As explained in the previous post, I won this camera from the Film Photography Podcast (thanks again, guys!!!!). This Chinese camera is kind of a low-end twin-lens reflex, with a bit of a soft lens, but overall it has a pretty well-built feel and is easy and fun to use. If you want to try out medium format photography with a TLR, and found one of these for a good price, this would be a fine way to start. You could probably pick up one of these for the price of one of the popular plastic toy cameras. It was likely modeled after a Rolleiflex or Rolleicord or maybe a YashicaMat, but it’s definitely not of the same high quality as these German and Japanese standard-bearers.
I like the results, though. The images are pretty sharp, without too much softness around the edges. The only negative thing I have to say is that the out-of-focus quality (or bokeh) in some images is not as pleasing as in images from some other cameras for some reason. If I knew more about lenses I could probably tell you why, but I’ll just say that I can see a difference between the blurred areas in some of these photos, and those in images takes with other cameras like my Rolleicord. Instead of a pleasing rounded blur, there seems to be a directional, oblong blur, especially in blurred areas toward the edge of the image.
I look forward to using it some more.
I’ll follow up with more info later, but for now I just felt like posting a photo that I shot with my Seagull twin-lens reflex. I won this camera in a prize drawing from the fine folks at the Film Photography Podcast. It is my very favorite podcast, and while listening a few months ago I was thrilled to hear my name drawn for the prize. They shipped the camera right out to me and even threw in a roll of 120 film for me. These guys are great, and if you haven’t listened to the podcast, you have to check it out. I’ve unfortunately not shot with the Seagull a lot yet, but it’s a nice camera and I’ll be sure to write a complete review and post more photos soon. For now, this was my favorite from the first roll I shot in it, while walking around the Mississippi River and the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.