Kris through the viewfinder


1- Digital SLR
1- Older Twin Lens Reflex camera (Rollie, Yashica, etc. I used a $5.00 eBay Kodak Duaflex IV)
1- Macro Lens (mine is a 60mm 1:1)
1- Heavy duty cardboard tubing
1- Roll of gaffers tape

Remove the popup shade covering the viewfinder on the top of the Twin Lens camera. Combine ingredients. Enjoy!



What exactly is this going to accomplish?
Nostalgia of coarse! More specifically, your photos should have a distressed border and added textures from the focusing screen on the twin lens camera. Every camera is different and each will give a unique look. I’ve also noticed that by tilting your SLR slightly, you can accomplish partial focus effects similar to that of lensbabies. Welcome to the world of TTV (Through The Viewfinder) photography!

Through the viewfinder

  • Shoot at a super high ISO for that extra “graininess”  (I used 1600 for most of these shots).
  • Keep in mind that the more you stop down, the more imperfections, dust, scratches will show up.
  • For expired film looking color, experiment with different “incorrect” white-balance settings.
  • This camera setup makes for great candid shots because the camera doesn’t appear to be pointing at your subject
  • Don’t permanently attach the D-SLR to the tube. This allows for camera tilting to achieve a partial focus effect.
        A few more….

      ParadeParade 2Parade 3


      Here’s the setup.

      The setup    

      For more on this style of photography, google “through the viewfinder” or “TTV photography.”

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      1. Anthony S.
        on June 1st, 2009

        Haha. This is hilarious! Not to mention GENIUS.

      2. russ morris
        on June 3rd, 2009

        There’s a great group of shooters doing this on flickr, too. check out our group:

        … many AMAZING photographers are addicted!


      3. Sean O'Brien
        on June 3rd, 2009

        This is also a great icebreaker, because no one can figure out what the heck you’re doing, and some are compelled to ask.

      4. Sean
        on June 3rd, 2009

        We had someone demo this at our local photo club meeting about 6 months ago..he take some amazing shots with his…

      5. Danny
        on June 14th, 2009

        Reminds me of the ol poloroid tricks back in the day.

      6. Dave
        on October 14th, 2009

        Chicks’ll get naked for you when they see you swinging this big thing around. Oh, yeah.

      7. Nicole
        on March 1st, 2010

        Thanks for the great idea Dan! I’ve got a beautiful old Zeiss Ikon TLR but the shutter is broken. Now I have a way to use it! 🙂

      8. David Hardwick Photography
        on March 2nd, 2010

        This looks like an interesting and fun project. Thanks for the idea.

      9. Photography Class: Through the Viewfinder Technique « KU Graphic Design
        on October 23rd, 2012
      10. ashley Beolens
        on November 1st, 2012

        Haha it always amazes me what people do with their cameras just for something different, love it 🙂