Listen along as Roxanna Angles and Matt Murray judge the Sprocktastic 2020 competition entries!

Listen on your favourite podcast app or by pressing the play button above. 

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.

Alan Ma

COVID has forced me to rethink my whole reason for photography, and embrace the isolation of early morning landscapes at the beach, which has been fantastic for enjoyment and mental health during lockdown. I’ve really loved shooting sprockets in my 6×12 ONDU pinhole camera. they capture a magical passing of time at f161, with a crispness and ethereal nature that just isn’t possible on a standard 35mm camera with lens. The best ones have ‘lensless flare’ where you can see the photons bending in from diffraction, creating a mysterious colourful explosion, especially in sunrises. Kodak ektar just sings in the ondu, combined with stand development in c41. Vertical panos are also really interesting, when they work!
 

David Mihaly

I used the Lomography Sprocket Rocket, a simple toy camera which I have come to love. Ilford HP5+ was the film of choice, developed in FPP D96 for 9 minutes, followed by a water stop bath and finished off with Ilford Rapid Fixer before being scanned with the Epson V550. My favourite of these images might just be “Oh, Deer”, featuring the downtown Columbus, Ohio skyline and a bronze deer sculpture by Santa Fe artist Terry Allen – I like the whimsy of it and the fact that it’s different than my usual fare. “The Ridges” was taken at an abandoned psychiatric facility on the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. “The Mighty Hocking” proved to be a little too mighty, as it flooded the Athens region several times, leading the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to re-route the river in the late 1960s and early 1970s. “Drive” features the view just outside the Tall Pines Area of Walnut Woods MetroPark in Groveport, Ohio.

Barnaby Nutt

This is a 360 selfie – it’s me on a bike and my daughter in the trailer behind, riding down a hill in the sunshine. Taken with a Lomography Spinner held horizontally on Agfa Vista. It shows the road in front of us as well as behind. Like all things Lomography, it’s a cool effect but something that needs using sparingly. I get the spinner out every couple of years, waste a few rolls, and then put it away again. Not sure how this aspect ratio will fit into a zine!
 
 

George Quiroga

I photographed these images with a Lomography Sprocket Rocket camera on September 26, 2020 at a local wetlands preserve called Green Cay Wetlands in South Florida. I used Ultrafine Extreme 100 film and processed the roll in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B for 8.5 minutes. I chose the park and the camera specifically to photograph the long boardwalk leading lines. It was a beautiful sunny day with dramatic clouds that help cast beautiful reflections and create dramatic shadows on the boardwalk. My favorite image turned out to be the cloud reflections in the lake.
 
 

Donald Qualls

I used ORWO DN21 (same as Lomography Kino Babylon 13 only much cheaper on a bulk roll), shot in a 1950s vintage Wirgin Auta 4.5, 6×9 folding camera, Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar 105mm f/4.5, with 35mm to 120 adapter set. Film was processed in replenished Xtol stock for 7:00 (corrected for temperature). The film has a little light leakage from a bulk loader accident. I like the Abandoned Siding best — it’s got the “far from anywhere” vibe that goes with slow B&W film adapted into a 70 year old camera.

Jeffrey Sechrest

G’day Matt, I’m pretty new to shooting sprockets. I have always liked the look of exposed sprocket holes. I recently bought some 35 to 120 adapters so that I could shoot x-pan like panoramic photos with my Mamiya RB67. The ability to shoot sprockets was a nice bonus. My submissions are from a single roll of Ilford Delta 100. These were taken about an hour south of my home in central Florida. Its an area I occasionally pass through while working and have wanted to photograph for a while. I processed the film with my usual developer – HC-110 (B). Some adjustments done in Adobe Lightroom.

 

Kerry Jeffrey

Hi Matt! My pics are made with a bright blue Lomography Sprocket Rocket. I received one for Christmas from my son 4 years ago and it really has become my cure for times when I’m bored with photography. I typically use Kodak Pro Image 100, or Fuji 200 and for long night exposures my cable release is a paper clip and a rubber band. The artist studio is probably my favorite image, though certainly not the best. I was volunteered to help frame some paintings for an artist who had become quite sick. His studio was just as he’d left it when he was finishing his last painting months before and it was a great experience to stand exactly where he had been standing and try to imagine his thought process in the painting. The corn field and tree were in the fields around his studio. The night image is from a restaurant called Beast, desolate on a Saturday night after curfew.

