleiflex 2.8F. The waist level finder, the dedicated finder lens and near silent operation. Of course, for the average photographer, the two brands that come to mind when it comes to TLRs is Rollei (both flex and cord) along with Yashica. But if you just stuck with these two brands you just might miss out on several other options, one being the Ricoh Diacord. The model under review today is the Diacord L, L standing for lightmeter. While the Diacord could neverRead More →

These fun cameras are the sort that will get you the age old question ‘you can still get film for that?’ A conversation starter for sure is the TLR or Twin Lens Reflex. The camera that of late made famous by previously unknown Vivian Maier. Cameras Featured on Today’s Episode Mamyia C220f – Mamyia took a totally different look at the TLR and thought it should be made more like a system SLR, the C-Series is the only TLR with a full line of interchangeable lenses. While the weight is an issue they are totally worth every ounce. And if you’re looking for one, getRead More →

Most of my experiences with communist built cameras have been gear from the failed Soviet Bloc, which is all well and good, but those cameras were not exactly known for their quality control, offset by the ease of repair by the layperson. However, there is still another communist state still producing cameras even today, and that’s China. The Shanghai Camera Factory started production of their Seagull 4A line in 1968, and by the 1970s the Seagull 4A-103 came into being. At first glance, you’d probably think that the camera in question is a German Rolleicord and you would be partially right. The 4A-103 is aRead More →

When it comes to cameras that have seen a lot of action through my life as a photographer, there is currently none as worthy of the title of a constant companion as my Rolleiflex 2.8F. The twin-lens design is not a new one in the camera world, first coming out in the 1880s. But for me, the Rolleiflex has been in my hands shortly after getting into medium format film with a Lubitel 2 first, then a Yashica-12. After being offered a Rolleiflex by a gentleman at my church which belonged to his father and not knowing anything about the camera at that point, IRead More →

I figured because it was TLR Tuesday I’d share some photos I took last year in the abandoned Rochester Subway. The subway has always fascinated me since I first visited it back in 2007. But on this particular trip I was armed with my trusty Rolleiflex and a roll of Kodak Panatomic-X. The main draw for the subway is the viaduct over the Erie Canal. This area is covered with some of the best graffiti art I have come across in my explorations. And it’s not just the usual garbage, this work is just that, works of art! It’s also the area with the bestRead More →

And then there are times when I loose a roll of film… I had started hearing clamoring for another Toronto FPP Meetup, and while I do a lot of work for them, I wanted to be fairly inclusive of any film shooter in the area and promised to the community that I would organize a film photo walk at least one per season. So in July of this year I found a Saturday and put the call out, and actually had a great turn out! Mike and John (not THE Mike and John) but the ones from Toronto who are friends and fans of theRead More →

City Methodist, a grand old church brought low by the slow march of time. Built in 1925 to the tune of one million dollars, most of that being fund-raised by Reverend William Seaman, and US Steel footing some of the bill as well. Constructed in the English Gothic style the sanctuary alone stands nine stories tall and could house 950 people. But the church was more than just the sanctuary. The whole complex had a school, theater for both traditional plays and films. Also had space for store fronts. At its peek there were 3,000 members on the church roll. But when the steel industryRead More →

Last week Sunday was August 19th, to most people it’s just another Sunday, but August 19th is World Photography Day…why the 19th, simple, it was on August 19th, 1839 that France gave the world a gift, the gift of Photography. You see earlier that year (January 9th) Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre developed the photographic process and the French Academy of Sciences passed it along to the world. So after church that morning I loaded up a roll of Kodak Tmax 100 into my Rolleiflex and hit a local hiking trail, Mount Nemo. World Photography Day was created in 2009 and launched in 2010Read More →

She is the stuff of legends, a hero in her own right, a hull of iron, and undefeated in battle. A mighty sailing ship that spans the course of three centuries, and still able to move under her own power, she’s called Old Ironsides, but her real name is the US Frigate Constitution (38). And while the history of the Constution extends both before and long after the Anglo-American War of 1812. And while the ship is not a fort, person, battle, or location, it played a major role in the war and adds to the overall mythos that has surrounded the war in theseRead More →