Tips on Building the Lomography Konstruktor

i decided that i want to try going analog for a while since i’m frankly too lazy/uninterested/unmotivated to do anything with the tons and tons of digital photos i take every trip. at least with an analog camera (for all y’all youngsters out there, think Instagram but using a cheap film camera [yes, film!] instead) you can chalk imperfections up to being artsy and really, if you get a CD with your photos on them when you have the rolls developed, you’re good for the digital realm.

i’ve played with lomo cameras in the past; i have an LC-A (pictures i’ve taken with it), Fed5 (pictures), and a Holga (pictures), but i wanted to try something different and twitter friend @harpermd suggested the konstruktor, a build-it-yourself 35mm camera.

it’s definitely daunting once you open the package, but really, if i can do it, you can do it — i’m so not crafty and i managed, i think. i’ll know for sure this weekend when i go on a photowalk (work permitting).

the biggest tip: do this in front of YouTube playing the instructional videos. some parts are hard to see because the lighting isn’t great and they could have zoomed in more, but as an addition to the manual, it’s really helpful.

photo 1

The square box contains a bag with all the small parts — I recommend using the box to hold them so your screws and such don’t roll away and disappear forever. I found two small curly pieces of something but you can ignore — I was afraid they were mangled springs, but they’re not and the actual springs are pretty resilient. The screwdriver is magnetic, too, which will help you pick those tiny objects up.

photo 2

I was stymied on the second(!) step since if you just push the three pieces together as shown in the diagram, they won’t fit. Here’s how to do it: you want to put the B18 piece you assembled in step 1 into B17, then turn B18 until the notch is at the infinity sign. You may have to reposition several times before you get it slotted so the notch ends up there (you’ll know what I mean when you do it). This frees up the space so you can put A8 on.

photo 3

The gears are the part I’m most worried about, but I guess we’ll see how I did when I actually use it!

photo 4

Ahh, tiny tricksy spring B10. In the video they recommend using tweezers when attaching it to the bottom post, but I was able to just use the provided screwdriver. Stick the tip in the bottom loop of the spring and pull it onto the post (took several attempts, but easier than tweezers, IME). Be sure to squish it all the way down once you get it on to make sure it doesn’t come off.

and that’s it! other than these minor sticking points, it was a lot easier to do than expected. i’m excited to try this puppy out!

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