Thursday, June 11, 2009

TTV: Contraption and Results

Today, the Kodak Duaflex twin lens reflex camera I purchased on eBay arrived in the mail, marking my official entry into the cult of through the viewfinder photography. The optics of the Duaflex seem to have the requisite dust and other imperfections. As far as I can tell, there are two subgroups within the TTV cult--those who use contraptions and those who don't. A contraption is basically a more or less light-tight tunnel connecting the viewfinder of the TLR camera with the digital camera which actually captures the photo. The more cobbled- together the contraption looks, the better. I made mine out of black foamboard and duct tape. It is secured to the Duaflex with rubber bands. I may upgrade to Velcro eventually.

To take a photo, I insert a macro lens attached to my Nikon D90 DSLR into the top of the contraption and aim it at the viewfinder on top of the Duaflex. I can see already I'm going to have to refine the top of the contraption so the Nikon will be properly aimed at the TLR viewfinder without a lot of fiddling on my part.

This photo is one of my first attempts at TTV, done shortly after I got the Duaflex and before I put together the contraption. In an effort to find something to focus on, I laid the TLR on the floor, partially under my office chair. Then I lay prone on the floor, and aimed the DSLR at the viewfinder. An unintended consequence is that the Nikon and I are reflected in the lower part TLR viewfinder (the part under the chair). The sunlike thing in the upper right is a canlight in the ceiling.

Here's a picture of Mary in the door to the office. One property of twin lens reflex cameras I didn't appreciate until I got mine is that the image on the viewfinder is reversed left to right. It's easy enough to flip the image in postprocessing (as I did for this one), but unless you're a dentist, it's rather disorienting and difficult to line up the camera when everything is mirror-image.

This is an old metal toy drummer that seems suited to the vintage look of TTV.

And finally, here's a shot of a bobblehead of one of my favorite historical figures, President Franklin Pierce.

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