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The Best Lomo TLR? - The Halina AI 120 Twin Lens Reflex Camera

(If you can't see the video, please click here.)

If you're used to digital (or even film) cameras, be they compacts, bridge or dSLRs, your first look at a Twin Lens Reflex can be a little disconcerting. Two lenses? Ground glass? Composing via a screen that you look down on? Crazy indeed!

The Halina A1 is a budget TLR made in Hong Kong during the 1960's and '70's. Not known for excellent build quality or super-sharp optics, you better avoid this camera if that's important to you. The Halina is all about enjoying the TLR experience to give you a different viewpoint for your photography, it's all very lomo, and most off all, it's all very fun.

With a limited choice of shutter speeds and a fixed lens, remember that there's also no built in light-meter for this camera. Either use a hand-held meter, your digital camera, or the sunny-16 rule and guess. You'll be trying to capture mood and the moment, a mere 12 frames on each 120 roll, but don't let that stop you shooting from the hip or shooting blind. Check out the 10 rules of Lomography for guidance and inspiration.

I haven't see many of these at car-boot sales, I was lucky to pick this one up cheap, but keep your eyes peeled and you never know, pretty soon, and for a bargain price, you could be in Lomo TLR heaven!

Thanks, Rob.

Reader Comments (4)

Thanks for this Rob. I have a Lubitel which seems similar. Great fun.

June 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavidN

I have a Halina A1 and I am finding it so much fun, I am a student studying photography and I dont want to become a total digi freak so i thought i would give medium format a go, i am a total film novice and i look forward to using the square format and bright colours in my work believe me if you want a budget TLR I advise you try the Halina A1.

November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave89

Hey Rob, great video as I've just picked up an old Halina AI cheap. I'm about to give it a run out to see what sort of shape it's in but I'm not sure what to set the shutter speed at? I'll be using F11 & F16 and a 400 black and white film... but wasn't sure on the rest. Any advice much appreciated. Thanks

November 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPete

If you're outside on a Sunny day, with 400 speed film, set the aperture to f/16 and the shutter speed to as near to 1/400th as you can. Google "Sunny 16 rule" for more.

January 11, 2015 | Registered CommenterRob_Nunn

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