Through the viewfinder photography (TTV) with the Ferrania Elioflex pseudo TLR camera.

Through the viewfinder photography (TTV) with the Ferrania Elioflex pseudo TLR camera.

I learned about through the viewfinder photography (TTV) a while ago from some long-forgotten YouTube video but have since become quite captivated by the idea. Put simply,  TTV is taking a photograph through the viewfinder of another camera. To take the photograph you can use any digital or film camera, but the viewing camera is often a vintage TLR or pseudo TLR camera.

Through the viewfinder photography first came to prominence in the early 21st century, and for a few years from around 2010 was apparently quite popular. As usual with these things, I am way behind the curve but of course I really want to try some TTV. The first challenge, of course, is getting a suitable viewing/taking camera combination. I have a number of vintage cameras that might have been suitable, with lovely bright viewfinders, but these were always too small. The most popular camera for TTV seems to be the Kodak Duaflex, but I could never find one within my price range. I toyed with the idea of getting a broken (of course) Kodak Hawkeye for 15€ but guessed the viewfinder was still too small. 

Then, on a 'spur of the moment' visit to the Kamerastore website, I spotted a Ferrania Elioflex pseudo TLR. The shutter speeds were way out of whack, and there was 'some' desilvering of the lens (I was hoping that meant not too much), but according to what I have found about this beastie it does have a large, bright viewfinder. Without hesitation I added it to my basket and a week or so later a well packed parcel arrived at my door.

The Ferrania Elioflex is a really nice camera, well designed and sturdy. It's more like a TLR than a Duaflex in that it has a cover over the viewfinder and the lid also hides an ingenious little sports finder. The viewfinder is really bright, and a couple of test shots with a smartphone suggested that I was onto a winner.

The next step was to design and build the 'Contraption', the light tight box that would contain the camera and hold the Nikon in place. On a nice sunny day I laid the Ferrania Elioflex on its side and measured the distance from the bottom of the camera to the front of the Nikon S8000 where I could get a good image (25cm). I took a couple of test shots with the cameras in place to make sure it was working and was happy with the result. 

The next stage was building the Contraption. Using 5mm black foam board I constructed a 'shell' 25cm tall around the Ferrania Elioflex. Holes were cut in the front panel to allow space for the lenses and one hole on the side panel for the wind-on knob so the panels fitted flush against the camera. The panels were securely taped around the Ferrania and a bottom plate cut to prevent light leaking into the Contraption.

One last check was performed with the Nikon in place and the measurements taken to fit the camera onto the top plate. A top piece was cut and a square cut out of the plate which would fit the camera comfortably. The Nikon was fitted to the top plate and then taped securely in place. We were ready for some through the viewfinder photography.

The combination was really easy to use. Although there was some 'demirroring' of the Ferrania viewfinder the results came out really nicely and I have been delighted with the images that are produced. After a few days with the Ferrania/Nikon combination the only problem is that I want to make another Contraption. Perhaps that Hawkeye wasn't such a bad idea after all.

#ThroughTheViewfinder, #Nikon, #TwinLensReflex, #WaistLevelFinder, #TTV, #Ferriana, #Contraption,