Tiny pieces, moments of despair, finding out how the inside of a camera works, coming up with your own design… sound like fun? Read on to find out more about my journey building the Konstruktor camera.
As soon as the Konstruktor was announced I was pretty excited. I had thought about buying a DIY TLR kit a while ago and now this seemed perfect. I had a few piggies burning away in my account so I went for it. Hours after its release the camera was ordered and on its way!
There’s lots to like about this camera, it has N and B settings, you can create easy multiple exposures. It has a tripod thread at the bottom and the lens is detachable with the promise of new lens’ arriving the future, and you can make all this yourself!
I was SO excited when the camera arrived. The box looked great, in keeping with the theme and perfectly laid out. I pretty much got started straight away, noting the 1-2 guide time. I’m not ashamed to say, or even surprised that it took me a fair half hour longer than the guide time. Hey it was my first try!
Overall, most of the assembly was pretty straight forward, although I did have a bit of confusion at times when parts didn’t exactly match up with the pictures in the instructions. That, combined with a bit of fear that being too heavy handed would lead to breaking it all lead to a few delays. I photographed the bits I found particularly fiddly, so you can see what your letting yourself in for.
The lens went together pretty smoothly, once I figured out the codes for the different screws were in the back of the guide. With the viewfinder, I found it quite difficult to click the clear magnifier into place, again worried that I was being too heavy handed but eventually it did click into place.
The second part that I struggled with was the tiny little spring that makes the shutter pop back. Easy enough to get onto the first latch, but pulling it down and sliding it over the piece below took forever! After multiple attempts I used the screwdriver to hold it in position and slide it off with my finger. There’s a spare included as I imagine a lot of people have stretched one out to far.
Once that was complete, the camera came together pretty quickly. Finally it was whole! The mirror set, and the shutter fired on both settings. To be honest I felt a little smug and definitely a bit proud that I had managed to piece the camera together and it was actually working! Despite being self assembled and made from plastic, it felt reasonably sturdy and I liked how it looked.
After looking at various designs on the site I decided to get on with my own. For me this was the best part!! I loved adding all the colours and making it my own. I decided to go for a predominantly striped camera with a few colourful spots. Ultimately I really enjoyed this experience and I can’t wait to run my first roll of film though it. There is definitely something to be said for building your camera yourself. It’s a great way to form a strong bond with a special camera, and for that price you can’t go wrong.
Review of the first roll will follow shortly!