Below are the Sprocktastic 2020 competition entries so far! Dust off your best sprocket-making camera and join the fun before 15 October 2020.

Read the rules for the competition and details on how to enter. Remember to keep listening to Matt Loves Cameras for more updates!

Sherry Christensen

Sherry sends these lovely sprocket images in from Alberta, Canada! Taken on her Sprocket Rocket with Fuji 400 film.

George Griffin

All shot on the classic Lomography Sprocket Rocket, the film was Kodak Gold 200. The London eye is a well known landmark in the centre of London and always worth photographing and if you every get the chance to ride it, great views over London. Enyford Village is a Village in Kent, will a ruined castle, Tudor building and a humpback bridge, with a ford, very picturesque British village. The sculpture is the latest to appear in Trafalgar Square, and I have know idea what it represents but I do like it. I think my favourite is the one of just the pods of the eye, I think it works well within the sprockets.

Ken Tuomi

Booth to CONTROL and On the Hard (first two images) – Rolleicord V with Fuji Super 200. Other two, Lomo Sprocket Rocket with Lomo Metropolis. Sloopkets is cinematic in perspective and a fan favorite, SproVolvokets has features reflecting the contest theme (film sprockets, sprockets mimicked in the vintage Volvos seen thru the 120 Wagon’s windows, plus the wheel spokes- trifecta!), On the Hard is apocalyptic and the guys working on the boat were more than happy to see an antique camera shooting their work BUT, would you believe….Booth to CONTROL is a most sprocktastic use of sprockets.

Andrew Spencer

Hi Matt I loved the Sprocket Challenge. I have a couple of personal projects on the go, and this worked in nicely with them. The ocean is a significant part of our lives where I live at Kaikoura, and I wanted to show this with some key subjects;

  • The Old Wharf was pioneering Kaikoura’s link with the world.
  • The old aquarium was a fish factory, soon to be demolished.
  • Aoraki is a whale-watching boat, whale watching being an essential part of our economy.
  • The Fergie tractor is a typical boat launching tractor for recreational fishing.

I shot the pictures with my Mamiya RZ67 ProII using Lomography 400. Pictures are hard-earned; The 35 cartridge is mounted in the magazine using adapters and I tape a 120 paper leader to the 35 film so I can sneak a couple of pictures onto the film before the magazine registers number 1. This involves a shuffle of using Multi setting to shoot the picture and Single setting to advance the film. Once you reach frame 1 on the counter you’re away. I use a 220 back as it counts all the frames so I kind of know where I’m up to.

I use a 65mm lens as it equates to my favourite focal length of around 30mm. Unloading needs to be done in the dark, undoing the back and spooling the film back into the reel for developing which I did in a Lab Box with Cinestill Cs41. Scanning is with a Canon EOSR mounted on a homemade copystand, with lightbox and Lomography Digitalisa holder. Two shots are required for the pano film capture to use the camera sensor fully, the two Raw files then head over to my MacPro and are stitched in PTGui and then processed using FilmLab App. A little retouch spotting and a slight contrast adjustment for output. I enjoy the colour random-ness of Lomo 400 in my world where colour always needs to be correct. Thanks for the inspiring fun! Andrew

Tom Napier

Hi Matt. Thanks for providing the motivation to do this little project. I have a sprocket rocket and a Holga. But noooo thats too easy, I had to go the guts and try something new (to me). This camera has been sitting on my shelf for years waiting for just the right opportunity to shine once again. Camera: Kodak Brownie 127. Film: Kodak Vision 3 500T hand rolled on 127 spool with 127 backing paper. Dev: by me with Unicolor C41 Powder kit and scanned on an Epson V550. The remjet wasn’t a problem with a pre-soak in water @39c and a table spoon of bi-carb. Not bad shots for a c1950 plastic box with a plastic lens. Also my first attempt at hand rolling film hence the slight slope to some of the images but hay, it is what it is. All shots were taken in my local area on the BEST side, i mean the north side of Brisbane. My favourite shot would have to be the glamor shot in the Vinnies window. The orange colouring along the edged of some shots could be light leaks but I suspect it was from the Epson V550 scanner. Anyhoo thanks once more for the chance to experiment and at least, enjoy a day out and about. Regards. Tom

Paul Wheeler

All images were shot on the Monaro Plains at the foot of the Snowy Mountains in NSW using a Fuji GSW690III 6×9 Medium Format camera with a fixed Fujinon 65mm f5.6 lens. Film stock is 35mm Kodak Colourplus 200, re-rolled onto a 120 spool complete with the backing paper. The negative size ends up being 35 x 67mm which is a beautiful big panoramic photograph encapsulating the sprocket holes. By re-rolling the film rather than using adapters or any of the other methods I can load and shoot the film exactly as if it were 120 without having to worry about frame spacing, spooling from one canister to another, losing shots at the end of the roll etc.

Francois Laverdure

Here are the pictures for the Schprocktastic Challenge (Yes, I did write this wrong simply because I thought it was funnier ­čśü). I wanted to stand out from the crowd a bit on this one. I figured you would get plenty of Sprocket Rocket panos so I opted to use something a bit more rare: the BlackBird Fly. For those not in the know, it’s a 35mm TLR that exposes the film vertically. I took it to a local skatepark, that’s when I realized it was the wrong camera for the job. Have you ever tried to capture a fast moving subject with a waist level viewfinder that flips the image left to right? That was definitely a challenge. I’m really proud of the shot of the kid on a scooter I took there. Even the shadow is perfect. For the one with the chain, I had to dance around a field covered in raccoon poop… I never knew they could produce so much doo-doo! So here are my best four. They were all taken in my home town. All shot using the BlackBird Fly (orange version) on Foma 400 dunked in Rodinal.

Sandra Camacho

I used Lomography’s Sprocket Rocket for these images, for the B&W I was trying Ilford XP2 Super, the colour film was some random expired 200iso I found online. I really like how the vignetting ended up framing the moving fishes. I think that is my favourite. The goggly eyes on the trees was just one of those strange happenstances. I was walking along one of the main avenues in Lisbon and found them staring at pedestrians while we waited for the light to turn on a crosswalk.

