TLR Cameras

Twin Lens Cameras (or TLR cameras) were quite common as the professional choice of camera during the 1940s through the 1960s by photographers as diverse as Helmut Newton, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and David Bailey.

Twin Lens Cameras feature two coupled objective lenses. The top lens is typically the “viewing” lens for the photographer to compose and focus the shot and the bottom lens is typically the “taking” lens. The taking lens features a leaf shutter for projecting the image back to the film plane.

The image quality with these cameras is still very competitive with modern digital cameras and at a fraction of the price. These cameras are excellent choices for photographers who don’t mind keeping them maintained and their all manual functionality.

Cameras shown in this episode –
Rolleiflex MX-EVS
Ansco Automatic Reflex
Flexaret VII

Recommended book: the Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre by Dominic Smith


  1. says

    Great video as always! You just convinced me to give a TLR a try. I figured I will start out with a relatively cheap Yashica Mat 124 and then upgrade if it works for me!
    Thanks again for your wonderful work!