Thanks for the great shows!

Kerry
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

Belo

Matt Dugard

Shot on velvia 50 in a Fuji GSW690III. My first time shooting 35mm in a medium format camera. It was great fun, I will definitely be trying it again. My favourite is the sunrise shot over the sea. Next time I think I’ll try some faster film stock and a color negative film.

Dustin Nickerson

RRS 6×9 and Kodak 2254 – Something went wrong and I ended up with about 8 exposures on the same frame. I was pretty surprised by the results and even think they it actually worked out.

Dale Willetts

The colour pic of Droitwich canal was taken with an Agfa Clack box camera on fuji C200 film. The two sepia pics were also taken with the Clack but on Kentmere 100 one is of a memorial cross at Claines parish church near worcester and th second which is probably my favourite is the road bridge over the river Severn in Worcester city centre. The black and white pic was taken with a Holga WPC (wide pinhole camera) on Kentmere 400 again at Claines parish church.

Adrian Doyle

Picked up a lovely red Sprocket Rocket to take on this challenge : ) Film is Ilford HP5 develop at home with the lab-box and cinestills df96 monobath. Pictures are different scenes from around my local town of Chapel Hill North Carolina.

Wol Gilbraith

Yikes, when did I last shoot 35mm? I’ve never shot sprockets before, but I read up online, and figured 35mm would fit nicely in an old Lubitel 166B from the early 80’s. I home-develop in Rodinal, so the film needed to be mono, and what they had in the shop was Ilford Delta 400, so that’s what I used. First time for this film. It wasn’t til after I loaded the camera that I read the bit about getting a count of how much winding on is needed, when there’s no numbers visible in the red window (the red window being shut, to protect the film, in the absence of backing paper). At it turned out, I got 13 exposures on my 36-exp roll. Plenty room for more, with less winding, but I was keep to avoid overlap. And I wasn’t too sure how much field of view, in either direction, would be caught on the firm – hence the framing is a bit iffy. The foggy field and the standing stone involved a 35-mile round trip by pushbike specially for the purpose, so they’re probably favourites – I like how the soft focus of the Lubitel works with the soft light. The trip to Loch Faskally was for the autumn colours, not so obvious here, but I wanted to get some people into my top four. Splash was taken from the dry safety of a parked car, out the window. All the negs came out a bit dark. Scanned with Olympus OM-D EM-1 ii, and tones adjusted in Lightroom. There’s plenty detail on the negs, with scope for some local adjustments too. Thanks to Al Clark, also in my part of Scotland, for sharing the post with the link to the Challenge. Would I do it again? Hell yeah!

Michael Newman

All photos taken with ONDU pinhole cameras loaded with FPP Sprocket Hole Film.
The film is Svema color 125. The gravestone images were taken with the ONDU MkIII Multiformat using the 6×9 mask. Eastern Cemetery is in fact the oldest cemetery in Portland, Maine. Rusty Cow Girl and Sunflower Sprockets were taken with the ONDU MkIII 6×6 Pocket. They were taken at Pumpkin Valley Farm in Dayton, Maine during a portrait shoot with my daughter in and around the sunflower field.

Mary Green


Mrs Mary Green


Rusty Cow Girl


Sunflower sprockets

Ken Bertram

I used the Lomography Sprocket Rocket Panorama camera for all of the images. The Spring Valley image was taken on Iford HP5 developed in Kodak HC-110. This is my favorite image of the bunch with the Bridge in the center and the blur on the sides, it looks like a dream. I have taken several images of that bridge but this one turned out to be the most unique one. All of the color shots were taken on Fuji’s 200 color print film developed in Cinestill C-41 kit. All against Matt’s advice of using a 400 speed film. I chose that film because I was using a flash at night on some of my images and did not want them washed out. However they were not worthy of the sprocket’s competition or damaging Matt’s eyes for life. I don’t know if I will use this camera again I preferred using the plastic pano over this one.

Michael Vickery

Hi there Matt!

