Gakkenflex TLR


A DIY twin-lens reflex camera (TLR) made of plastics that will truly amaze you for what it can does!

Photo from: cgmoyer.blogspot

Last month, I was looking for some magazines in a bookstore (Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore) and I found this very thick magazine located at the Japanese magazine section. I looked at the magazine front cover and saw a picture of a camera with Japanese description saying ’ 35mm 二眼レフカメラ ’ which means ’ 35mm twin-lens reflex camera ’ Yes! It uses 35mm film :D. I took one and bought it without thinking as it is quite cheap over here (around 38 USD) 大人の科学マガジン (Otona no Kagaku) which means ’ Science Of Adult ’ is the title for this magazine and volume 25 is the one that comes with this TLR. Fixing this camera is fun and easy, you’ll get to experience how a TLR is fix. Shutter part will be abit tricky to fix so you must be very careful :D

What we all know about TLR camera is that we’ve to look down at the viewfinder of the TLR and turn the focus wheel to get your picture in focus so what makes this TLR toy camera so different from the others? For example Blackbird Fly, a TLR toy camera that you can’t see how your subject/object get focus when you turn the focus wheel, unlike Gakkenflex TLR, it allows you to focus your subject/object through your viewfinder using the focus wheel!!!! That’s not all, sometimes it can sometime produce vignetting depending on different weather condition. It also produce pictures with tunnel vision effect.

Prices between these two TLR toy cameras were a very much difference, Blackbird, Fly is about USD138 and Gakkenflex TLR is about USD38, a big difference of USD100! If you can find one in your neighbourhood bookstore, buy it! Because currently they’re gonna stop the production of this small in size and light in weight TLR camera REAL SOON!!!

Below are some pictures that I took using the Gakkenflex TLR :DD

written by renaishashin on 2010-02-24 in #reviews


  1. nicksholga
    nicksholga ·

    That's awesome, although I'm a little upset cause now I have to buy one!
    Thanks for writing up the review though. Very informative.

  2. lomosexual_manboy
    lomosexual_manboy ·

    What a cool little camera.

  3. dogma
    dogma ·

    WoW it does a great job!

  4. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    great gallery :D

  5. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    a lot people say this is good. and its already on my wishlist. but il have to save up for the lc-a+ instant back =P

  6. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    Thx all~ I'm glad that LSI allow me to share with you guys about this little camera :D

  7. bear1973
    bear1973 ·

    I wonder what happened to my Gakkenflex review?

  8. nicolas_noir
    nicolas_noir ·

    Fantastic! I want one too! I bet they are fun to build.

  9. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    I love the gallery! I have the stereo pinhole camera from the same company and it's true, it's too fun to build your own camera!

  10. lawypop
    lawypop ·

    bro yr england good lah :) haha i got this but not yet fix up :P

  11. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    Thx all~ Yea it's fun :D
    @lawypop : Haha england ok la lol! Haha u wanna store for how long?

  12. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    You did a great job, building and shooting!

  13. nicolas_noir
    nicolas_noir ·

    Aw man, light leaks and four corners dark are all out. Its £45 for one from eBay and I'll bet there will be some sly taxes. Anyone one to get me, pretty please?

  14. mephisto19
    mephisto19 ·

    great. what a pitty i am to i patient to build a camera...

  15. androfun
    androfun ·

    Yehhh, it is a trully amazing little masterpiece! Mine has a sticky shutter so I have to open it and fix it, but it is a really fun camera to play with!

  16. eggzakly
    eggzakly ·

    Ooh I may need to own this, too...

  17. stouf
    stouf ·

    Yééé ! My hermano @rater offered me one ! And we built it together with @androfun... It was so cool... Felt like when I was 10, building LEGO... Your shots are super, with the pseudo-tilt-n-shift feeling. OK now I can't wait to try mine !!!

  18. paramir
    paramir ·

    well done my friend! nice review and a great gallery! :) I really want one of those...

  19. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    Thx all~ One of the 'must-have' toy camera in your collection :D

  20. ecchymoses
    ecchymoses ·

  21. myriam-l
    myriam-l ·

    very nice gallery ! I can't wait for the sun to be back to try mine again, now that I've (hopefully) fixed the shutter...

  22. wrkrparasite
    wrkrparasite ·

    I've had my eye on this for a bit, but I'm too broke! Great shots!

  23. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    Thx for the kind words~ I was just testing out this camera with negative film just in case of light leaks :D But I think it turns out good :D

    @myriam-l : Shutter is really tricky! But glad that you've fixed it :D

  24. em_hoefler
    em_hoefler ·

    This magazine also did a pinhole camera - I have both - fun to make and then use!

  25. jeabzz
    jeabzz ·

    great gallery and review, well done dude :D

  26. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    @em_hoefler : Yea It's volume 14 for the pinhole panorama camera :D It's really fun building it!

    @jeabzz : : Thx JB :DD

  27. zulupt
    zulupt ·

    Good gallery amd review. I want one of those :D

  28. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    Thx :D

  29. zhuojiacheng
    zhuojiacheng ·


  30. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    Yea Singapore!!! :DD

  31. shashas
    shashas ·

    good stuff.thanks for sharing. you just made me buy the mag! i got kinokuniya to get it for me. they told me the publisher will reprint this edition end of mar/early apr. i'll hv to be patient in the meantime. always fancied the blackbird TLR, but too *cheap* to get one for myself. ;)
    i'm sure it's great fun to put it together and test it out.
    thanks again :))

  32. renaishashin
    renaishashin ·

    @shashas : Np~ :DD

  33. marcelantonio
    marcelantonio ·

    The photo looks like a miniature model, nice. What film did you use?

  34. fed
    fed ·

    The blur around the edges are out of control! I´m in shock at the potential this little toy has. Thanks for your review. I was doubting whether or not to get one mainly because of the price ($100US in Argentina) but now I´m sold!

  35. petrobom
    petrobom ·

    Eu montei a minha graças a 2 sites em ingles, mas o que realmente ajudou foram as fotos do manual!!!!

  36. shinshia
    shinshia ·

    I was so surprised when I got the first roll back, because I really loved the outcome ! Maybe it was just beginner's luck, gotta wait for 2nd and 3rd roll to be developed but so far I LOOVE shooting with that camera. And it's also such a cute accessory! ラブラブ!

  37. ikarus342000
    ikarus342000 ·

    I am new here and do not know how old the article is, or somebody is still interest in this camera. The camera kid is now sold at dhgate under LOMO Gakken 35mm TLR for $ 22,80. In the US the kit can be obtained by MAKE.
    I got my first pictures back today and I am amazed by the unexpected quality of the pictures. This camera has a great potential. By the way, I made some mods like quick transport and primitive counter which helps to made the camera even more useful.

  38. psychicd
    psychicd ·

    one of my fav camera..

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