Affordable Lomography with the Recesky TLR Camera!


I'm a Lomo lover who always had a problem with the price. It is true that digital cameras are expensive, but in the long term they become very cheap, since you don't need to buy film or develop it. Nowadays, this is not a problem anymore. Get to know what I think about the Recesky TLR camera after the jump!

It is also true that we can find Lomo cameras not that expensive, but I wanted something really cheap because the sight of films and development scared me a little bit. Not knowing if something nice would come out of it, and having to pay for that uncertainty wasn’t something I was keen on. Yes, I know Lomography is all about that. But I wanted to be positively surprised, after seeing all the amazing photos we can see here. I tried for a long time to find a camera that could be at the same time cheap and have all the fun Lomo cameras have.

So I kept looking for that cheap camera that could give me all I wanted while falling more in love each day with Lomography and the community. One day, while reading some articles, I stepped upon the Recesky TLR review and decided to give it a try. How fun could it be to do it myself?

The camera was being sold in eBay for a very cheap price, so even if I wasn’t going to be able to do it myself, it wouldn’t be such a loss. What happened was completely different! I got the camera in one week and assembled it quite easly with all the pictures and instructions.

I went out shooting the next day, and took the film (Fuji superia 200) to a very professional and not very expensive photolab in Paris. The results were incredible.

The camera doesn’t have many features, not even the long exposure mode or the “cloudy sky” mode. And though the reviews I read said otherwise, it has a really nice focus as you can see from my results. I adore the blurry edges and the way you look upon it and not through a little hole to shoot.

It’s all class!

I definitely recommend this camera to those who want to start the Lomo path. Assemble it, enjoy it, love it!!!

written by joaomiguelsantoscunha on 2012-04-26 in #reviews #recesky #paris #first-try #user-review #lomography #cheap #tlr-camera


  1. signate
    signate ·

    Looks like tilt shift!

  2. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

    I love my Diana, but I don't think I would be happy with a lens that was that soft around the edges. Great article though.

  3. rrohe
    rrohe ·

    Great article! I really enjoy my Recesky, though it's been some time since I've shot with it. If you enjoy the TLR feel, you might consider looking into a Yashica 44. It's a 127 tlr camera that can easily be converted to shoot 35mm film. It shoots the sprockets. But, if you can live with that it's a great manual tlr.

  4. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @rrohe have to give a try one day. i love TLR cameras

  5. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I bought one of these Recesky TLRs about the same time I bought a Black Bird Fly for $125. I sold my Black Bird Fly because I liked the Recesky more. :) I liked that I could focus the Recesky and I put it together with my own hands. The Black Bird Fly was good but only zone focus.

  6. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @neanderthalis i was actually thinking about buy a Blackbird, could you tell me your thoughts about it? see my albuns, i just tried BlackandWhite film in the recesky, and i love it

  7. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    The Blackbird is a nice camera. I have seen @rrohe using it lately. The top lens does not focus. Only used for framing the pictures. The focus is zoned like an LC-A+, like 1 m, 3m...etc. The film loading takes some getting used to and getting the film in uses a lot of the negative because of how the film wraps around in the camera. You will lose 2-3 shots each roll. It has a masks to make square, 36x24 tall, or with sprocket shots. it can do multiple exposure, had sunny/ cloudy and bulb settings. The Blackbird is almost entirely plastic. It was a nice camera, but I was not happy with it for the cost. I think they may be found for cheaper now. I do not want to discourage you if your heart is set on this camera. All of our tastes are different. I just preferred the Recesky for 35mm TLR. Later I bought the Lubitel 166+, it is expensive but you can use either 35 or 120. I could have eye-piece focusing and I can get crystal clear pictures when that is what I want.
    That is a very nice Black & White album too!

  8. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @neanderthalis i'm really new to this, so the Lubitel 166+ allows you to focus like the recesky? cause that is something i love about the recesky

  9. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Yes, the Lubitel does allow you to focus. There is also a camera called the Seagull. These are modern versions of classic cameras. There are also Rolliflex and Yashica cameras that you can find online or camera shops. They will often be refurbished and some will have light meters. As far as I know, only the Recesky, Lubitel 166+, and the Blackbird can use 135 (35mm) film. All the others will require 120 film unless you modify the camera.
    Bonne chance avec ta nouvel appareil photo! J'aime ton style.

  10. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @neanderthalis thank you a lot, there so much i have to learn

  11. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    really great refiew and images, definatily need to pick one of these up, like you i hate spend alot of money on lomo cameras

  12. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Ask lots of questions, it is ok. We are here to share.

  13. rrohe
    rrohe ·

    Like @neanderthalis was saying, the Blackbird can be expensive. It took me about 4 months of trolling eBay, but I managed to get one for so cheap that I felt badly for the seller... however, I paid for it and have been shooting with it over the last month or so. The zone focusing takes a bit of getting used to, but if you're familiar w/ the likes of the LC-A or the Diana Mini it's pretty much the same. Except it has more finely tuned increments so you're not stuck wit h just 0-1m, 1m-3m, 3m to infinity.

