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Showing 1-25 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Jun 2013 07:55:56 BDT

This is the Lomo DIY plastic slr. There is a clip of the camera being put together. Interestingly the builder spends nearly as much time putting the stickers on as putting it together. Ha!

I often disparage Lomography with its principle of taking deliberately bad pics (but thanks them for popularising film use - thank you Lomo) but this is a mere £29. That's not bad and cheap compared with some of their other stuff.
I haven't been able to find out how the mirror works - I doubt it has instant return but does it deploy automatically?

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2013 10:30:40 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A.

Thanks for the link. I was intrigued by this camera when I read about it, and as it is a mere £29, + a very reasonable charge for p&p, £5, and I've ordered one out of curiosity. Sometimes you think to yourself, I've just got to have one, whether it be a Leica, or this! :o)

Posted on 26 Jun 2013 13:05:06 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A,

I kid you not, but this is extracted from the email confirmation of my order:

"We're seriously committed to making sure your Lomographic order arrives in the best possible condition. At the moment our holistic shipping experts are busy preparing your treasured cargo psychologically for the journey that lies ahead. After a bit of chanting and chakra balancing our packaging architects will set to work making your goods as comfortable as possible. Under the cover of darkness a no-messing security troop will escort your package to the post depot to ensure it departs without a sniff of trouble. It's at this point we release two pigeons of peace as a symbol of thanks for another successful shipment."

I'm beginning to wonder if I've ordered something other than the camera. :o)

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2013 18:03:34 BDT
What a load of cobblers.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jun 2013 19:42:05 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A,

Hmmm, I'm hopeful that these don't come with the camera kit. :o)

Posted on 27 Jun 2013 00:25:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jul 2013 23:13:37 BDT
Zelazowa says:
The hood viewfinder sounds really versatile and fun to use. The 50mm lens has a fixed aperture of f10 and the shutter speed is 1/80s with 'B'.

Dr G... might the mirror be the shutter itself? That part of this camera may be pre-built?

Posted on 27 Jun 2013 12:38:55 BDT
Hi Z
The DIY has a fixed aperture of f10 - so that's not good for a bright reflex image.
The mirror goes up when you press the shutter and you have to drop it manually.
Since it is very easy to take double exposures I imagine that it has a simple everset shutter.

This is a great article and shows building instructions/photos/diagrams:

However, I can't see either the mirror or the shutter in any detail.

Posted on 27 Jun 2013 13:05:44 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A,

Thanks again for the link. Just like when I was a youngster and built Airfix and Revell model car kits. The cars I still have, by the way. A Bugatti 35B, a Packhard Boat tail speedster, a Mercedes coupe, and a Rolls Royce. The Bugatti I treasure, as I was reliably informed that it became difficult to source as something happened to the molds and Revell were either not going to replace them or they were waiting to re-tool. On one can find the Packhard for $43 but someone is asking $250 for the 35B, so I wonder if there was something to what I was told?

Interesting viewing the build instructions for the camera. I wonder if I will be able to adapt some old 120 folder shutter/lens combos to it?

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 14:30:50 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
It's on its way! From Austria.

Posted on 3 Jul 2013 19:48:39 BDT
You could get an OM10+lens, or even an Om-1 for that price, and even if you need to spend time putting in new light seals ( easy) that wouldn't take much longer than to make this plastic piece of junk, put side by side, it doesn't really seem that much of a bargain does it?
You could even get a Yashica Electro 35 with a great 45mm /1.7f lens for the same price.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2013 20:04:30 BDT
T.J.Byford says:

I couldn't agree more. The Lomo price compared to what one get in pure quality terms on ebay, we've both just won OM 1's, which are far, far superior, doesn't equate. But, there is more to this than pure quality. There is curiosity value and a unique quality, plus the simply outrageous, that has an attraction all of its own. This Lomo is different and quirky, and appeals to my sense of humour. In the strict sense, it is not a user, obviously. Clearly, if I was after a 35mm film camera for quality imaging, I'd be looking elsewhere. Is it junk? Not in the sense that I will be able to claim I've built my own film slr. Is it a wast of money and junk? Only someone other than a buyer can say, but I suspect others are viewing it as you are and comparing its undoubted poor imaging quality compared to an inexpensive quality camera that can be got via ebay.

