La Sardina Moonassi: An Unexpected Dream

A Lomography Order gone wrong leads to a gamble and discovery as I try out the Moonassi La Sardina.

It was a simpler time, several months ago, when the Lomo Store launched its brand new look. New categories, a cleaner interface, and lots of new options. Suddenly, a whole bunch of cameras were available that hadn’t been for ages! I ordered myself a Zorki that I hadn’t seen in ages and a plethora of weird & wonderful films. Unfortunately, this was too good to be true. Everything I had ordered was out of stock, and I had a choice of a refund or a replacement (the Lomo team was incredibly helpful throughout). I chose the then-newly released Moonassi Dream La Sardina.

I had never used a La Sardina before, though I had stared covetously at the Belle Star metal edition, because it looks like a camera from the video game Fallout New Vegas. I had always felt that the La Sardina occupied a weird in-between place among Lomography cameras. 35mm? Naturally. Wide-angle? My Fisheye & Sprocket Rocket do that. Bulb Mode & MX? My Diana Mini does that. So I was interested to see what the La Sardina brought to the table.

The package arrived, and it needs to be said: this camera is GORGEOUS.

Daehyun Kim’s art covers every surface of the camera, even the bottom plate.

The full Dream design is compiled from multiple drawings, including A Stammerer, When It Rains, Sleepless, and others. All of his art can be viewed on his website. Also, he’s on Instagram, and liked my picture of the camera, which gave me a little thrill.

Considering the themes of dreams and sleep throughout, I named the camera Morpheus, after the main character of Neil Gaiman’s incredible Sandman comic series, who shared the camera’s black-and-white palette. Even more fitting, as Neil Gaiman is a LomoGuru himself.

Morpheus with his namesake.

Anyway, the camera. It’s boxier than it looks on the site, and quite thick, but not as heavy as you would expect.

Instead of the focus zones of a Diana Mini or the like, the La Sardina has only two, chosen by twisting the 20mmlens: 0.6-1m (indicated by a little bug) or 1m-infinity (indicated by a group of people).

The rewind knob allows for winding back to previous exposures, the shutter button has a screw-thread in the centre for a cable release, and there is a toggle switch on top. Switch in the middle means daytime shooting (locked at 1/100), switch to the left means Bulb mode, and a push to the right is MX, releasing the shutter for a double-exposure.

The La Sardina also lacks even the rudimentary sunny-cloudy exposure settings of a Diana Mini or Sprocket Rocket, meaning the exposure is set at an nice middle-ground f8. Both the lens & the viewfinder give an impressive 89 degrees of view, without sacrificing number of exposures, like an an LC-Wide or Sprocket Rocket. It came with a little plastic lens cap, which I immediately took a knife to and made into a splitzer.

Intrigued, I loaded up a roll of Rossmann CN 200 & went shooting. Immediately, I noticed some issues. The rewind knob works a treat when winding back to reshoot, but it doesn’t change the exposure count window, meaning from the moment you start rewinding, you don’t know where you are. While the 1m-Infinity setting made for easy decisions when shooting, the lens was quite loose, and when put in a bag or backpack tended to slide from one setting to the next and back. I found I couldn’t trust the camera to be on the same setting without looking, which led to a few focus errors.

In contrast, the shooting mode toggle was extremely sticky, with a lot of force needed to shift into Bulb or MX modes. Also, when shooting in Bulb mode, if I wanted to take a second exposure, I had to haul the switch to the middle, then over to the left, then when it reset to middle, haul it back to Bulb, then reshoot. The shutter release button was also sticky, but only moved down a very small amount, leading to a painful indentation on my fingertip (with a bump in the middle from the cable release thread). On the flipside, the viewfinder was fantastic, and presented an enormous field of view, and the lack of settings to fiddle with meant I was shooting very quickly, with minimal fussing about in between shots.

During the next few days, I presented the La Sardina with multiple shooting situations, including:

A sunny day in my backyard:

Credits: lokified

A walk through the city on a cloudy morning:

Credits: lokified

Some light-painting, including a nifty flamethrower shot:

Credits: lokified

A bright-and-sunny city afternoon:

Credits: lokified

A stop at a Craft Beer & Cider Festival:

Credits: lokified

And some double exposure & splitzer shots:

Credits: lokified

And the results? Amazing! The plastic lens of the La Sardina took the sometimes-bland & washed out Rossmann 200 & pumped the colours through the roof! While I lost a few frames to the focusing issue mentioned above, those with the correct setting were sharp in some spots, but lovely & dreamy in others. The wide-angle lens gives little-to-no barrel distortion, and manages to fit just about everything in.

So final verdict? I’m glad I ended up with the La Sardina. It may have its foibles, but the results speak to themselves.

written by lokified on 2013-04-18 in #reviews #dream #gaiman #neil #lasardina #moonassi #sardina

More Interesting Articles

  • December 21st Advent Offer: Shop Today And Save 10%! (Online Code: LASTCALL10)

    written by Lomography on 2015-12-21 in #gear #news
    December 21st Advent Offer: Shop Today And Save 10%! (Online Code: LASTCALL10)

    We've got a few more holiday goodies left before they're all gone, and today's is extra sweet! We're offering 10% your order so treat yourself to something special from our Online Shop and Lomography Gallery Stores.

