Recesky top

The Recesky DIY TLR Camera

Another DIY camera kit: the Recesky DIY TLR camera. It was a birthday present from my colleagues at Weitclick. I needed less glue as last time, as you can see here:

Like my Superheadz Plamodel DIY, the camera is an “unassembled” 35 mm camera, but this one is a Twin-lens reflex camera, and one of the few 35 mm TLR in existence (most TLR were and are built for 120mm film). Another 35 mm TLR “toy” camera is for example the Superheadz blackbird fly, but it’s far more expensive. So beside the fun to build it, the Recesky is maybe the cheapest way to try out TLR photography, as you can get it for around 19 €

About the camera: The Recesky is slightly modified copy of the Gakkenflex TLR which was included in issue #25 of the Japanese magazine 大人の科学マガジン (Otona no Kagaku – Science for adults) in  2010. The camera has two 50mm lenses: the actual imaging lens with a ƒ:1/11 or 1/5.6 and the focussing lens wide a wide open aperture. The only exposure time is 1/125. Instead of a normal viewfinder, the Recesky has ground glass screen to which you look down to compose your picture and focus. The only accessory of the camera is a tripod mount, no frame counter, flash connection or any other luxury.

Taking pictures: Load with film, look down, focus, release. Like most TLR cameras, the Recesky has no viewfinder but a screen for focussing. If this is not odd enough, the picture is also is reversed ‘left to right’, which makes TLR photography a really different experience.  Also, the standard orientation is portrait, not landscape. My camera shoots on “release” not on “push, don’t ask me why. For next picture advance film or not, in case you want to play with mutliple exposure. On half turn of the advance index means you advanced one frame. To change the aperture, remove the little “aperture disc”. As the only exposure time is 1/125, you can only compensate this by using a “slower” film.

Recesky top Recesky side Recesky back Recesky viewfinder imm023_24A imm014_15A imm017_18A imm031_34A imm008_9A imm003_4

Brand Redesky
Camera Recesky DIY 35 mm  TLR
Year built 2013 (still in production)
Serial number  –
Lens 1:11 or 1:5.6 f = 50 mm
Film format 135 / 35 mm
Special features
Manufactured by Recesky
Date of purchase 03.04.2012
Price 19 € here
Place of purchase

Tips&Tricks: Follow the manual when you try to assemble the camera. It will really save a lot of time. As the film advance index slipped in my model, I added some cardboard to increase the pressure on the film slightly. One hint which was not mentioned in my manual: the lens barrels have to small marking dots. If you bring them next to each other when assembling, the focus should be right.

Film purchase & processing: The camera uses standard 35mm film, for use with the plastic aperture plate 400 is suggested, 200 worked fine for me. Without the plate, 100 ISO should be fine, I will post results of this combination as soon as I shot the second roll of film. As always with standard 35mm film, it can be developed everywhere. UPDATE: Just shot the first 200 ISO roll with the aperture plate removed. With this modification, I did not manage to make any sharp picture due to the narrower depth of field.

Useful Links:   (Flickr group) (Gakkenflex vs. Recesky vs. Blackbird Fly) (Manual)

The Recesky Flickr group pool
My pictures on Flickr


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