it’s twins

Lot 794 at May 5th auction. A Primo Jr TLR

Toronto. Even before the  minicam revolution, many cameras suffered from tiny squinty viewfinders to frame a subject. In 1929, a German company came up with an idea that changed everything – at least once their camera design became popular.

The Rollei Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) as it was known made a few more problems while solving the squinty viewfinder issue.

The TLR used two lenses stacked one on top of the other. The viewing lens was as fast or slightly faster than the taking lens ensuring that carefully focussing the subject through the viewing lens assured the taking lens was in sharp focus as both moved as one.

Great idea, BUT to take a landscape shot meant turning the camera on its side making it very hard to use the viewing lens. The solution was to go with a square negative on a 120 roll film so the negative could be cropped to portrait or landscape size in the enlarger and still have as good or better resolution than the ‘double frame’ 35mm films offered. This way the camera was always held upright (usually at belt level).

A second headache was interchangeable lenses (once the idea became popular with the minicam bunch). A sorta solution was to add removable lens elements to create a medium wide angle or medium telephoto lens.  Cropped negatives always meant ‘telephoto’ images but no amount of cropping would ever give a wide angle view!

Don’t have a TLR in your collection/user gear? No problem! Come out to our auction on May 5th and you might be able to solve the dilemma. If not, there will be many other goodies available for bidders. See the right hand sidebar for location. A post will go up mid month showing details, a poster and a slide show of lots as photos of the lots are received (About 100 so far).

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