 

 

Sprocktastic 2020 is here! Dust off your best sprocket-making camera and join the fun!

Below are rules for the competition and details on how to enter.

Check out the Sprocktastic 2020 entries so far – deadline is 15 October 2020.

Remember to keep listening to Matt Loves Cameras for more updates!

Qualifying rules

  1. You must shoot 35mm (135) film. Colour negative, colour positive, and black and white film are all permitted.
  2. You must expose the sprockets!
  3. Photos must be taken between 15 July 2020 and 15 October 2020.
  4. Any camera is permitted as long as you adhere to the three rules above.

Sprocket Rocket captures country Queensland!

How do I enter?

  • Get your best sprocket images ready! If possible, make the long side of your images between 3000 and 4000 pixels. Images should be JPG format.
  • On or before the closing date 15 October 2020, complete the Sprocktastic 2020 Google Form, sending up to four of your favourite sprocket images to me.
  • The form requires a Google sign-in because you’re attaching images… if you don’t have a Google account, you can always email your images. Listen to the podcast if you can’t remember my email address ­čÖé
  • Be sure to tell me where you took the photos, which camera you used and which film. You can also add your social media details if you like.

Other details

  • As the entries roll in, I will feature them on a competition entries page on this website.
  • If you’d like to share on Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag #sprocktastic2020
  • If we get enough entries, we will look at creating a zine for the project.
  • Judges are Matt Murray and a mystery judge!

The Robot3 Action Camera is a cheap 35mm plastic toy camera produced circa 2007-2008. It was sold by Vastfame Camera, a Hong Kong export company that had ties to a factory in mainland China. Vastfame produced a series of toy film cameras as well as digicams, underwater cameras and disposable cameras.

Perhaps the most celebrated of Vastfame’s lineup was the Robot3 – nicknamed the Disderi Robot. The name Robot3 comes from the fact the camera has three lenses which were covered by a brightly coloured piece of plastic in the shape of a robot’s face.

Keep reading for my review of the Disderi Robot / Robot3, or press play on episode 35

Robot3 Action Camera

Quite possibly the most adorable camera I own: The Robot3 / Disderi Robot

Introducing the Robot3

The Robot3 is made from plastic and comes in many different colour combinations. The base colour of the body is black or white, but each camera is given a splash of colour (and personality) with the addition of bright coloured plastic used for three parts of the camera: the cute robot face around the lenses, the film rewind crank, and the shutter button. Colours used for these areas include orange, pink, purple, blue, green and yellow.

Disderi Robot toy cameras

Disderi Robots on parade

Other Vastfame toy cameras

Vastfame also made two lens and four lens variants of these toy cameras. The two lens is called either the Twin Star or the Twinkle Two. The four lens camera is known as the Action4. The Action4 is quite a strange name in my opinion, as the brightly coloured plastic on the front of this camera looks like a butterfly.

What’s so special about the Robot3?

Apart from being quite adorable, the Robot3 produces an unusual effect – pressing the shutter button produces three images on the one frame of 35mm film. Having multiple images on the one frame of 35mm film is not unusual in itself, there are many other action sampler cameras that do this. What makes the Robot3 different though – from other action samplers as well as the Twin Star and Action4 – is that the frame dividers are curved.

Disderi Robot toy camera

The curved frame dividers of the Disderi Robot

It’s said that this gives the impression that you are looking at the world from a robot’s point of view, which immediately raises two questions in my mind: 1) Why wouldn’t a robot have sophisticated stereoscopic vision? and 2) Why would a robot be able to see out of their mouth? Of course another consideration is that the lens flips the image, so the “mouth” image ends up on top of the frame, so it’s not really like looking at a robot’s point of view at all. Maybe I’m overthinking it…

Despite its quirky looks, and its questionable raison d’etre, the Robot3 is a super fun, super cute camera that gives fun lomo inspired results. Although I’ve only shot two rolls of film through it, it’s captured a place in my heart. It was one of six cameras that I used for my film photography zine Every Summer.

Image taken with a Robot3 Action Camera / Disderi Robot

Chateau de Chillon, Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Gold 200. The curved frame dividers are said to give you the impression of looking at the world from a robot’s point of view.

Robot3 / Disderi Robot specifications and features

  • Focus distance: 1 metre to infinity
  • Lens configuration: three 25mm lenses – two on the top row (robot’s eyes) and one on the bottom row (robot’s mouth). The lenses flip the image, so the long part of the image actually ends up at the top part of the frame. Curved frame dividers are said to give you the impression that you are getting a robot’s view of the world.
  • Lens sequence: The three exposures are taken in a sequence that lasts for about 1/5 of a second. As you’re holding the camera in your hand with the lenses facing away from you, the sequence of is bottom / right / left – which of course is reversed on to the negative as top / left bottom / right bottom.
  • Shutter speed: fixed shutter speed of 1/100 second.
  • Aperture: fixed aperture of f8.
  • Battery: none needed.
  • Strap: yes
  • Film counter: yes.
  • Rewind button: yes.
  • Viewfinder: no inbuilt viewfinder, only a pop-up “sports viewfinder”.
  • Recommended film: Depends on the light where you live, ISO200 or ISO400 are good places to start, but you could in theory choose any film.
Image taken with a Robot3 Action Camera / Disderi Robot

Solitary swan, Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Gold 200.

Robot3 / Disderi Robot toy camera manual

It’s so simple you really don’t need a manual, but here it is anyway, worth a look for the cute cartoons I guess: view the Robot3 / Disderi Robot toy camera manual.

Where can I buy a Disderi Robot?

I bought my Disderi Robot from┬á a Facebook Marketplace seller in Brisbane, Australia. Scouring the ads just before I left work, I saw a camera for $2. I had no idea what it was, but for that price I didn’t care. In the pouring rain I turned up at the seller’s house on my way home and handed them a shiny $2 coin in exchange for the seemingly brand new in box with instructions Robot3 camera.

