The 10 Best Twin Lens Reflex Cameras in 2023 – Reviews and Comparison

Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras have a classic design that has remained a favorite among photographers for decades. These cameras offer a unique shooting experience, with a waist-level viewfinder and a separate lens for focusing and capturing the shot. If you’re looking for the best twin lens reflex cameras on the market, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll review the top 10 best twin lens reflex cameras, taking into account their features, performance, and overall value. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a hobbyist, this buying guide will help you find the perfect TLR camera to suit your needs and preferences.

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Last update on 2023-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A Brief Overview of Twin Lens Reflex Cameras

Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras were once a popular type of medium format camera that consists of two lenses – one for viewing and the other for capturing an image. The viewing lens sits on top of the camera and allows the user to compose the shot, while the taking lens is located at the bottom, where the film is exposed.

The popularity of TLR cameras soared during the 1950s and 1960s as they were widely regarded as having better quality optics than their single lens reflex (SLR) counterparts. However, with the advent of more modern and versatile cameras, TLRs have since fallen out of favor and are now primarily collected and used by camera enthusiasts and those who appreciate their quirky design. Despite their decline, TLRs remain a fascinating chapter in the history of photography and continue to capture the interest of those seeking a vintage camera experience.

10 Best Twin Lens Reflex Cameras on the Market

DEVMO 2 PCS DIY Lightnes Compatible with Classic Retro Holga Lomo Recesky TLR...
  • ★The Recesky DIY Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) Camera is a beautiful DIY (Do-It-Yourself) camera that represents everything that is lomo. We ly love the idea of a...
  • ★ Going through the process of assembling the camera is not only a joy in itself, but allows you to ultimately understand the exact function that every part...
  • ★The TLR stands for Twin Lens Reflex. There are two lenses - one for capturing the photo onto film, and the other that acts as as a viewfinder for framing the...
  • ★Quick shutters, small apertures, fast subjects.
  • ★The LOMO Film Camera upload your masterpiece to lomography.
NC Film Camera,Twin Lens Reflex(TLR),135Film Camera,Use 35mm Film,Reusable...
  • Finished Product.Read the manual before use.Recommend for ages 14+.It can be disassembled and assembled according to the instructions
  • Because the film sensitivity is low, it is recommended to shoot when the outdoor light is good.
  • It can be used many times.If the pursuit of high quality photography, please buy others. This is suitable for decoration, furnishings, understanding film...
  • Film not included.Package contains:1 Twin Lens Reflex Camera,1 English Instruction manual
  • The len is F/12. Focusing range:from 0.5m to infinity.Shutter speed is 1/125s.
Twin Lens Reflex(TLR),135Film Camera,Use 35mm Film,Reusable Camera,Film Camera...
  • Read the manual before use.Recommend for ages 14+
  • Shoot outdoors during the day.Because the film sensitivity is low, it is recommended to shoot when the outdoor light is good.
  • It can be used many times.If the pursuit of high quality photography, please buy others. This is suitable for decoration, furnishings, understanding film...
  • Film not included.Package contains:1 Twin Lens Reflex Camera,1 English Instruction manual
  • The len is F/12. Focusing range:from 0.5m to infinity.Shutter speed is 1/125s.
Vintage Retro Twin-Lens Reflex Camera T-Shirt
  • Official VintCam
  • Finely Detailed Original Illustration Of A Classic Art Deco Style Twin Lens Reflex Film Cameras
  • Lightweight, Classic fit, Double-needle sleeve and bottom hem
Fotodiox Pro Shoulder Strap, Neck Strap for Rollei, Rolleiflex TLR (Twin Lens...
  • Heavy Duty for Heavy Cameras
  • Classic Shoulder Strap - 0.75in (2cm) wide
  • Adjustable Length from 19in (48cm) to 41in (104cm)
  • 24 Month Manufacture Warranty
SaleRANK 6
Fotodiox Pro, Leather Neck Strap for Rollei, Rolleiflix Twin Lens Reflex TRL...
  • Genuine Leather Collectable Neck Strap
  • Classic and Heavy Duty
  • Adjustable from 33 to 47 inches in Length
  • 24 Month Manufacture Warranty
Original Soviet LOMO Lubitel 2 Twin Lens Reflex Camera with Special Edition Case...
  • Frame size 6x6cm Film accepted type 120
  • Lens : T-22 Triplet (4.5/75mm) Focal length-75mm Relative aperture - 1:4.5
  • Main differences from Lubitel: It has selftimer and synchronizer
  • Adjustable shutter speeds from 1/10, 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/250 of a second and "B" (before 1959). and 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250 of a second and "B" (after...
  • Diaphragm - from 4.5 to 22 Focusing, m: 1.3 to 10 and infinite
PlayStation 5 HD Camera
  • Built-in adjustable stand helps you get the perfect shot.
  • Stand's compact design allows it to be securely positioned above or below your TV.
  • Quickly record or broadcast yourself and your gameplay via your DualSense wireless controller's Create button.
  • 1080p capture delivers smooth, sharp Full HD via the camera's dual wide-angle lenses for your most epic gaming moments.
  • PS5's background removal tools let you take centre stage in your productions; add yourself to your gameplay videos while broadcasting in picture-in-picture...
SaleRANK 9
MoMA This Book is A Camera, Kelli Anderson, 2015
  • This working camera in a pop-up book is a fun and educational way to learn about the basic principles of photography.
  • The book concisely explains— while actively demonstrating—how a structure as humble as a folded piece of paper can tap into the intrinsic properties of...
  • Easily turn a room in your home into a darkroom ?and process photos using household supplies.
  • The book includes a working ?4 × 5" paper camera with pinhole lens, a lightproof bag with five sheets of photo paper and development instructions.
SaleRANK 10
Polaroid Now+ 2nd Generation I-Type Instant Film Bluetooth Connected App...
  • POLAROID NOW+ : It's the Polaroid camera you love PLUS so much more. Our Bluetooth-connected app features full manual control - double exposure - light painting...
  • BONUS GIFT: The Polaroid Now+ includes a bonus lens filter kit. Includes 5 creative lens filters – Starburst, Red Vignette, Orange, Yellow and Blue.
  • DUAL LENS AUTOFOCUS: Get the perfect shot, automatically. The Polaroid Now+ feature a dual zone (Close-Up & Standard) auto-switching hyperfocal optical lens...
  • CONNECTED ANALOG CAMERA: The Polaroid Now+ is our most creative camera yet. Unlock even more creative tools with the Polaroid App and easy to use Bluetooth...
  • FULL FEATURED: Tripod mount ready, USB-C powered rechargeable battery, auto-focus dual lens system, Accurate Flash, Bluetooth connected App and bonus 5 lens...

