1. Can you tell us a little bit about what you collect for those of us
Twin lens reflex cameras (TLRs) from the late 1920s to the present day.
These are cameras which have a "taking" lens situated below a "viewing" lens
and were very popular professional and serious-amateur cameras before the
SLR camera became reliable enough to be widely accepted during the late
1950s and 1960s. Most date from before the mid-a960s, although a few
Chinese manufacturers are still producing cheaper cameras, and Rollei still
makes a few special models for collectors. There's a short history of the
TLR on my site here.
Generally I specialise in those which use 120 film, although I do have a
small number which use 127 or 35mm (from the days before this was sold in
the cartridges used nowadays). The 120 medium format TLRs date from 1929,
when the first Rolleicord model was launched in Germany. Several German
manufacturers copied or adapted the format, and Japanese makers started
making similar models to the Rolleicord and Rolleiflex in the late 1930s.
I collect all TLRs from around the world - currently I have around 350, and
I still buy two or three a month if something interesting comes up. By far
the biggest contingent is from Japan and most of my collection is viewable
on my website. Other main countries represented are Germany (of course),
France, Czechoslovakia, China, America, Poland and Britain.
2. How long have you been collecting?
Only about six years or so.
3. How did you get started collecting TLR cameras?
I had been interested in these cameras for a long time, but it was the
arrival of eBay and Yahoo auctions which made it possible to track down
rarer models more easily. I now have a few cameras of which mine is the
only example remaining apparently known.
4. What is the "dream" item for you?
The one I'd love to own, but probably never will is a VERY rare Swedish
camera made by a man called Hedman in the 1930s - you can see it on my
webpage here. It's an amazingly beautiful camera made by a professional furniture maker; only a very few were made.
I'd also like to track down a Japanese Fujicaflex - they're not all that
rare, but they don't turn up very often. There's one on this page
5. What is your favourite part of collecting TLR cameras?
Tracking down a rare one. I have in my collection a rare special edition
Rolleiflex Urushi made after Rollei was bought by a Japanese firm (see
here). Finding that was a memorable success!
6. What is your favourite item you found thru Rinkya and why?
Well I recently won a rare Eicaflex on Yahoo, but there have been several
other unusual cameras which one doesn't find outside Japan itself.
7. What makes the TLR cameras you find in Japan
Just the rarity of some models and the amazing range of models made by small
manufacturers in the 1950s. Some of the names are also wonderful - my
favourite is the "Dorisflex" - marvellous name!
8. Where can we see your TLR collection?
At TLR Cameras, where the links to all the other sections is.
Thank you for the great interview Barry and good luck with your collection!!
Check out Barry's informative site and learn everything you want to know about TLR cameras!
For TLR Cameras on YJ
TLR Cameras at Japanese Online Stores
For More Collector Corner's, please read:
April, Blythe Doll Collector
Ryan, Anime Cel Collector
Super Sized Collector's Corner Part 1 and 2
Charles Solomon Anime Expert
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