Toy camera review

Hydrangeas, England / Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Gold 200

When I got it home, the shutter wouldn’t fire and I thought I’d bought a dud. Then I remembered that some cameras don’t seem like they work until you pop a roll of film inside them. After loading up and winding on a test roll of 35mm film, I pressed the bright pink shutter button and the robot’s lenses whirred into action. Bingo!

The cameras pop up from time to time on online marketplaces, but they don’t seem to be that common. I’d suggest setting up an alert on eBay if you’re super keen to get one – more details about this process in my blog 12 top tips for buying film cameras on eBay.

Using the Robot3 / Disderi Robot

The Robot3 is a very simple and fun camera to use. It doesn’t need a battery to operate, just add 35mm film! The shooting process is pretty simple – wind film on, wave camera in general direction of the action, press shutter button, repeat.

Toy camera review

Hong Kong Airport / Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Pro Image 100

The camera has no in-built viewfinder, so you really do end up waving it vaguely towards your subject, hoping for the best. The camera has a “sports viewfinder” – a piece of plastic that flips up from the top of the camera that you can use as a framing guide. I’d suggest the sports viewfinder only marginally helps framing, but it’s better than nothing.

As tricky as precise composition can be with this camera, sometimes you get lucky. I love the image below I took of two trains in Switzerland. In the bottom two images, the train in the bottom left frame seamlessly blends with the carriage in the bottom right frame.

Matt Loves Cameras film photography podcast

La Gruyere train, Switzerland. Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Gold 200. I really like the way the front of the train in the bottom left frame seamlessly blends into the carriage in the bottom right frame.

The three wide angle 25mm lenses take about 1/5 of a second to finish their noisy shooting sequence. As you’re holding the camera in your hand with the lenses facing away from you, the sequence of is bottom / right / left. As the lens flips the image, the sequence then is reversed on to the negative as top / left bottom / right bottom.

The camera supposedly has a fixed shutter speed of 1/100 second, but as you can see from almost every image on this page, the long “mouth” lens image is considerably brighter than images from the other two lenses.

The quality of the images is not bad for a plastic camera – certainly a lot better than others I’ve used. They are relatively sharp, with some blurring and vignetting towards the edges of the frame, especially the top part.

Matt Loves Cameras film photography podcast

Kids having fun on Lake Geneva / Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Gold 200

The only real issue I had using this little toy camera was loading the film, which was tricky on one occasion. The main issue seemed to be that once I had fed the leader in the take up spool, it kept coming out as I tried to advance it. Maybe I’m too used to the luxury of premium compacts – eventually it wound on.

The Robot3 / Disderi Robot is a camera that you should take everywhere. It’s light as a feather, weighing in at just 70 grams or 2.4 ounces without film. It’s the kind of camera that you can throw in your bag without even noticing it’s there. It’s not the most compact camera in the world, but it will happily fit in a pocket without weighing you down.

What film should I use for the Disderi Robot?

It all depends on the light you’ll be shooting in – safe choices to start off with would be ISO200 or ISO400 colour negative film.┬áI’ve shot successfully in bright sunshine with both 100 and 200 speed colour negative film, which is known for its wide latitude. Having a wide latitude means that it doesn’t matter if it’s a little underexposed or quite a bit overexposed, the images will come out fine.

Matt Loves Cameras film photography podcast

The beauty of the Disderi Robot – like many other cheap plastic cameras – is that you know all three parts of the exposure triangle.

If you’re not sure if you have enough light to shoot with, fire up a smartphone light meter app. Enter your film speed as the ISO and f8 as the aperture. The shutter speed of the camera is 1/100 second, so as long as the light meter app is telling you that the shutter speed is 1/100 or higher, you’re good to go.

For example, if the app recommends 1/200 second at f8, you have plenty of light for the shot. The Robot3 has only one shutter speed – 1/100 second – so you’ll get twice as much light as needed.

Where the name Disderi Robot come from?

I’ve combed the internet for hours and I’m yet to find who coined the term “Disderi Robot”. Around 2010-11 there were multiple mentions of the “Disderi Robot”, even though this name doesn’t appear on the camera, the box, or in the instruction manual.

Matt Loves Cameras film photography podcast

Birmingham, England / Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Gold 200

My best guess is that it was a nickname that someone used soon after it was released, and it stuck.┬áDisderi was the name of a 19th century pioneer of commercial photography who invented the Carte de Visite camera – capable of taking up to ten images on a single collodion plate.

Note that despite its name, this camera should not be confused with the German Robot cameras of the 1930s and 1940s.

Robot3 toy camera / Disderi Robot sample images

Misty mountains, Switzerland. Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Gold 200.

All aboard the Belle Epoque paddle steamer! Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Gold 200.

Hovercraft, Isle of Wight / Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Pro Image 100

Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Pro Image 100

Chale, Isle of Wight / Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Pro Image 100

Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Pro Image 100

Selfie! / Robot3 camera (Disderi Robot) / Kodak Pro Image 100. The difference in the exposure for the three lenses is shown mostly clearly in this example

Listen to the judging of the Matt Loves Panos 2020 plastic pano camera challenge! Matthew Joseph and I discuss images listed on this page in order as they appear below – play along at home by clicking play above, or listen on your favourite podcast app!

Congratulations to all the entrants for a wide array of fantastic images taken with plastic, focus-free cameras that shoot in panoramic format. At the end of this episode, there are some brief details of the next challenge!