Last update on 2023-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Does Buying Twin Lens Reflex Cameras benefit you?

There are several compelling reasons why Twin Lens Reflex Cameras are worth considering for photographers of all levels. These classic cameras offer a unique shooting experience and produce stunning, high-quality images that can’t be replicated by modern digital devices. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key advantages of using a Twin Lens Reflex Camera.

Unique perspective

Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras offer a unique perspective that cannot be replicated by other types of cameras. The design of the camera features two lenses—one for taking the image and another for viewing the image. This means that the photographer is not looking through the same lens that is capturing the image.

The viewing lens is located above the taking lens, and this creates a distinct perspective. When taking a photo, the photographer must look down into the viewing lens, which creates a different viewpoint than if they were looking straight ahead through a standard camera viewfinder. This unique perspective can allow for creative and interesting compositions that are not possible with other camera types. Additionally, TLR cameras have a square format that is different from the rectangular format of most cameras, which adds to the unique look of the photos taken with them.

Large format film capabilities

The Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) Cameras are renowned for their large format film capabilities. These cameras use medium format or 120mm film that allows photographers to capture images with high resolution and exceptional detail. The size of the negative produced by TLR cameras is far larger than the standard 35mm format, resulting in a sharper, well-defined, and higher-quality image.

Moreover, large format film offers a wider range of tonal values and colors, enabling photographers to achieve a superior depth of field and clarity in their images. Apart from photographic quality, large format film has practical uses in reproduction, archiving, and printing. Photographers can enlarge images scanned from 120mm film to a much greater extent before encountering pixelation or artifacting issues. These advantages make TLR cameras with large format film capabilities ideal for portrait, landscape, and commercial photography.

Enhanced image quality

Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras offer a unique image quality that is highly appreciated by photographers. TLRs use two lenses, one for taking the photo and the other for focusing. This design offers several advantages over conventional single lens cameras, such as sharper and more detailed photos.

The first lens in a TLR camera is dedicated solely to recording the image. This means that it doesn’t have to be moved or adjusted during the photo-taking process, resulting in less vibration and fewer distortions. Additionally, because the second lens is used only for focusing, the primary lens can be made with high-quality glass, resulting in better image quality.

