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Gakkenflex : Fun!

By • Nov 12th, 2009 • Category: Others

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Finally got my Gakkenflex assembled and ready to go. It was really fun putting the little parts together but not being able to read Japanese (in the instructions) did make me pause a couple of times to look hard before proceeding. Some of the parts/steps were a little confusing (for me). So I decided to note those down and maybe share with everyone here … in case anyone is interested. πŸ˜€

All ready to start … after Fitzand goes to bed πŸ˜€

The final product … ready to go!

The first thing to note is that the package comes with 3 different types of screws. You can sort them out before proceeding. When you look at the instructions … do note the screws to be used in the diagrams. I’m not sure if using the wrong ones will cause any headache later but then … it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The flat head type

The … ermm … ‘flying saucer’ shape ones

The rounded head type

One thing that got me a little confused was the mirror assembly. You will find a piece of mirror and a piece of white paper of the same size and shape. The white paper is actually a double sided tape. What you need to do is just to first peel off one side of the double sided tape to reveal the stick part. Then stick it on the plastic part (the one below A & B in the diagram). Align it nicely. Now carefully remove the other side of the double sided tape to reveal the other sticky side. Remove the protection sheet from one side of the glass and carefully place the mirror onto the double sided tape. This will hold it in place.

Once that is done, you can peel off the protection sheet from the other side of the mirror that’s facing upwards. You can use some sticky tape to ‘pull up’ the protection sheet (as in the diagram) or be lazy like me … just use your fingernail to remove the sheet. It comes of very easily. πŸ˜€ So what got me confused in this step? Hahaha. It didn’t really confuse me but I had a hard time peeling of the backing from the double sided tape because it was so darn thin and I have big fat fingers.

Next is the shutter mechanism. I know some got stuck at this stage but if you look carefully … it is pretty simple. From the diagram, it seems that it is trying to tell us to leave a 1mm gap when installing that screw (below diagram, marked with red arrow). I was wondering why we have to do this …

That was until I came to the next step (below). You need to ensure the part (marked A) is aligned with the part marked B. By tightening/loosening the screw (marked C), you can then make sure the two parts (A & B) are aligned. This is very important as later when you trigger the shutter … part A will push part B to open up the shutter.

There are two springs that look pretty identical but of different sizes in there. If you are confused, just look carefully at them and match them to the diagram. Apart from the sizes, the C-shaped part of the spring for both of them are different.

The other things in setting up the camera is pretty easy. The last thing that you might wanna take note is when installing the ‘flap’ that’s on top of the camera. Sorry I don’t know the exact name of this thingie but it is highlighted in the diagram below. Note the red arrow? You will find a protruding plastic tab on one side of the flap. Make sure that part is located to the rear of the camera … otherwise you will have problem closing the top flaps. If you made a mistake, don’t worry. Just carefully remove the part and redo again.

That’s about all. Not sure if these are of any help at all but … ermm … just sharing a few things that I thought might help. πŸ˜€

200 Comments »

  1. hi! i would like to ask some questions;
    i tried the bulb mode thingy posted on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY0Bm58-8Ww&feature=related)

    when i slowly release the shutter, it does not open as much as it does in the video! maybe till only 70%.
    did anyone face the same problem?

    and also, do u all know where to buy the mirror? ahha i kinda screwed up and some of the mirror surface came off together with the protective film!

    thank u all!

  2. @lew_lian : Sorry I can’t answer your question about the bulb mode because I’ve yet to try it. πŸ˜€ I’ll try check with Mijonju (from CircleRectangle.com) because I’ve seen him doing it. As for the mirror, maybe you can check with those shops selling/cutting/customize mirrors. They should be able to cut one that size for you but the thickness is something they’ve to take into consideration too. I’ve a piece of good news for you though. I have a piece of that mirror for you! Hahaha! You’ve to self collect it though. Just let me have your contact and we’ll arrange from there.

  3. @ndroo: hi! thanks for the reply! thank u so much for offering to help to check!

    as for the mirror, i’ll have a test run with the camera first, then i’ll see if i really need a replacement! haha coz currently, the bottom third of the viewfinder is blurred. if i really need the mirror replacement, then i’ll need your help ndroo!

    thank u ndroo for being so kind!

  4. @lew_lian : No worries. Good luck on the test run.

