Lomography Konstruktor

limr

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So, a few months back, Lomo introduced a kit for a plastic do-it-yourself 35mm SLR with a waist-level finder. I took the bait so I could start learning how to tinker with cameras in a low stakes kind of a way.

Here's my finished camera (forgive the crappy cell phone picture):
$Konstruktor.jpg

It's got an aperture fixed at f10 and a shutter that has two speeds: 1/80 and Bulb. I figured a low speed film would be best for a test roll, and the only low speed 35mm I had in my possession (because I was too impatient to go looking for anything else or waiting for the mail) were Portra 160 and Lomography Redscale 100. I wasn't going to waste a roll of Portra on this thing, and it seemed apropos to use the Lomo film, so I loaded 'er up and started shooting.

The good thing is that it worked. The bad thing is that it's a tricky little bugger. But as long as one remembers that it's a plastic toy camera and one shouldn't be too invested in the results, then it's easy to deal with. The viewfinder is dark until the mirror is locked up, the film advance is sticky, and the shutter button sometimes needs a little help being pushed back into place after taking a shot.

Here are some of my test shots:
$Daisies.jpg

$Lamp.jpg

$Lamp and shadow.jpg

$Plant.jpg

The focus is soft to be sure, but it did surprisingly well (for a plastic lens) at getting shadow detail. And the sticky film advance knobs makes for some neato double-exposure/frame-overlap "panoramas".
$Geese panorama resized.jpg

Going to go find some cheap color film now to test it out with a less gimmicky film to see how that goes and to understand what sort of effects (other than light leaks!) this plastic lens achieves.
 

timor

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No bad. The lens has just the right amount of softness and maybe it will be possible to print 8x10.
It will be interesting how this lens is handling colors on regular color film. red or blue or yellow you can always get with a filter.
What is the frame size ? 24x36 or 24x24 ?
 

Derrel

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Awesome possum!!!! I like the last two window shots quite a bit. The multi-shopt overlapped geese-and-lawn pano is kinda cool too! Pretty neat looking camera.
 
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limr

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Thanks, guys!

The frame size is 24x36. Because I had issues with this test roll with film advance (hopefully it will get a bit less sticky with more use), there were some frames that overlapped so I ended up either with that double-exposure panorama up there or sometimes a big space between frames. The film seemed generally underexposed so sometimes that dead space was coupled with a really dark section of the picture, so I didn't even bother scanning those. I can crop the frames before I scan, so depending on what came out and how I cropped, some of the frames were standard 24x36, and others were either longer or shorter.

I'm running low on film anyway and was planning to put an order in, so I'm definitely going to order some plain old color and take the Konstruktor out for a few more test runs. Cheapest color low speed films are Fuji 200 or Lomography 100. For B&W, I'll probably get some Kentmere.

I imagine that it could end up being good for some street photography. No one will believe it's a real camera! ;) Plus, the waist level finder makes it easier to take a picture without anyone realizing you're taking a picture. Focus is only 0.5m, 1m, 2m, and infinity.
 

timor

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Don't forget to show us the results.:)
 

terri

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That looks like it was fun to assemble - and looks pretty cool, too! Seems to have working issues, but maybe they will lessen with more use - and you still have images. I like soft images when the subject works, so that wouldn't bother me at all. :)

Keep having fun with it - and like timor says, keep posting the results!
 

vintagesnaps

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I want one!!

I'd seen something about it but haven't gotten one yet, but there's something fun about constructing a camera. I put together a black cardboard pinhole camera from a kit and even that was fun. I love the window shots, that works well with the redscale (which I haven't tried yet either.) Thanks for posting, it's getting me interested.
 
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limr

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I want one!!

I'd seen something about it but haven't gotten one yet, but there's something fun about constructing a camera. I put together a black cardboard pinhole camera from a kit and even that was fun. I love the window shots, that works well with the redscale (which I haven't tried yet either.) Thanks for posting, it's getting me interested.

Do it! :)

Unlike a lot of Lomo stuff, it's reasonably priced and other than one tiny little screw (part B10 will drive you slightly insane), it was really fun to put together.
 

Nahin

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Shots are immense attractive, striking looking. Waiting for your result hoping it will most effective and artistic.
 
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limr

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Thanks, Nahin!

As a matter of fact, I just finished scanning my second test roll. I used Lomography Color 100. I'm not only using Lomo film for this camera, but this happened to be the cheapest option for 100 speed color film. As fun as this little camera is, I wouldn't use expensive film in it!

I shot some of the same still-life scenes as I did with the redscale so I could use them as comparison. I'm pleased with the results.

$Black-eyed Susans.jpg

$Lamp and plant reflection.jpg

$Lamp and plant reflection 2.jpg

$Plant and window.jpg

$Plant book and window.jpg
 
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limr

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And here are some others from that roll that came out really well:


$Sun and grass.jpg

$Sun beams on grass.jpg

$Sunset over Hudson.jpg

$Wine over Hudson.jpg

$Picnicking over Hudson.jpg

The next test roll will be black and white, Kentmere 100.
 

Derrel

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A very good comparison with the curtain and plant shadows and the same black-eyed Susans...I like the way the lens renders in color. Pretty good for a modern day dinosaur, I think.
 
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I'm home sick and finally decided to post two pictures from the black and white test roll I took a few weeks ago with the Konstruktor.

$Dog street encounter.jpg

$Traffic.jpg
Third roll through and the mechanism is definitely smoother. A lot of the roll came out very underexposed, but that was partly a function of me testing out its limits. It's definitely a fun little camera - good for sunny days, some mindless fun shooting, and 'moody' soft-ish focus shots. If anyone gets one, I suggest 24-exposure rolls maximum, or even shorter if you're rolling your own. Getting a feel for its limitations will definitely increase the hit rate and you can get more intentionally funky shots. There seems to be a bit of a light leak at the bottom, but again - this is not the camera nor the type of photography to really care too much about that :)
 

Derrel

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Awww, sorry to hear that you are sick. I enjoyed revisiting this thread. Light leaks were tailor-made for gaffer's tape.
 
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Thanks Derrel. I think the gaffer's tape will look perfectly appropriate on the camera, too ;)
 

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