Sunday, 3 March 2013

Review - Lomo ActionSampler (uboot)

There are several different types of this camera in existence, but they're all pretty much the same design mostly just different colours.  The camera has four lenses and takes four photos at a time on a standard 35mm film frame.  The whole thing is made of cheap plastic, including the lenses, but this means it's inexpensive and fun to play around with.

There are no dials, no ISO or shutter speed setting, nothing.  The 'viewfinder' is pretty much useless too.  So just point it at something and press the shutter.

Winding on the film to the next frame primes the shutter for the next shot, so don't think yours is broken if it doesn't work without any film loaded.  Loading the film is easy and so long as it's not your first 35mm camera, you won't need any instructions to get started.  The release button to rewind the film is on the bottom of the camera.

The shutter is set at 1/100sec, so really it needs bright sunlight and/or fast film (ISO 400) to get the best results.  That said, I've used it indoors with ISO125 and managed to develop images.  Film can be very forgiving.

My son Brandon - Taken in Manchester last week
There's about a 0.22 second gap between each frame.  And as the name suggests, the idea is to shoot moving objects or move the camera whilst firing the shutter.   If you get this right then you can get some interesting effects.

This model is the 'uboot' edition which you see often on ebay. They're actually around 15 years old and were manufactured to launch a website which tried to pioneer digital imaging in an era before digital cameras (Sony Mavica et al excepted).  The idea was that you sent your 35mm film to them for processing and they put the images on the internet for you, rather than sending prints in the post.  To promote the service, this camera was given away free, with a roll of film.  In fact I even think that your first processing was free too.  Sadly the internet back then was nothing like it is now and the idea never took off.  Remember that everyone was using a normal phone line to get online, paying 1p/min on a 64k modem....ouch, painful!

You can even cut your digitized image up in MSPaint and create a GIF using an online converter.  Four frames can be quite effective if you get it right.

Worst feature - Total unpredictability of results
Best feature - Probably the same

You can find more pictures here


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  3. isn't it the opposite way? Dark places more ISO and then daylight little bit less...

  4. I am not expert, btw, if I mistaked I am sorry :/