Thrift stores aside, this is probably the cheapest way to dip a toe into the world of film photography: a build-your-own camera for $35. What could possibly go wrong?
Seasoned analog shooter Kyle McDougall decided to splash out $35 on the Konstruktor F Camera from Lomography ($39.90 on B&H Photo), a kit that can be assembled in as little as an hour to create a 35mm film camera that, it seems, may or may not work.
Lomography claims that the Konstruktor “produces wonderful sharp and vibrant photos” and while the vibrancy isn’t put to the test given McDougall’s choice of the eminently affordable Fomapan 400 black and white film, you can judge the sharpness quite well from this video, despite the YouTube compression.
Of course, this camera isn’t just about the resulting images; instead, it’s about the joy of building something yourself and getting a unique insight into how a 35mm camera is put together. To me, $35 for the experience of the construction alone seems worth the cost, even if the winder ends up being a little unreliable which according to the experience of other customers, is not necessarily the case.
Have you built one of these cameras? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.