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The Contraption.. the wonderful world of TTV

My Ansco Rediflex viewfinder arrived in the mail yesterday. Soon as I opened it, I started on my dark box contraption, to marry the viewfinder to my DSLR (thus cutting out the excess light between the two cameras and the final image.

There’s many different designs I have seen and heard about for this contraption, but I simply used the box the camera arrived in. Measured and cut it to size, Joined with thick duct tape, reinforced on both inside and outside. I used my DSLR lens cap to size the hole at the top of the box (for dslr to sit in), and then measured the rectangle needed for the viewfinder lens to show through. I added a flap at the bottom that I would be able to open and close, to give a bit of extra support to the base of the contraption, and allow me to walk around with it.

Then I covered the entire outside with black contact paper. Mainly to look a less like an old box held together with duct tape, but also to cut out light coming through the corners :)

And this is what it all looked like in the end:

and this is my first creation, completed last night. Lots of confusion with movement and alignment, a sore neck and arm, and a lot of swearing later, I finally worked out what I was doing haha.

Really looking forward to this weekend and taking this whole lot of fun out on the streets with me :)


  • Kitsmumma
    Kitsmummaabout 5 years ago

    Andrew, that looks great, so much better than my nappy san container (hey, it works!!).
    Looking forward to seeing more TTV’s from you :D

  • Thanks so much Sylvia! If not for your guidance to begin with, I would have probably given up on this potential project, so I thank you for that!! :)
    Looking forward to taking this out on the streets and getting looked at strangely haha!

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • blueeyesjus
    blueeyesjusabout 5 years ago

    Brilliant first result my friend. I’ve always wanted to buy one of these cameras and try out some TTV, can I ask were you got it? Oh and thanks for posting this tutorial, I love seeing how people improvise, I spent a good few hours trying to make home made snoots the other day lol

  • Hey thanks Jus! I got it on ebay mate, it came from america, and was about $30 with postage. They are slowly creeping up in price as time goes on too. There were a fair few on there when I got this, about 2 weeks ago. Lol, our good old home made shoots! Oh, I just remembered the food dye set up shots.. I’ll take them tomorrow and post for you, sorry mate, completely forgot about it!

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • I just realised you wrote snoot and not shoot! What did you make it out of mate? I was considering buying one for portrait work.

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • Bryan Freeman
    Bryan Freemanabout 5 years ago

    Awesome Parmi, wonderful inspiration….. makes me want to go out and buy one of them thar old fangled contraptions…ya hear! ;-))

  • Haha, mate you never fail to get a laugh out of me! I say do it!! Get one, make the contraption and get ready for the awesomeness!! :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • midzing
    midzingabout 5 years ago

    cant wait to see the results Andrew,,,

  • Thanks Wendy, I’m keen as hell this weekend! :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • blueeyesjus
    blueeyesjusabout 5 years ago

    No sweat on the food dye shots mate, I actually attempted some myself with mixed results, it was more difficult than I thought. I’ll have another bash I think and take some pics of the set-up as well.

  • I agree mate, a LOT harder than I thought it would be too. I found focus to be my main problem, and being able to get the dye to move around enough to get a range of colour, and stay still enough to capture effectively. Pretty much touch and go the whole time. Not used to that stress with it haha. Would be cool to compare our set ups!!

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • Maria  Moro
    Maria Moroabout 5 years ago

    Go Andrew….. you’re an inspiration…. man your mind never stops thinking….

  • Haha, thanks my friend! I was inspired in turn by this place. Hard to keep the ideas contained with so much great work popping up all the time :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • scottimages
    scottimagesabout 5 years ago

    You’ve come up with a great little contraption here Andrew….. looks very professional! When you take it out & about people will be wondering why you’re taking photos of the inside of a box!
    well done mate :))

  • Ahh I think the photos may have made it look a little more professional than it is!! It seems to do the trick though, real test will be out in the streets though. I’m still trying to work out where a sock would be needed in this! Haha..

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • SofaKingWeird
    SofaKingWeirdabout 5 years ago

    Very nice Andrew, looks like fun. It’s always fun trying to figure new things out. Good luck and have fun.

  • Thanks a lot mate! Definitely is a lot of fun. This new toy will keep me very busy for the rest of the year :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • MoxieNox
    MoxieNoxabout 5 years ago

    This is nifty cool!!! Thanks for sharing your secret with us.. I am definitely going to try this. Good luck and have fun with this new toy!

  • Makes it so worthwhile knowing its making others get out there and do the same! Thanks so much Melissa, it’s a lot of fun. :)

    – Andrew Paranavitana

  • MoxieNox
    MoxieNoxabout 5 years ago

    I’ve been waiting for simple instruction on how to set up something like this because I came across an Argus seventy-five camera at a thrift store couple months ago. I collect old cameras.. so, this is perfect and simple. I’m hitting the shoe store to look for a box that will fit. Thanks again, I cannot wait to experiment. So much to do, so little time.. argggh!

  • Oh that’s so cool! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

    – Andrew Paranavitana