I just wanted to drop you a line to say hello and thanks for your brilliant podcast. I discovered it a couple of months ago now and have been listening through all the episodes whilst commuting to work.
 
ItÔÇÖs great to have a quality Australian based podcast for film photography and I do enjoy your style….. relaxed as if chatting with like minded friends and of course the family feel with your good lady wife and children making their cameo appearances. Well done to you all!
 
I had fully intended entering your Sprocktastic 2020 competition and duly loaded my Holga 120 with a roll of 35mm film. Due to various ÔÇťbusy lifeÔÇŁ reasons I was very late getting the shots I wanted and ended up rushing around earlier this week to try and get through the roll and then get it developed. A tall order to say the least!
 
In my rushing around and not being careful enough, I had a bit of a stuff up when removing the film from the Holga which exposed the film to red light plus there is a chance that the film suffered some ÔÇťin cameraÔÇŁ heat exposure along the way.The long and short of it is that when developed, the images all have a strong red colouring. So, not only did I miss the entry deadline, the photographs are rather spoiled. IÔÇÖve attached 3 anyway just to give you an idea of what I was trying to shoot.
 
The first, the abstract/graffiti photograph, was my attempt to get ÔÇťsprocketÔÇŁ written on a shot using a torch in the dark …. it didnÔÇÖt turn out like that but thatÔÇÖs ok. The image is exactly what came out in the dev/scan….. not post processed in anyway other than adding a frame. I quite like it and will put this down as a happy accident. The bicycle photo was my attempt to get an actual sprocket in a photograph…… I thought that would be a little bit of fun to run with the ÔÇťSprocktasticÔÇŁ theme. The last shot is of an unused small grain silo at a micro brewery here in Perth. The shot is clearly faded and pink but there is a ÔÇťlomoÔÇŁ feel to it and I keep looking at it so included it just for interests sake.  So there we go. I shall look forward to whatever your next challenge is and try and be far more organised and try to produce photographs worthy of entry.
 
On another note , after listening to the episodes about the panoramic competition from earlier in the year, I set about purchasing a wide pic plastic pano. I found a brand new example on Gumtree and it arrived from the lady who was selling it in Adelaide last week. It cost me just under $30 in the end…… so definitely not a thrift find but IÔÇÖm happy with it all the same and will put a test roll through it soon.
 
I have been very slowly getting back into analogue photography over the last year or so and hope to get shooting regularly from here on. Work and family commitments always make life busy as you will well know but letÔÇÖs hope this coming summer can produce some great work. I have literally just created an IG account for my film photos which is – defiantcharisma
ItÔÇÖs totally blank at the the time of typing but I will upload the 3 shots attached here later on to remind me that the only way is up after my stuff up with this roll. All part of the fun….. I think­čśé.
 
Anyway, apologies this email has ended up being rather longer than anticipated so thanks for taking the time to read.
 
Cheers and regards.
 
ÔÇťMichael in PerthÔÇŁ
 

Devon Adams

I teach public high school photography and was on a photo tour in Greece when quarantine began. We hurried home and went into lockdown for weeks, but then we began to slowly and carefully do day trips out and about. I shot these at Gold King Mine & Ghost Town in Jerome, Arizona on a Holga modified to fit 35mm Lomography 800 film. I’ve modded my Holga before so had a pretty good idea what I was doing here. I like shooting the Holga or my Sprocket Rocket because they’re lightweight & give wild results. Developed at home in Unicolor & self-scanned. Minor digital edits.

My favourite is the old yellow race car. All of these are double exposed but I like how the car racing number is also floating above the car itself.

Matt Murray

I’m not eligible to win, but here are my Sprocktastic entries! Taken on a Lomography Sprocket Rocket.

Roxanna Angles

2010 was not a great year for film photography, but among all the doom and gloom, one shining light stood proud like a lighthouse on the horizon: Lomography Society International. When so many other camera manufacturers were discontinuing products or leaving the industry altogether, Lomography launched a brand new camera: the Sprocket Rocket.

Marshall and the kids, Sprocket Rocket with expired Lomography 400 film.