TLR cameras also use a waist-level viewfinder, which allows the photographer to view the scene in a larger format and with greater detail than an eye-level viewfinder. This feature can help capture images with greater precision and clarity, resulting in better image quality overall. Ultimately, the enhanced image quality provided by TLR cameras makes them an attractive option for photographers who value the highest standards in their work.

Tactile shooting experience

Twin lens reflex cameras provide a unique and tactile shooting experience that cannot be matched by modern digital cameras. With a TLR camera, the photographer looks down into the viewfinder at the image reflected by the top lens, while the bottom lens captures the image onto film. This creates a direct and tangible connection between the photographer and the subject being photographed.

The TLR camera requires a slower and more deliberate approach to photography, as the photographer must first manually focus the lens and then set the aperture and shutter speed. This process encourages the photographer to take their time and to consider each shot carefully, resulting in a more intentional and thoughtful photograph. Additionally, the manual nature of the TLR camera allows for greater control over the final image, as the photographer can adjust the focus, depth of field, and exposure to create a unique and personalized result. Overall, the tactile shooting experience offered by TLR cameras is not only enjoyable, but it also produces a different quality of image that simply cannot be replicated with modern digital cameras.

Things to Consider when Choosing the Best Twin Lens Reflex Cameras

Selecting the Best Twin Lens Reflex Cameras involves looking into a few important factors that’ll help you find the one that suits your needs.


Budget is an important factor to consider before buying Twin Lens Reflex cameras. These cameras can be expensive as they require complex internal mechanisms and a large amount of manual labor to manufacture. Additionally, they may require specialized lenses, film, and accessories that can add to the overall cost. By establishing a budget, you can ensure that you purchase a camera that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

Furthermore, considering your budget can help you prioritize features and capabilities that are most important to you. For example, a budget-conscious photographer may opt for a basic model without advanced features, while someone with a higher budget may want a camera with more high-end options. By setting a budget and prioritizing your needs, you can find a Twin Lens Reflex camera that works for you and your photography style.

Brand reputation

Brand reputation plays an important role in the buying decision of Twin Lens Reflex Cameras. The reputation of a brand is a reflection of its consistency in delivering quality products and providing excellent customer service. When buying a Twin Lens Reflex Camera, it is important to choose a brand that has a good reputation because it will ensure that the camera is of high quality and will meet your expectations. Additionally, a reputable brand will generally provide better customer support in case there are any issues with the camera.

A good brand reputation can also give you peace of mind knowing that you have made a wise investment. Brands that are well-known and established in the market have better resources to develop and improve their products. Therefore, you are more likely to get value for your money when you choose a reputable brand. In summary, considering the brand reputation before buying a Twin Lens Reflex Camera is important because it ensures that you are getting a quality product and the peace of mind of knowing that you have made a good investment.

Features and capabilities

When considering buying a twin lens reflex camera, it is crucial to evaluate the features and capabilities of the camera first. TLR cameras are a unique type of camera that offers a fixed lens with a waist-level viewfinder, which allows the user to see a mirrored image of the subject. These cameras are designed to offer a high-quality image without the need for interchangeable lenses. Therefore, evaluating the quality and features of the lens is an important consideration when buying this type of camera. Additionally, other features such as shutter speed, aperture, and focusing distance are also essential factors that should be considered before making a purchase.

Furthermore, the capabilities of a twin lens reflex camera include the ability to shoot medium format film, which can offer higher resolution and quality compared to smaller formats such as 35mm. Additionally, TLR cameras are known for their ability to produce sharp and high-quality images, making them ideal for professional and artistic photography. Overall, taking the time to evaluate the features and capabilities of a twin lens reflex camera before buying one will help ensure that you make the right choice and invest in a high-quality and reliable camera that meets your specific needs and preferences.

Condition of the camera (used or new)

Condition is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a twin lens reflex (TLR) camera, whether it’s used or new. A used camera may be significantly cheaper, but it could also come with hidden problems that may not be apparent when you’re initially inspecting it. For example, the shutter may not work properly, the lenses might have scratches or fungus that impact the quality of photos, or there may be issues with the focusing or framing.

On the other hand, a new TLR camera is likely to be in good working order and won’t require as much maintenance as a used camera. However, it will also be more expensive. Ultimately, it’s up to the buyer to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether a used or new TLR camera is the best option for their needs and budget. It’s important to thoroughly inspect any used camera before buying it and, if possible, test it out before parting with your money.

