pentacon six tl waist level viewfinder from above

I have been casually shooting with a Pentacon Six TL for over 10 years. When I was in high school, I discovered the existence of the camera through a photographer online who used one, Alana Celii. At that point, I was used to learning about a camera, researching it, and finding it too expensive to buy. The Pentacon Six TL sold on electronic bay dot com for only $99.

After placing my order, I waited months for it only for the camera to arrive with broken mirrors. I sent it back to the Czech Republic return address, sent more money, and waited. A month later, I had a working camera.

Pentacon Six TL was manufactured in Germany in the late 1900s. It's a single-lens reflex camera, an SLR, which is uncommon in the world of medium format. The camera body is made of metal and (p?)leather, and it feels like a clunky old machine to handle. I really love that.

Another fun thing about the Pentacon Six is that the waist viewfinder doesn't have a light meter, so you have to either use a handheld one or guess exposures yourself. Shooting without a light meter has made me a better photographer, in an unconscious, beautiful way.

Since it is an old camera, my Pentacon Six is not without its issues. The film counter doesn't work, so I count in my head and sometimes end up losing precious photos taken after the film was done.