Assemble Your Own 35mm Camera
By Jonathan Poet
Among people who know about toy cameras, there seems to be two camps: the lovers (cute! fun!) and the haters (plastic lenses! the price!). Which makes me wonder whether the SuperHeadz 35mm Camera Kit and the Gakken TLR Camera can unite these two camps.
Think of these as slightly more sophisticated versions of those assemble-your-own or print-your-own pinhole camera kits. (Or the modern version of the 1977 LogiKit camera). The parts — nearly all of them plastic — snap together, though a few connections require screws. Both cameras are fixed focal length and fixed aperture. But they also are relatively inexpensive compared to some other toy cameras out there.
The resulting photos from the point-and-shoot "Plamodel" and the "Gakkenflex" TLR will probably give the toy camera-haters fits. I imagine light leaks abound and quality is probably comparable to a disposable camera — but even the haters might appreciate the price point and the enlightening journey it takes to get those tepid results.