At first glance on the Sprocket Rocket, it seems to be a very simple camera – two settings of aperture (cloudy and sunny) and two settings for shutter speed (1/100s and B). On second thought, it would be an amazing machine with unlimited possibilities!
I always believe that the more simple the camera, the more input is needed by the photographer. The photos would be unique. Sprocket Rocket equips with very simple functions yet implies unlimited possibilities. It, however, gets the innovative “rewind” function, 30mm ultra-wide angle lens and panoramic format with sprocket holes (72mm X 36mm). Indeed it is never simple! No matter using it for spontaneous snaps or creative photography, it will surely be your best companion.
While looking through the viewfinder, I am really surprised with how wile it is. Both sides are slightly distorted and make the view more majestic. Is this viewfinder “true”? Yes! It is very similar to the result. It covers the sprocket area, so be reminded not to place the object near both top and bottom or it will be cropped by the holes. The minimum focus distance is 0.6m. Move the camera upward a little bit after composing when shooting close objects. There is a slight displacement between the viewfinder and outcome, it is not a SLR anyway.
Keep talking on the specification is not enough to feel the strength of this new gem. This camera performs the best under sunlight. The aperture setting “Sunny” (f/10.8) and “cloudy” (f/16) regards the environment when using ISO 400 film. It is optimum to use ISO 400 negative film, or ISO 100 slide with cross processing. The color will be more vibrant under front light. At noon, the sunlight might be too strong for Sprocket Rocket. Now you could utilize the “rewind” function and load a lower ISO film. (Or you may apply ND filter)
How about shooting when the sunlight is gone? Sure! You may use the B shutter at night and indoor area. A tripod and a light meter will certainly help. (Otherwise….you may train yourself to have steady hands and “human” light meter instead!) Loading with a high speed film will make everything easier as well.
(Sprocket Rocket is compatible with hot-shoe flash. The results I shoot later with Diana F+ Flash are in the LomoHome album here )
Multiple exposure is one of the beloved technique by Lomographers. You may shoot many times on the same frame until you wind the film, even doubles with previous shots by rewinding the film to wherever you like. If you encounter a scene that you found interesting if doubles with a photo you took a few hours ago, just rewind it and shoot. (Provided that I remember how many frames I should rewind……)
Other than the basic functions, here shares some personal favourite uses.
Sprocket Rocket can shoot panoramic scenes. The shape is best for oval patterns, for example, lamps or ornaments. It looks like a big eye!
If works very well for “off-finder” shots. With Sprocket Rocket’s wide lens, it nearly includes everything in. For street snaps or placing the camera on the ground to shoot cats, it never fails.
The plastic lens gives a dreamy image with slightly blurred sides, as well as the strong vignette effect. While shooting with black & white film, although some sprocket holes are not seen clearly in darker part of the image, the vintage mood is just excellent.
If you like the “Don’t think. Just shoot” style, you may load a roll of ISO 400 film and shoot freely on sunny days. If you like to have something creative, Sprocket Rocket is definitely your cup of tea. Here comes the last tips: Get a scanner and DigitaLIZA ! Then you could enjoy the fun of Sprocket Rocket to the max!