Anthony Chatain

Hello, Here are my entries for the Matt Loves Panos 2020 competition! (Sorry for
my procrastination in scanning this roll of film). The pictures were taken in Paris right before the quarantine started in France (between the 8th and 15th of March). I used my magnificent “2 WAY
CAMERA” (a novelty camera from a TV programs magazine, pic included) coupled with some
expired Fuji 200 for all this blotchy and fringing goodness.
I hope you’ll like them as much as I do ;-). Best regards, Anthony Chatain www.chatain.eu
@achatainfr (on Instagram and Twitter)

Dominick Chiuchiolo

“Hey there Matt,

Here are 4 of my pictures from a roll of Fuji Superior 400 that I shot with the Ansco PIX.  I picked the camera up for a dollar at a yard sale. This was my first time using it. This was a fun project as it made me look at things differently. Thanks! I added a 5th of a cool car that I saw while getting coffee. 

Dominick Chiuchiolo”

Michael Rosenbaum

“Hi Matt, these were all shot on Kodak Tri-X 400 with a used ($.99), Ansco Pix Panorama. Film was developed/scanned by Old School Photo Lab in New Hampshire (https://oldschoolphotolab.com/), highly recommended. 

I just found a used, Epson V500 scanner so had them develop-only the last batch. IÔÇÖve previously done lots of darkroom work but no longer any equipment. IÔÇÖm going to get some used, stainless tanks/reels, etc. and will eventually start doing my B&W film processing again.


Hope all is well with you and the family in our recently, dystopian present. A photo contest and podcast was just what I needed, thanks!    -Mike”

Tommy Napier

“Hi Matt
So a bit of blurb about my experience shooting this plastic ÔÇŽÔÇŽ..thing. I found it in a washing basket full of old cameras down the shed covered in many layers of sawdust and dirt. Have no idea where it came from, I certainly donÔÇÖt remember purchasing it. only that I remembered seeing something with Panorama written on the front while listening to the now infamous ÔÇťI nearly dropped an XpanÔÇŁ podcast.

I have never shot wide but have always wanted to have a go at it. It was hard to put down the OM10 and the QL17 I usually carry around with me but I went at it alone with the anonymous plastic camera for two weeks. First mistake was to load the film before I cleaned it up hence a bit of work in post to clean all the dust of the frames. Second mistake was thinking I loaded it with Kentmere 400, clearly marked on the plastic film canister by my own hand. I shot it as if it was 400 speed, throwing caution to the wind and shooting into the shadows knowing that 400 ISO would pick up some details despite not knowing the shutter speed.

Unfortunately this one  lays squarely on my shoulders for not changing the little sticky label to 100 ISO when bulk rolling the film. Not wanting to put another roll through it I forged ahead and much to my surprise I managed to get more tham 4 keepers from the roll. A few of the shots were to dark to try and recover but in the end I am pretty happy with the results. So much that it was hard to pick four good ones to share. So here is my submission to the Pano project.I share on multiple media but I think the best place to see my work will be Instagram. tommy_napier should get you to my page. Cheers Old Mate.
Tom Napier / Instagram: @tommy_napier”

  • Ted Smout bridge, right and Houghton Highway, left. Shot from Brighton Beach, Queensland.
  • Unknown building next to River Link shopping Centre, Ipswich, Queensland.
  • Kedron Brook Wetlands off Toombul Rd roundabout, Brisbane, Queensland.
  • Governor Blackall Memorial, Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, Queensland.

Matt Evans

Matt took these fabulous images in New Zealand on a WidePic Panorama /Fomapan 100 +1

Joe Baker

“I was inspired by your competition to dust off my Widepic Panorama (weigh-in photo attached) and have had these photos ready to send for about a month. The film was Kentmere 400, developed at home in Rodinal. The photos were taken in the first week of March on my walk to and from work in Norwich, England. My Twitter / Instagram handle is @evil_chutney. 

Jr Wyatt

“So when this contest was announced, I knew I had to join in on the fun.  I ended up picking up an Ansco Panorama camera for $1 on Ebay lol Anyways, recently I went to a small town nearby (Belvidere,IL) to get out and walk the streets.  This camera definitely did better than I ever expected.  I went with Fuji C200 for these photos I submitted. ”

Paul Wheeler

“Hey Matt;
Got the photos back from that crappy Rollei Disposable loaded with Rollei 400 speed color film that had expired in 2012. You’ve got photos of it.Turned out really nice once we got a few photos into the roll. The first couple were very badly influenced by age or light or both. I tried to shoot it in very well lit situations to compensate for the age.
Cheers Paul”

J.M.Golding

“I used a Vivitar PN2011 and (in one of my springtime departures from my usual black & white work) Fuji Superia X-Tra that had expired in March 2019. (I still wish I could have found the insert for my Ansco Panorama ­čÖé I took all of the photos within a few miles of my home in northern California – the pink flowers (Gum rock-rose, according to the Seek app) in a city park and the other three images in an open space area.”

Gum rock rose
Ithuriel’s spear
Common fiddleneck and mustard
Buttercups

Matt Jones

“These 4 images were taken on the Ansco Pix Panorama (as recommended by Mr Matthew Joseph), and were shot on Lomo 400 colour film processed at home. Shot around my village in Thailand whilst on my push bike.  This camera fits in my shorts pocked which is quite handy.  And I never need to worry about a battery or metering :)”

Antony Hands

Antony took these images on his Wide Pic Panorama with a roll of Kodak Portra 400 in New South Wales, Australia.

Andrew Bartram

“As a long time lover of the panoramic format, be it a 6×17 back on a LF camera, a 6×12 pinhole camera or the Lomography Belair camera with the 35mm back I saw some pictures made with I think the Ansco panorama which is also branded as the Halina at least here in the UK.  “Not bad for hopefully a small investment” I thought and a load of fun to boot.

What I love about these cameras apart from an affordable way to treat the GAS affliction, is, like my Holga and Belair, the fact there are no distractions over camera settings or lens choice. It’s been said many times before but it is a real liberation to “point and shoot”.

The colour pictures were shot on the Wide Pic (the sought after red version :-)) with 30 year old York film developed in Cinestill C41 chemistry whilst the mono ones were from the Halina which is supposed to be a “better” camera but I actually prefer the Wide Pic. TriX probably didn’t help much (developed in stock Microphen).  I like the garden table shot with evening light raking across the image. all the rest were shot on walks from the house on the edge of the Cambridgeshire Fenlands.”

