Customer Reviews: Genuine Fotodiox DIY Lomo Camera, Twin Lens Reflex, TLR Camera Kit (68 Pieces, with Detailed Instructions, Uses 35mm 24 Exposure B&W or Color Film)
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on January 14, 2013
I bought this camera as an intro to the world of inexpensive plastic cameras, and was not disappointed. The camera leaks light (even though I taped all of the edges with electrical tape), the film "counter" wouldn't engage with the film (so I ended up winding too far to avoid double exposures), almost all pictures were overexposed (using 400 ASA in bright sunlight), and only the center of the images are in focus. Which were all fine with me, I'm experimenting with this camera because I want the imperfections, and they haven't been overly distracting.

The instruction manual is less than adequate, but it was sufficient for me to get the camera together and working, without breaking anything. The camera design is simple in an elegant way, so you can't go too far wrong. As people have pointed out in other reviews, the codes for the larger shutter springs are switched, and the screwdriver referred to in the instructions is not included. I used a Phillips screwdriver from a jeweler's kit, anything larger would strip the screw heads.

You should also be prepared to develop the film yourself, or have the lab cut the film strips manually (the spacing may not be consistent).

The description and instructions both mention the use of 24 exposure film, but I had no problem using 36 exposure film.

Have fun!
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on February 25, 2015
It'll look nice on a shelf if nothing else. I like taking stuff apart and putting it back together, and I had fun building this camera and loading it with film. I'm still going through my first roll -- I'm running Ilford HP5 Plus because it's the most forgiving film I've ever shot. The shutter appears to work at about 1/125 and the lens appears to have an aperture of f/11. That calls for fast film and bright light -- Kodak Ultramax, Fuji Superia, Ilford HP5 Plus, or Kodak Tri-X would all be good fits. I wouldn't want to try running Kodak Portra or Fuji NPH through it, if only because they're not as tolerant and I would personally consider it a waste of film.

The instructions in the latest revisions appear to be better than what other reviewers have noted. The Engrish problem seems to be mostly resolved, and if you have any experience at all in building models you should have no issues with building this camera.

Shooting this camera will be a little iffy because of the dubious film advance: there's no click stop to tell you when you've reached the next frame, only arrow indicators on the side of the body. The shutter and film advance aren't coupled to each other, so there's also no way to prevent double exposures. With the right film (try some of that expired stuff you can find on certain auction sites) and the right technique, you could have a lot of fun with multiple exposures. I'll be updating this review in a little while when I develop my film and see what I've gotten.
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on October 28, 2015
Now I remember why I quit buying my kids toys that had to be assembled...I hate assembling products. I would pay extra to get something assembled. I'm stuck where the tiny microscopic springs are to be installed. First let me say the instructions say a screwdriver is supplied. IT'S NOT! Not only do you need a tiny screwdriver you will need a pair of tweezers to install those tiny springs, if you have bumbling fingers like I got. Also it says assembly time is about one hour...LOL THAT's funny. But once I do get it put together, if ever, it does look like fun and cool to use. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is because it took me an hour to find a tiny screwdriver amongst my toolbox. One more thing, the instructions can be unclear sometimes. It's written in English by someone who isn't well versed in the English language.
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on August 15, 2015
For a DIY plastic camera, I cannot ask for more. The instructions are relatively straightforward - yes, there may be a couple of parts that are difficult to put together. It took me about an hour to get everything put together, and it looked great! It is so light and easy to use, I bring it when I travel for some fun, non-typical pictures. The pictures turn out great - in particular the double exposure feature, what a delight!
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on May 14, 2015
I really really really wanted this camera to work out, but very poor instructions (including both errors in the diagrams and indecipherable "English" directions) made it impossible to assemble. Screws had stripped out the plastic by the time I figured out how the shutter mechanism was actually supposed to fit together, and even then the pieces did not meet properly to consistently open the shutter properly. I usually have no trouble with meticulous assembly, but this one was a dud. Very disappointed since I was so excited to try it!
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on June 18, 2013
I was looking forward to putting this little thing together and learning a bit more about how things work from the inside out. It was a gift and I was very excited about using it after putting it together. Just like many other reviewers have mentioned it did not come with a screwdriver and the hinges C & D were mislabeled and unfortunately I could not get it to work! The hinges don't hold the shutter properly so it stays open and will not close on its own. I tried a million different ways but unfortunately this will not be a working camera. I'd return it but the receipts are long gone as it took me awhile to decide to begin this project. I will be using it as a shelf piece which would be cute/fun to display but if it actually worked like it's advertised it would be even better. It seems the same complaints are happening but Fotodiox doesn't seem to care and make things right. Hopefully if you are planning on getting this as a gift or for yourself you've read this first. Although some ppl have gotten it to work, you may actually be unlucky enough to have a faulty one. Maybe it's worth the risk to you or maybe not but hopefully these reviews will help you make an informed decision. Good luck!
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on April 17, 2012
very cool little camera and it was quite an experience to build, only took about an hour, maybe a little longer but it was pretty interesting all the same. I have taken pictures for a long time and I know how a camera works and even as simple as this one is it was a really neat learning experience. the film advance doesnt always catch correctly so I just guess on how far Ive advanced and hope that I get to an empty spot although its no biggie if I don't art shots are cooler when theyre accidental.
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on July 1, 2013
My expectations were very low. After all, it's only $15. And that's what you get, a $15 kit that shows you how a TLR camera works. And that's about it.

The instructions are poor, typical bad English translations, and misleading and/or wrong on a couple of steps. If you are mechanically oriented, you can overcome the instructions and end up with a finished kit. If you get stuck, you're done, and you'll probably just toss it, figuring you're only out $15.

I haven't run a roll of film through it, and I don't think I'm going to. The film feed is loose/iffy, and the shutter mechanism is quite poor, I'm not sure it would shoot even photos, you'll most likely end up with quite blurry and uneven pictures, with very dark corners. But, like I said, I haven't run a roll through, so I'm just guessing, based on my experience with other plastic cameras. Maybe someone day I'll spend the $8 or so that a roll of film and processing will cost, but for now, it's just a neat toy that sits with my camera collection.
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on June 4, 2013
This was a gift for an artistically inclined friend. They thought it was very cool but as far as I know they havent been able to assemble it. Its a bit more complicated than I thought it would be. Their birthday was 6 months ago. Cool idea but maybe a gift for the engineer type rather than the photographers.
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on May 10, 2016
Cool camera.
It takes a while to assemble. It took me a bit longer than the description says - and it almost took me twice as long.
I used the 'wrong' screw in one location and it was nearly a disaster -- I was this close >< to having to take the whole thing apart and start all over again. Luckily, I was able to remove the 'wrong' screw and keep everything inside assembled while installing the 'right' screw.
It was a gift, so I don't know how the pictures look -- but in the hands of an enthusiast, any camera can take great shots.
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