Imagine...the image


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Dec 13, 2011
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Each time I find a new camera for my collection, I try to imagine which photos it could have taken.
For this one, I did not resist to the temptation to tinker with Photoshop to produce a possible version of what was its camera life.
This Ferrania pseudo TLR was produced in Italy circa 1950. I like its design and in particular its sport viewfinder.


Ferrania - Elioflex2 small.jpg

Ferrania - Elioflex2 [60] 016.jpg
Good illustration! So, the upper lens does nothing functional, but is just there to fit in with the 1950's craze for low-cost TLR's? Weird, but understandable. Your 'SHopped illustration totally has the vibe of a 1950's magazine illustration photo. Nice!
Nice find. Why don't you put a roll of film in it and have a trial run ? It takes 120 film.
Derrel, the upper lens is a viewfinder lens with so called "brilliant" finder. Like in Kodak Duaflex.
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Agree with timor Dany. Nice to collect but even nicer to tidy up and shoot these oldies.
You are right. There is no coupling (gearing) between the upper lens and the lower one to focus. This is why I called it "Pseudo TLR" in my presentation. An other example of this type of camera was the Brillant from Voigtlander (The "brilliant" finder again).
In my opinion the Italian photographic industry is unjustly ignored and sometimes even despised by vintage camera collectors. Like other countries,, it produced a mass of low cost camera but also real gems like those made by Ducati, Gamma or Officine Galileo.
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To my way of thinking, the fact that it has a mirror and a viewfinder screen does not make it a "pseudo TLR" has two lenses, AND a reflex mirror...ergo it is a real, twin-lens, reflex just has focusing by scale.

There was, for a while, a sort of interesting niche toy-camera-like fad, in which one made a pressboard or plastic "tower" type thing, and then used a camera to take photos of the images seen on the brilliant-type finders of things like the old Duaflex cameras Kodak made popular...I forget the name for that trend, but it has kind of run its course. I had a Duaflex II as a kid...yucky by the time I had it in the late 1970's...utter rubbish lens. My 1938 Argoflex was much,much,much better a shooter!

I read a year or so ago that in Japan, by the mid-1950's, there were scores of TLR makes and models, mostly of low specification...I suppose the Italians also got in on the TLR craze.
This camera is certainely not some sort of toy. It is nicely finished and made of steel. It has diaphragm and shutter speed settings.
Therefore, it cannot be classified together with the Singapor plastic "TLR"
I have in my collection a lot of low cost items (e.g box cameras) as I consider that these modest and popular photo makers are by some ways more important in the history of photography than Leicas or other top of the range instruments.
I classified this camera has a "pseudo TLR" because it is a twin lens (TL) and has a reflex finder (R) and because it is different from a box camera by the oversized finder.
But I must admit that this is only my opinion and some could say "I classified my box and detective cameras as TLR (triple lens reflex)" :1251:
These are pics of same type of cameras in my collection.

A Sure-flex manufactured by Ace Camera in India

Ace Camera - Sure-Flex low def.jpg

A Dauphin manufactured by Alsaphot in France

Alsaphot - Dauphin LDef.jpg

A Duaflex II manufactured by Kodak Ltd in Great Britain

Kodak Ltd - Duaflex II Fixed focus low def] 001.jpg

And a Brillant (French version) manufactured by Voigtlander
Voigtlander - Brillant low def 002.jpg
Impressive lineup of this type of camera Dan. Have used my DuaflexIII with the Kodar f8 focusing lens which gives acceptably sharp work. Fixed shutter speed though, at approx. 1/50 sec. I think. Haven't shot the one with the Kodet yet but expect it to be soft especially toward the corners, Somewhat "Brownie" like.
Of these, the Dauphin and the Voigtlander should approach the image quality of the mid to upper quality TLR's.
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The fact is all this cameras are in fact box cameras. They were made in this style cause TLR was the fashion of the moment. Plus many of them still sport the Art Deco look, so two in one. They were made throughout almost whole range from real "dummies" like my Imperial Reflex ( single element, single speed, single aperture plus a bonus: permanent scratches due to faulty construction ), to much more complicated, with 3 elements, focusable lens, some selection of apertures and speeds and rollers to guide the film. The common thing: the upper lens is NOT a focusing lens, just viewfinder. And the quality of taking lens is a matter of luck, each unit could be different. I've got Duoflex 4 with focusing lens of acceptable sharpness, Argus Super 75 with incredible central resolution (like for 3 elements) and dramatic loss of sharpness on just one side. Lol. It is fun to shoot them.
Wonderful cameras, Dany!!! I like the look of that Voigtlander's,so beautiful with the baked enamel viewfinder's top, and the gorgeous fittings and appointments.
The Voigtlander Brillant is an interesting example of international marketing The writings on the front of the shutter block ( "Landscape, group, portrait") have been made available in different languages to be sold in the relevant countries: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, even Polish.I have all the versions exept the italian and spanish that I still try to find.
In my opinion these pseudo TLR differ from box cameras by two aspects: first is the easiness to see the limit of the taken image.( doing it correctly with the tiny viewfinders of a box camera is for me some sort of miracle)
The second one is the unique viewfinder (Instead of two) that limit the use to square format.
I must admit that some cameras are really at the frontier between box and pseudo TLR like this funny one from England.

Ross Ensign - FUL VUE rouge low def 001.jpg

Note on this camera:
The 2nd of June 1953, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor is crowned Queen of the United Kingdom and some others independent countries.
The same year, to celebrate this coronation, the Barnet Ensign Ltd company launches on the market three coloured variations of the already very popular Ensign Ful Vue . In red, blue and white.
These patriotic and celebrating cameras coloured as the Union Jack were called by the English Ful Vue « A la mode ».
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The photo is wrong it would be 6x6
Gary, have some single malt. This is not a photo only a collage made of two different images, a recreation of a vision. For the good measure behind the camera should be a photographer as none of thise cameras was ever equipped with self timer. :bek113:
Ah... Beer is two weak for what you needs.:biggrinangelA:

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