A few days ago, I met with Pasquale who came to visit the Lomography shop in Barcelona. I announced that on June 18, I do not want to miss the presentation of the latest addition to the Lomography brand. Out of curiosity, I asked him what it was. Pasquale, resisting much, gave me some clues. Finally seeing my enthusiasm, he told me that I would be one to get the first few units to arrive in Barcelona. In return I promised to try and make this short review.
For a few days he told me that I could stop by the store to look for the brand new Konstruktor! I did not have time to cross Barcelona with my bike to have it as soon as possible.
The first impression is it’s very nice. As we have used Lomography products before, you’ll really love all the details, especially the presentation and packaging of each product.
The Konstruktor is presented in a cardboard box that originally opens as a toolbox, this is already the first clue of what I’ll find inside. Outside in several languages explains the concept of this new camera; the Konstruktor Camera Kit.
After opening the box we see everything well-ordered. The entire set of parts that once assembled will be our Konstruktor. In the center we find the housing, inner frame, rear cover, the reflex mechanism, two cardboard boxes, and a precision screwdriver.
The first thing I recommend is to have a good workspace, prepare good tea (or your favorite drink) and you will need to have 1-2 hours of patient work.
It is really important that you go to the table where the camera will be mounted and makes sure it is well clear to avoid losing any of the tiny pieces of the kit.
Once we open the instruction manual we will find all the information about this first SLR camera made by Lomography, but first we want to mount the camera to see how it works.
You should have on hand the camera plane. The first thing you find in the manual is a picture of the camera with indications of the codes of each piece. At the end of the manual there are details of the pieces with their identification codes, to locate each piece as we continue the following steps:
- How to mount your camera Konstruktor; Lens. The first thing we are told is the lens mount. This is simple, you just need to screw together group parts.
- Viewfinder. The display is one of the pieces that give more character to this camera. This waist level viewer allows you to frame and focus as in old photographs like the Rolleiflex; placing the camera at the waist while looking at the viewer nodding. The piece B27, a type of magnifying glass to focus assistance comes in a cardboard box.
- Body. This step begins to assemble the film advance mechanism. Here it should be noted that the position of the lock should be left exactly as shown.
- Reflex system. The system would be very complex to assemble so it is already assembled in a square block. Here I think they have forgotten to tell how important it is to remove the green sticker protecting the mirror. I’ve had to pull two spools to discover this “feature”. No one can say that the operation should be performed carefully to avoid soiling or scratching the mirror reflex system.
- Normal or Bulb System. Mount the system that allow us to select between normal mode shooting (1/80) or bulb to manually control the exposure time. Beware the small dock, seems rebellious and I had to help the screwdriver to tighten and position it correctly.
- Close the rear cover. In an extremely simple step, mount the piece that will allow us to close the chamber lid.
- We have the body. Not to mention that the nut that will screw to the tripod can unite the parts already assembled to compose the body of the Konstruktor. This operation is delicate and you should make sure that all forward gears in the spool system are in correct position.
- Viewer. With 4 small screws this will set the display to the frame of the camera. Then sliding it over the guidance system, one can also mount Viewer down very easily.
- System film winding and rewinding. This allows you to advance the film in the camera. Note that the counting system is not very precise. You should put the frame number to 36 since this system will be counting down until you get to the last exposure.
- Lever system mirror. It is curious that we should raise or lower the mirror before taking a picture. This system allows us to frame and focus perfectly. When firing the shutter remove the mirror to make the exposure.
- Place the optics. Well, we are in the last step to have a fully operational camera. It consists of placing the goal we have assembled from step number one in the camera body. It’s simple and reminds SLRs lifetime.
- Customizing. Another thing that I love this new camera is that it comes with several different colored stickers to decorate it to your liking. We can use a single color (red, white or black) or opt for other more varied stickers. Perhaps the most important is to place it in the front and if the camera baptized name, Konstruktor.
Joan Martínez i Serres