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I'm planning to buy my first film camera and I'm attracted to cameras with waist level viewfinder. I thought to buy a Yashica mat 124 g but in the last days, making some researches, I have seen that even some 35mm can use a waist level viewfinder, like the Nikon f, f2 or f3, the Praktica and some other models.

I would like to know what do you think of a twin lens reflex camera compared to a 35mm with waist level viewfinder.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Philip Kendall, mattdm, Paul Cezanne, AJ Henderson, Nick Miners Aug 21 at 17:48

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer 1

I've had a waist level viewfinder attachment for a Nikon, and I've also used medium format gear (like the Yashica) that used them, and I found that I didn't like them on 35mm that much.

The 35mm viewing screen feels much smaller than square medium format, making it difficult to use without flipping up the magnifier and holding it up to your eye (which reduces the benefits of having a "waist level" finder).

Also, with square medium format you don't have to change the camera orientation switching from horizontal to vertical shots, but you do with the rectangular 35mm format. I found holding the camera to make a vertical shot while using the waist level finder to be very cumbersome (the image is reversed left to right so it is harder to aim and get level, you have to hold the camera funny, etc).

For 35mm a waist level finder is great for low level shots and maybe macro work, but that is about all I found it practical for.

Personally, I'd go with the Yashica if you really want a waist level (I had out a Maymia TLR, a C220 if I remember correctly, nice machine).

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