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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    San Francisco
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    Through the Viewfinder

    This is a new technique I'm really interested in. It's called "Through the Viewfinder." Take an old medium format twin lens reflex camera with a waist-level viewfinder, like the Kodak Duaflex. Make a "contraption" out of cardboard, Pringles cans, mailing tubes, whatever. Stick your digital camera in the top of the contraption and take a picture. I use my XTi and the 100mm macro lens. I really like how the viewfinder and lens affect the quality of the picture, and I like the challenge of composing for a square aspect ratio after spending so much time with rectangles. I like using what was considered a cheap consumer camera over 60 years ago and the combining of old and new technologies. But mostly, I like the idea of showing the viewer more of what the photographer sees when the picture is taken. Like the Lensbaby, I know this isn't to everyone's taste, but I'm pretty fascinated by the technique and the results really appeal to me.

    Here's some recent efforts:


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    Adam
    -------------
    Canon 60D & lenses & flashes & stuff
    A bunch of cheap vintage film cameras


    My Etsy store

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,469
    Adam that's kind of strange but I do like the shot of the chair.
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006
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    San Francisco
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    Strange is good. Do you prefer the color or the grainy black & white version?
    Adam
    -------------
    Canon 60D & lenses & flashes & stuff
    A bunch of cheap vintage film cameras


    My Etsy store

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    That is a very interesting technique. I like both versions of the chair. The blur around the edges gives almost a view camera quality to the images.

    Alas, this means that I will finally need to clean out the view finder portion of my YashikaMat TLR to try this technique out. It's got a ton of dust and hair fibers in it. The rest of the camera remains in excellent working condition for being nearly 65 years old.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  5. #5
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    Oct 2006
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    San Francisco
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWessel View Post
    That is a very interesting technique. I like both versions of the chair. The blur around the edges gives almost a view camera quality to the images.

    Alas, this means that I will finally need to clean out the view finder portion of my YashikaMat TLR to try this technique out. It's got a ton of dust and hair fibers in it. The rest of the camera remains in excellent working condition for being nearly 65 years old.
    You can see that the blur happens when focussing closely, as with the garden statues. At medium and far distances, the edges of the viewfinder are in sharp focus.

    Sometimes the camera wants to focus on the viewfinder rather than through it, but I haven't had too many problems.

    I cleaned out the bottom cameras I've been using, but there's still a lot of dust and scratches, which add to the effect, for me. By the way, I have an old YashicaMat myself, but I've discovered that the benefit of using cheap cameras like the Kodak Duaflex is that they're plastic bodied and very light. Those Yashicas are heavy.
    Adam
    -------------
    Canon 60D & lenses & flashes & stuff
    A bunch of cheap vintage film cameras


    My Etsy store

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    2,251
    Search Flickr for "TtV" and "contraption" and you'll see lots of great examples and discussion of technique, lenses, bottom cameras, and contraptions.

    Here's the first few successes I had, reposted from another thread:


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    Adam
    -------------
    Canon 60D & lenses & flashes & stuff
    A bunch of cheap vintage film cameras


    My Etsy store

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    2,469
    I agree with you Adam strange is good. For me I prefer the colour version because the grain texture on the chair stands out better. In the B&W one the background grain tends to make everything look similar. It might also be that the surrounding green in the colour version focuses the attention on the chair more.
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Francisco
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
    It might also be that the surrounding green in the colour version focuses the attention on the chair more.
    My daughter--an excellent photographer--said pretty much the exact same thing.
    Adam
    -------------
    Canon 60D & lenses & flashes & stuff
    A bunch of cheap vintage film cameras


    My Etsy store

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Francisco
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    2,251
    These are with a Duaflex II and the 100mm macro. Beautiful Santa Cruz, California:


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    Adam
    -------------
    Canon 60D & lenses & flashes & stuff
    A bunch of cheap vintage film cameras


    My Etsy store

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    2,251
    more from Santa Cruz:

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    Last edited by AdamW; 05-30-2010 at 03:07 PM.
    Adam
    -------------
    Canon 60D & lenses & flashes & stuff
    A bunch of cheap vintage film cameras


    My Etsy store

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