This interesting little 620 camera was a Christmas present from my mother, who loves yard sales and second-hand stores, and knows a bargain when she sees one. I doubt she paid more than $5 for it, which is more or less what they're worth. It's somewhere between a twin lens reflex and a box camera, the top lens is just a viewer like on the Voigtlander brilliant but the f8 lens actually does focus (on this model anyway). Three aperture settings, f8, f11, and f16.
I should point out right away that there were quite a few variations of the Duaflex and Duaflex II, both here and in the UK, and not all models had a focusing taking lens. This is as close to a top-of-the-line model as you'll see for this camera, with not only 3 aperture choices and a focusing taking lens, but a double-exposure prevention button. Oooh!
Let's see, what else... It's made of aluminum and plastic (I don't think it's actual bakelite), with molded plastic sides but leatherette on the front and film door. The film goes in the bottom in a swingout clip, takeup spool goes on top, and you advance frames with the trusty old red window method. As I mentioned there is a double-exposure lock, you need to press in the tab beneath the shutter release simultaneously with the shutter release itself. Meant for Kodacolor, Verichrome, and Plus X films, as stated on the front of the camera, which would put the shutter at about 1/30 I believe.
If you couldn't tell by looking at it, the Duaflex falls into the 'toy camera' category, by virtue of its simplicity and overall... cheapness. The f8 lens is very soft at the edges, especially wide open, and with some interesting distortion as well (visible in the sample). Reasonably sharp in the middle. Perfect if you are looking for that kind of effect, glad to know I have this as an option in my arsenal. Overall a fun toy.
Cleaned it up a little with Windex, it's in pretty fine shape.
Tips & Tricks
The viewer is not a flat glass screen like on a real TLR but a bubble lens like on the Brownie Hawkeye except bigger. A little hard to look into from any angle except dead-on.
620 means you need to respool 120 film onto the smaller 620 spools, which though relatively simple, is more trouble than most people think it's worth and is probably one of the reasons these are available pretty cheap. There is actually a notation inside stating that 'this camera will not accept 120 film', I think Kodak did that on purpose so you would be forced to buy their 620 size. At any rate, you will definitely need to respool (see links below), and don't forget to ask for the spool back when you drop off your film!
- All about Duaflexes at nwmagnum
- The manual for the Duaflex I, not so much necessary, it's a simple camera
- Here are no less than SIX different ways to use 120 film in a 620 camera