Love at First Lomo: My Broken Oktomat


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 #nostalgia #oktomat #lomography #love-at-first-lomo #analogue-love #analogue-lifestyle #requested


  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 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 :(

More Interesting Articles

  • My First Lomo Affair: Cmart and his Oktomat

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-22 in #world #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Cmart and his Oktomat

    In this installment of My First Lomo Affair, artist and photographer Courtney Christiansen, known in the community as cmart, recalls his first adventure with the Oktomat and how it encouraged him to stretch the limits of his creativity and embrace the experimental aspect of film photography.

  • Stacy_mcpommes and her Weapon of Choice: Lubitel 166B

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-10-09 in #lifestyle
    Stacy_mcpommes and her Weapon of Choice: Lubitel 166B

    Not knowing exactly how to do deal with its odd appearance, Nadica first regarded the Lubitel 166B as a complete monstrosity. She left it untouched on her shelf for months after receiving it as a gift. After using other Lomo cameras and getting familiar with the rules on exposure, she finally had the courage to test it. Find out what made stacy_mcpommes fall in love with the Lubitel 166B in this installment of Weapon of Choice!

  • Two Days and One Night in Vibrant Sapa

    written by choidaehan on 2015-05-13 in #world #lifestyle #locations
    Two Days and One Night in Vibrant Sapa

    For three months last year, I traveled to 11 cities of eight Southeast Asian countries. My first destination from my hometown of Seoul was Vietnam. After 10 days in Hanoi, I joined a group tour to Sapa, an area known for its hill tribes. This is a photo story of my two days and one night in this remote but vibrant place.

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Wanted: Copywriting and Online Marketing Interns For Lomography HQ!

    written by shhquiet on 2015-07-14 in #world #news
    Wanted: Copywriting and Online Marketing Interns For Lomography HQ!

    Are you passionate about creative and experimental photography? Do you want to know what it's like working at the Lomography Headquarters? Experience it first-hand by applying for internship! Currently we have two opportunities available, if you're interested in Copywriting or Online Marketing. Read more details after the jump!

  • 12 Months, 12 Projects: February - Nighttime Traffic

    written by Maaike van Stratum on 2015-03-11 in #world #lifestyle
    12 Months, 12 Projects: February - Nighttime Traffic

    My list of resolutions for 2015 consists of 12 projects, one for every month. In February, I wanted to take one of those long exposure night shots of traffic. You know the type: nighttime cityscape, with bright red and white stripes where traffic passes. I love those shots, but I had never gotten around taking one.

  • 50 Electrifying Light Paintings From The Lomography Community

    written by tomas_bates on 2015-08-17 in #gear #news
    50 Electrifying Light Paintings From The Lomography Community

    Light Painting is a cool technique that we love to do when we're in the mood for experimenting with photos. It's super easy and fun, and it only requires a dark room, a friend or two to collaborate with, a camera with long exposure mode and a light painting tool to get started. Check out 50 of the most vibrant light painting photos taken by your fellow Lomographers after the cut!

  • Shop News

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    Shoot recognizable images with the Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens photos are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    written by wesco on 2014-11-27 in #reviews
    The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    My brother purchased the new Petzal lens by Lomography and Zenit through the Kickstarter campaign. Last spring, I was able to borrow it for a few weeks. Read on to find out my first impressions of this portrait lens!

  • Storytelling with Petzvals: Alex Timmermans and the Art of Collodion

    written by jacobs on 2015-04-03 in #people #lifestyle
    Storytelling with Petzvals: Alex Timmermans and the Art of Collodion

    Not long after Alex Timmermans purchased his first digital camera at the turn of the century, he quickly realized the trappings of digital photography couldn't fulfill his personal photographic desires. He then began searching for a more challenging process — one that wasn't so predictable. His journey eventually landed him back at the roots of analogue photography, specifically employing the wet plate collodion process using original Petzval lenses. This antique photographic process found in him a renewed inspiration and has since become his passion, which is evident in both his words and his images.

  • Blazing Trails: An Interview with iblazr COO Oleg Malenkov

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-07-13 in #people #lifestyle
    Blazing Trails: An Interview with iblazr COO Oleg Malenkov

    Get acquainted with iblazr, a team of visionaries and pragmatists who transform bright ideas into great products. Nothing better illustrates this than iblazr, their one-of-a-kind multi functional flash with 4 LEDs. Read on to find out more about this amazing product and the story behind it.

  • Shop News

    New Item: Revolog 36exp Plexus

    New Item: Revolog 36exp Plexus

    Feeling experimental? We have the perfect film for you. Load up a roll of Revolog Plexus 200 on your favorite 35mm camera and shoot as you normally would.

  • March Workshops and Events at Lomography Soho

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-02 in #world #news #events
    March Workshops and Events at Lomography Soho

    Those long, frosty, dark nights are finally behind us. It's time to dust of your Diana F+; wipe down your LC-A Wide and get shooting again! Join us for some fabulous workshops and events in Soho and come and visit us in March at the Birmingham NEC as part of The Photography Show 2015. Read on for the full line up.

  • The Phoblographer Gives the LC-A 120 Five Stars and Editor's Choice Award!

    written by jacobs on 2015-01-08 in #news
    The Phoblographer Gives the LC-A 120 Five Stars and Editor's Choice Award!

    We love our cameras. We especially love it when you love our cameras. And we get super pumped when you tell us about it. So when the LC-A 120 got a stunning review from the fellas at The Phoblographer, we were giddy with delight! Not only did they give it a killer, in-depth review, but they also bestowed it with a 5/5 rating and Editor's Choice award! Read on for a little taste of the review and then head to their site to read the whole thing!

  • December 5th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays? (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    written by jacobs on 2014-12-05 in #news
    December 5th Advent Offer: Looking for a terrific camera for the holidays?  (Online Code: BRIGHTDELIGHT15)

    It's the most wonderful time of the day — Lomography Advent deal time! We're back and at it with a sweet 15% discount on all La Sardina cameras! Already have one? Well get another one, or treat yourself or your friends to any of our plastic bodied cameras using our continued discount today. The more, the merrier!