Andrew Spencer

“I just noticed your Panos 2020 competition last night, and it reminded me I have the exact camera for the job. I have no idea where the camera came from; I must have picked it up with an arm full of other treasures at some time. Anyway, in the eye of an approaching storm, I shot off a roll of film as I went about my jobs this morning.

I live in a little coastal town called Kaikoura, on the East Coast of the South Island, New Zealand. We’re a tourist town, and folks visit to view sperm whales, swim with dolphins and seals and to enjoy the outrageous scenery with mountains towering close to the ocean.


The camera is a Panorama CL-168, film is Ektar which I developed in a Lab-Box using Cinestill Cs41. Thanks for the cool inspiration.” Andrew Spencer Instagram @asphotonz

Ken Bertram

“Hi Matt, here are my images.  All were taken on the Ansco Pix Panorama, HP5 was the film, and taken within York Younty in Pennsylvania, USA.  IG handle is kenbertramphoto.  By the way the Ansco has far better image quality compared to the Vivitar PN2011.  Again thanks, I had a lot of fun using these cameras.”    

Nigel Middleton

“Great to see the plastic fantastics getting some exposure and here are four shots from a Halina Panorama. I’ve picked up several of these and other similar models from car boot sales over the past couple of years, I very much doubt I paid more than 50p for it!.

The camera I used has been slightly modified by flipping the lens and taping on some yellow acetate as a makeshift filter. I used the last remaining frames from a roll of Fomapan 100 (expired April 2018), developed in Ilfosol 3 .

The photos were taken in East Northamptonshire, UK: (1) In an ASDA supermarket car park. (2) Travelling back from the same supermarket (I wasn’t driving!) (3 & 4) In the beautiful village of Lowick, which is a couple of miles from where I live.”

Casey Hall

“Greetings Matt, Casey here from Tacoma, Washington. So I smoked two rolls of film for this stupid ass competition, but then again, they were all very much expired.  

Should of brought a way better camera for one of my training flights because it was a low level flight all around the Pacific Northwest and the sunset was epic, I couldnÔÇÖt document it how I wouldÔÇÖve liked with this plastic p.o.s, but in the name of competition hereÔÇÖs my entries. Well, IÔÇÖll get right to it. I used the Jazz 206 27mm f7 or 8 idk. IÔÇÖm @  Instagram.com/thejunkbookjournal
Love the podcast! Stay safe! Casey Hall”

Dave Mihaly

“Hi Matt, I couldnÔÇÖt pass up the chance to participate in a crappy camera challenge – YouÔÇÖve given me an excuse to revive my own cheap plastic camera challenge video series on YouTube.  

I dusted off my Ansco Pix Panorama and Vivitar IC 101 and let them duke it out for an upcoming video.  Spoiler Alert – the winner, at least to my eye, was the Ansco Pix Panorama, and all the pictures I have attached are from the Pix.  ÔÇťALUM CREEKÔÇŁ was taken, oddly enough, at Alum Creek in Delaware, Ohio, U.S.  ÔÇťFLORAÔÇŁ was taken at the Scioto Audubon Park in Columbus, Ohio.  ÔÇťSO INCLINEDÔÇŁ is another image from Alum Creek and ÔÇťSOUTHSIDEÔÇŁ was taken on the southside of Columbus, Ohio.  All images were taken at box speed on Ilford HP5+, processed in Ilfosol 3, water stop bath, and Ilford Rapid Fixer and scanned with my Epson V550.


Obligatory social media info:@theoldcameraguy on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr
IÔÇÖve enjoyed checking out all the cool entries so far – Thanks for helping revive these plastic craptastic fake panoramic cameras. Cheers, Dave Mihaly”

Fran├žois Laverdure

“Bonjour Matt! Voici ma participation au concours.

Sometimes in life you need something to get you to try new things. This is definitely the case. For years I’ve been going around local charity shops and church rummage sales looking for fun stuff. Occasionally I find a cheap camera that I clean-up only to put it in a box full of other cameras to try out. When I saw the contest, I went through the boxes looking for the few cheap panorama cameras I knew I had. It’s only at that time that I realized that I actually owned two Ultronic Panoramic cameras! So, this had to be a sign of some sorts.

I elected to use the champagne colored one. I always thought that these crop panoramic cameras were something to sneeze at. Crappy plastic, small negative area, no adjustments. But in the end I must admit that I surprisingly enjoyed using it! Since the shutter on those is said to be at around 1/200th of a second (I measured it and it was closer to 1/175th) I elected to use some Arista.EDU 400 that I pulled processed to EI 200 using some Rodinal at 1:50. I had never used Rodinal (my go-to developer is usually HC-110). In the end, I quite like the results. The grain is massive, contrast is good. I couldn’t be happier with the results considering how low-tech the camera is.

The satellite dish was taken at the Canadian Space Agency at Saint-Hubert Airport near Montreal (Canada). The dish is super useful as it is part of the ground support for the International Space Station.The black building with the reflective glass is in an industrial park in the city of Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville near Montreal (Canada).The small tower with the curving path is near the Saint-Lawrence river in Longueuil. Just across the river is Montreal.And the tree that’s perfectly framed by the parking lines is just at the end of the runway at Saint-Hubert Airport near Montreal (Canada).
All pictures taken on a gloriously cheap Ultronic Panoramic using Arista.EDU 400 ISO film exposed at EI 200 and developed in Rodinal (1:50). My Flickr user name: Flaver-D
Cheers! Fran├žois Laverdure”

Phil Watt

“Hi Matt!
The following shots where taken with a sh*tty plastic ÔÇśPanoramic Wide Pic’ camera I found for $2 at the op shop. All images where taken at Lake Eildon where IÔÇÖve been living during lockdown.

The photos are shot on expired Ilford P4 Surveillance film. The neighbour up here saw me shooting an old folding camera one day and asked ÔÇťAre you shooting film?ÔÇŁ He went on to explain he worked in security installing surveillance cameras at ATMÔÇÖs and that he had an old bulk roll of film leftover from when they went digital. Score! 

