Konstructor, the DIY 35mm SLR camera by Lomo

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Update 2024

Although this blog was published more than 10 years ago, its relevance has not changed. Lomo still sells this kit and even included alternative lenses in their range. The latest version also offers support for an external flash!

People of my age group grew up with analog photography. You had to insert a film roll, couldn't immediately see what you captured in the photo, and had to go to the store to get it developed after (approximately) 24 or 36 shots. Nowadays, everything is digital, and especially the younger generation has no idea how different photography used to be.

A colleague brought the Konstructor camera from Lomo to my attention. This is an analog single-lens reflex (SLR) camera that you have to assemble yourself. The best part is the price; it costs less than 40 euros! Together with some colleagues, we ordered several of these cameras and assembled them while enjoying some food and drinks

Boxes with Konstructor cameras and film rolls

The anticipation started when the cameras arrived. Not a boring box with a pile of parts, but a beautifully designed packaging showcasing the components.

Following the provided instructions, we began the assembly. Overall, it went smoothly, but (to keep it exciting) there were a few minor errors in the manual, and not everything was crystal clear. However, about an hour and a half later, the cameras were assembled, and they all seemed to be working. Whether they actually work, we will find out soon when the film rolls are developed.

All parts of the Konstructor camera

For less than 40 euros, you get a fun and interesting DIY kit. You get to see firsthand how a camera works, and it's fun to get back to using film rolls. A nice detail is that it comes with a set of stickers, allowing you to customize the camera according to your own taste.

Konstructor fully assembled

When I took the photo above, there were no stickers on it yet; you can go completely wild with customization.