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TLR cameras–these Twin Lens Reflex machines have a very unique functionality that makes them appealling to so many people. You need to look down and into the camera as you shoot from the hip or around the center of your chest. Then you’ll need to set the exposure and shoot. These cameras are beautiful, fun and make photography a very different experience.

While there are loads and loads of cool vintage TLR cameras that you can get for cheap, there are also some more modern versions. Here are some that are very worthy of note.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography LCA 120 black and white images (5 of 11)

Film–the beauty of it has inspired apps like Instagram and loads of profiles that digital photographers think can be easily adapted to mimic the look of the celluloid and chemical reaction’s results. You can probably say this about color photography, but there is no way it can be said about black and white. For what it’s worth, black and white film looks beautiful and is much more organic than most results that you’d get from a digital camera.

Here are a bunch of black and white films that we think you’ll fall in love with.

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All images by Klive Lai. Used with permission.

Many photographers try to find a way to express love and connections through their images: and Klive Lai is no exception. But his interpretation is much more extreme and in many ways beautiful. That’s the idea behind UnQuarantinable Love–a photo project inspired by thriller disaster films that looks much like Chernobyl.

Photographer Klive Lai comes from Taiwan, which he describes as a beautiful and lovely island country on the Pacific Ocean. Klive is the type of photographer whose creativity has evolved and formed from other things before he started shooting. “I was a guitarist in an underground band. Naturally, things related to arts are my fondest interest.” he tells us. “That might be one of the greatest thing that influences me as a photographer.”

Klive is currently smitten with Lomography and analog cameras since he feels that it makes him bolder in his shooting. “I really enjoy experimenting with different combinations of lens and films and give birth to endless possibilities of photography creations. I love to record the daily happenings with my analog camera, and find great pleasure from the romantic atmosphere of shooting with films.”

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Lomography already has a Petzval lens designed specifically for portraiture at 85mm, but this time around they’re designing one with a closer to normal field of view. Today, the company is introducing the Lomography Petzval 58mm lens, and they’re kicking it off with a Kickstarter.

For those of you not in the know, the Petzval lens was so hot not only because of the beautiful swirly bokeh, but also for the excellent colors. In fact, it has some of the best colors that we’ve seen.

With a minimum aperture at f1.9, the lens also has a special new feature called the Bokeh Control Ring. This allows you to change the type of bokeh that you get from the image. It uses the Waterhouse aperture system which requires you to literally put the aperture key into the lens via a slot. You’ll get a bunch of these keys to go down to f16.

The lens is available in Canon EF or Nikon F mounts in either brass or a black finish. More info and images can be found below or on the company’s Microsite.

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Cinestill photo

If you had asked me years ago if I would be reviewing film in the year 2015, I probably would have laughed in your face. There is no way that a couple of years ago that any editor would have thought that a company would be making new film products. But indeed, there have been. CineStill, founded by the Brothers Wright photography team, have repacked Kodak cinema film by taking off a layer that makes it safe for typical C-41 processing. For CineStill 800T, the company gave us ISO 800 film that is Tungsten balanced–which means that it’s best used with a flash or daylight.

In my personal experience, ISO 800 film has been very grainy except when it’s Kodak Portra and pushed a stop. But in this case, CineStill has given us the finest grain 800 film I’ve ever seen.

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CineStill popped up a couple of years ago as a special company repackaging Kodak movie film into a still film format. They exploded in growth, and are currently flourishing along with many of the other newer film-based companies. One of their newest emulsions is CineStill 50D–an ISO 50 film that is daylight balanced. Obviously at ISO 50 you’ll generally need a flash or lots of natural light to get the best photos. For the past couple of months, we’ve been testing the film along with lights that have come in for review and also along trips.

Trust me when I say that very few films want me to get back into film shooting and ditch digital cameras completely; Kodak Portra is currently my favorite and king of them all. But CineStill 50D is doing a great job and is almost as good.

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