Blackbird Fly (BBF) Fun and Trendy

Blackbird, Fly 35mm Twin-Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera

Orange Blackbird, Fly 35mm Twin-Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera - FrontOrange Blackbird, Fly 35mm Twin-Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera - Front

The Blackbird, Fly camera, a twin lens reflex provides a totally different optical pathway from ordinary SLR or a digital point & shoot camera. It sports a double of lenses, one above each other. The bottom 'shooting' lens, captures the image, contains the shutter and aperture and assemblies and allows the light into the film plane located in back of it. The top 'viewing' lens is there solely for composing the image and contains a reflex mirror that propels it up towards to a parallel ground glass protected by a chimney smoke stack hood. Updated Review Feb 2,, 2011

The 35mm "Blackbird, Fly" Twin-Lens Reflex camera (TLR) (also called, the BBF) produced by Blackbird is an unusual camera taking advantage of the 'plastic fantastic' craze. The BBF go on the town with its simple low-tech design having many similarities to a disposable camera - that being a compliment. This uniqueness impelled by optical & mechanical ambiguity is a desirable trait in which to instill photographs. This genre of picture making is intended to be fresh, agile, moody and experimental.

The main advantages of the TLR design allows the viewfinder to always be available and never blocked by a mirror while the shutter is released, allowing the photographer to see the subject while exposing, and that the not-directly-in-the-eye method in which it's used, subjects tend to be more relaxed around the camera.

This BBF is so much fun to enjoy. It looks hot. You'll love the feel of it in your hands, and you'll especially love the how it produces beautiful blurred pictures. Give it a try with black & white film: absolutely stunning!

Selectable Framing Formats
By interchanging included masks, the camera can record 24x36mm, 24x24mm, and 36x36mm sized images on standard 35mm film.

Simplified Operation
The BBF has two apertures: f/7 (cloudy), f/11 (bright weather) to which the shutter speed is fixed at 1/125 with the option for Bulb. Focusing is by scale, in other words you approximate the distance to subject and dial the lens to match. The lens has a range from 2.6' (0.8m) to infinity.

Medium-Wide-Angle Lens
The 33mm lens provides a medium-wide perspective commonly used for street shooting, reportage, and general photography. There are two objective lenses: one for taking the photograph, and one for the waist-level viewfinder. Behind the viewfinder lens is a mirror at a 45-degree angle (hence the term "reflex"), which reflects upwards through a matter focusing screen surrounded by a hood/enclosure used to block some light and reduce reflection on the screen. This creates an image on the screen identical to what will be captured on film through the photographic lens. Unlike conventional TLRs that use 120mm film, the Blackbird, Fly uses 35mm film. Although 120 film is very cool, it can be much harder to find and even harder to get developed. With 35mm film you can just drop it off at the nearest 1-hour photo.

Shop for Blackbird Fly Medium Format Cameras at These Stores
Link to Amazon Link to ebay
Focus Type Manual (scale focusing)
Film Formats Normal: 35mm (24 x 36mm)Large Square: (36 x 36mm)
Lens 33mm f/7
Aperture Range f/7 & f/11 only
Shutter Speed 1/125 and B
Dimensions Not specified by manufacturer
Focus Distance Visual distance estimates: 0.8', 1.5', 2', 2.5', 3', 4', 5', 10', infinity
Weight Not specified by manufacturer

Camera Includes

Blackbird Blackbird, Fly 35mm Twin-Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera
Lens Caps
Frame Masks
1-Year Warranty

have been holding off doing a full review on the Blackbird, Fly TLR until I had a pretty good feel for it, and had a chance to try out a few different films. After a few weeks with the camera it has become as natural to load and use as my trusty Holga. First I would like to thank the guys at Powershovel in Japan, who graciously sent me a camera to test, I was both honored and excited to be testing one of the first production models. Read more about the Blackbird fly at Four Corners Dark
Upon first word of the Blackbird Fly TLR camera, camera enthusiasts may get a little excited. It is unusual to find a twin lens reflex (tlr) camera under around $300. The Blackbird fly sells for around $100. Read more at Associated Content