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Seagull 4A-103: Two-Eyed Bird

TLR (twin-lens reflex) cameras are pleasantly different from compact and normal SLRs, both in the way they look as in the way they handle. If you need a new feeling taking photos, this review and the Seagull might be the right thing for you.

Upon holding a camera in front of your eyes, everybody in front of you knows that you are going to take a photo. Everybody smiles or strikes a pose, at worst, everybody flees. But what is the reaction to a TLR? When taking a photo with a Seagull or Lubitel for example, your face isn’t covered by a camera.



I find myself making eye to eye contact to my photo subject when I frame a picture with the Seagull. The reactions to the unfamiliar look of this camera often is curiosity.

TLRs once had their 15 minutes of fame but soon became a rarity. TLRs sport, hence the name, two lenses. The upper one is used to compose the photo, the lower one accommodates the shutter and aperture and is used to take the photo.

There are two things I find very special about the Seagull. The first is the impression you get when peering through the viewfinder: It´s like having the finished photo in front of you because the image is projected onto a ground glass.

The second one is the peculiarity the show everything mirror-inverted. It slows down the process of taking a photo and makes you take it with greater care.

The Seagull is fully manual, but the film is wound via a crank witch is a real improvement because you don´t have to read the film numbers through a red window.

The pictures turn out sharp, square an with a great bokeh. Have a look!

Some facts about the Seagull 4A-103:
6×6, 120 Film, 12 pictures, F/3,5 to F/22, 1 bis 1/300 second and „B“ setting

The Seagull is a quite cheap Chinese alternative over more expensive Rollei and Yashica TLRs. Change your photographic perspective: try a TLR!

written by zark and translated by zark

6 comments

  1. mikailus

    mikailus

    I've got a Lubitel 166+ and a Yashica MAT-124G. C:

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. alex34

    alex34

    I've got a small set of Lubitel 2s and two Welta Weltaflexes

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. ibkc

    ibkc

    TLRs are my favorite cameras. They are more about planning and composing than spontaneity (although you can definitely "shoot from the hip" with them; it just takes practice in the unique way to hold the camera steady and get those settings in quickly) and when you get your first one, there is a bit of a learning curve, but IMO, it is very much worth it. I've got a Lubitel 166U from the mid 1980's and a Rolleicord V from the mid-1950's. I note that the Seagull pictured above looks to be a copy, design-wise, of the Rolleiflex cameras of the same era of my 'cord. Lovely!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. herbert-4

    herbert-4

    Wonderful review!! I have a Rolleiflex 3.5f. It's, possibly, the very best thing I own.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. _wasabi_

    _wasabi_

    Really helpful article, as I'm on the lookout for my first TLR, possibly a lubitel 166B. Love your photos too. :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. plasticpopsicle

    plasticpopsicle

    I've always been interested in TLRs. I hope to get a Yashica MAT 124G someday! Great review, and very nice photos too!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

The original version of this article is written in: Deutsch. It is also available in: 中文(繁體版).