Medium Format Experimentation

Today I loaded my Yashica-D twin lens reflex camera, and took 12 black and white pictures. It was really going old school since the camera is not only fully manual, it also has no light meter. I used my trusty Sekonic Studio Deluxe light meter to get my light measurements, and I just hope I was doing things right.


It took me a while to get the film loaded correctly – I was remembering how I loaded film in my old Kodak Brownie box camera, which uses 620 film, a variation of 120. I had done that a long time ago – and after I did it once, it all came back to me.

It was hard to get used to the focusing screen and how it worked. It’s not like a modern 35mm camera where the focusing screen is protected from sunlight. On a bright day, the viewfinder of the twin lens reflex makes it hard to see the image you’re focusing on. It’s just too bright and hard to see (it doesn’t help that my vision isn’t what it used to be either).

Looking down into the camera is also a little strange because everything is mirrored. So when you move the camera to the right, the image moves opposite. It’s something that anyone who’s used a view camera is accustomed to (as well as the view camera’s image being upside down), but we’re spoiled with all our new fangled equipment.

The other thing that took some time to get used to was remembering to advance the film, and not make accidental double exposures. This camera, like many of it’s generation, doesn’t prohibit things like double exposures. I can cock the shutter, and take a photo as many times as I want, without ever advancing the film. I had to force myself to make a habit of advancing the film after each shot. Even though I know that, I’m sure I forgot, and have a couple multiple exposures on the roll. We’ll see.

I never owned a twin lens reflex – so this is the fulfillment of something I remember wanting to try for a long time. But now that I’m using one, and I’m seeing how hard, how time consuming photography used to be, I’m appreciating my “modern” equipment.

I’ll drop this film off to be processed tomorrow, and hopefully in a few days I’ll be able to post one or 2 acceptable photos.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend, and I hope everyone will take a few minutes this weekend (hopefully longer) to go out and use your camera!