Gakkenflex TLR


A self assembly camera that will blow your mind and not your bank account

Photo from: cgmoyer.blogspot

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.

written by bear1973 on 2010-03-28 in #reviews #gakenflex #magazine #asembly #blackbird-fly #kit #japan #tlr


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Good ! Finally a reference to ndroo's blog in a Gakkenflex review ! Great job !

  2. frenchplaymo
    frenchplaymo ·

    It took me about 2 hours to build it, but a great pleasure to say "c'est moi qui l'ai fait!"

  3. hepburnt
    hepburnt ·

    will get this for my birthday!!!!!!

  4. docrock17
    docrock17 ·

    Just bought one from eBay and put it together tonight! Can't wait to take pictures in the morning... Thank you so much for opening my eyes!

More Interesting Articles

  • An Instant Review: Pixelstick Shots from Lomography Hong Kong!

    written by candilsw on 2015-05-21 in #gear #lifestyle
    An Instant Review: Pixelstick Shots from Lomography Hong Kong!

    Pixelstick is exactly the must-get tool to create mind-blowing light paintings with different colours and patterns: 1.8 meter long, 200 full colour and high fidelity LEDs! Grab your camera with long exposure mode and a tripod, and you can create dozens of dreamy pictures just by moving your Pixelstick in the dark. Take a peep at our friends from Lomography Hong Kong’s shots with the Pixelstick!

  • Photo of the Day by chen-ching

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-17 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by chen-ching

    Does sending an air kiss still not enough? Move closer and blow a love-filled bubble to get your message across!

  • On Raw Beauty: An Interview with Portraitist Don Michael Acelar De Leon

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-07-07 in #world #lifestyle
    On Raw Beauty: An Interview with Portraitist Don Michael Acelar De Leon

    He will respectfully ask for a photo session. He does not outline why, and if you are shy, you will wonder what he has seen in you. He greets reluctance with understanding and a resounding yes with an equal amount of enthusiasm. When the day comes, he will treat you like a collaborator. And whenever he talks about the outcome—comely photos of what looks like your most confident self—he will always call you a muse.

  • Shop News

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    The latest addition to the Lomo’Instant family! Inspired by the Icelandic midnight sky, Get endless creativity, take multiple exposed instant snapshots, experiment with long exposure and light painting shots!

  • 3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week: The Electric Head, Disposable Camera Journal and Occasionally Punny Animals

    written by anamartaml on 2015-08-09 in #world
    3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week: The Electric Head, Disposable Camera Journal and Occasionally Punny Animals

    Admit it, you've been waiting impatiently for this moment to arrive. Well, the suspense is over, the announcement of the 3 Tumblrs We Loved This Week is finally here! We got lightpainting, we got puns, we got disposable cameras and - as always - blogs that will blow you away!

  • Food for Thought: Notes from the Community

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-06-11 in #world #lifestyle
    Food for Thought: Notes from the Community

    The Lomography Community is a treasure trove of inspired talent. And behind all that talent are great minds and voices that are not always heard on the Magazine. Thankfully, Lomohomes have a Notes feature that allows every community member to express himself freely.

  • Testing a Yashica TLR Camera After 55 Years in Storage

    written by billseye on 2015-05-11 in #gear #reviews
    Testing a Yashica TLR Camera After 55 Years in Storage

    Though I am not a professional, photography is in my genes. My father was a photographer and technician in the Air Force and accumulated a number of cameras during his life. This is a story about one of those cameras, a Yashica 635 TLR. I brought the camera—after being in storage for about 55 years—back to life with a roll of Portra 160 during the golden hour at Bellevue Botanical Gardens in Washington.

  • Shop News

    Additional Member of Diana F+ Family is Here!

    Additional Member of Diana F+ Family is Here!

    Snap your happy memories with the medium format Diana F+ Cortina! This special edition camera is a nod to fun winter holidays: snow-capped mountains, skiing and good times with friends and family!

  • Kissaway Trail Shoots with the La Sardina

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-07-22 in #people #lomoamigos
    Kissaway Trail Shoots with the La Sardina

    Our latest LomoAmigos come from Odense and Copenhagen, Denmark. Say hello to Kissaway Trail, a three-piece band that impressed the world with large string arrangements, epic harmonies and beautiful melodies since releasing its self-titled debut album in 2007. Armed with a La Sardina camera, the trio went analog and recorded memories through intimate lomographs.

  • Rewind: Lomography Event Recaps From Gallery Stores and Embassy Shops

    written by shhquiet on 2015-12-30 in #world #news
    Rewind: Lomography Event Recaps From Gallery Stores and Embassy Shops

    2015 was a super exciting year for the world of creative photography. We introduced new products, paid homage to analogue photography and collaborated with like-minded folks. If you missed any of the festivities, don't worry - we promise that there will be more fantastic things to come next year! In the meantime, here's a look back into all the happy Lomography memories!

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • The Making of Ondu Pinhole Cameras

    written by K. Aquino on 2015-04-25 in #gear #lifestyle #videos
    The Making of Ondu Pinhole Cameras

    Elvis Halilović turns chestnut wood into heirloom-worthy cameras known as Ondu. As a countdown to Pinhole Photography Day happening tomorrow, we show you how these pieces are shaped, sanded and assembled. All this effort for the love of a good picture!

  • A Photo-Filled Christmas

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-12-14 in #world #lifestyle
    A Photo-Filled Christmas

    A remarkable holiday deserves some experimental camera work. Take a cue from these Lomographers, not even festive conventions will stir them away from light silhouettes, exaggerated colors and ever-photogenic thickets of snow.

  • Lomography's Little Lessons: Aperture

    written by jennifer_pos on 2015-03-14 in #gear #lifestyle #tipster
    Lomography's Little Lessons: Aperture

    Have you ever wondered why those nerdy camera constructors formulate complicated terms that baffle most normal citizens? Trust me, I know it all too well; Physics was the first subject to go when I had to choose between studying and spending yet another night pursuing youthful adventures. But don't worry — the remedy for all of the gaps in your knowledge is right here: Lomography’s Little Lessons on Photography. Follow this series and in no time you'll catch up on everything your curious mind desires!