$35 lomography.com

The packaging on this kit is the best I’ve ever seen. The box is beautiful, and the parts are laid out so well I almost felt bad taking them out. The instructions are a bit daunting, but the videos are clear, and between the two, I was able to complete the “one-to-two hour” build in about an hour and twenty minutes.

Shooting is a unique experience. The old-school ground glass makes for a vintage feel; there’s no prism, so images are left/right reversed or upside down. The shutter and viewfinder are connected, which feels strange, but makes taking gorgeous double-exposures easy. Focusing is rough, aperture is stuck at f/10, and the shutter is either 1/80 or bulb. Advancing is weird, so I ended up with wide gaps between some frames, and some photos overlapping.

But that’s the idea: the rough bits are part of the charm. And there wasn’t a single light leak on any of my prints.  Get this for anyone looking for a fun kit experience, especially Instagram enthusiasts who may appreciate being reminded what their favorite filters are based on.