Lomo Releases Special Edition Transparent Konstruktor, An Unusable Film Camera


Lomography is no stranger to releasing strange cameras — everything from Where’s Waldo editions to a hand-cranked movie camera have crossed our desks — but the Transparent Collector’s Edition Konstruktor is perhaps cooler and definitely less useful than all of those.

That’s because the Transparent Konstruktor camera that Lomography just announces is, as the name implies, a transparent film camera… which also makes it an unusable film camera.

But that’s sort of the point. Lomo wanted to create something that could be used to sate that desire inside you that has always wanted to see a film camera’s innards in action, and since you can’t have it both ways, it means that you probably won’t be loading any real film in there unless you’ve got money to burn.

And in case someone doesn’t make the connection on their own, Lomography made sure to mention it in the product description by adding the statement, “This edition is purely for display purposes and not for photographic use,” in bold letters.

Here’s are a few more pictures of the collector’s edition cam:





As with all Konstruktor models, this is a 35mm camera that comes with “some assembly required.” To learn more about the educational camera or drop $59 to pick one up for yourself, head over to the Lomography Web store by clicking here.

(via PopPhoto)

  • Jake

    I don’t mind that it doesn’t work, that it screams pretentious “hipster” (if that word even has any meaning anymore) cliches, or that they’re passing it off as an “educational” item.
    What I do mind is that they’re charging $20 more than the version that actually does work.

  • bob cooley

    Lomo makes another unusable camera? That’s a surprise… :)

  • sam

    or it can demonstrate “light leak” phenomenon to new generations …

  • incendiary

    I can already seeing someone use it anyways to make some sort of expressive art. It will be a gallery of white photo’s. Although maybe you could do something in a dark room with a flash….

  • Mike

    How the heck does Kodak go down but Lomo keeps going with such products?

  • 写真家


  • WhyNot

    I love how Lomo is able to say “screw u” to all those tight-ass wanna-be pro photographers who don’t accept toys and fun in their “serious art”. Thanks Lomo for maintaining film alive!

  • Zzzz

    It’s because Kodak is a big company and couldn’t cover its costs. Nothing to do with quality product.

  • agour

    I’ll stick to buying broken cameras on ebay for £5 and pulling them apart

  • Leonardo Abreu


  • Mike

    Well, at least we can see how Lomo cover their costs.

  • bob cooley

    Kodak was a highly diversified photographic company, that had the vast majority of its holdings in the analog industry (Film, Cameras, Papers, Chemicals, Darkroom equipment, etc. etc.). Unfortunately, they weren’t nimble enough to adapt to the industry change to digital. They are still around but are in a serious rebuilding cycle, and will never be what they were. Its hard (and expensive) to completely retool a company so dramatically.

    Lomographische AG isn’t a photographic company, they are a lifestyle marketing company, which happens to primarily sell cameras (they also sell branded clothing, “camera” bags, Keychains, “Lifestyle” books, etc.). They have a single focus, and don’t actually manufacture anything themselves – they re-tool designs of other, older toy cameras and lesser known eastern-block cameras, and have the designs manufactured in China.

    Kodak has been around for over 100 years. Lomo will likely die out as analog photographic materials become harder and more expensive to obtain.

  • WhineWhine

    The dogs bark, the “Lomo” caravan passes.

  • Espen

    Well, most of their cameras shoot just as great pictures as Nikon/Canon for 1/10 of the price…and they’re not dicking about trying to be something they’re not either. Fun cameras for artistic people!

  • bob cooley

    Ahhhh.. Hipster downvotes – I’m complimented by the irony :)

  • Espen

    I don’t expect you to know much about marketing and brand management, but the days when companies where based around their products are gone, at least for companies doing well. The textbook example of this is Nike and Redbull, but you can clearly see this in Nikon and Canon as well. (you can get Nikon clothing and lense-shaped coffeecups and loads of other stuff btw) The brand is in the centre, they just need something to put their logo on. And what’s wrong with a company doing things right?

    I shoot both Lomo and Canon, and they both have their qualities, but I have to say my lomo is more fun because it makes me focus purely on the subject. On my Canon it’s at least 5 different settings to change before I shoot a single picture. what’s the fun in that?

  • Julian Callan

    Ugh, really regret running my last roll of Aerochrome through this.

  • Ralph Hightower

    It must have fantastic light leaks!

  • Eugene Chok

    this would be a great project to do with a child, build a camera together put a accidental exposed roll of film in there, watch how it works from the outside, get them a normal one to use and show them how chemicals work, a great science/engineering/photography project…. yea I’m sure thats who will end up buying these…..

  • bob cooley

    If your lomo images are just as “great” as your images from your Nikon/Canon, then your images likely do not approach the realm of ‘great’ and you need to improve your photographic skills.

    In the last 30 years I’ve shot Nikon, Canon, Hasse, Mamiya, Sinar, a host of others; I also have 2 original Dianas, a Lina-S, a couple of original Holgas (the modern lomo versions of all of these toy cameras are way too bland). But all toy cameras are very niche, and have only limited value and are for specific situations as photographic tools. Unless you are using them as toys – which is fine, because they are.

