A self assembly camera that will blow your mind and not your bank account
A few months ago, there I was browsing the net looking to satiate my camera addiction and I ran across ndroo's blog and more specifically his review of the Gakkenflex TLR. Wow, wait a sec, double Wow. Where do you get this camera, where did it come from, will I be getting another letter from my bank manager soon telling me that they want my credit card back.
I had to have this camera. You see the Gakkenflex was a kit camera that come s with the Gakken magazine in Japan. Gakken had produced other kits from telescopes, terimins and previously a stereo pinhole camera. now thy were trying their hand at a TLR. Obviously other cameras had stirred their imagination and creative juices. The Gakkenflex TLR was born.
After checking several sites around the web I got a decent price on ebay. there are sites based in a japan and even a couple in in the states but the ebay seller though based in japan was offering the best price including postage. €40 was a great price and it wouldn’t upset my bank manager either. I progressed from stressing out my local financial institutions to harnessing the good people of the Irish postal service and 10 days later I had my Gakkenflex in my hand.
So with a Disney movie in the DVD player to distract the kids, I sat down to assemble my camera. If you have never done this before I wholeheartedly suggest you give it a try because it gives you a great understanding of how a camera works. I doubt many digital camera owners even know how their cameras work. I say this not out of snobbishness but only as an observation.
Assembly only takes about 90 minutes and the only really tricky bit is the shutter but the friendly ebay seller had not only provided pictures of the proper labeling of the parts, there is a misprint in the instructions, but a link to an online video that explains how to assemble the shutter properly. Now that’s customer service! So an hour and a half later I was the very proud owner of the Gakenflex TLR. Nice!
Alas there are a couple of down points to this lovely camera. There is no B setting so there are no long exposures and there is no hot shoe for a flash. So no photos at night or in a dark room. even with these negative points this is still a great little camera that takes really nice dreamy shots. I could get more descriptive but there are photos here so take a look at them for a better idea.