I was bored surfing around on pinterest looking for things to help break a creative slump I was in. I came across this odd little plastic camera and thought what the heck I’ll give it a whack. Its a DIY camera, so you have to put it together yourself. All in all it was a pretty easy assembly. The camera itself feels flimsy as you would expect. The body is thin plastic, the lenses are even plastic! It uses standard 35mm film that you can still somehow find at any convenience store (CVS, Walgreens, etc). It has no adjustments for shutter speed or aperture, just a lever to operate the shutter.
The focusing is simple enough, you just rotate the lenses on the front. However, good luck trying to get an accurate focus as the viewfinder leaves much to be desired. However, keep in mind its a $15 kit. Composing images is somewhat of a mind trick. The viewfinder is backwards so if you want to move your subject to the right you have to move the camera to the left. It takes a bit of getting used to but if you just move one axis at a time you’ll get your framing eventually.
The pictures you’ll get are a total crapshoot. I think thats what makes it so much fun, you have no idea what its going to look like until its developed! I still go back to it when Im in a slump just because its a no stress, fun option. No settings to worry about, just point it at something and pull the lever. Here are a few shots from mine with generic film purchased at CVS and developed at CVS.
When you wind the film to the next exposure I’ve noticed it helps to press on the back of the camera. That will keep the little arrows you line up accurate. It also will occasionally scratch the film and leave lines in your image. Just another bit of character to the quirky plastic camera.
If you would like build your own, just google “Recesky TLR” or you can click HERE to just buy on Amazon. Enjoy!
35mm, DIY, DIY camera, film, plastic camera, TLR, Twin Lens Reflex