One of the best “toy” cameras
The Blackbird, Fly is in short a Twin-Reflex 35mm Plastic Camera. It is unique for several reasons.
1) It’s a successor to a classic! It seems the Blackbird, Fly is considered the Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) version of the classic Holga, which is in turn a successor to the Diana, both of which have a real cult following. Some call the Holga a “toy” camera, which is of course a bit of a misnomer. Many have relied on it to take beautiful photographs. Yet the Holga is also known for its unpredictability, as every one is just a little different. Most have light leaks, and those leaks are not going to be the same between any two Holgas. This unpredictability contributes to much of their charm, and was taken to the extreme by some photographers as it became a popular camera for “shooting from the hip”. Many Holga mods have also become very popular.
2) It’s a TLR! The Blackbird, Fly, is a Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera, meaning that there are two objective lenses: One for taking the photograph, and one for the waist-level viewfinder. Behind the viewfinder lens is a mirror at a 45-degree angle (hence the term “reflex”), which reflects upwards through a matter focusing screen surrounded by a hood/enclosure used to block some light and reduce reflection on the screen. This creates an image on the screen identical to what will be captured on film through the photographic lens.
3) It uses 35mm film! Most TLR cameras use 120 format film. Although 120 film is very cool, it can be much harder to find and even harder to get developed. With 35mm film you can just drop it off at the nearest 1-hour photo!
4) 3 formats! You can shoot in 3 formats (using provided masks): normal 35mm (24mm x 36mm), square format (24mm x 24mm), and large square format (36mm x 36mm).
5) It’s VERY reasonable! Many TLRs are hundreds of dollars, and although some of them are worth it, the Blackbird, Fly is incredibly affordable! It’s an amazing TLR for hobbyists to creative professionals to everyone in between.
6) Colors, colors, colors! Seriously, how many cameras have multiple color options?
Check out the photos below that were taken with the Blackbird, Fly.
Apertures: f/7 (cloudy) and f/11 (sun)
Shutter speeds: 1/125 and B (Bulb mode — to let in as much light as you want)
Lens: Wide-angle 33mm lens
Focus: Visual distance estimates 0.8, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 10, ∞
Additional features: Yes, you can take multiple exposures!, attach optional flash
OK, enough words. Here are some photos!
This is a Flickr feed of the most recent photos taken with the Blackbird, Fly camera:
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