I'm really into experimental films and directors, so I've always wanted something that I could create my own films with;plus I kind of fancy myself a film director. After having bought my Holga and several other cameras that I learned some technique on, I had heard people throughout the Lomography community talking about the 8 lens wondercam, Oktomat. I had checked out the Oktokino and saw what the Oktomat could do, and I had to get one.
The Oktomat fires 8 lenses in serial succession which means instead of taking 8 pictures of the same thing, each lens fires slightly after the previous lens closes taking roughly a total of 2 seconds to capture images. The 8 lenses each take a tiny little square frame on one single 35mm frame (so you get 8 tiny pictures on one frame). Now you may say “but Fuzztone, 2 seconds is nothing” but I tend to disagree. 2 seconds is plenty of time to tell a little story in those 8 frames of yours.
The camera is cased in plastic and has plastic lenses so its definitely light to carry around. It also has a fold-down viewfinder, but I generally opt not to use but instead just go ahead and shoot. When the lenses fire they make this wurring, wind-up toy sound which tends to have people look around, look at you and go, what was that?. My only concern with the camera itself is the film advance lever. You have to be a little careful when advancing film or might feel like you’re tearing the crank off. But other than that this little guy is always in my arsenal.
I find that I love using slide film and black and white in my Oktomat. The black and white gives your shots a classic film look and the slide gives them this wild psychedelic freak-out look. Just make sure to either shoot on a really sunny day or to use a higher speed film (such as 400, 800 or 1600) as the lens are 1/100 at f/8.
I love taking my Oktomat on journeys with me, whether it be on the way to work or out with friends. I love sitting shotgun in someone else’s car and taking “road movies” of our trips and things. Shooting these types of movies gives you a lot of movement and it tells a good story about where you’re going. Also doing everyday normal things and taking Oktomat shots with it are cool too. I take shots of me walking around places, opening doors, dialing phones, or doing work on the job.
All in all this 8 lens marvel is a fun camera to have around and it will definitely arouse that “what the hell is that thing” comment several times while you’re out (trust me, I brought it with me to my summer job, and as we were driving along I took a picture of my coworkers in another truck. When we stopped they all asked me what it was I had with me. They thought it was cool).
Check out the Oktomat microsite here