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Through the Viewfinder: A Tutorial
By Russ Morris - August 10, 2006


Bottom Camera

The camera used for its viewfinder, generally a TLR camera.


The type of viewfinder glass found on the top of the Kodak Duaflex, Kodak Brownie Starflex and Argus 75, among others.


A channel construction made of whatever materials are readily available. Construction paper, household plumbing materials, cigar boxes and breakfast cereal boxes are commonly used.


The stuff that one usually finds on the viewfinder lenses and mirrors of vintage cameras used for TtV photography.


The Kodak Duaflex is the most commonly used camera for TtV. 620 film format, 12 pictures. Produced from 1947 to 1950. Sold originally for $17.50 US, it's a box camera with an oversized viewfinder. It has an f/15 lens, marked Kodet on the US versions. Favored by TtV photographers because of the large bubble glass on top of the camera.


A common misspelling for Duaflex.


Reversing the image so that text is readable, accomplished with graphics editing software. Through the Viewfinder pictures are backwards because of the 45 degree mirror between the top glass and the front glass of the viewfinder on TLR cameras, which makes everything backwards.


A faint repeat of the image, usually transparent and slightly separated from the original subject. The phenomenon is specific to the Kodak Duaflex camera.


See Dirt.

Ground Glass

A focusing screen found on Twin Lens Reflex cameras. Many have grids or other marks that help with composing an image.


Acronym for Kodak Duaflex. See Duaflex.

Mr. E.

Generally regarded as the person most responsible for the current method used in Through the Viewfinder photography. His work has garnered much attention because of its bold color and quirky, offbeat subject matter. The Master!


The combination of top camera, bottom camera, contraption, and tripod or other supporting device.

Through the Viewfinder

A form of photography that involves using one camera to take a picture via another camera's viewfinder. Using a second camera's viewfinder as a lens.


Acronym for Twin Lens Reflex.

Top Camera

The camera used to take the picture, pointed through the contraption, at the viewfinder.


See Contraption


Acronym for Through the Viewfinder.


See Contraption

Twin Lens Reflex

The type of camera most commonly used for TtV photography. TLRs have two lenses of the same focal length. One lens is used for taking the picture while the other is used in a waist-level viewfinder system that gives a close approximation of what will appear on film.


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