I bought my Sprocket Rocket in November, right after its launch. It was love at the first photo. The youngest member of the Lomo family is, for sure, one of the best cameras ever launched by this brand. On a sunny day, it’s simply unbeatable.
No, it isn’t one of Lomography’s cheapest cameras. But it’s also far away from the most expensive ones. And after you give it a try, you’ll see that the cost-benefit ratio is more than satisfactory. Let’s begin with its basic features: it takes panoramic photos, allows multiple exposures, has 2 speeds options (normal or bulb), apertures for light or cloudy ambient, etc. But the coolest thing on this camera is the fact that it uses the whole film to print your images, going beyond the holes (the “famous” sprockets – that’s the reason of the camera’s name).
The sprockets give a special charm to any photo. Go and take a picture of those socks your grandma gave you for Christmas and you’ll see how everything gets better in this format. It’s also cool to have the brand and the ISO of the film printed on your photo.
In my opinion it goes without saying that the Sprocket Rocket works better in outdoors with a lot of light. In fact, this theory works for almost every Lomographic camera. The difference, to me, is that the Sprocket (I’m gonna call it like this from now on, ok?) improves much more than any other when you use it under these favourable conditions. The lens (plastic, of course) is a phenomenon on a sunny day. The colours get pretty and alive, no matter which film you are using. I tested several films, from different brands to different ISOs and for me the one that works the best is the Lomography X-Pro Slide 200, although Lomography recommends 400 ISO. Of course that if it’s dark, it would be better if you followed their tip or even use 800 ISO. I also tried it and I had no problems, but I’m gonna insist: to me the Sprocket is unbeatable when there’s a lot of light.
Oh, here’s an important info: if, for any reason, you don’t like seeing the sprockets on your photos, the camera comes with a mask that prevents the image to reach them. At first I found it totally unnecessary, but then I thought it could be useful to people that don’t like sprockets and want a panoramic camera but don’t have the money to buy a Horizon, for example.
Another cool thing about the Sprocket is that it doesn’t wind the film automatically after each photo and you can roll it forward and backward as many times as you want. That’s why, at its launch, the camera was called a “time traveller”. For example, even if you’re at the end of the film you can always come back to the first photo if you see something that could make a good double exposure with it.
The Sprocket’s package, as usual for Lomography’s products, is very pretty. The camera’s design is amazing. It has a bit of a retro look (here you have yet another kind of time traveling) and, although it isn’t so compact, it’s kinda easy to carry. The only thing I didn’t like is the ring to clip the strap. First, because it was placed under the camera (attached to the cover for the tripod screw) and it prevents the Sprocket to stand upright. Second, because that ring is very fragile and it breaks easily (mine is already gone). So, take extra care when carrying your camera.
Unfortunately, the Sprocket doesn’t come with a flash. But since it has the hotshoe, you can use most of the external flashes. I tried the Colorsplash Flash and the combination of the two worked very well.
To resume, I totally recommend this camera (in case I wasn’t clear enough :) and although I have other analogue cameras, I think the Sprocket will keep being one of my favourites for a long time. Especially because no other camera travels in time so well as this rocket does.