Interesting camera, but you get what you pay for
Ok, so I have just constructed my first Konstruktor. First of all, I would say this is actually a pretty challenging project in places-it took me more like two hours than one hour to assemble. The screws are very small and you need to really keep an eye on them. Fortunately there are one or two spares of each. The plastic feels cheap, and the design tolerances seem fairly loose, which in this case is both a good and a bad thing. The hardest part however is assembling the whole body-three main parts- together. At this stage, the tripod screw on the bottom is far more trouble than it’s worth-mine continually fell out whilst I was assembling it. The trigger mechanism and frame counter are also easily the weakest parts of the camera. The assembly of the trigger mechanism is tricky because the top parts are still loose when the camera is assembled and you really need to pay attention that the trigger is ‘engaged’ at the point at which you assemble the camera. The tiny interior spring that operates the settings between ‘bulb’ and ‘moment’ (‘normal’) is also a bit of a bugger to be honest, though again it’s nice to see that there’s a spare. The frame counter, so far as I can see, is next to useless-simply far too loose to be reliable, and easily the single worst part of the whole thing. I’m thinking of glueing the parts of mine together. The lens hood is also fairly annoying to pull up and push down.
The good point is that the camera is fairly easy to disassemble again if something goes wrong. The trigger wasn’t firing when I first assembled mine, but I got this fixed. However it is not really a quality camera, more a fun little project-you get what you pay for. I have no illusions that it will last a lifetime or take great pictures. The simplicity of the camera is a bit of an eye opener though-there are Lomo cameras which are no more sophisticated internally, but which cost three times as much.
Corresponding to its happy but straightforwardly junky nature, I’ve loaded the Konstruktor with cheap ‘junk’ film-a 24 shot roll of ISO 400 drugstore colour Kodak film that I bought last year in the USA. It’s on probation with that until I see the results. Expect actual pictures soon.