Camera: Peerless Flektar twin lens reflex (6x6 on 120 film)
Lens: ROW Pololyt 75mm f/3.5 (Triplet formula)
Film: Kodak Plus-X 125 ASA (black and white, expiration date 12-2009)
Mini-review of the setup:
Camera: This one is in fairly rough condition, so take this with a grain of salt as something that was cared for more would likely be an entirely different experience. Overall the camera is simple with few controls, thus is easy to operate if you are at all familiar with general camera controls.
The viewfinder pops up easily with a little tab on the back to free it from the closed position. It's not a very bright view, I'm sure the mirror is degraded and could be replaced with new. Also, it seems it is a plain ground glass so the corners get dark quickly as ambient light levels drop. Still, it is fairly easy to focus.
Loading film is relatively straight forward, the door opens with a simple clasp on the bottom and it's lever wind, so you just have to pop the lever out to slot the new film spool into place. There is a small carrier that can rotate out to help this, which is a surprising feature and makes it quite easy to load overall, as easy as any other TLR for sure.
This example has a slightly bent focusing lever which interacts with the aperture adjustment lever. Not a deal breaker but not as it should be.
The shutter control is self-cocking, but I found that the short lever actually used to fire the shutter is placed in such a way that it felt like I *had* to move the camera. I tried using my thumb, forefinger and could not get it tripped without the feeling that I would see camera shake in the movements.
Lens: ROW is not a well known name in photographic circles, and the Polylot label attached to this piece of glass will not return many results on a web search. It's a simple lens, a triplet, the design goes back many years with the first one showing up in 1893 and has been used for anything from large telescopes to cell phone camera lenses to lenses for slide projectors.
The shutter is simple, with three speeds. 100th, 50th, 25th of a second and B. Here is a weak link compared to the later or more expensive twin lens reflexes, you will need to be more conscious of film speed and matching that to your lighting scenario.
I do not have any filters that fit this camera, although I am sure there are some slip-on filters that would work.
Film: Plus-X has been one of my favorites for 35mm due to relatively low grain, great tonal response (skin tones always seem right, and skies hold some contrast between clouds and skies) so I was excited to try this in 120 format for this day's session.