Affordable kit lets you build your own twin lens reflex camera
November 23, 2011
Back in the days before digital cameras and printers, many do-it-yourselfers liked to develop and print their own photos. While those days of darkrooms, chemicals and papers haven't completely given over to CMOS sensors and printers just yet, nuts and bolts photographers still have to work a bit harder to get their hands dirty, so to speak. Now, camera gadget site Photojojo offers one way to stay "retro," by offering a very affordable build-it-yourself twin lens camera kit that shoots honest to gosh 35mm film. Best of all, even though it looks like a toy, its plastic lens actually captures fairly decent (read "lo-fi dreamy") photos. The small amount of vignetting and lens flare is thrown in for free!
For a cool US$20, you, too, can join the ranks of venerable photogs who built their own gear, albeit from a kit of plastic parts, rather than from scratch, but who's keeping track? When assembled, it measures 3" x 3" x 5" high (7.6 x 7.6 x 12.7cm) and, since the film travels through the camera vertically, shoots in portrait mode. You're limited, or challenged, depending on how you look at it, with a shutter speed of 1/150th of a second and an aperture of f/11. Similar models were launched in Japan some time ago, so the quirky little cameras already have an international following.
From the looks of it, this little rig could be lots of lo-tech fun, but you'd better hurry. With the digital tsunami growing bigger every day, there's no telling just how long real film will remain available!