4/20/2016

Sure Shot - Build Your Own 35mm Konstruktor Camera from Lomography at Qwerkity

This is a review which has been a long time coming, but as a full time photographer, I wanted to give this DIY SLR camera a proper test run. Sent from online gift retailer Qwerkity, the Build Your Own Camera Kit was the exact push I needed to start shooting with film once again. Well. Once I'd put it together, that is...

I'm not going to lie, as a total and utter camera nerd, I was so excited for this parcel to arrive. I knew it wasn't going to be easy to construct, but believed that being a photographer and having a scientist for a boyfriend meant we'd have a pretty good chance at swiftly working our way through it. Oh, how wrong I was! But the struggle was most certainly worth it!

The camera itself is meant to take between 1 - 2 hours to build depending on your skill level, and comes with everything you need to build it - including a screwdriver. We ended up constructing it over three days, because if we hadn't, one of us would have ended up sleeping on the sofa! The best piece of advice I can give to anyone making it is to have everything set out on a tray. We spent so much time looking for lost screws and the tiny, invisible spring when I stupidly dropped the box containing them. But my clumsy nature aside, the kit is designed to be as fool proof as possible - I think a big part of our problem was massively overthinking things.

What I loved most about the build was that it demystified the picture capturing process. There was something so wonderful (albeit fiddly) about snapping all the plastic pieces free and compiling them into a rugged, functional, magical box. For someone who is new to photography, or who has only ever worked using digital cameras, it helps you to understand the mechanics and process to shooting with film, and really get to grips with the fundamentals of photography.

This video made by the people at Lomography was also really useful. Whilst it comes with a pretty coherent set of instructions, it's easy to get yourself lost as with any sort of kit project, pieces can frequently look alike. Fitting in the tiny spring will forever haunt my dreams - if you do attempt to build it, use a needle or similar to hook it across. Without a doubt, that was the single most frustrating part of the entire process, but it made the end result even sweeter when we got the roll of film returned to us.

When it came to using the built camera, we were on much familiar territory. There were various ways you could get creative, whether choosing to use it's bulb option for long exposures, or by not winding the film on to shoot multiple exposures. The photos below are from the roll of film shot through it, with the only editing being boosting contrast and cropping for composition. I was really surprised that something I made actually had the ability to capture these images and was ecstatic holding the negatives up to the light - something which I've not had the chance to do in quite a while!







I absolutely loved the whole process, and it's certainly made me want to dig out my other 35mm cameras and start experimenting with them again.

As a final cute touch, the camera kit came with a set of stickers so that you could really make the camera your own. This really is the perfect gift for anyone who has a love for photography, no matter what level they're at. Even as a professional photographer, the whole process made me reevaluate the way I approach projects, and has made me remember just why I fell in love with photography in the first place.


Until next time,

Diana xx

*Camera kit was kindly sent for review. All opinions are my own.

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos unless otherwise stated. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

4 comments

  1. Awww I love this idea. The nerd in me is intrigued, and I am now thinking it would be the perfect gift for a photographer friend. Great!
    www.curvesandcurl.co.uk

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    1. It's even on sale at the moment! :) It was so much fun to work with. x

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  2. I know someone who would love this. I suspect I would struggle. The pictures are awesome.

    www.somethinginthewayshemoves.me

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It certainly took a lot of patience, but was definitely worth it in the end. :) x

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