TLR Camera : What it is and how to use one

Readers who are millennials or older, would recognize this camera either because someone in their family owned it, or they may seen it in the movies.

This here, is what a TLR looks like.

A TLR Camera, Mumbai, India

A TLR is a twin lens reflex camera, where there are two lens, which help in taking the images. The lens above lets you view your subject and focus by rotating the ring, which in turn focuses the bottom lens. The major advantage a TLR has over other formats is that your image does not get shut out due to the mirror movement as with SLRs. You also get a lower than eye level perspective of the scene. On the downside, there is parallax error and the options to stop down to preview the photo will not be available.

Front view of a TLR Camera, Mumbai, India

Behind the bottom lens, sits the shutter, and your film.

Back view of a TLR Camera, Mumbai, India

You view your would be photo from the top of the camera.

A view through the viewfinder of a TLR camera, Mumbai, India

The basic functions available on the camera are similar to the ones we use today. It has shutter speeds and aperture values that can be set easily. A unique thing was the distance scale on the bottom lens, which may be featuring here for this specimen here is more of a pseudo TLR, since the focus is fixed.

So, in a pseudo TLR, how to achieve sharp focus?? Flip the camera to the other side and read the scale.

Table of depth of field on the back of the TLR camera, Mumbai, India

This scale gives the hyperfocal distances and the appropriate DOF based on the aperture and the distance from the subject. You read the details off the scale and dial them in, and voila! you have a sharp image. One thing to note is that the image formed in the viewfinder is laterally inverted. Takes a little time to get used to, but once you do, it is quite fun.

Some may say that it is too much work, I ll say it is an amazing learning experience. This specimen on the 1950s Elioflex 2 from the Italian Ferrania was a gift to a dear friend Tara (a calligraphy expert by the way) scrounged from Chor Bazaar of Mumbai.

Maybe I ll go get a film camera and try out some film photography, what say readers?? Let me know of your opinions in the comments below!

Cheers!!

AtoZ Challenge: The Glossary

The AtoZ Challenge has already come to an end for the second time, and as a result, now a glossary of the terms can be made. I believe this shall come handy for future references!

A – Aperture, Artificial Horizon

B – Bulb Mode, Bokeh

C – Colour Temperature, Composition

D – Double ExposureΒ , Depth of Field

E – EXIF Data, Exposure Bracketing

F – Forced Perspective, Focus Stacking

G – Ghosting, Grain

H – Hot Shoe, Hyperfocal Distance

I – Infinity Focus, ISO

J – Juxtapose, JPEG vs RAW

K – Keylight, Kelvin

L – Latitude, Lens Distortion

M – Manual Mode, Macro

N – Normal Lens, Noise Reduction

O – Optical Zoom, Overexposure

P – Panning, Post Processing

Q – Quality, Quiet Release

R – Red Eye Reduction, Rear Curtain

S – Spot Metering, Shutter Speed

T – Tonal Range, TTL Metering

U – Urban Landscape, Underexposure

V – Vignetting, Vibration Reduction

W – Watermark, White Balance

X – X Speed, X Process

Y – Your Rapport, You

Z – Zoom (Digital), Zoom Burst

Have a look at these terms and let me know if I ought to add some to the list.

Cheers!!

AtoZ Challenge: I – Infinity Focus

Infinity Focus

Often we hear the term “Infinity Focus” being used while shooting landscapes or during astro photography. What it actually means is, the focus plane to be such that maximum light rays which focus on the sensor shall be in parallel plane.

While shooting landscape photos, we focus at a plane, where the infinity of the lens is within the hyperfocal distance; but while shooting in astro photography, the focus is at infinity. This post elaborates more on the point.

In practice, sometimes, due to ambient conditions, the camera may not be able to focus correctly and give results of the following kind.

Hazy photo of a landscape

This is where the infinity focussing is useful. Since the object is far away from the lens, focussing in a manner where the subject is in the hyperfocal infinity, yields a better result.

Clear Photo of landscape

The infinity markings on the lens are found in the following ways

Infinity markings on lens

Go out there and shoot beautiful landscapes and amazing star trails and milky ways and never worry about soft focus any more.

Last time, I was for ISO.

Cheers!!

 

AtoZ Challenge: H – Hot Shoe

Hot Shoe

It is a mounting arrangement found on the top of the camera bodies for mounting external flashes, commander modules, GPS modules etc. The hot shoe is generally found in a standard form and the various compatibility issues arise due to the different firing voltages which trigger them.

Nikon D7200, Hot shoe, Black and White

One may not find daily use of the hot shoe but it sure is an indispensable bit of the camera.

Tell me in the comments what do you generally mount on the hotshoe!

Last time, it was Hyperfocal Distance.

Cheers!!

AtoZ Challenge: PH – H: Hyperfocal Distance

HΒ forΒ Hyperfocal Distance

Its basically, the focusing distance at which both the foreground and background are in focus. Generally, if we keep a fairly deep DOF, while focusing at infinity, almost everything stays in focus. But, if your photo has an object of interest in the foreground, that is comparatively closer to you, then Hyperfocal Distance comes into play. Two ways to do this. One, work out the actual point of focus and use it, else, focus almost one-third into the frame, and it should be fine. Else, go with focus stacking πŸ™‚ Do bear in mind, this needs practice.

DSC_a-0280

 

DSC_a-0324

This is a part of April AtoZ Challenge. A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H are done. Rest of the letters are lined up too.

Cheers!!