TTV, 35mm, BTW

TTV = Through the Viewfinder

It seems to be a big trend to use one camera [usually a digital one] to shoot an image as seen through the viewfinder of another camera [usually a medium format SLR or Twin lens camera.] It’s not really my cuppa tea but…

I bring this up because my friend Ashley posted a photo she’d found somewhere on the internet and asked how it was done. Not that she didn’t realize what TTV shooting was, but she was wondering how this was being done with a 35mm camera. Or, in this case, what appeared to be a 35mm.

The photo Ashley had referenced was actually¬† a TTV shot taken through a Pentacon Six. It’s a medium format SLR that is commonly referred to as looking “like a 35mm camera on steroids.” Without anything in the photo to show the scale of the camera itself, one might not realize they are not looking at your every day 35mm fella but instead are looking at a medium format beast. But I wanted Ashley to know that there are 35mm SLRs in existence which feature a waist-level viewfinder. I happen to have one.

It’s a Praktica VLC3. I got it some years ago from my friend Mike. The camera has interchangeable viewfinders, so you can use either the standard “eye-level” pentaprism finder or you can change that bad boy out and use the waist-level finder. It’s really nifty. In theory. I never really used the waist-level finder on my Praktica because the size of a 35mm image versus the size of a medium format one means that what you’re seeing in its waist-level finder is teeny tiny. For practical purposes, you can’t use the Praktica’s waist-level finder at waist-level.

However, that has never stopped me from occasionally taking off the Praktica’s pentaprism finder and locking in the waist-level one. Because it makes me feel real cooooool whenever I do.

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