It is a small, compact film camera from Germany that brings 55 square images (24x24mm) to 35mm film, since the years of the economic miracle. Thanks to its clockwork design, it shoots as fast as you can press the shutter button. Read on and get to know the Robot Star!
The Robot Star is a camera made by Berning in Düsseldof, Germany that went into production in 1952. A special feature of the Robot camera is a clockwork design that lets you take 24 shots in a row once it is cocked – a great feature in which I fell in love immediately.
The small, fully mechanical film camera uses 35mm film to shoot square images in the format of 24×24mm, just like the Diana Mini .lomography.com/cameras/diana-mini-family. The lens mount allows changing of the lens. You can choose from the following:
- f/1,9 40mm Xenor
- f/2.8 37,5mm Xenar
- f/3.5 38mm Radionar
- f/3.5 75mm Tele Lens
You can see the view through the viewfinder in two different ways – as you would with a normal viewfinder and but also from the side or even from above when you turn the camera 90 degrees. A small mirror allows it to target the subject like you would use a TLR from the top or from the side, as suggested by the manual.
The shutter speed can be set on the rotary knob on the front from 1/500 to 1/2 second. There is also a bulb mode. For shooting at night you can connect a wired flash to the front and attach it to the hotshoe (X / M-Sync).
The camera body seems to be made for eternity, so solid the Star appears when you hold it in your hand. The tripod socket and the connection for a cable release allow the use for long exposures, even if the small camera is expected to look a bit lost on most tripods. Inside the camera, the exposed film is inserted into a separate cartridge that (if other cartridges are available) can be changed quickly and without loss of unexposed film. Fully exposed, it can also be rewound completely when you pull the rewind button next to the hotshoe.
Actually, everything the Robot Star lacks to be the perfect camera is an automatic exposure. Unfortunately I was overzealous shooting my first roll of film and have set aperture and shutter speed only roughly, and estimated it very poorly. Therefore, I can present to you just a few pictures from my first roll:
Pictures from my album Resurrection of a Star
The Robot Star is a nice little companion that is suitable for all situations where you want to take multiple pictures in a row. It is handy although it does have some significant disadvantages: apart from the fact that the mechanism is quite noisy, its decades-defying clockwork design clocking at almost 800g (more than 5 times the weight of a Diana F+) make it a real heavyweight. That means you almost have to be afraid to get it on the heavier side if you put it in your jacket pocket. Nevertheless, the Robot Star is a great camera! If you can get it at a reasonable price (<100 €), I highly recommend you get one!