So I took my sh*tty camera and sh*tty film and took these shitty photos! Enjoy ­čÖé Phil Watt”

Meredith Wilson

“Hi Matt, Hope youÔÇÖre having a good Saturday. Here are my entries for the Pano competition.
IÔÇÖm using a sh*tty Panorama Wide Pic camera that I bought on eBay for ┬ú1.99 to keep myself amused during lock down and take part in the sh*tty camera challenge on Twitter. 
The shed was shot in my garden on some expired HP5+ that I had knocking around in my stash. The Horse and Daisies were shot on similarly expired Delta 400 Pro during a walk around my neighbourhood (Pinner/Northwood Hills). Despite the general crappiness, I really love using this little camera. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for setting fun challenges.
Cheers, Meredith (My IG/Twitter handle is @merrimayhem)”

Dale Willetts

“Hi Matt, Here are my four entries for the plastic pano competition.

The two colour pics were taken on Fujifilm C200 and the two mono pics were on Kentmere 400.

Of the colour pics the first was taken on the M6 just outside Birmingham and the second was near my house while waiting for a bus.

Both mono pics were taken at my place of work on a gloomy Sunday afternoon.

The camera is one of those unbranded panorama cameras that were often used as promo material and are therefore everywhere.

I have noticed that the viewfinder doesnÔÇÖt show exactly what you are going to get the image on the negative is slightly longer. Also in this camera at least the left side of the image is much softer and out of focus than the right side for that extra little something extra.

Also thanks for the zine. On first read through I rather enjoyed it and will let you have a more in depth critical assessment once IÔÇÖve given it another go through. DonÔÇÖt worry I wonÔÇÖt be too mean to you…… probably ­čśë

Cheers, Dale Willetts @delusions_of_competence”

Sely Friday

“Dear Matt, 
Here are my four entries for the plastic pano camera challenge.IÔÇÖve been using one of those ÔÇťWide Pic, focus free PanoramaÔÇŁ 118 gram cameraÔÇÖs. I dubbed it ÔÇťPancheeÔÇŁ as, well, short for cheap panoramaÔÇŁ. It got accidentally dropped a bunch of times and miraculously still works. The films used the past months was various expired cheap 400 iso colour film that I home developed using Caffenol (Delta STD recipe), which gives it the large amount of grain. Images from the Netherlands. Cheers, SF   Twitter/Instagram @selyfriday”

Jack Johnson

“Hello Matts!

All shot with a new-in-box Vivitar IC 101, Ilford HP5+, developed in HC-110 dilution D.
-Jack (@the_real_knapjack on Instagram)”

Jodi Benaroch

“Hi Matt,

Here are my entries for the Plastic Pano Camera Challenge. I used an Ultronic Panoramic that I bought at an estate sale for $2. Film was some Kodak 200 film; I don’t remember exactly. All of the photos were taken in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

I forgot about the light leak in this camera; by the end of the second roll, some of my photos looked like they were on fire!

Thanks for a fun challenge!

Jodi Benaroch”

Michael Newman

“Hello Matt, Please find attached my entries for the 2020 Matt Loves Panos Plastic Pano Camera Challenge!  All photos were taken during the month of May in the State of Maine, USA.  The 1st image is a statue of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wearing a mask.  The next two images were taken at Flanagan Farm.  The last photo is a snapshot of Portland Head Light lighthouse.  The camera used was an Ansco Pix Panorama picked up for $4.95 + shipping on a popular auction site.  The film used was Konica Minolta Centuria 400 (expired 03/2008).  Film was developed and scanned by The Darkroom photo lab in California. Thank you, Michael Newman”

Jeremy Wong

“Hi Matt, I had fun with this challenge. All shot with the same roll of Kodak Ultramax, with a Wide Pic Panoramic camera, out and about in Darwin. – Jeremy”

Adrian Doyle

Colour images: Ansco Pix Panorama / FujiFilm FujiColor Superia X-TRA 400 / Chapel Hill, NC
B&W image: Ansco Pix Panorama, ´ŞĆIlford HP5 Plus 400, Carrboro, North Carolina
https://www.instagram.com/doyleadrian/

Kenny Tuomi

“Hi Matt, here are four fantastically plastic images shot with the Jazz ÔÇťJellyÔÇŁ 207 Panoramic 35mm camera on Lomography 400 film.  Authentically home-developed in ECN-2 supplied by Conspiracy of Cartographers and scanned replete with dust specs.  ÔÇśCause why not mash together multiple variables for a photography competitionÔÇŽ

This series of four images tells the dark tale of walking through a closed park playground, which is adjacent to a cemetery, a fittingly dark juxtaposition during these viral times.  The ECN-2 process (at least this round of developing) gave each frame a nuclear fallout, speckled look-icing on the Grimm cake.

I did not find the Jazz 207 a pleasure to use.  The tiny 118 gm chassis in my crude mitts yielded a 50% rate of ÔÇťfinger in the imageÔÇŁ shots.  Certainly not much thought is required to use this camera; with its fixed focus 27mm lens, f/9.5 aperture and 1/100th shutter speed, all I had to do with the 400 speed film was wait for light within a few stops of proper exposure- or just shoot regardless.  Sort of a spray and pray camera as the field of view is forgivingly narrower than the actual exposed frame.  Focus was Lomo-soft, getting softer at the margins.  They are really sharp as contact prints; maybe IÔÇÖll try a matchbook zine.

This did not alleviate my lust for the Hasselblad Xpan but I did get to pretend IÔÇÖm a Master of the Panoramic Format while shooting. Ken Tuomi.”

Paul Howell

“Hi Matt
I recently noticed your Pano Challenge on a saved Podcast.
I purchased the camera from eBay for the grand total of £8, (a gold Vivitar IC101 no less)!
The photos were all taken in Tideswell, Derbyshire, England on an overcast day.  The film used was Fomapan ISO 200.
Kind regards
Paul Howell
ps: If you know anyone who would like to purchase a small gold plastic pano camera, please let me know, (used only once)!”