    Speaking of eBay, you can find a decently priced Lubitel as well. It won't have the 35mm kit like the boxed one does, but if you dig on Google or even on the tipsters on here you'll find a DIY fix for the 35mm issue. I myself am looking into dipping my feet into medium format. Thinking a Yashicamat 124g. I like the idea of having an on-board meter.

    The Yashica I mentioned earlier will focus like the Recesky, you just have to remove some tiny screws and a little bar to load a roll of 35mm. However, you have to unload it in total darkness as it won't rewind.

  14. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    @rrohe The Yashicamat is a fine machine. I hope you get your hands on one. I was going to get one refurbished by , but my wife surprised me and bought the Lubitel 166+ because she saw it did 35mm too. A convenience if 120 became scarce. I use it mostly for medium format, but it is nice to know it is there for 35 if 120 not available. I would still like to get my hands on that Yashicamat though. I really like medium format despite the cost increase in my area. Good luck!

  15. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @rrohe thanks for the advice. for now i think i will keep experimenting with my recesky, and one day maybe i'll buy a lubitel, from Lomogaphy, so i don't have problems about 35 film, though i hate the price.

  16. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @rrohe i also found a yashica 635 that works with 120 and 35 film, but the prices are scary

  17. rrohe
    rrohe ·

    @joaomiguelsantoscunha another thing to consider is an exakta or a praktica. they're slr's that have an accessory waist level finder. strictly 35mm.

    @neanderthalis thanks for the info, just emailed mr. hama about a 124g. once i start shooting med, i'll likely stock up on arista ultra 100 (fomapan 100) and just develop at home like my 35. but, should med go the way of the buffalo i've got a cache of 35 film to last me... not nearly long enough, but i can dream, right?

  18. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @neanderthalis @rrohe i wrote this article because i found lomography, nowdays, to be a little to expensive. I really do, that's why I prefer 35 film, cause first it makes our life much easier when loading and unloading, second it gives us more shots for a cheaper price

  19. carlota_nonnumquam
    carlota_nonnumquam ·

    I have a Recesky TLR also, I love it so much :) TLR's = endless love! Unfortunately, I bought a second hand Lubitel 2 and while the buyer guaranteed everything was in perfect working order the focus is completely off and it doesn't seem to focus at infinity :( @joaomiguelsantoscunha I agree that the Lubitel 166+ is too expensive but if you keep on writtting articles you will be able to get it cheaper with your piggy points :)

  20. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    35 film is fun and much cheaper than 120. This hobby can be addicting and expensive if you get out of hand like I have. but the most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy your results. One of my favorite cameras was from a drugstore that I purchased for under $10. It has a flash and is fixed focus. I love it because it fits in my pocket and can go everywhere.

  21. bunit
    bunit ·

    I definitely want one! I love the blurry edges - as others say its kind of like lens distortion. And it seems to produce the best colours. I have seen one image from a Recesky where I have not been amazed by the colour.

  22. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @bunit I do reccomend this camera, cause it's really cheap and fun. the colours really depend on the film you use, and the light. so i would recommend only Iso 200 ou 400, but if it is a really sunny day why not to try a 100. I haven't done it yet, but i will.

  23. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @bunit I invite you to have a look at my two albums, i tried a 200 fujifilm superia for colour, and a 400 kodak film fo BW.

  24. berndtotto
    berndtotto ·

    Recesky TLR ? Had to google that ... but it seems to be the same as my "Gakkenflex". Nice camera and it was already fun, assembling it.

  25. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @berndtotto yes, i guess is quite the same camera.

  26. djramsay
    djramsay ·

    love this camera, my first roll back from the lab blew me away!

  27. weleasewoger72
    weleasewoger72 ·

    Am I the only person who can't make the shutter work on this camera? I assembled the camera correctly then noticed only 2 parts were moving in the shutter part. Two move fine but the actual shutter doesn't move at all. It looks like the mechanism that is supposed to move the shutter is not connecting to the shutter correctly. Does that make any sense?

  28. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @weleasewoger72 the first time I had a problem with the shutter too. but i saw some online films that showed how to do it, and then it was easy. are you sure you have all the springs in the correct place?

  29. djramsay
    djramsay ·

    @weleasewoger72 I noticed the springs were named incorrectly in the instructions and also spent ages bending and stretching the springs to get the correct tension

  30. weleasewoger72
    weleasewoger72 ·

    I went on youtube and corrected the problem. Thanks for the advice Joao! djramsay - that was the problem!

  31. joaomiguelsantoscunha
    joaomiguelsantoscunha ·

    @weleasewoger72 hope you can now have fun with the camera, it's a really nice camera. @djramsay i find the spring in this camera to be a pain! until you get how it works it's a nightmare, but then everything gets easy.

  32. djramsay
  33. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    these are cool :)

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