Love at First Lomo: My Broken Oktomat

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My first Lomo camera was an Oktomat.The vibrant red, the colourful lenses…It was love at first sight! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to use it for long. Read on to know more about my Love at First Lomo story with the Oktomat.

I remember buying my lovely Oktomat about 6 or 7 years ago. I remember going to the shop, bringing it home, the excitement of taking it out of the box. I remember loading the first film, taking it everywhere I went, shooting day and night and loving it! But then, I lost it and my brief relationship with analogue photography ended. That is…until last year when I found my Oktomat again!

It still had the first undeveloped film inside which wasn’t yet finished so I decided to rekindle my analogue passion with my Oktomat. While I shot everything around me to finish the film it all came back to me: the excitement of taking the camera everywhere and shooting everything and not knowing how it is going to turn out. But something wasn’t right…the advance mechanism was feeling very strange and I was sure something was wrong with it. When I developed the roll it was really exciting as I got to see photos I had taken 6 years ago and it brought back so much memories. You can read all about that and see all the photos here.

Sadly, it also confirmed to me that the advance mechanism was broken: of all the shots I had been taking that previous week only one had come out, and a bunch of others just overlapped:

I decided to give it another shot and loaded a brand new film in it. However, a few shots into the film, the advance mechanism started to fail again and I noticed it was ripping the film sprockets! I was so sad and upset that my Oktomat had stopped working only after using one roll and worst of all: because I had bought it so many years ago, it was, of course, out of warranty. I searched online for ways to fix it and there were a lot of people complainting about the same issue: the advance mechanism on their Oktomat’s had broken but no one knew how to fix it. I went into a dark room unloaded the film and closed it in a tight sealed box so that my boyfriend could try to figure out what was wrong with the camera. Now, this is what my Oktomat looks like:

Even though I only got to use it briefly it was my first analogue camera and it holds a very special place in my heart. It was also thanks to finding my lost Oktomat that I rekindled my love for analogue photography and tried out the lovely Fisheye my uncle had given me 5 years ago which I had forgotten about and was still new in the box. After that I was completely hooked and started buying lots more cameras. Maybe my boyfriend will figure out how to fix my Oktomat (I do hope so), maybe not, but if he doesn’t I will definitely buy a new one someday. As for now, I have a bunch of other analogue cameras I’m having the time of my life with!

What was the first Lomo camera you owned and fell in love with? Share your stories and check out our requested posts for this month to earn more Piggies! Meanwhile, you can check out other Love at First Lomo stories from our community members.

written by carlota_nonnumquam on 2012-02-29 in #lifestyle

8 Comments

  1. detroitlomo
    detroitlomo ·

    So Sad to see such an awesome camera inoperable, i have a rebadged Actionsampler that doesn't work as well, so i feel your pain, same issue too..

  2. carlota_nonnumquam
    carlota_nonnumquam ·

    @detroitlomo Yeah, I've read many people complaining about the same issue on these cameras. I think quality control was not the best with these multilens cameras. I'd really like to have an Oktomat again sometime so I'm hoping they have improved these issues by now

  3. detroitlomo
    detroitlomo ·

    Well i hope you are able to get yours working again, if not id try checking on ebay or even in thrift stores for a new one, because i've found a few cameras such as the holga for prices as low as 10 dollars

  4. gelibee
    gelibee ·

    Hello everyone! So sorry to hear about your Oktomat problems! :( Rest assured, the team will have a look at it and all cameras are built to last past its warranty period! :) If you have bought the camera from the shop or in our gallery stores, kindly shoot us an email at customerservice@lomography.com and we'll gladly help you out :) Have a nice day! :)

  5. jeffr
    jeffr ·

    more like broke at first lomo :(
    my oktomat also had a huge issue and i never got a full roll out of it but it too is long past warranty

  6. carlota_nonnumquam
    carlota_nonnumquam ·

    @jeffr True :( I completely understand your frustration. When I developed the roll that had been sitting undevelopped in my Oktomat for 6 years I could tell it wasn't working properly from the beginning. It was skipping frames like crazy because I had a bunch of blank frames inbetween photos on my negatives. And when I say blank frames I don't meen under exposed shots, I really mean clear unexposed frames. I've read a lot of people wih broken Oktomat's saying "well, it is a cheap camera so you can't expect much from it" but in my country 39 euros is definitely not cheap :(

  7. carlota_nonnumquam
    carlota_nonnumquam ·

    @gelibee Thanks, I have noticed customer service in the website is so good and that really is great :) However, in my case my Oktomat is well past warranty and was bought in the local Lomography store in my city (Lisbon, Portugal) and I don't think it is considered a gallery store as it is not on the store list in the Worldwide section of the site :( But thanks for the concern anyway :)

  8. djramsay
    djramsay ·

    same thing happened to my colorsplash, lost an old friend :(

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