The Sprocket Rocket wasn’t just any camera either: touted as the world’s first panoramic wide-angle camera that exposes film sprockets, it was truly something new and different. If that wasn’t enough, this plastic beauty was fitted with a “reverse gear”, allowing the photographer to rewind and remix images they’d taken via double and multiple exposures.

Fast forward 10 years and I have finally bought a Sprocket Rocket. You can read my review below or press play on the podcast review above.

The Sprocket Rocket’s design harks back to some classic mid 20th century camera designs

What does the Sprocket Rocket look like?

The Sprocket Rocket is a fairly chunky plastic camera that is bright and bold. If you think it looks familiar, you’re right. The camera closely resembles two vintage cameras from the mid 20th century: the 1938 Falcon Miniature and the 1949 Ilford Advocate.

The Sprocket Rocket has been available in a wide range of bright colours over the years: red, blue, teal, pink, white, yellow, orange, green, and black.

As at October 2020, you can buy it from the Lomography website in three colours: black, red, and green. I bought my red Sprocket Rocket direct from the Lomography website for $69USD.

Graham’s Tyre Service, Brisbane. Expired Lomography 400 film.

What’s in the Sprocket Rocket box?

Like many Lomography products, the packaging and inclusions are all very hip and well designed. Here’s what came in the box:

  • Sprocket Rocket camera.
  • Lens cap.
  • Mask for sprocketless photos (black thing above the camera in the image below).
  • Sprocket Rocket Panorama User Manual.
  • Sprocket Panorama brochure with sample images.
  • Sprocket Rocket – The Blind Experiment booklet.

I really like all the additional bits and bobs you get with a Lomography camera. The brochure with sample images is fantastic for inspiration, showing you examples of what you can expect. It also features a cool Sprocket Rocket themed detective cartoon!

The user manual has straightforward instructions on how to load film and operate the camera, tips and tricks on how to get the most out of it, and a trouble shooting guide. The text is a decent size, but it’s printed in multiple languages, so it’s not as long as you think when you first take a look.

The blind experiment is one person’s journey using the Sprocket Rocket as a “blind photographer” for two days.

Sun flares at sunset. Wellington Point, Queensland. Sprocket Rocket with Kodak Gold 200 film.

Sprocket Rocket features and specifications

  • The Sprocket Rocket has two apertures to choose from: Cloudy f/10.8 and Sunny f/16.
  • It has two shutter speeds: a fixed 1/100 second (the N setting on the camera), and a very handy bulb setting (the B setting on the camera.)
  • The focal length of the lens is 30mm, making it a wide angle camera.
  • The minimum focus distance is quite short at just 60cm (2 feet).
  • The camera zone focuses via two settings on the lens barrel: 0.6m to 1m, and 1m to infinity.
  • The Sprocket Rocket takes 35mm film. It doesn’t matter if your film has DX coding or not, as it doesn’t read DX coding, and has no capability to change settings based on film speed.
  • Recommended film speed is IS0400, though I’ve successfully used ISO200 film here in sunny Queensland.
  • Exposure area of each frame is double the width of a normal 35mm exposure: 72x33mm (with mask taken out to expose sprockets) or 72x24mm (with mask in).
  • No battery is required.
  • Weight: it’s quite light, weight just 227g / 8oz.
  • Tripod mount on the bottom for long exposure shots.
  • Film advance and rewind knobs – when used in conjunction with the white dot window, this rewind knob is a very handy feature.
  • Flash hot shoe on top of the camera.
Top view of the Sprocket Rocket showing the twist lens zone focusing, the two shutter speeds: N and B, the flash hot shoe, the shutter mechanism to the right of the shutter speeds, the silver film advance and rewind knobs (on opposite sides of the camera), and the two small windows to the left of the hot shoe: the frame counter and the white dot window.

How many images do I get with a Sprocket Rocket?

The Sprocket Rocket is a panoramic camera with exposures being double the width of a normal 35mm frame (72mm wide instead of 36mm wide). This means you’ll get a maximum of 18 shots on a 36 exposure roll, and a maximum of 12 on a 24 exposure roll.

What film is recommended for the Sprocket Rocket?

Lomography recommend ISO400 film for use in the Sprocket Rocket. Depending on the lighting conditions, you could use any film from ISO100-800 quite easily if you know the sunny 16 rul, if you use a light meter, or if you use a smartphone light meter app.

