Lomo hopes that the Transparent Kollector’s Edition Konstruktor will give film aficionados some new insights.
Have you ever wondered what goes on inside your SLR film camera (if you still have one of those)? Lomo has been eager to indulge this interest, judging from the series of x-ray vision cameras that it has released. Now they’ve followed up further on that commitment, releasing a (rather 90’s-looking) clear plastic analog camera ($59). Maybe you’ve read up on it or looked at pictures of a camera’s insides, but so far no one’s been able to display the process in motion, owing to the fact that light – all too necessary for recording such things – also ruins film. The camera, a special edition Konstruktor, embodies this paradox. You can see all the moving parts, but you can’t actually expose film (or if you try, you’ll just burn through rolls of film). Lomo’s website and packaging for the product unambiguously remind us of this, repeatedly intoning “This is purely for display purposes and not for photographic use.” A commenter noted sarcastically on Petapixel that the camera “can demonstrate “light leak” phenomenon to new generations,” but it remains to be seen whether the camera’s overexposures are even and absolute, or if anything more than a slight light leak could be charming.
Another educational element of the device is that, like all Konstruktor models, this one is “some assembly required.” The camera comes as an unassembled kit; the plastic pieces pop out from their frame, and in putting them together with the included screwdriver, you also learn how a film SLR camera is manufactured. Just don’t try to take pictures with this one. We warned you. Dig the clear look but want something more functional? Pop Photo Mag found a Canon EOS-3 with a mostly clear shell, but it’s unknown where and why this version was made. Also, the functional version, at $39, costs $20 less.