  5. […] of mine, is one of those who is into hands-on assembly for cameras etc. Last I heard, he did up the Gakkenflex. Not bad I must say, I can’t even ‘gao dim’ the modification of my Konica Wai […]

  6. […] http://www.ndroo.com/blog/?p=2396Β Fuzzy Eyeballs break down of the touch part […]

  7. I just made this last night, testing today. Bought in a camera shop in Ebisu for 2,500 JPY (about 27 USD). Fortunately I read Japanese. A couple of notes. MIRROR: there are two protective layers on the used side. The clear cover comes off the unused side, this goes on the two-sided tape. Once the mirror assembly is in the camera, the covering on the “live” side of the mirror should be removed, first a blue layer, next a very hard to spot clear layer. SHUTTER OPENING PROBLEMS: I had a similar issue with the shutter opening only around 40%, and had to use a razor to shave the top of a post about 0.05cm so it was flush with the top of the piece that pushes the shutter open. If you press slightly on this piece as you test the shutter you can see the difference that it will make. BODY ASSEMBLY: when connecting the sides to the face with six screws, only the two at the top of the camera are fastened hard to begin with such that the camera has some play necessary for insertion of other parts. The directions show the timing of when the middle and bottom screws should be tightened.

  8. @Brutus Cornelius : Thank you very much for the very well described tips. I am sure many Gakkenflex owners will appreciate the pointers.

  9. So I posted the Ebay message a few months ago about the Gakkenflex for $40? Turns out it was a clone… oddly enough. Called Recesky. Exactly the same as the gakken though, except for the name.

  10. @Courtney : yeah i heard of the ‘clones’ but never seen them. Do they come with the mag too? I just saw some here in Tokyo and boy … they sure are cheaper now.

  11. Hey ndroo,

    Thanks for doing this! i just got my gakkenflex and i’ve been stuck at the fixing the mirror.
    Very curious how the picts turned out for you.

    Would love to take a peek at ur shots sometime!
    cheerssssss!

  12. @twirlmyfinger : Glad this was of help. My shots? Hahaha! It is crazy that I’ve yet to even finish my 1st roll on it. I shot a roll halfway, then I took out the lens from the Gakkenflex and planted it on my Lensbaby! I have a spare set of the Gakkenflex but yet to take out the lens to install on the earlier set. πŸ˜€

  13. hey ndroo & peeps! for those who are interested in the upcoming Japanese Camera Mook Series from SuperHeadz “Wide Lens Camera”, its coming to Books Kinokuniya Japanese Department in June with a Free Camera!
    you can check it out here! πŸ˜‰
    http://kinokuniyacbjbpromotions.blogspot.com/2010/05/upcoming-japanese-camera-mook-series.html

  14. @deon : Thanks for the info. Looks like it’s gonna be a fun camera. Probably the one like the Vivitar UWS or the Superheadz branded one eh? Cool! Wonder if the following one will come with a free digital cam eh? Hmm. Maybe a Harinezumi? πŸ˜›

  15. […] solely on the images, but there are a few parts that can catch you out (namely the shutter), and this excellent English guide by blogger ‘ndroo’ came in very handy when it came to some of […]

  16. hey ndroo, big fan! rly πŸ˜€
    haha anyway i was wondering, can i really focus faraway till my lens go like in (all the way like in the manual/tutorial) in to the camera? cos for me, mine seems unable to focus subjects faraway. πŸ™

  17. @Kelllllllllly : Thanks for dropping by. As for your cam … I don’t really understand what you mean. Do you mean to say that you can’t focus to infinity? Infinity as in subjects far far away? You also mentioned that your lens can’t go ‘in’. Does this mean that no matter how you turn, the lens won’t retract? If this is the case, perhaps you didn’t get the installation right (the lens part). When you screwed in the lens ‘barrels’, did you screw it all the way in? There will come a stage halfway through screwing it in … that there is some kind of resistance. You have to continue turning it until the lens ‘barrel’ is able to go all the way it. Otherwise focusing will be out. Do you have a photo of the camera with the lens ‘all the way in’ as at now? You can send me a photo and I’ll try take a look. My email is ndroo&pacific.net.sg (replace & with @).

  18. Yay, managed to fix it by just uh TURNING it all the way in……. hehe! Thx ndroo ^^

  19. @Kelllllllllly : Cool! Now go have big fun with the cam. Btw … how many ‘L’s are there in your name? Hahaha! I had to copy it instead of typing … just to be sure. πŸ˜›

  20. Hi guys,
    1st thing, fabulous tutorial!

    I just assembled my GakkenFlex, and am assembling one for my friend. Both of us bought from Taka’s Kino. Then I realised that my friend’s boxset is missing Spring B! Unfortunately, I opened the plastic covers. Do you think I can ask for an exchange from Kino?

    If not, anybody here knows where I can purchase a new Spring B?

    Thanks in advance!! πŸ™‚

  21. @Daniel : I don’t think Kino will entertain such issues but you can probably give them a call to try. I’ve heard of cases like missing parts or duplicate parts before too.

