An exciting camera that's fun to build and fun to use.
I like to think of myself as a fairly open-minded person who’s interested in a lot of different things, but when it comes to all things technical I’m useless. Seriously. So I don’t even know why I ordered the DIY kit to build my own twin lens reflex camera. When I ordered it, I thought that I could easily ask someone for help in case I got stuck (which I was sure I would). Especially since the instructions only came in Chinese and unfortunately I don’t know any Chinese. So I had to rely on the graphics entirely. Now imagine how proud I was when I managed to assemble the entire camera all by myself! I had read before that most people took around 1 hour to build it, and I must admit that I took a little longer, mostly due to some problems with the shutter. That part was a little fiddly but the rest came together pretty quickly.
Fortunately the instructions are very well illustrated, the way it’s done kind of reminded me of IKEA instructions. So if you have built an IKEA shelf before that might be an advantage here ;)
Now I couldn’t wait to pop in a roll and to test it and see if I had really assembled everything the right way! And although I can hardly believe it, it sure looks like I did. The Recesky takes regular 35mm film which is quite handy.
The lens is a very simple two element design with a lot of flaws that make it perfect. Seriously, I love the way it’s sharp in the middle and blurs the edges! Most pictures also show a beautiful vignette. It’s still very contrasty though.
The camera didn’t come with a strap so I just use some ribbon instead. Since the camera is made up of plastic it weighs literally nothing and if you tie it well it shouldn’t be a problem.
By the way you may know the Gakken DIY TLR – the Recesky seems to be a copy with a few minor alterations. It is largely believed that the Gakken and the Recesky are actually manufactured by the same company. So appearantly whether you buy one or the other is just a matter of personal preference.
I really recommend this camera – not just for the beautiful pictures it takes, but also for the experience of assembling it! The fact that I could do it without help shows just how easy it is and that it requires no technical understanding. If I can do it anyone can do it! So be brave and have fun!