Graham Young

“Matt, Here they are! I understand if I’m past the deadline. Anyway, it was a fun project even if I only got one roll out of my camera before the rewind lever sheered off and produced a light leak.”

John Yau

“When I first heard about the cheap pano challenge, I went all in. First step was to grab a cheap pano, second to work out what i was doing and third submit. Four frames presented from a roll of Kodak Gold 200 and a frame from Kodak Trix 400. Loved the challenge, loved the care free take of just using cheap tools to create. Loved this Matt, thanks mate. John. Instagram @john_yau_artifexfoto”

Here are the photos from the judges…

Matthew Joseph

Matt Murray

Every Summer is my first film photography zine: 48 pages of colour film photography shot on six compact cameras on the Isle of Wight in September 2019.

All of the images below appear in the book, you can listen to the podcast above for descriptions of the images.

Buy Every Summer

Buy a copy of Every Summer before the end of June 2020 and you’ll also receive three limited edition art print postcards!

Is it time for a cream tea yet? Old Thatch Teashop (circa 1690), Shanklin / Fujifilm Klasse S / Kodak Portra 400

Red railway wagon / Olympus XA / Kodak Portra 400 (EI200)

The Needles chairlift / Voigtlander Vito C / Kodak Ektar 100

The jet boat! / Voigtlander Vito C / Kodak Ektar

Jumpin Star / Olympus LT-1 / Kodak Gold 200

Every Summer film photography zine

Mirror, mirror / Canon Prima AS-1 / Fujifilm Natura 1600

Sandown Pier / Canon Prima AS-1 / Fujifilm Natura 1600

The ice cream van / Olympus LT-1 / Kodak Gold 200

The coastal path / Olympus XA / Kodak Portra 400 (EI200)

The sea stacks / Olympus LT-1 / Kodak Gold 200

Freshwater Bay / Disderi Robot / Kodak Pro Image 100

The swimmers / Fujifilm Klasse S / Kodak Ektachrome 100

Every Summer film photography zine

Light leak on the bay / Olympus XA / Kodak Portra 400 (EI200)

Every Summer film zine

Bird statue, Godshill / Fujifilm Klasse S / Kodak Ektachrome

The Island Line / Disderi Robot / Kodak Pro Image 100

Every Summer film photography zine

Hello! I’m Matt Murray. I’m a photographer, writer and podcaster from Brisbane, Australia. In 2019, my family and I spent six nights on the Isle of Wight as part of a one-month overseas trip. My wife spent many summers there growing up, but although I’d lived in the UK for 13 years, this was my first visit. When I got back to Australia, I had my film developed: there was something special about these images, so I decided to publish them.

Every Summer is my first film photography zine: forty-eight pages of colour film photographs and original anecdotes about the Isle of Wight. Essentially, it’s a book of images depicting my relationship with England. Comforting. Idyllic. Deeply nostalgic. My photos are influenced by traditional travel photography. Shooting in colour, I like to compose by decluttering what I see through the frame, presenting the viewer with a scene that they could stumble across themselves.

Every Summer Film Photography Zine

Every Summer zine details

  • Full colour perfect bound book.
  • 48 pages of colour film photography on uncoated 150gsm paper (international edition) / 170gsm paper (Australian edition).
  • 4 page colour book cover printed on 300gsm silk paper with a smooth soft touch laminate finish.
  • Introduction about the book from the author.
  • Anecdotes about locations around the Isle of Wight.
  • Two double-page spreads.
  • Full details of cameras and film stock used for each photo.
  • Three limited edition art prints (for orders made before 15 July 2020).

Every Summer film photography zine

Buy Every Summer film photography zine

US / International orders: $18.95 USD

US / International price includes shipping, a copy of “Every Summer”, and three limited edition art print postcards. (Apologies, but I’ve had to increase the price of international orders as the Australian dollar has got stronger against the US dollar.)





UK orders: £14.50 GBP

UK price includes shipping, a copy of “Every Summer”, and three limited edition art print postcards.





Australian orders: $24.50

Australian price includes shipping, a copy of “Every Summer”, and three limited edition art print postcards.

If you live in Australia and you know and trust me, you can send me $24.50 for Every Summer via this link which will save on PayPal fees. It’s only for Australian orders in Australian dollars though. If you don’t know me personally or wish to have PayPal buyer protection, please use the button below:





Take a closer look at Every Summer

48 pages of colour film photography

Every Summer features 48 pages of colour film photography, here’s an excerpt of the PDF contact sheet:

Every Summer film photography book zine

Colour film photographs

Colour film photography shot on location on the Isle of Wight, England, in September 2019.

Every Summer film photography zine

Anecdotes

Every Summer contains anecdotes from the author about locations featured in the book.

Every Summer book

Two double-page spreads

Every Summer contains two photos printed as double-page spreads.

Every Summer film photography zine

Six compact cameras used: from a toy camera to a premium point and shoot

Every Summer features images from six compact cameras:

Every Summer book

Full details of each film stock used

Film stocks used in the book: Kodak Pro Image 100, Kodak Ektachrome 100, Kodak Ektar 100, Kodak Gold 200, Kodak Portra 400, Fujifilm Natura 1600.

Every Summer film photography book

Three limited edition art print postcards

Order before the end of July 2020 to receive all three!

Every Summer art prints

Every Summer podcast episode

Don’t forget to listen to episode 31 of Matt Loves Cameras “Every Summer: film photography on the Isle of Wight” for more sample images from the book and details on places we visited.

Every Summer e-zine now available

If you like e-zines, you’re in luck! Support Matt Loves Cameras for just $3USD┬áand you will receive a PDF copy of my first film photography zine Every Summer!