Victoria Point, Queensland, on Kodak Ultramax 400 film.

Before you start shooting

The first thing you probably want to do is open up the back of the camera and take the mask out. With the mask left in, the camera won’t expose the entire film negative, so there won’t be any sprockets!

Loading film in the Sprocket Rocket

Just lift up those silver clasps and the back comes off.

Loading film in the Sprocket Rocket is quite easy, especially if you have some experience doing this. To take the back off the camera, lift up the silver clasps on the side of the camera and the whole back section comes off. With this design, it looks like the back would come off pretty easily while you’re using it, but it doesn’t.

Inside the Lomography Sprocket Rocket. Note that the mask has already been taken out.

Next, load your film into the camera on the left hand side. Feed the film across the back of the camera and into the take up spool, then wind it on. Below is a video from Lomography showing the process. Keep winding the film on until you see a little white dot appear in the window next to the rewind button.

Lomography’s video on how to load the Sprocket Rocket

Shooting with the Sprocket Rocket

Once your film is loaded, you’re ready to go! The camera has a viewfinder – quite a luxury for a plastic toy camera – but I’d suggest it’s more of a guide than for precise composition. The bottom part of your view through the viewfinder is blocked by the top part of the lens.┬á

Make sure you have enough light when you’re taking photos: in darker conditions or indoors you may need to use a flash. In sunny or cloudy daylight conditions, you should be fine.

Maryvale Roadhouse. Sprocket Rocket with with expired Lomography 400 film.

Next, choose your aperture for the conditions: either sunny or cloudy. The aperture setting is on the bottom of the lens. Next, choose your focus: either 0.6m to 1m, or 1m to infinity. I left my Sprocket Rocket on the latter the whole time I shot with it.

Once you compose your shot, press the shutter lever down. The Sprocket Rocket makes a strange, but kinda cool shutter sound. You can hear it in my podcast, or in the short video from Lomography below:

Precise framing with the white dot

For single exposures, it’s now time to wind the film advance knob to the next frame. Film is advanced by the silver knob on the right of the camera as you’re holding it in your hands, turn the wheel in the direction of the arrow.

As you start turning the knob, the white dot in the window on the right of the camera will disappear: keep turning the knob until the white dot appears again in the window. This way your double wide panoramic exposures will not overlap each other, making it much easier to scan them.

Can I do double exposures and multiple exposures with the Sprocket Rocket?

Yes! As explained above, the shutter is triggered by pushing down the silver lever on the side of the lens. Film advancement is manual, meaning that you physically have to turn the film advance knob to get to the next frame. While this may seem primitive compared to more advanced cameras, this is actually a fantastic feature as it means you have unlimited potential for double and multiple exposures!

You can press the shutter as many times as you want on any given frame, just be careful not to overexpose your film too much. The image below was taken at dusk on ISO200 film. The image is on the darker side, I could’ve got away with a triple exposure on this frame.

Double exposure shot taken at an abandoned school on the Sprocket Rocket with Kodak Gold 200 film.

Shoot the roll, then shoot it backwards!

The Sprocket Rocket has a lot of features for a plastic toy camera. As well as having a mandatory film advance knob, it has a film film rewind knob on the opposite side of the camera. This is not only for rewinding the film once you’re finished, but used in conjunction with the white dot, you can also shoot the entire roll with single exposures, then rewind it frame by frame and shoot double and multi-exposures over the top!

So how does it work? Here’s a run down:

  1. Shoot your film with single exposures one frame at a time. After you take each image, wind the film until the white dot appears in the window again.
  2. Keep doing single exposures all the way until the end of the roll.
  3. When you get to the end of the roll, start winding the rewind button. The white dot will disappear, keep winding until it appears again.
  4. Take another image. What you’re doing is making a double exposure by taking a second image over the top of this already exposed frame.
  5. Rewind the film another frame by turning the rewind knob until the white dot appears again.
  6. Shoot another image.
  7. Repeat the process until the film ends up back in the canister, or start winding the film forward and take triple exposures on the roll!
Sprocket Rocket with expired Lomography 400 film. Check out the wide-angle distortion on the silos to the left!