Type of film format

When considering a twin lens reflex camera, it is important to also consider the type of film format it uses. Different film formats offer different benefits and drawbacks depending on the photographer’s needs and preferences. For example, larger format films such as 120 or 220 offer higher quality images and greater detail but may be more expensive and less convenient to use compared to smaller formats like 35mm. By evaluating the intended use and desired outcome, a photographer can make an informed decision on which film format fits their needs.

Furthermore, the type of film format also influences the camera’s technical limitations, including factors like depth of field, lens selection, and exposure settings. It is important to consider how these limitations may impact the desired look and feel of the final images. Careful consideration of the film format can help ensure that the twin lens reflex camera purchased is best suited for the intended use and offers the desired level of technical control and expression.

Availability of replacement parts and accessories

The availability of replacement parts and accessories is an essential factor to consider before purchasing a Twin Lens Reflex camera. These cameras are vintage equipment, and with time, their parts can wear out or become damaged. If the necessary replacement parts and accessories are not available, it becomes challenging to fix the camera when it develops a fault.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that the replacement parts and accessories for the specific Twin Lens Reflex camera model you intend to buy are readily available. This way, you can rest assured that you can fix the camera easily if it develops a fault or if specific accessories wear out. By considering the availability of replacement parts and accessories, you can make a more informed purchasing decision and enjoy using your camera for a longer time without frustrating breakdowns.


What is a twin lens reflex camera?

A twin lens reflex camera is a type of camera that features two identical lenses, one for the viewfinder and one for taking photographs. This type of camera was widely popular in the mid-20th century and was commonly used for documentary and street photography.

The viewfinder of a twin lens reflex camera is located on top of the camera body and allows the user to view the subject through the top lens while composing the shot. The bottom lens is the taking lens and is responsible for capturing the image onto film or a digital sensor. This design provides an accurate representation of the composition and ensures that the image is not reversed as it would be with a single lens reflex camera. Twin lens reflex cameras are known for their simplicity, durability, and high-quality optics.

How does a twin lens reflex camera work?

A twin lens reflex (TLR) camera is a type of camera that uses a pair of lenses to capture an image. The top lens is used for focusing and composing the shot, while the bottom lens takes the actual photograph. The two lenses are connected by a mirror that reflects the image on the top lens to a focusing screen, allowing the user to compose the shot with ease.

When the user presses the shutter release button, the mirror flips up to allow the bottom lens to take the photograph. This results in a higher quality image as there is no movement of the camera during the exposure. TLR cameras were popular in the mid-20th century and are still used by photography enthusiasts today for their unique capabilities and aesthetic appeal.

What are the advantages of using a twin lens reflex camera?

A twin lens reflex (TLR) camera is a type of medium format camera that has two lenses: one for viewing and one for taking photos. The key advantage of using a TLR camera is that because the viewing lens is directly above the taking lens, photographers can maintain eye contact with their subjects while taking photos. This makes it easier to establish a connection with the subject and capture natural and candid moments. Additionally, TLR cameras have a waist-level viewfinder that allows for more flexibility in composition, as photographers can look down at the image rather than holding the camera up to their eye.

Another advantage of using a TLR camera is the quality of the resulting images. Medium format film used in TLR cameras is larger than 35mm film, which allows for higher resolution and more detail in the image. The TLR camera also has a leaf shutter, which allows for faster shutter speeds than other types of cameras, making it ideal for photographing fast-moving subjects. TLR cameras are also quieter and less obtrusive than other types of cameras, making them well-suited for street photography or situations where photographers want to remain inconspicuous.

Are twin lens reflex cameras still used today?

Twin lens reflex cameras (TLR) are not widely used today, but they still have a niche following among film photography enthusiasts. Some professional photographers and hobbyists continue to use TLRs for their unique square format and ability to shoot at waist-level, which can provide a different perspective and composition. However, due to the popularity of digital photography, TLRs are no longer in production and have become a collector’s item.

Final Verdict

The world of twin lens reflex cameras is a fascinating one, full of history, art, and excellent vintage technology. We hope our list of the top ten best twin lens reflex cameras has helped you find the perfect camera that suits your photography needs, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a beginner. Each of the cameras on our list excels in different categories, so carefully weigh the pros and cons before making your final decision. Regardless of your choice, you can be assured that you’ll be acquiring one of the best twin lens reflex cameras available in the market today.

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