Duaflex II

Duaflex II (revised) © Robert Jay Matejcek

Twin lens reflex cameras are particularly good looking. I try not to let that go to my Duaflex II’s head, though… it’s the camera I shoot through for TTV photos, and I’d hate for it to develop an attitude. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Hansel: [while in an interview, dressed in angel’s wings] “I hear words like ‘beauty’ and ‘handsomeness’ and ‘incredibly chiseled features’ and for me that’s like a vanity of self absorption that I try to steer clear of. ”

– Owen Wilson – Zoolander

About this image: digital photograph, lightly modified


90 thoughts on “Duaflex II

    • Another nice thing about these is they are still so readily available (especially on ebay, etc.) that they are very inexpensive…
      (and you can use a DSLR to shoot through the viewfinder to create some pretty interesting effects digitally, too)!

    • Oh, I’m looking forward to your results, U.M.! It’s a lot of fun, but I’m still trying to get used to the set-up.
      My ttv device could definitely use some modifications (especially for longer exposures)…

  1. Ha! As I read this post, I can look up and see the Duaflex II camera sitting on the window sill before me! How neat is that?? Sadly, it isn’t mine. 😦 FIL use to be a camera buff when he was younger and gave us all his old film cameras. I’ve always meant to photograph them. Some day. 🙂

    Neat shot. I love the connection with the hands.

    • Hahaha…
      not too much, I’m afraid! This particular model is from the 50’s, but so many were produced that you can pick them up on-the-cheap via ebay, etc. (which is really the reason I’ve got mine… so I guess I shouldn’t complain about that too much)!
      Thank you so much, Ms. D!

  2. I have my granddad’s old twin-lens. LOVE it, but it’s been years since I’ve used it. They are beautiful cameras. I just love the feel of it in my hand. And as far as the photography goes, they don’t make ’em like that anymore! This is a beautiful photograph of the Duaflex II. I’ll have to dig Granddad’s camera out and compare. Wow, this triggered some wonderful memories. 🙂

    • Absolutely, Ms. F! You can just ‘feel’ the craftsmanship that went into these old cameras!
      I feel the same about film photography in general… there’s a feeling of a tangible connection there…
      (not that digital doesn’t have distinct advantages… but it would be nice to work with analogue stuff every now and then, too…)

  3. I think it looks like a science fiction gadget from an old monster movie. That’s a good thing in my book.

    “This planet has oxygen apparently. We can take off our spacehelmets. Look out!”

    • Hahaha…
      if you’re me you have to take a lot… because you’re using a timer on your ‘working camera’ which is on a tripod and you’re trying to set up a shot by squinting at reflections in its lens… (which is more complicated than it sounds… for me, anyway)!

    • You’ve nailed it, sir!
      In a twin lens reflex camera (like my Duaflex) the top lens is part of the viewfinder – the other half of that viewfinder is built into the top of the camera (hidden in this shot by that square ‘lens hood’). The bottom ‘working lens’ is what actually focused images on / exposed film.
      Besides exposing an image on film, twin lens reflex cameras can also create ‘Through The Viewfinder’ photos… or;
      using a second camera to photograph an image as seem in the TLR camera’s viewfinder. This usually involves setting the TLR in a box (or some other housing) to keep out light / flare and position the working camera at a distance that allows it to focus on the TLR’s viewfinder.
      Wow – that made no sense and was probably way more info than you were hoping for – sorry about that!

      • No, that was quite informative! But I’m not sure why you would want to make a picture of the other camera’s viewfinder. Surely the image must be degraded going through two lens systems. Just for an interesting effect, suppose.

        So I guess the twin lens cameras were probably developed before the SLR’s took over with their superior through-the-lens veiwing.

        • Very true, sir – this is not a technique someone would use if they were looking for the sharpest, technically super-high quality image. It is more about creating an effect (the dust and scratches, distortion, etc.). And the challenge… and the excuse to play around with a cool old camera, too!
          I would guess so… as you’ve pointed out, shooting through a different lens than you’re looking through usually creates some issues with parallax error…
          (man, you’ve really thought this through – I’m impressed)!