I'll let you know if it approaches the quality of my Leica cameras. :-D

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2013 23:13:44 BDT
Hi TJ & NC
I have often wondered why anyone buys a Lomo when there are cheap box cameras and folding cameras they could buy. As for Lubitels - you could get an old one or a Yashicamat for less than Lomo charge.
I'm dying to know how TJ gets on with a reflex image having all the brightness of an f10 lens?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2013 09:21:26 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A.

With some difficult I would imagine. :-D But as I said, it hasn't been purchased as a user, more a curiosity, and it has the benefit of not being outrageously expensive as some other Lomo and quasi-Lomo, read La Sardine, kit is. Do you recall posts about the young lady who spent a great deal on a La Sardine, only to find out it wasn't any good? She believed because of the price she was getting a proper camera.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Jul 2013 00:35:37 BDT
Hi TJ,
I think this is the best Lomo product for the reasons you gave. I look forward to your appraisal of the product in all its glory.

Posted on 7 Jul 2013 21:43:17 BDT
Steve James says:
Hi All,

Well I think I wil follow TJ, and order one when I get back from my holidays in August. I'm going to be spending some time babysitting my 7 year old grandaughter, and this will be a great project to work on, and she will be able to see how an SLR works from the basics up. So from that point of view I will buy it, however my feelings about lomography are the same as most here, overpriced junk, but heartfelt thanks for resurrecting Film.

My Zorki 4K is working fine and I have negatives, and I will get the first 120 roll film processed this week from the Yashicamat.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2013 10:05:40 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Steve.

Will this be your first experience of a 6x6 negative? If so, and as I owned two Yashicamats in the 1960's, I can vouch for the quality images that the Yashinon 80's are capable of.

As long as the shutter is working well, with age and how much the camera has been used, the only slight issue could be the spacing between the negatives as the frame gearing could wear slightly. But as long as the slippage is not too great and they are not overlapping, nothing to worry about.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2013 10:22:23 BDT
Hi TJ,
A tip if checking out a Yashicamat:
The counter/shutter interlock is operated from a knurled wheel acting against the take up spool. If you wind on the wheel skids on the plastic spool and it can appear that the camera is misbehaving. Therefore, make sure you wrap a couple of turns of paper around the spool so it will grip and run normally.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2013 11:21:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Jul 2013 11:22:29 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A.

Yes, I was aware of this. As the shaft to which the knurled wheel is attached is spring loaded, I often wondered if over time any weakening of the spring tension could also contribute to the knurled wheel slightly skipping and thus leading to inconsistent frame spacing. I remember that in the two 'Mats I bought new, the spring tension was good, but in the 40+ years since, I've never handled a well used 'Mat to find out if it weakens sufficiently to be of concern, or inded if the sharpness of the gear cutting on the wheel gets blunted from consistent use.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2013 11:30:31 BDT
Steve James says:
Hi TJ,

No, it's not my first experience with 6x6 negs. I used to have a Rollieflex and before that some kind person had given me a Microcord, which would probably be worth a fortune if I still had it as it was one of the early 1952 models which didn't have a "Sports finder". I think it was based pretty much on one of the early Rollei models.

I bought the Rollei in 1979 second hand and it was a supurb camera, which I used for the occasional wedding and some studio catalogue type photography. I was "stand in " Works Photographer as they didn't appoint anyone to the position in 1976 and I got stuck with the job, which was great really as I was able to use an MPP 5x4 sheet film camera, and the Rollei, both of which I was able to buy when they closed the plant down. What really upset me was some idiot decided that a Sanderson Whole Plate, and a Thornton Pickard 5x4 were old and scrap and threw them in the canal! At least that was the story I was given, they could have just stolen them for all I know, but on previous performance he was thick enough to have dumped them.

It does sound as if the shutter is working well, and I'll see about the spacing when the film is developed. I'm not expecting any problems though, as the camera has a good pedigree!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2013 11:57:22 BDT
T.J.Byford says:

Looks like we have similar photographic experiences. I still have my MPP MK VIII Rangefinder complete in its vitually mint all leather, and heavy, field case, and my 3.5F. Shot both 5x4 and 120 with roll film backs. I had a basic but adequate Lines and Jones 5x4 cold cathode head enlarger, I only did b/w for myself, colour had to be sent to a lab.

