Build It Yourself: My First Roll on Konstruktor
When I saw this adorable little camera on the Lomography website several years ago, I knew I had to have it. I've always had a love for plastic toy cameras, and the idea of building one myself seemed awesome. I built it over four years ago. I put a roll of film in it, I realized advancer wasn't working properly, and put it away... until very recently. I did a little research and realized it was a somewhat common issue that Lomography was aware (and since fixed, I believe). But the trick to get the older versions to work is to just push the door/back of the camera slightly and push the advance knob down slightly when winding and BOOM. It winds and the track works.
One of the things I love about plastic cameras are the plastic lenses. They produce soft glowy images, like a dream. And I love it. The Knonstruktor is no exception.
Loading and Rewinding the Film
Loading the film is going to be just like most 35mm cameras. The only difference will be to make sure the frame counter is set to "36" (or "24" depending on the number of frames your roll has). Once you get to "1" your film is done. When you rewind the film, it's important to make sure the film advance knob is turning as you turn the rewinding knob. If it's not, it means it's not rewinding properly and you won't want to open the door/back. It's worth mentioning because it's a handmade plastic camera....knobs and levers don't always work properly on the first try.
Shooting and the Viewfinder
Not sure about you, but most of my cameras don't have viewfinders at the top with a hood. It's a weird style of shooting for most modern cameras and take a little getting used to. But utilize that magnifying glass and frame your subject. Everything is reversed in the viewfinder so it might take a second to frame your subject, but you'll get the hang of it after a few photos. When you're ready to take your photo, open the hood, release the mirror reset knob, frame your subject (or don't if you like to shoot from the hip), and click. Cool thing about this camera, it allows you to take multiple exposures. So keep shooting and advance when you're ready.
Oh yes. The lovely, plastic, dreamy little lens. It's 50mm (perfect!), F10, with focusing ranging from 1.5 feet to infinity. So if you want closeups, just know they'll likely be out of focus. But...you do you. I'm not here to tell you how to take your photos. Just how the camera works. It's pretty straight forward. If you're used to shooting with plastic/toy cameras, you'll love this lens.
So, there you have it. If you have one of these and got frustrated with it or haven't built it yet, just keep my little trick in mind when advancing your film. And if you don't have one, you should get one. Lomography sells them. They are SUPER fun. You feel accomplished just building it. And shooting with it? It's awesome! Oh...and it comes with stickers. So you can decorate it however you want. Pretty cool huh?
Holland Photo dev