Can I use a flash with the Sprocket Rocket?

Yes! There is a hot shoe connection on top of the camera. I haven’t used a flash for any of the photos featured in this review, but will try it soon.

Can I take long exposure images with the Sprocket Rocket? 

Yes! Not only does the Sprocket Rocket have a bulb mode, it also has a tripod socket! On the base of the camera is a silver ring which can be used to attach a strap. Unscrew this ring and hey presto, you have a tripod socket. 

Bulb mode with the Sprocket Rocket! Kodak Gold 200.

To take a long exposure image, mount your Sprocket Rocket on a tripod, switch the shutter setting to B for bulb, and then work out how many seconds you need to expose the scene for.

You can either guess, or use a light meter app, dialling in the aperture you’re using (probably easiest to use the sunny f16 aperture) and your film speed ISO. This will give you how many seconds you should hold down the shutter for.

Try to hold the camera rock solid with one hand on the tripod as you push and hold the shutter lever down with your other hand. The image above of Brisbane City is surprisingly sharp in the middle!

As a comparison, here’s a lab scan of the same shot, without sprockets.

Characteristics of Sprocket Rocket images

  • Sharp in the centre, blurry towards the edge of the frame.
  • Quite severe wide-angle distortion. Check out the building shots below, everything towards the edge of the frame looks curved!
  • Vignetting – this can be quite strong in certain conditions.
Victoria Point reverse sunset – the Sprocket Rocket has a very strong vignette under certain conditions! This was a roll I had scanned by the lab by accident, so there are no sprockets on this and some of the other images in this review. Shot on Kodak Gold 200.

Pros and cons of the Sprocket Rocket

Pros

  • It’s light – take it with you everywhere. 
  • It’s fun – how could a bright red wide-angle panoramic camera not be fun?
  • It’s (relatively) cheap. Not as cheap as a thrift store point and shoot, but this baby is brand new and you’re helping to support Lomography. 
  • Features – there’s a lot packed into this plastic camera: a viewfinder, the ability to do multi-exposures, the ability to rewind your film randomly, bulb mode, and a hot shoe for flash shots. 

Cons

  • If you want your subject in focus, composition is required. Anything that’s not in the centre of the frame will be either blurred or have sprocket holes over.┬á┬á
  • The Sprocket Rocket can’t compete in quality with sprockets shot on 35mm film through a medium format camera.┬á
  • Lens blur, vignetting, wide-angle distortion… if these things aren’t your bag, steer clear.┬á
  • Scanning can be a pain. Most labs won’t scan sprockets, standard holders won’t let you scan the sprockets. If you want to do it right, one option is to invest in a Lomo Digitiliza – a scanning mask that allows you to scan sprockets.
You need to be careful with your composition – in this image my daughter’s head is cut off by a sprocket and my son is towards the edge of the frame and blurry! Expired Lomogoraphy 400 film.

How much does a Sprocket Rocket cost?

I bought my Sprocket Rocket brand new from the Lomography website for $69USD. I was really keen on getting the green one, but it was $20 more than the black or red versions. At the time of writing, each colour has a different price: black is the cheapest at $79USD, followed by red at $85USD, with the Superpop! green model coming in at $99USD. 

From time to time the cameras pop up on Facebook Marketplace, and there are plenty for sale on eBay, though with the latter they’re not much cheaper than buying it brand new off the Lomography website. 

Is the Sprocket Rocket good value for money?

For the range of features the camera gives you, I think the Sprocket Rocket is worth the money that Lomography ask for it.┬áLomography have been a huge supporter of analogue photography in the 21st century and I’m a big fan of their products.

Wellington Point sunset (lab scan, no sprockets). Sprocket Rocket with Kodak Gold 200 film.

What other cameras can I use to expose sprockets?

There are a few other 35mm cameras that allow you to natively expose the sprockets. The following three options are also made by Lomography: 

  • Spinner 360
  • Diana F+ 35mm back
  • Lubitel 166

One non-Lomography option is the early 21st century beauty from Japan, the Superheadz Blackbird, fly: a 35mm plastic TLR camera. Look out for a review of that in the coming months.  

Sprocket Rocket sample images

Here are some final Sprocket Rocket sample images:

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)”