I did once have an MPP Microflex in my modest collection and, to be honest, couldn't understand the attention these got and still are, at what to me are silly prices. I seem to recall I paid about £40 in the mid '70's. Today it is a collectable, as opposed to a user. I certainly wouldn't be interested in one again. I'm no a metallurgist, but the material they were made of certainly wasn't to Rollei standards. The rather basic shutter release was always playing up and was "repaired" on several occasions, and I thought the lens was a bit over-rated, IMHO. The final time it played up, this time with the winder, I cut my losses and p/x'd it for something.

I have a feeling the Sanderson and TP didn't end up in the cut. I have a Sanderson 1/2 plate and a TP Triple Imperial Perfecta 1/2 plate in the collection. The Sanderson looks far more "butch" than the TP which is quite svelte in comparison!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jul 2013 19:22:34 BDT
Steve James says:
Hi TJ,

First of all, talking of "silly" prices, that Pentax 110 went for £385!

Yes it does sound in a way as if we had similar photographic experiences. My MPP Field case was fairly battered as it did get lugged around the steel works to take accident photographs, and later around Foundries in the Midlands for catalogue work! Shot mainly colour so that went away for processing.

I didn't use the Microcord very much, so didn't experience any of the problems you did with the Microflex you had, but also I have a feeling the very early models were of a far better build quality than the later ones that came out in 53 and 54. I agree the prices seem ridiculous, and I don't want a camera that I cannot use. To me that seems to totally defeat the object of having one.

You are probably right about the cameras not ending up in the canal, but my temporary stand in did tell someone to dump unwanted gear in the canal, which was illegal and had the people who did it been seen they would have been the ones in trouble. I was away at the time for a couple of days and when I returned immediately put a stop to it! When I tackled him about it, he said he had been joking and never expected them to really do it! They were Asian labourers just bought in to help with the packing etc, didn't speak very good English, so they would do exactly what he told them without question.

Most of my early photographic gear went when my wife and I divorced, and I either sold or gave away most of everything, only keeping a couple of Light meters. My negatives all went into storage at my mothers house where they remained until about 7 years ago when my father died, and my brother cleared their attic out and "binned" all of them along with slides and Cine films. I was livid when I found out, and haven't spoken to him since! Luckily my ex wife kept all the photo albums so they haven't been lost and I have family photos of the children when they were young etc and photos from holidays.

I can't really say why I now have this fascination with film cameras, but I think it is something to do with once again having to really stop and think and plan out what the final photograph should be as with limited exposures it becomes more of a challenge. When I was out with the 110 and with the Yashica I am finding myself being so much more selective. I was only shooting odd buildings in Leeds but I found myself really studying them trying to work out the essence I wanted to capture in the image.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2013 12:23:58 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Steve.

I can't tell you how much I cringed when I read what happened to all your, irreplaceable, negatives. Fortunately, seems all is not lost as you have access to prints, which I suppose you could scan if you wished. This is what I've done with the family photos I secured when my father died a few years ago.

Posted on 9 Jul 2013 12:48:55 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
The Lomo has arrived!

I'm not sure I now want to build it, for it looks just neat in its "presentation" box which folds out like a tiered tool box to reveal all the parts.

First appearances show it is made of, to my mind, high quality precision plastic mouldings, nothing outwardly cheap here. The shutter/mirror box is pre-assembled but for those wishing to do a full rebuild the instructions show how it is constructed once you've taken it to pieces.

It comes with a quality fully illustrated instruction manual, no cheap photocopy sheets, and answers one question that crossed my mind - does it use glue in its construction? The answer is, no, it doesn't. All parts interlock and screws used to hold it all together where appropriate. With the shutter/mirror box being pre-assembled, the most complex part is the winding/frame counter mechanism as this follows the old Leica practice of a wind on knob, and the counter is similar in style to the external dial found on pre-M leicas, or indeed an M2.

Despite its having a basic meniscus taking lens, this comes in a focusing mount, and the waist level finder has a miniature magnifier!

Leaving aside the already discussed issue of image quality, what 35mm camera can you buy and build yourself, and it follows, you can service it as well, at any price, let alone the £30 or so this costs? :0)

Age group is quoted as 14+ and build time of between 1 to 2 hours.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2013 16:58:50 BDT
Great stuff TJ.

How about this for an even more DIY slr:
French student creates SLR using 3D printer

How cool is that?

Posted on 9 Jul 2013 17:23:42 BDT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A.

Certainly a more friendly use of a 3D printer than the gun that got a lot of interest a few weeks ago. I appreciate it was a project, but close up it makes the Lomo look a luxury product. :o)
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