  4. It has a very contemplative feel doesn’t it? It feels intently focused and a little mysterious. Maybe because it makes me curious what the camera could be ‘capturing’ out of frame!

    • Initially I was trying to shoot a more ‘straight on’ image, but guess whose reflection you could see in the top lens?! Not cool!
      Oh well, I think I like the more ‘angled’ view anyway.
      Thank you very much, Annabelle!

  5. It’s a sweet shot of a sweet camera. I had one (borrowed) for a month so I could shoot through the viewfinder. I ended up getting an Anscoflex for my ttv work because it has a larger viewfinder but I miss the Duaflex. It’s edge distortion in the viewfinder is perfect.

    • I do like that hint of almost fish-eye warp it creates…
      it would be handy to have a bit more space to shoot at, though… my output is on the small side (which could be bad if I ever want to present an image off-screen)!
      Thank you so much, Mr. H!

    • I agree! I don’t do too much film photography now a days (I don’t have access to a good dark-room space at the moment),
      but I really miss it. You can get some very interesting / unique results and it’s very relaxing, too!
      Thank you so much for stopping by and for your very kind comment as well, cocomino!

  6. when i was a child i was fascinated with a camera that you had to put a film in and even more excited when you got your pics back from the chemist THEN really fed up when half didnt turn out lol x great pic but know nothing about the camera xxjen

    • Hahaha… believe me, I know that feeling! I’ve wasted many a roll of film in my time. The challenge is part of what makes it fun, but it certainly can be frustrating when you think you’ve got something good and it just doesn’t turn out quite right.
      Thank you very much, J.G.!

      • What a beautiful old camera. I assume it’s old, it looks old. Kinda reminds me of an old Box Brownie I had when I was a kid. Mum used to go crook about me wasting film taking pictures of any old thing.

        • Absolutely, Mr. M… I believe this particular model was built in the 50’s.
          I can understand that… I’m pretty tough on film, really (which is one of the nice things about digital, of course).
          I still miss working with analogue stuff, though!

  7. Hi SIG, I missed visiting your blog so much as had been busy on my new project and seems it is finally taking off. I loved all the pictures that you had posted over the last few weeks. This one give me a very nostalgic feeling. I love TLR’s. I like the lightness of the camera and the sharpness of the pictures that it takes surprises me.

    • I’ve been there, too! I’m very happy to hear your new project is taking off – it’s really nice when you can start to see your hard work paying off!
      That is very kind of you! I haven’t put any film through this one, yet, but I would be very interested to give it a try! It really is an interesting camera, I think!
      Thank you very much, sir! 🙂

    • Thank you so much!
      I just looked up your Yashica 124 – that’s a lovely looking camera as well, sir! Very nice!
      Hahaha… it’s almost like a fun-house around here (in more ways than one, probably)!

  8. It must be rather nostalgic using this one
    my friend and totally authentic too, which
    must add a sense of yesteryear…

    Have a great Monday Spilledinkguy 🙂


    • Very much so, sir!
      I love old cameras… there’s just something about them!
      Now if only I could dig up a wet plate camera from the late 1800’s…
      that would really be something!
      Thank you so much, A.G. – I hope that you have a wonderful Monday as well!

    • A few people have mentioned they remember family members having one.
      If my family had a similar camera it was already gone before my time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did…
      (they do seem to be very popular).
      Thank you very much, Mr. H!

  9. Best lighting or faked lighting. This looks like it could’ve come from a really good David Lynch film. The texture on the shirt really seems to matter, which I love.

    I was thinking of you today when I really needed a piece of ribbon texture to add to a stupid little Photoshop thing I was doing. I sat considering my options and realized that you probably would’ve shot a piece of ribbon a long time ago just to have on hand. I need a “WWSIGD” bracelet.

    • That is very kind of you, U.M. – thank you so much!

      Hmm… I’m not sure if I’ve done ribbon yet… I know I’ve scanned in bits of cloth/lace, etc. in the past, though!
      Hahaha… some days WWSIGD = roll up in a ball and slowly rock back and forth…

  10. Lovely shot… I love the light. And I love Zoolander hahahahaa! I think we have the same taste in movies- I wrote that as I striked a pose and puckered my lips…

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