Forget standing still and saying “cheese”, this quirky little four-lensed camera wants you to jump around and dance!
My first experience with Lomography was about six years ago. I won a strange little clear-bodied film camera with four separate lenses, and a bizzare fold-up “view finder”. I had never seen anything like it. At the time, I was just getting back into photography after about 13 years of not really shooting anything other than some vacation snaps on a small digital point-and-shoot. The ActionSampler got me reminiscing about a time before megapixels, when I used to shoot for fun and as a creative outlet.
I will admit, my first roll was less than impressive. Out of a 24 exposure roll, I think I only liked about five or 6 shots. And then there were the light leaks. Sometimes the subject in a quadrant was completely obscured by the green, yellow or red of the wayward light rays. So, a little disheartened, I put it in a drawer and forgot all about it for another couple of years.
Then one day I picked it up again, wiped it down and gently cleaned the dust off the lenses with a cotton swab and went out with it. This time I seemed to like it more. I didn’t seem to care that looking through it’s viewfinder was almost pointless. I took pleasure in hearing the whirr of the shutter as the four lenses captured (or didn’t capture) the subject. And when the roll was finished, I dropped it off at the photolab and anxiously awaited the pictures. One hour can seem like ages at times, but afterwards, my love affair with this four-eyed 35mm gem had been properly ignited.
Since those early days with my ActionSampler Clear, I’ve learned a few things. First of all, as mentioned earlier, I find the viewfinder is more decorative than useful. You may or may not be shooting what you’re looking at through it unless your eye is looking directly through its center. Secondly, these little pop art wonders are usually incredibly leaky. Be prepared for magnificent light leaks on at least one, if not all of the quadrants. Lomography Rules 6 through 9 apply particularly well to this camera.
My ActionSampler does not have a flash and those plastic lenses need a good amount of light to properly capture an image, so even with 800 speed film, I do not recommend shooting the flashless versions indoors. The ActionSampler’s internal rotating shutter allows each lens to expose one quarter of each negative frame for .22 seconds, that usually not enough light for a well-exposed shot indoors.
The ActionSampler is a small camera so it fits easily into pockets and bags. It’s a great creative outlet for people on the go who tend not to get lost in the details but are more interested in the big picture. Bring it with you next time you’re out with friends. The more they move around when you’re taking the picture, the better the final results will be. Friendly pets and children are also great subjects for this camera. Get active. Be silly. And most importantly, have fun.
The Actionsampler Clear snaps up a series of four images on one 35mm print. This multilens camera records your subject’s movement and now has an ultra cool transparent body. See it with the rest of our Multilens cameras here!