Blackbird, Fly 35mm TLR Camera

The Blackbird Fly 35mm TLR is a Toy camera. The most popular Toy Camera is the Holga. Toy cameras are low tech cameras that are made to be fun and to make images but they are more about creativity than technical mastery. The camera has one shutter speed (1/125th) and 2 apertures ( F 7 and F 11) and a focus scale that you guess the distance of the focus. The idea is to use it to see and explore your vision not worry about all the details of the exposure. The Blackbird uses 35mm film. Most TLRs use 120 Roll Film. The Blackbird can shoot in three formats: 24X24mm, 24x36mm which is the regular full frame 35mm film size, and it also shoots in 36X36mm which actually shoots the image over the sprocket holes.

I think Twin Lens Reflex cameras are cool. They are called twin lens because the top lens is used for composing the image while the bottom lens actually takes the photo. The advantage is that the image never blacks out when you take the photo so you could see the flash fire and see if the subject blinked. I love the idea of shooting in the square format with B&W film.I really wish I had had the chance to do real work with a TLR. I came along in the 35mm slr world. I own a couple of TLRs. I have a Yashica 124G that I bought one year for my birthday for $100. I also have a Mamiya C330 with a 65mm, 80mm, and a 135mm lens. I did use this camera for shooting weddings for a few years. I quit when I started shooting digital cameras for weddings. I don't consider the wedding work as real work since I used a prism finder. The real classic TLR is the Rolleiflex. I have blogged before about the Rollei MiniDigi 5AF. I have always held a romantic notion about the square format. You never have to turn the camera which is a great bonus when shooting weddings with a flash. There are several 120 square format cameras but the best known is the Hasselblad. That was the camera when I was growing up. I borrowed one from a professor at school and shot with it but I never could afford to buy it, the TLRs were way cheaper. I always thought that the Mamiya 6 rangefinder would be a fun camera to shoot, kinda like a Leica on steroids. One of the great things about shooting medium format is that the bigger negatives give way better results when enlarging. I really enjoy shooting B&W in my TLRs, Tri X and Ilford Delta 3200 were both great films.

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