Seagull Twin-Lens Reflex Camera - Staff Review


Based on the iconic Rolleiflex Twin-Lens Reflex camera, the Seagull TLR offers excellent quality at an affordable price.

The Seagull Twin-Lens Reflex camera is created by the Shanghai General Camera factory, whose experience with producing twin-lens cameras go way back in 1959. Design-wise, the camera is patterned after the esteemed Rolleiflex TLR cameras by Franke & Heidecke, heralded as the finest series of its kind.

The Seagull enjoyed successful domestic sales, prompting the makers to create an export version called the Seagull-4. Along with its’ successors, the Seagull-4 was widely appreciated by enthusiasts who want to enjoy inexpensive medium photography of excellent quality.

The current Seagull TLR cameras that you see today offer the functionality of the original 1964 Seagull-4 model, while giving you added features such as a PC flash attachment, improved optics, and increased shutter speed.

Shooting with the Seagull is easy and quite tricky. Just flip up the metal hood to reveal the top-down viewer. It is made of ground glass, with an integrated circle focus point, making precise focusing easy. All models boast full manual controls, to allow flexibility in composing your 6×6 shots. To zoom in on extra resolution detail, a flip-down magnifying glass is also included. The multicoated Haiou SA-99 75mm lens prevents unwanted lens flare and amps up the color saturation. And the tricky part? Looking down the top-down viewer gives you a reversed image. This is the same for all TLR cameras – if you swing your camera to the right, your image moves to the left!

Given its affordability (compared to other TLR cameras), ease of use, and competitive quality, the Seagull is a good choice for a newbie!

written by shhquiet on 2008-05-23 in #reviews #120 #seagull #tlr #staff #review


  1. insomniatic_spree
    insomniatic_spree ·

    i'm in love with my seagull!

    if anyone is thinking about buying one- DO IT! its worth every penny.

  2. shhquiet
    shhquiet ·

    @ insomniatic_spree : maybe you'd like to share some tips and tricks with the Seagull? :)
    or perhaps your own review?


  3. nooknook
    nooknook ·

    I love my Seagull-4 too - but I'm just too scared to use it because it's so old!
    Plus the reversed view-finder makes me feel a bit nauseous. Any tips on how to frame up shots without going mad/blind? I want to make the most of my beautiful camera!!!...

  4. nooknook
    nooknook ·

    In fact, does anyone have a manual for the original Seagull-4 model? Or know where to find one? Mine's in bits. Cheers again!

  5. balzzac
    balzzac ·

    nooknook if you have a segull 4A-109 why dont you just set your aperature and shutter then shoot it as if you were going to shoot a fast moving image (if you still have the manual it can explain it better) and push down the seagull symbol and look threw the range finder.

  6. dogma
    dogma ·

    fantastic gallery!

  7. brett_jurgens
    brett_jurgens ·

    Just picked one up that is completely labeled in Chinese. Looking forward to shooting with it. The lens has a super bright green coating.

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