Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vintage WALZFLEX Twin Lens Reflex camera - made in Japan

This vintage Walzflex camera is a great item for your camera shop display item. Not sure whether still working or not and never tested. Sell AS IS condition

Price: RM280

Walzflex brief info

Japanese export twin lens reflex cameras such as this Walzflex TLR are good values on the used market for an all-metal twin lens reflex camera for under $100 US.

This camera features a Kominar [Nitto Kogaku Kominar] 75mm f/3.5 lens in Copal shutter (1/10th to 1/200th plus Bulb shutter speeds). While the shutter speeds are adequate for many users, the lack of slower and faster shutter speed settings is an economy feature. In other words, when you see a TLR with a limited range of shutter speeds, it is usually an indication that the original TLR camera was an economy model. Similarly, when the shutter speed ranges are limited, you should expect decent optics (e.g., good three element, possibly 4 element lenses), but not the same optical quality as you might get on a high-end Rolleiflex or similar cost TLR.

I might add that since many TLRs get used mainly for portraiture, that the 3 element and low end 4 element lenses often do quite well in such applications. Sometimes the slightly less sharp 3 element lenses are actually better for portraiture, since the ultra-sharp 4 element lenses on the high end TLRs are too sharp for most portraiture work without softar or diffusion filters.

The camera uses standard 120 rollfilm, and has a film counter (rather than the red film-fogging window!). There is a flash synch terminal, as well as a separate Walzflex flashgun unit. A snap on accessory closeup lens (for 30-50 cm close focus distance, roughly +2 diopters?) was also made and sold in its own case. The TLR lenses have a bayonet mount for filters too. A round lens hood for the taking lens was also available. A brown leather case for the camera may also be found on the used market.

The camera dates from the mid-1950s, and has a solid metal and glass feel (not cheapy bakelite). Like many Japanese TLRs of this period, it is a copy of the higher priced German rolleicord/flex cameras. At typical USA used prices of $50 to $75 US, this camera can be a low cost introduction to twin lens cameras and medium format shooting.

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