Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two New Cameras

I love funky cameras. It all started with my purchase of a Chinese camera called the Holga 120 FN. I purchased the 35mm kit - who wants to use 120 film and it took wonderfully strange pictures.

Then I purchased a Olympus OM-1 camera. This camera was made in the early 70's and it works great. I'm sure in the days before digital this camera cost a couple hundred bucks, but I got it off Ebay for less than fifteen.

My next purchase was an Agfa Optima 200. It was built in the early 70's. As of yet have not taken any pictures with this camera.

Then I came across two really cool toy cameras: A Lomography Fisheye lens and Lomography 4 Lens Action Sampler.

The Fisheye is a very cool camera. It takes regular 35mm film and loads like any other traditional film camera. The lens will capture light 170 degrees from end to end. The lens compacts this wide-view onto a standard 35mm shot on the film.

The camera was less than forty bucks in-the-box new and came with a flash. For that price it was a no brainer. I was surprised at the quality of the camera. It seems pretty rugged with the door and all the latches fitting tightly together. The view finder was useless, but it's best to shoot-from-the-hip anyway. There is a switch on the front for the flash - requires one AA battery.

It was easy to shoot - I used 400 speed film. The camera works best in full sunlight with an expansive setting. Indoors the pictures tend to have a carnival mirror look.

The next camera, the LOMO 4 Lens Action Sampler is a standard 35mm camera with four lenses in a square shape. Each lens fires off in a series at 1/4 a second apart. The end result is a picture with four pictures on it. Each picture captures a moment in a series.

I purchased this camera for about twelve dollars and it is not as nicely constructed as the fisheye. The camera is lightweight and the latches and doors do not feel like they latch together tight and secure. The film was also pretty difficult to load and the view finder - a plastic square is all but unusable.

I recommend using high speed film for this camera. I used 800 speed. The lenses are small and require a lot of light. There is no flash on this camera and it's just as well.

Still for a toy camera that costs 12 bucks how can you wrong and as you can see the pictures are fun and exciting. 

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