    Artistic people are the ones who have taken time to master their craft, know the tools, and can use them to a pre-envisioned result, the vast majority of lomo users are visual tourists who think that ‘random’ and obscure are the makings of art.

  • Espen

    Well I guess you have a different taste for photography than me then! Who are you to judge what’s art and whats not? In the world of art we all have our favorite tools for achieving the intended result. Some prefer paintbrushes over crayons, some prefer a 1000$ camera over a 20$ camera. Others choose the other way around. But you feel you are entitled to mock those who choose a different photographic tool than you do??

  • bob cooley

    Yeah, since you clearly know me and (don’t) know that I ran a successful marketing agency for 10 years, and am now the Sr. Communications Strategist at one of the top financial firms in our market, I know nothing about marketing or brand management. Nice one.

    Camera companies (Nikon, Canon, etc) produce their own cameras – some of the sensors are made to specification by others, but many are self-produced – but they do the majority of their own major manufacturing.

    Nikon and Canon don’t make the coffee mugs you are referring to, those are produced and sold by third parties who have paid for licensing from those brands. The other items with these companies brand on them are swag to advertise the brand, but are not a serious component of their sales.

    My reply to the Mike was a simple explanation of the difference between a manufacturer that couldn’t keep up with the changes, and a lifestyle brand company. Lifestyle marketing companies have shorter life-cycles because they are dependent on trends, and don’t produce products. I made no judgement on either methodology – but you feel the need to defend lomo because you can’t seem to figure out how to use your Canon effectively. You can concentrate just as effectively if not more on your subject with your Canon if you learn to use the tool, and have more creative control over your outcomes.

    Both of your replies to me are very defensive; in one you replied to a joke, the other to a neutral statement about the way businesses work. You seem to have to defend your choice of fandom for the product. Enjoy your lomo.

  • bob cooley

    I think you missed the point – I use all the tools you mention, and more – and I’ve taken the time to learn and hone my craft. Creating art is not a happy accident ~ it’s something done with thought, love, care, craftsmanship and skill.

    I haven’t mocked anyone – lomo has done a good job at selling their brand and convincing people that their products can make them artists, but because I want to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t mean that deed I gave you has any value…

    Who am I to judge? No one. But I have made a comfortable life and career in creating art (though now I split that time with communications strategy, which is a different field of art) so I think I have a pretty informed viewpoint.

  • Espen

    Alright’ I might have been a bit “on the edge” on my replys to both your posts (afternoon here in europe, tired after work) and didn’t get the irony in your first post. (some people actually mean that stuff). And I agree that art rarely is an accident, although sometimes it is. My point is just that I’ll rather see a well-composed picture shot with a toy-camera than a knife-sharp dull picture shot by a “all gadgets no talent”-photographer (and there’s loads of them), so lomography is not useless at all :) And to reply to your other post: I kind of see what you mean about lomography beeing a trend, but I think it’s more of a enthusiast-thing in the long run, and will continue because of that. Just like Vinyl vs CD’s/mp3’s.

    And when it comes to controlling the outcome: yes, in that sence a canon/nikon gives more freedom. But it’s also a lot easier to be artistic and explore the possibilities when there’s a certain amount of boundaries, strangely enough. Give a random person a pencil and a paper and tell him to draw “whatever he’d like” and the person might be stuck with nothing.

  • bob cooley

    In total agreement with everything you’ve said here. Cheers!

  • Really

    They were probably trying so hard to be hipster that they forgot what cameras do. So fitting.

  • keena

    Stupid product for stupid buyer.

  • brysy

    The warning reminds me of warnings on packets of peanuts “This product may contain nuts”. Or news channels “this report may have flashing images”.
    But I suppose there are people out there who should be in the Darwin awards….
    OK I’m gonna buy one and in the spirit of Lomgraphy wrap all the transparent bits in Gaffer tape….Oh wait a minute…Doh!

  • brysy

    BTW. I love Lomography…For the record…Random is good! No different from any manual film camera. You never know what you are going to get. Anyone saying different if fooling themselves..

  • brysy

    Any “artist” disputing that please explain why studio photographers used to shoot instant film first as testers.
    Aso why in the “old days” there was such anticipation at waiting for the results to come back from the processors?

  • Mike McKallicuffy

    the stupid part of this, isn’t that it doesn’t work as a camera, but that because the plastic is frosted, you can’t really see the workings inside. they could have made it 100x cooler if the plastic was crystal clear, and included developed negatives that you could see moving through the back when you advanced the film.

    it COULD have actually been a great way to teach children about how a camera works.

  • David Vaughn

    I don’t think it’s as much a “screw you” as it is a “we are going to make so much bank on this novelty!”

    Don’t get me wrong. If you enjoy toy cameras, I am not one to judge. Keep doing your thing.

    But, c’mon, do you really think Lomo cares about the “look at all the conformists” sensibilities of it’s (apparent) market? It saw an untapped niche and now it’s trying to drain it of every penny it’s willing to give up, just like any other company. It’s riding on the wave of trends and fads, and I don’t think it could care less about what the “pros” are doing, because that’s not who they’re trying to sell their products to.