Meopta Flexaret IV

5 Frames on Ilford FP4+ with a Meopta Flexaret IV – By Tony Warren

Of all the types of camera I have used over the years, my all time favourite by far has to be the twin lens reflex or TLR. If you are not familiar with the type, it is effectively two cameras, placed one above the other in a compact, boxy body. The upper one is the viewing camera and projects an image from its lens via a 45º mirror onto a ground glass screen mounted on top of the camera with a hood and a magnifier to aid focus and composition. Below it is the taking camera with its own lens, linked and matched to the viewing lens containing the film, focus and winding mechanisms. Thus the ground glass shows exactly what will appear on the film with one exception. Because a single mirror is used, the screen image is reversed left to right, something not difficult to adjust to. Some may say it improves your photography, assessing a print in a mirror or upside down always used to be recommended to decide on the best composition objectively. Also because it tends to be held at a lower level, there is less perspective distortion than when held up to the eye which tends to tilt the camera down a little for many shots, especially of people.