  • The Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens Meets the Masses

    written by shhquiet on 2015-06-01 in #gear #news
    The Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens Meets the Masses

    The Lomo LC-A Minitar 1 Art Lens 2.8/32 mm has not been roaming the streets for long, but word has spread like wildfire and they’ve gone fast — we’re sorry to say we’re all out of stock for July delivery. But the good news is you can pre-order now for the next delivery scheduled for August!

  • My First Lomo Affair: Jmcedo and his LC-A+

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-09-13 in #world #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Jmcedo and his LC-A+

    Joan Manel Cedó is an avid fan of extreme sports. He has been a rock climber for two decades and has also gained interest in kitesurfing over the years. In both sports, he tries to incorporate his passion for photography. In this instalment of My First Lomo Affair, he talks about how he chance upon the carefree style of shooting with the LC-A+ and all the adventures that followed this discovery.

    2
  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Winter in Vienna: First Impressions of the Lomo'Instant Wide

    written by azinteimoori on 2016-01-25 in #world #reviews
    Winter in Vienna: First Impressions of the Lomo'Instant Wide

    I’ve been shooting analogue as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I was introduced to instant photography. So, you can imagine when I was given the chance to try out the recently introduced Lomo’Instant Wide, I “instantly” said yes and hit the streets of Vienna!

    2
  • 12 Months, 12 Projects: March Of Caffenol

    written by Maaike van Stratum (@stratski) on 2015-04-12 in #world #lifestyle
    12 Months, 12 Projects: March Of Caffenol

    My list of resolutions for 2015 consists of 12 projects, one for every month. March was for caffenol. You have probably heard of the amazing fact that you can develop black and white photos with coffee, sodium, and vitamin C. I had tried this before but with less than stellar results. Somehow, there's always something going wrong. Time to devote a few rolls to caffenol to finally get the hang of it.

    1
  • Lomography x National Portrait Gallery Rumble

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-07-08 in #people #competitions
    Lomography x National Portrait Gallery Rumble

    Lomography has teamed up with the National Portrait Gallery for a special rumble where you could win tickets to the "Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon" exhibition and a La Sardina Eightball.

  • Shop News

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    Lomo'Instant Reykjavik Edition

    The latest addition to the Lomo’Instant family! Inspired by the Icelandic midnight sky, Get endless creativity, take multiple exposed instant snapshots, experiment with long exposure and light painting shots!

  • Pixelstick + Lomo'Instant: Take Light Painting to the Next Level

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-04-20 in #gear #lifestyle
    Pixelstick + Lomo'Instant: Take Light Painting to the Next Level

    Ever since the Pixelstick came out, I've been dying to try it out. This past week, I finally got my chance! With one goal in mind — getting some super cool light-painting shots — I grabbed some friends for an amazing session with my Lomo'Instant and the Pixelstick. Take a moment and have a look at these priceless pics!

    4
  • Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-04-06 in #gear #reviews
    Falling In Love With The LC-A 120

    There are quite a few perks that come with working for a film photography company, and the best perk of all is testing out the latest cameras. I can remember buying my LC-A back in 2009 and being really inspired to shoot film again. When the LC-A 120 came along, I couldn't wait to try it out around London. Join me as I test out this super medium format beauty.

  • December 1st Advent Offer: Save 15% Off Your Order Today! (Online Code: 15OFFNOW)

    written by Lomography on 2015-12-01 in #gear #news
    December 1st Advent Offer: Save 15% Off Your Order Today! (Online Code: 15OFFNOW)

    To kick off the first day of our festive Advent deals of 2015, we're offering an awesome 15% discount on all orders! Take advantage of this super sweet deal by visiting our Online Shop or a Lomography Gallery Store and pick out a winter treat!

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • From Experimental to Ordinary: LomoAmigo Martin Dietrich Tests the Minitar-1 Art Lens

    written by Lomography on 2016-01-29 in #people #lomoamigos
    From Experimental to Ordinary: LomoAmigo Martin Dietrich Tests the Minitar-1 Art Lens

    In order to escape the world of facts and figures, tax auditor Martin Dietrich discovered photography as his creative counterpart almost seven years ago. On a trip to Paris he fell in love with analog photography and the magic of film has been fascinating to him since then. But he also appreciates the benefits of digital photography. For Lomography he tested the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens on his Fuji X-Pro 1 camera. Check out Martin's photos and learn more about the founder of the popular Neoprime magazine.

    2
  • First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-05-02 in #gear #news
    First Impressions of the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens: Andrea Cislaghi

    In case you missed it, Lomography has just unveiled the latest member of its Art Lens family: the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Art Lens, which boasts of the same optics that the legendary LC-A camera has and brings the classic Lomographic style not only to analog but also to the digital platform. Over the next few days we'll be sharing with you the first impressions of and photographs taken by members of the Lomography team, who had gone out and put the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 to the test. First up is graphic designer Andrea Cislaghi, who coupled this lens with the Bessa R2 and Sony Alpha 7.

    5
  • Pushing Boundaries: Multiple Exposing Film Soup

    written by Amber Valentine on 2015-04-21 in #world #tipster
    Pushing Boundaries: Multiple Exposing Film Soup

    As you may have read in my previous article, I truly fell in love with Lomography when I combined my Fisheye camera with an old Canon AE-1 for magical photographic results. Last summer, I took so many pictures of flowers that it started to become almost boring for me. My waning interest and the coming winter meant that I had to figure out something else to do with my 35mm film.

    1