|Seagull 4, Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) 6x6cm roll film camera, c1964+|
This Seagull 4 TLR traces its ancestry back to the earlier Shanghai TLR of 1959. The similarity to the Rolleiflexes of the time is no accident, as it had pretensions in that direction, right down to logo surround on top of the viewfinder. The seagull name was adopted in 1964 when the cameras were offered for export. Whilst the camera isn't in the same league as a Rolleiflex, it isn't a bad effort build wise, and there are some very nice images to be found on the internet taken with them. Our example isn't painted black inside the lens barrel, which is an elementary oversight, and one that caused problems in the photograph at right, as the bare metal reflected badly. The shutter seems a little slack and whimsical, but also appears to be accurate and quiet. Comparing it against our Rolleiflex 3.5 of similar vintage, the viewfinder is significantly duller and harder to focus than the Rolleiflex, but it didn't come with the price tag either. After this model came the 4A which brought a crank handle advance lever. Amazingly, the Seagull 4A remains in production to this day (March 2009), though restyled and decidedly enhanced - it is now, unless anyone cares to correct me, likely to be the last TLR in production.
This example was rescued as a donation from Mr. H. West in October 2009, whilst battered, the poor old thing has been straightened up and cleaned and is now serviceable once more.
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Body No. 4-63106334
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