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 #lomography #cheap #recesky #first-try #user-review #paris #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 :)

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomo'Instant Accessory Challenge

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-02-04 in #world #competitions
    Lomo'Instant Accessory Challenge

    Do you love being creative? How about instant photography? If the answer is yes, no or maybe, then we've got a jam happening with your name written all over it! Being the most creative instant camera around, it's difficult to imagine the Lomo'Instant becoming any more awesome. But what would happen if you and your pals put on your thinking caps for a Lomo'Instant accessory brainstorming session of the ages — limitless creative potential! Show us your skills by joining the Lomo'Instant Accessory Challenge!

  • Pushing Boundaries: So I Heard You Like Multiple Exposures

    written by Amber Valentine on 2015-04-11 in #world #tipster
    Pushing Boundaries: So I Heard You Like Multiple Exposures

    My name is Amber Valentine and I have a confession to make: I’m not really a photographer. I have a website full of photographs, a bookshelf full of cameras, film waiting to be developed, and a wall full of framed pictures I’ve taken. Even so, I don’t really consider myself a photographer per se. I think that Lomography is more about the experimentation and the fun of film than it is about the photography, and that experimentation is part of the reason I have embraced Lomography so.

  • Kelly Angood and the Exciting World of Pinhole Photography

    written by jacobs on 2015-04-03 in #people #news #lifestyle
    Kelly Angood and the Exciting World of Pinhole Photography

    The founder of The Pop-Up Pinhole Co., Kelly Angood, has been handcrafting pinhole cameras from scratch since 2010. After developing a huge online following from one of her early pinhole designs, she embarked on a mission to design an affordable, functional pinhole camera that could be constructed all in the comfort of your own home — and it had to look great too! Following an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, her mission was realized. Read on to see how it happened and what's next for Kelly and The Pop-Up Pinhole Company!

  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Storytelling with Petzvals: Alex Timmermans and the Art of Collodion

    written by jacobs on 2015-04-03 in #people #lifestyle
    Storytelling with Petzvals: Alex Timmermans and the Art of Collodion

    Not long after Alex Timmermans purchased his first digital camera at the turn of the century, he quickly realized the trappings of digital photography couldn't fulfill his personal photographic desires. He then began searching for a more challenging process — one that wasn't so predictable. His journey eventually landed him back at the roots of analogue photography, specifically employing the wet plate collodion process using original Petzval lenses. This antique photographic process found in him a renewed inspiration and has since become his passion, which is evident in both his words and his images.

  • Double Exposure Snaps with the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-07-10 in #gear
    Double Exposure Snaps with the Lomo'Instant

    One of the great things about the Lomo'Instant Camera is how versatile and creative it is, yet super easy to play with. Want to create beautiful unexpected multiple exposure shots? No problem — hit the MX switch and a ta-da! Your analogue experience instantly has a brand new world of possibilities!

  • The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens at the Lunar New Year Parade

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-06-13 in #gear #lifestyle
    The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens at the  Lunar New Year Parade

    Since Lomography launched its new Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens project on Kickstarter, we've been seeing a variety of pictures, from images of snow monkeys in Japan to behind-the-scenes shots of New York Fashion Week. Many of these pictures were shot with digital cameras, but we've yet to see how the Petzval 58 performs on an analog Canon Rebel camera loaded with black and white, and x-pro film. Join us on a trip through the heart of New York's Chinatown during the Lunar New Year Parade.

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Stephen Dowling Takes the LC-A 120 to Malta

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-07-08 in #people #locations #lomoamigos
    Stephen Dowling Takes the LC-A 120 to Malta

    Aside from his pictures, there is more to admire about Stephen Dowling. His extensive knowledge and insight into film photography and cameras are inspiring. Dowling, a BBC editor and analog photographer, tested the LC-A 120 camera and became a LomoAmigo last year. He has since rekindled ties with the Lomo LC-A 120, and brought it on a trip to Malta.

  • So here’s what we’ve been working on: an all new

    written by recurving on 2015-02-03 in #world #news
    So here’s what we’ve been working on: an all new

    For the last year we've been working on the next version of Lomography. We based our work on the feedback you’ve given us over the years and we wanted to share it as early as possible with you and can’t wait to hear what you think. Just one warning first: it is still in development and things can break. All the photos, comments, likes, homes and everything else were transferred as of October 16th, 2014. So anything you do on won't be reflected on and vice versa. Once we are done with testing, everything you did here will be deleted again. So this is a big playground for you to explore.

  • Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-06 in #gear #reviews
    Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    There are quite a few perks that come with working for a film photography company, and the best perk of all is testing out the latest cameras. I can remember buying my LC-A back in 2009 and being really inspired to shoot film again. When the LC-A 120 came along, I couldn't wait to try it out around London. Join me as I test out this super medium format beauty.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-05-02 in #gear #news
    First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    In case you missed it, Lomography has just unveiled the latest member of its Art Lens family: the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens, which boasts of the same optics that the legendary LC-A camera has and brings the classic Lomographic style not only to analog but also to the digital platform. Over the next few days we'll be sharing with you the first impressions of and photographs taken by members of the Lomography team, who had gone out and put the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 to the test. First up is graphic designer Andrea Cislaghi, who coupled this lens with the Bessa R2 and Sony Alpha 7.

  • Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-17 in #gear #news #lifestyle #tipster
    Painting Delights: Going Wild with the Pixelstick

    Ever since light painting was invented, it inspired artists from all around the globe to magical creations that capture hidden movements and reinvent the world we live in. "Life is a fairy tale, stay wild little child!" is what they want to tell us. Bringing light to life became the next challenge for anyone rigged with a film camera and a creative mind. Now, how can you take your analogue light paintings from the ordinary to the outstanding? After the carriage came the car, so we definitely need some spacy inventions to follow the old school light pen. So here it is, our new best friend: The Pixelstick!

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.