The TLR Camera
TLR cameras, like the SLR , are equipped with mirrors that reflect in the viewfinder the scene to be photographed. The twin-lens reflex is box-shaped, with a viewfinder consisting of a horizontal ground-glass screen located at the top of the camera. Mounted vertically on the front panel of the camera are two lenses, one for taking photographs and the other for viewing. The lenses are coupled, so that focusing one automatically focuses the other. The image formed by the upper, or viewing, lens is reflected to the viewing screen by a fixed mirror mounted at a 45-degree angle. The photographer focuses the camera and adjusts the composition while looking at the screen. The image formed by the lower lens is focused on the film at the back of the camera. Like rangefinder cameras, TLRs are subject to parallax.
Compared with the other two designs, TLRs have a relatively slow focusing system. As with rangefinder cameras, fewer interchangeable lenses are available, yet the TLR remains popular. The camera produces larger negatives than most SLRs and rangefinders, an advantage when fine detail must be rendered in the final image. In recognition of this, some manufacturers—including Hasselblad, Mamiya, Bronica, and Rollei—have combined the convenience of the SLR with the medium-film format, further reducing the market for the TLR.