  22. @ndroo and all interested parties,

    I managed to get a 1-1 exchange at Kino! The staff was pleasant enough, and apparently they had this no-questions-asked policy for Gakken Mook. Seems that they had several similar requests from customers.

    Thanks dudes!

  23. @Daniel : Awesome! Didn’t know they have such great policy and glad you got your set replaced. Have fun!

  24. how many ’rounds’ must you roll the film before taking the next picture?

  25. how many ’rounds’ do you need to roll the film before taking the next picture?

  26. @mariaaa : You turn half a circle (half a round) to get to the next frame.

  27. okayy, thank you! πŸ™‚

  28. @mariaaa : My pleasure πŸ™‚

  29. @mariaaa : My pleasure πŸ™‚

  30. Crap, I totally messed up in the assembly and now my mirror is totally scratched up, as in it’s unusable now, as in both sides, as in it’s like a completely clear piece of plastic in the middle with the sinny side only on the edges…

    Don’t ask.

    Bottom line, I need a mirror replacement, anyone know where I can get one?

  31. @Tony C : Oh no! That sounds bad. You are one lucky devil. πŸ˜› I do have a piece of that mirror for you. Not a spare but from a Gakkenflex I ripped apart. πŸ˜€ Do send me your email etc thru my contact page and I’ll mail it to you (and hope the postman won’t crush it).

  32. can get it from art fren

  33. @noreen : Cool. Thanks for the info. The thickness is the same?

  34. yes very close to it or may b its the same…… its more like a acrylic mirror easily cut using pen knife…… and its meant for arts and craft

  35. @noreen : Thanks again. We can always count on you about thes art & craft stuffs! Yay!

  36. Hey all,
    If anyone’s still having issues with building the Gakkenflex, I’ve put up a step-by-step English translation of the manual:

    http://blindlight.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/gakkenflex-english-instruction-manual-otona-no-kagaku-magazine-volume-25/

  37. @David : Thanks! That’s nice.

  38. @ndroo: Heh, thanks for that! I’m glad you like it. It took a heap of work, but hopefully it’ll end up being useful to someone. I actually did refer to this page before I bought the Gakkenflex and it helped, so I figured I’d contribute a little bit back to you guys.

  39. and a year later u saved my life. hahaha thanks man.

  40. @ajiem : I did? Hahaha! Have fun!

  41. you sure did. i bought a fakkenflex (recesky) on impulse and almost died looking at the parts. lols!

  42. Hey there, i just bought the receskey from overseas and now nack in singapore, and realised that the assembling manual is missing.
    Is it possible to accquire the manual online thru any means or if possible could u post it or send to me the soft copy??
    sorry to bother, would really appreciates if any of you could help me
    thanks!

  43. hi guys thanks again! i managed to build it using this link (becoz the assembling manual is missing)
    http://maslight.blogspot.com/2010/01/diy-gakken-twinlens-reflex-camera.html

    pretty amazing!! cant wait to try it.. anyway mine’s a recesky(fakkenflex) and im left with a nut and 4 screws..izzit normal??? hee

  44. @jason : Great to hear that you found the manual online. I’ve heard of many ‘leftover screws’ cases. Maybe you can go through the parts/screws/nuts once more time to make sure that you have them at all the required places. If they all seem to be in place, then go shoot a roll and see the results. Forget about the extra screws if the camera works fine. Do a quick check first to be sure … in case the camera falls apart while you are shooting. LOL!

  45. thanks!! will give it a try very soon!! “)

  46. Hi ndroo, was trying to fix my Gakken Mook too, however when I reached the mirror part, I think it went wrong when I tried to tear the protective thingy away.

    Any idea where in SG I can get it replace? πŸ™ Been very enthusiastic to test out the cam when I got it, but… πŸ™

    Anyways, this is what happened to the mirror. Can advise?

    http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/jpaJMSa8tFbAMeYcUD4Vow?feat=directlink

  47. @JY : Gosh. That mirror of yours seems to be in bad shape! Like what noreen mentioned in one of the comments above, you can try check out Art Friend for that similar mirror. Hope that helps.

  48. I accidentally stretched my spring B while trying to connect it to the shutter arm and now there is no tension, leaving the shutter half open when not in use or when clicked. What can I do to fix this?

  49. @Zach : Awww … that sucks! Maybe you can try getting the spring ‘back into shape’ by using a pencil and then using some sticky tape to hold the ends in place … perhaps leaving it overnight. I checked my drawer and too bad I only have a spring ‘A’ available. Otherwise I can send it to you.

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