Recesky or Gakkenflex – the £10 TLR camera kit.

Recesky TLRLomography is built, in part, upon the foundations of low-cost cameras made, for the most part, in Hong Kong and China. The trusty Diana and Holga have proven popular for decades, and an ever-expanding pool of designs has ensured that Lomography’s product range is rarely stale.

Outside of Lomography, however, a little funky twin-lens reflex camera has been doing the rounds for a few years. Originally appearing as part of a magazine – Otona no Kagaku or “Science Of Adult”, the Gakkenflex cost around $40 when the nearest comparable TLRs were almost 3x the price. Now eBay has become home to the “Recesky” camera kit – and whaddya know, this little beauty looks surprisingly similar to that Gakkenflex. The sample I have here I bought for under £8 including shipping from China… and here’s how to put it together.

Recesky and Gakkenflex cameras are now commonly available through Amazon and eBay for extremely low cost – between £8 and £20 typically, depending on the bundle – and provide an amusing diversion as well as an unusual analogue camera for enthusiasts.

This article will be updated once the films are processed (and it stops raining long enough to get out there) – in the meantime here’s a rundown of the assembly. Below there is also a video that shows how the shutter mechanism works. As you can see, the shutter is far from a tight fit – I’d recommend keeping the camera in a dark bag (as no lens cap is provided) when not in use if it’s loaded with film.

Components.

The kit may look daunting if you’ve never taken on a reasonably complex model or project, but it really isn’t. The instructions, in Chinese, are reasonably easy to understand just from the pictures, and it’s crucial to identify which screws are needed for each stage, other than that the plastic parts fit well and need no trimming or finishing.

Start off with some basics:

Tripod Mount parts. The tripod mount is the nut, which you place inside the plastic cup then screw to the body with two of the smaller, round-headed screws. An easy start!

Tripod mount fitted. Once aligned, simply tighten the screws and then that’s this side of the camera completed.

Shutter Test

Testing the shutter on the Recesky before assembly.

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