The 1994 Canon Prima AS-1 / Canon Sure Shot A1 / Canon Autoboy D5 is an excellent point and shoot camera featuring a sharp 32mm f3.5 Canon lens. It’s fun to use, produces great images, and best of all, you can use it in the rain, in the ocean, in the pool, anywhere!

Although it’s a little larger than many of my other point and shoots, it’s a camera that I keep coming back to again and again. It’s so fun to use and I can’t help but smile when I look at it.

You can read Canon Prima AS-1 review below, or listen to my podcast review of this camera (along with a brief history of underwater photography) by clicking the play button above.

Canon Prima AS-1 underwater camera review

You sexy beast! The Canon Prima AS-1 underwater camera

Using the Canon Prima AS-1

The camera is made of plastic but has a very sturdy feel to it. It’s been built tough for all weather and underwater conditions. Even the bright red strap feels very tough and hard wearing.

The camera has a huge viewfinder which was designed to be looked through while wearing diving gear or a ski mask. The viewfinder has 0.42 magnification which makes it a pleasure to frame images with. The bright red shutter button feels quite responsive and the camera makes a pleasant sound as it takes and image and advances the film.

It features a small grey self-timer button next to the shutter button. A frame counter is on the other side of the top of the camera. On the back there’s a film window so you can see which film, if any, you have in the camera. The film door is more difficult to open than other point and shoots, presumably so you don’t open the camera whilst underwater.

Having fun in the surf – not just for underwater use! Canon Prima AS-1 / Lomography Color 800

Inside the camera there’s a red rubber ring that makes the camera waterproof. Detailed instructions for cleaning the camera are in the manual. At the base of the camera is where you insert the CR123A battery, along with a tripod mount.

On the front of the camera there’s a mode dial. What I love about this camera is that it has a “flash off” mode for land photography – this was the mode I used the most. It also has an auto mode, a flash on mode, and a macro mode for underwater. When you’re underwater, the camera automatically changes to a fixed focal length.

I’ve used this camera at the beach, in the surf, in the pool, in the rain, I love it! The images are sharp, and have great colours and contrast. This is fast becoming one of my favourite point and shoot cameras.

Under the sea! Canon Prima AS-1 / Lomography Color 800

Canon underwater camera models

Canon launched this camera in April 1994 under different names in different regions. At launch, it cost 42,000 Yen, around $40USD. Below are the names it was sold under in each region:

  • Canon Sure Shot A1 (North America)
  • Canon Prima AS-1 (Europe)
  • Canon Autoboy D5┬á (Japan)

The camera also came in a panorama date version. A switch enabled you to change from full frame to faux panorama. The film door on this model featured a date back.

The mystery of the Canon WP-1

Rather confusingly, there is also another model called the Canon Sure Shot WP-1. This model looks very similar but has two main differences. Firstly, it has red rubber on the front under the Canon logo instead of grey. Secondly, it has a flower to denote Macro mode instead of a fish!

There is some speculation that there were some production issues with the WP-1 which led to it being reclassified as a weatherproof / splash-proof camera rather than an underwater camera like the other models. Many WP-1 models were manufactured in China, with the other models manufactured mostly in Taiwan.

Mmmm ice cream! Canon Prima AS-1 / Kodak Portra 160

Canon Prima AS-1 underwater camera specifications

  • Fully automatic 35mm waterproof camera
  • 32mm f/3.5 lens. 6 elements in 6 groups
  • Above water: 3-point smart autofocus with near-infrared beam. Prefocus enabled.
  • Underwater: Fixed focus (Macro: 0.45 m ÔÇô 1 m).
  • Built-in electronic self-timer.
  • Large bright viewfinder with 0.42x magnification and 84% coverage.
  • LED lights: green okay to shoot, blink light for close-up warning, camera-shake warning, and red-eye reduction lamp ON; and turns off during flash recycling).
  • Film speed range: ISO 25 ÔÇô 3200. Non DX-coded film rated at ISO 25.
  • Built-in Flash Fixed, built-in flash. Guide No. 7.5 (at ISO 100 in meters). Fires automatically in low-light and backlit conditions. Red-eye reduction lamp provided.
  • Battery: Takes one 3V CR123A lithium battery
  • Auto film advance with built-in motor.
  • Film rewind is automatic with built-in motor. No mid-roll rewind.
  • Dimensions: 133 x 88 x 56 mm.
  • Weight: 385g (including battery).

Canon underwater camera sample photos

Hydrangeas in England. Canon Prima AS-1 / Kodak Portra 160

Canon Sure Shot A1 / Canon Prima AS-1 Manual

You can find the Canon Sure Shot A1 / Prima AS-1 manual┬áon the excellent camera manuals website from Mr Buktus. Make sure you throw him a few bucks if you find the manuals useful, which IÔÇÖm sure you will.

Canon Sure Shot A1 / Prima AS-1 manual

Canon Sure Shot A1 sample images

Newcastle Ocean Baths. Canon Prima AS-1 / Lomography Color 800

Canon Prima AS-1 pros and cons

Pros

  • Super fun to use.
  • Fantastic viewfinder.
  • Excellent sharp lens with great colours and contrast.
  • You can turn the flash off – a great feature for land-based photography that not all underwater cameras have.

Cons

  • More bulky than other point and shoots, though it’s not heavy.
  • No ISO controls.
  • Only waterproof to 5 metres.

Canon Prima AS-1 review and sample images

Newcastle, New South Wales. Canon Prima AS-1 / Lomography Color 800

Is the Canon Prima AS-1 a good buy in 2020?

Yes, I believe so. I picked up my Canon Prima AS-1 for approximately $45. It’s in excellent condition and came with the original strap, case and manual.

Canon Prima AS-1 sample images / Canon Sure Shot A1 sample images

Here are some sample photos taken with the Canon Prima AS-1 underwater point and shoot camera (also known as the Canon Autoboy D5 / Canon Sure Shot WP-1 / Canon Sure Shot A1).

Canon Prima AS-1 review

Fruit picking! Canon Prima As-1 / Kodak Portra 160