Build Your Own 1977 35mm LogiKit Camera
If you're lucky, you'll never outgrow building with Lego and plastic model kits. It's fun to construct miniature versions of real-life cars and airplanes and tanks (and blowing them up with firecrackers, but that's another story). It's possibly even more fun to build something that you can use in real-life, at 1:1 scale. The LogiKit Camera kit assembles into a fully working 35mm camera.
Building something from the inside out helps you learn all about it, and the LogiKit is no exception. By following along in the thorough manual, Kids from 1977 could learn how lenses work, how film is exposed, and the sophisticated mechanism inside - even in this simplified version pf a 35mm still camera. The LogiKit assembles into a scaled down model of the real thing, rather than looking like a kid-ified version (which I always remembered disliking as a youth).
You could still offer something like the LogiKit today, though kids would question the value of what they learn about film photography. Why go through the challenges of building your own camera to coax images out of an antiquated medium, when their cellphones take pictures easily and for free? Are there kits out there to build a digital camera? What would a child learn by dropping an assembled circuit board into a plastic case? It's interesting to consider that by putting photography within the reach of so many, it is also out of reach in other ways.
Though I haven't found anyone yet, I wonder if there are any artists out there using the LogiKit to take pictures now? Having the camera come to you in pieces begs for adding cool modifications while building the camera from the ground up. There's got to be somebody, right?
We have covered many low-end cameras here on Retro Thing, such as the Diana. Some photographers embrace toy cameras and the imperfect images they create. Because toy & kit cameras are so tempermental, the photographer invites the camera to be part of the process - an all-plastic collaborator.
Since relative perfection is easy to achieve with a digital camera, I think that those who want to take a more experimental approach to photography will keep discovering old toy cameras. I have a couple of ideas of my own for such low-grade cameras, but building one from the ground up might be a little more than my little brain can stand.