This is something little bit different from instant cameras. Do you like to built your own 35mm film camera ? Maybe it sounds ridiculous since 35mm film cameras are not something many use these days. But for any camera fan building a camera buy all your self should be something fun. Also it could be a great birthday gift for your kids or grands kids, even cool for spending bonding time with kids. I mean a kid of never miss a chance to build a real camera. So if you are interested then there are several options. I found 2 DIY camera sets which are under $50.
Lomography Konstruktor Do-It-Yourself 35mm Film SLR Camera Kit is one I found really interesting. First pointer is price. It cost you less than $40 ! So this DIY camera cost you even less than a cheap Polaroid camera. It’s a kit which includes all pieces of the camera, instructions and even a screwdriver. It’s so simple, only takes an hour or two to built a fully-functioning camera.
Konstruktor 35mm Film SLR Camera Kit comes with a 50mm f/10 fixed aperture detachable lens and a hooded waist-level viewfinder. Focusing and exposure controls are manual. Also you can do both Bulb Setting and Multi-Exposure with this Konstruktor camera. Manufacturer guarantee it’s 100% light-proof not don’t take it as just another cheap Lomography camera. It can make really good photos if you know how to use it.
It doesn’t look one of those cheap models and some of the Amazon customers have mentioned Holga wide angle and telephoto lenses work perfectly for this camera. Only problem I found in this kit is it doesn’t come with a lens cover. It’s really fun building this camera. If you follow instructions then you should be holding a working camera at end of the process. I think it’s great for a classroom project or even to do it at home with your kids or by your self.
These cameras use 35mm film which are bit hard to find in local stores anymore. But still available in most of online stores such as Amazon. Recently Lomography has started selling 35mm film packs under their brands name but for higher than normal market price. So it’s better if you check few more options before buying film rolls. You can get Fujifilm 35mm film rolls for cheaper. Also quality might be different depending on the speed. For photos in low light conditions best option is ISO 800 or higher. ISO 400 is good for both indoors and out doors photos in normal conditions.