Take These Tips for a Spin!


New to the magic of spinning sprocket holes? These 8 tips will get you started in style! Read on!

Credits: russheath

If you forced me to choose just one camera to sum up my Lomographic experience (please don’t!), then it would be my amazing Spinner 360. This little beauty has been all over with me, and over and over again it produces some of my absolute favorite photos. For those of you new to this crazy beast, here are a few simple tips I’ve learned along the way.

Credits: russheath

Tip #1: Feed it light! I almost never shoot slower than ISO 400 film with my beloved spinner. The focus is fixed at a decent distance from the camera, so you want to use the “sunny” setting as much as possible or you risk having your subject out of focus. You won’t be able to do this unless A) it’s sunny and B) you have at least ISO 400 film. If you want to shoot something slower, I suggest push processing. Of course, this all changes with the awesome new Motorizer, but I haven’t had a chance to test that just yet!

Credits: russheath

Tip #2: E-6! One of the most common questions I get asked is “how do you get those cool white sprocket holes??” To anyone who shoots slide film and doesn’t cross process, this is obvious! Shooting slide film and having it processed E-6 creates a color positive. When you scan a color positive, all the margins (i.e. sprocket holes) turn white instead of black. In my opinion, there is only one film worth using for this: Fuji Provia 400X. It’s absolute magic in the spinner when processed in E-6 chemicals. I know it’s expensive, but you won’t be disappointed!

Credits: russheath

Tip #3: Quit trying to get out of the photo. With the 360, you are the ultimate subject, so quit trying to avoid the lens! Sure, you can do a variety of things to keep your mug hidden, but that really defeats the purpose of this camera. This is the ultimate in wide angles, and wide angle lenses are at their most fun when exaggerating the distance between a near and far subject. If everything is far away from your lens, then it just looks like a really stretched out panoramic photo. Cool? Sure, but putting a great big subject (you) in the middle is even better.

Credits: russheath

Tip #4: Get a partner (or partners). Finally, a way to take interesting group photos! Try to get everyone close to the camera, watch out for your background, and keep it level if you can. All those faces will be in sharper focus if you have enough light to use the sunny setting.

Credits: russheath

Tip#5: Try black and white! Monochrome is just as awesome in the spinner as it is in your other cameras. I particularly like that most B&W films look good when pushed 1-2 stops, so I like to use monochrome when the light is a little iffy.

Credits: russheath

Tip #6: Leave the lens hood on! It’s not just to reduce flare, the lens hood is heavy and intended to counterbalance the camera while spinning. The following photos were taken without it. While I still like them, I know they would be less blurry if I had used the hood!

Credits: russheath

Tip #7: Get in tight! Contrary to what you might think, spinner photos often look best when you’re in a cramped space. Having other elements in the photo besides you that are very near the lens (the closer the better) will really show off that fun perspective distortion.

Credits: russheath

Tip#8: Learn to kiss and shoot.

Credits: russheath

That’s all! I admit that when I first bought my spinner, I thought it would be a very special use camera that I only grabbed on occasion. But after a couple of years with it, I can’t imagine traveling without this great camera. Happy spinning!

Credits: russheath

The Spinner 360° goes beyond the confines of standard panoramic cameras. See everything around you (literally!), and be swept away by truly spectacular results. Head to our Online Shop and get your own Spinner 360°!

written by russheath on 2012-04-04 in #gear #tipster #spinner #camera #360 #panoramic #spinner-360 #tipster #sprocket #sprocket-holes


  1. redtulip
    redtulip ·

    great tips! can't wait to try them!!!

  2. hxloon
    hxloon ·

    I love my Spinner 360° too!

  3. natalieerachel
    natalieerachel ·

    Always loved your spinner photos :)

  4. guanatos
    guanatos ·

    awesome! gotta try the get close one

  5. nuhdos
    nuhdos ·

    I love the kiss gallery !

  6. russheath
    russheath ·

    @redtulip, @hxloon, and @nuhdos -- Thanks so much!
    @natalieerachel -- Thanks! I've always thought your beachy spinner shots are some of the best around. :D
    @guanatos -- :D Definitely one of my favorite ways to shoot with the 360 . . . !

  7. superkulisap
    superkulisap ·

    Nice work, fellow spinner user! :D

  8. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Great tips, and great photos. Thanks for sharing.

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