After a long time I decided to shoot a roll with the Sprocket Rocket panoramic camera. It’s made from Lomography (I also have the Holga 120WPC medium format panoramic pinhole camera, Lomo Products are great toy cameras with a distinct look on their images).
The Sprocket takes 35mm film, so you get a lot of panoramic shots per film. It’s distinctive characteristic is of course the one you will notice on the image below (no words needed !!)
As with most of Lomograghy cameras, it’s operation is pretty basic. You get to choose between f11 and f16 (I almost always shoot it on the f11), and there are two shutter speed options, 1/100 and Bulb. With Bulb you need to keep the shutter lever down for the whole exposure time (I would prefer a cable release option like the Holga 120WPC, since holding the lever for a long time is not ideal). You can always attach a string with a pebble for example on the shutter lever to keep it down but that’s too much innovation for me 🙂
You also get to choose between 0.6-1m focus and infinity. You advance the film using two knobs (wind and rewind), so double exposure is easy, also you can fully rewind the film and shoot all over again to create double or multiple exposures on the same frame.
The frame indicator is easy to read and allows you to advance the film with good precision so that you don’t overlap frames.
The viewfinder is not very accurate so it takes a couple of rolls to guess the exact frame (I wear glasses so maybe that my fault). The fixed shutter speed of 1/100 makes it tricky to get the correct exposure, basically you just shoot (or put the camera on a tripod if you want to use longer speeds). That fixed speed also defines pretty much the speed of film you will use. From my personal experience I have concluded that ISO 400 and ISO 200 films work best for daylight shots. My main choices are Fujicolor 200 (a cheap film which get the job done since the image quality of the Sprocket Rocket is of course not on par with a “normal” camera). Also the Fuji Superia XTRA-400 provides both the speed and color saturation for a good image.
If shooting black and white (I haven’t tried that yet) I would probably go with the Ilford XP2 400 C41 film which has a great latitude.
There is also a removable mask inside the camera so that you choose whether you want the sprockets on your photos or just normal panoramic frames.
Basically, that’s all about the Sprocket Rocket camera. I always enjoy using Lomography cameras, they are fun to use and many times the results are worth it !!
Enough with words, here are the images (all shot with the Sprocket Rocket loaded with Fujicolor 200 film).
(c)2011 Konstantinos Besios. All rights reserved.