If you’re going to try out a new film or a new camera, you usually do one or the other. This reduces your chance of failure, and gives you the opportunity to assess the film or camera properly (without too many new variables). However, on this occasion I decided to throw myself in at the deep end. A new film (Lomography Redscale) and a new camera, the Lomography Konstructor! The Konstructor is a DIY kit camera – lots of plastic bits you put together yourself.
Lots of bits
Looks simple enough, right? Well. Most of it was – I struggled with getting a tiny bastard spring to stay on a tiny bastard peg for about 20 minutes, probably because I was working on the sofa, on my lap, rather than at a proper desk with decent lighting. I will say, the screwdriver supplied is rubbish – you’ll want your own, preferably with a magnetic tip to pick up the teeny weeny screws.
It took about an hour and a half, maybe two, to put together. The Konstructor has a waist-level finder, a 50mm f11 fixed aperture lens, and separate shutter and film advance. This is handy, as it means you can take multiple exposure photos very easily. When assembled, it feels sturdy and has a good weight for a plastic camera. The viewfinder is dark, but outside it’s perfectly useable.
The finished article
I took the Konstructor out for a walk, loaded with Redscale film (easy to make yourself, but this was a roll I already had), to Leigh Woods in Bristol. This lovely forest is near the Avon Gorge and the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge – a great place to shoot, even on an overcast day.
I was really surprised with the range of colours I achieved with the Redscale film – I asked FilmDev to process it as ISO 200, and this resulted in a nice mix of reds as well as blue-greens. The plastic lens is soft, but just enough to pick out details in the centre and have a dreamy quality to the edges.
Blur was obviously an issue, but I knew this was going to be a roll of not-perfect images, and that’s exactly what I wanted. I’d like to give it another shot in bright sunlight, and see just how sharp it’s possible to get an image with this toy camera.
I’m really pleased with the dreamy, pale images I got from this experiment – more shots are in my Flickr album here.