I couldn't wait to get my hands on my new SuperSampler and to test it took little Emily down to the park. The four lens arrangement seemed perfect for capturing her at play so please read on and see what I made of my new little blue camera.
Back when Lomography first grabbed my attention, two camera types interested me the most. The first was the premium LC-A and the second, the cheap-as-chips SuperSampler. I haven’t yet managed to lay my hands on an LC-A but I have quite recently bought my first SuperSampler.
For those who don’t know (although it’s quite difficult to miss!) the SuperSampler has an arrangement of four 24mm lenses on the front of the camera that will fire when the shutter is pressed. This can be pre-selected as four photos in two seconds or four photos in 0.2 seconds. And that’s about it. No other settings to fuss around with, no worries about focusing and framing is literally ‘point and shoot’.
One notable feature is the film winding mechanism. There is a rip cord on the side of the camera that both advances the film and cocks the shutter. Although quite novel it’s worth reading the instruction manual well as breakages can occur with over enthusiastic pulling of the cord.
Typically of Lomography cameras it is packaged very well (almost too well as the packaging seems to contain both more weight and quantity in plastic than the camera itself) and an included 144 page book serves as an example of the kind of photos you can expect to take.
Moving onto the camera itself the rubberized feel gives the camera a tactile quality and although lightweight it feels sturdy enough in the hand and not as delicate as I expected it to be. The rubber viewfinder window on the side seems rather pointless though and after falling off a few times I just left it in the box. The point and shoot nature of the camera means it’s not all that important anyway.
Loading the film was a straightforward affair and following the instruction manual should mean no mistakes are made. A pull on the rip cord (again, nice and gently) and it’s ready to go.
Camera: Lomography SuperSampler Blue
Film: Kodak Ultramax ASA400
Location: Forest Fields, Nottingham
Processing: Asda 1 Hour, scans to CD
Due to the camera being able to capture motion and movement in its four frames I made the focus of the test Emily playing in the park. I went against the advice of the Lomography website too and used ASA400 rather than the recommended ASA800 as it was a sunny and bright day. With 24 frames soon used the 1 hour lab beckoned.
My first impressions upon seeing the results were joy and amazement. I’d never captured anything like this before on any other camera. The manner in which the camera captures those four frames to create a movie like effect is fantastic. To see Emily frozen in four time frames coming down a slide gives the photo an almost animated effect.
As well as this all important feature the camera’s exposure and focusing was spot on and those used to Lomography type cameras will have no complaints in this department. I would say the photos are on the soft side but worlds apart from the dreamy softness of something like the Diana Mini.
Overall, I would rate the SuperSampler very positively. It captures images in a way you’ve probably not done so before and is an experience in itself. The camera is very light and compact but feels sturdy enough to survive a drop. On the downside, the cord can be fragile and requires finesse rather than brute force and the viewfinder attachment is frankly a waste of time. Finally, and as said before regarding some other Lomography camera, the packaging is a little over the top and adds more weight and cost to the product than is probably necessary.
Ultimately though it’s not an expensive camera and overall the joys from taking those superb four frame shots outweigh any of the minor negatives. This is definitely one little camera I would recommend.
*Product image courtesy of Lomography.com