Lomography UK were kind enough to offer me the chance to have a play with the new camera ahead of its release. We weren’t sure if it would arrive on these shores in time for me to get a decent preview but you can imagine my excitement when they posted photos of their new delivery on Facebook. I jumped on the next train to London to go check out the latest piece of kit.
All I knew at this point was that it was based on an old Sardine Can camera (yup the Lomo community guessed it right), it would have flash, and it was going to be far more affordable than their previous release. Off the back of these details I was very excited.
What you get in the box:
As soon as I was handed the box I knew Lomography had outdone themselves once again. The new Sardina cameras looked AWESOME. Plus they’ve really been stepping up their game with the packaging of the last few releases and this was no exception.
It comes in a pallet shaped box, like a delivery of cans to a grocery store, complete with slogans and fish food themes labels.
Inside you get:
The camera and lens cap (obviously)
The new Fritz the Blitz flash (only available with El Capitan and Fischers Fritze)
3 chunky colour filters and a diffuser filter (for the flash)
A users guide/poster combo.
A great new book ‘Seeing the world Through a Sardine Cam’ (it’s a very cool book, it looks smooth and slick, like the camera)
Naturally I couldn’t wait to shove some film into the camera and get shooting, but first I took a little while to admire the craftsmanship. I love the appearance of the camera, it’s stylish but fun. (For the record I used the El Capitan). An homage to the old Kandor camera with a new fun, modern Lomography twist. The body feels really sturdy and strong, despite being made of plastic. The attention to detail on the designs is amazing. I particularly like the label on the side “best served with friends”.
The Sardina cameras boast a super wide angle 22mm lens which gives snappers a 90º angle of view (this means pretty much everything in front of the lens is going to be in shot, you’ll never miss the action).
The lens is retractable to keep the camera compact and protect it from knocks and bumps.
The aperture is fixed at f/8 which means no variable exposure settings to worry about, just load your film and snap away (just bear in mind what the weather is like outside when choosing which speed of film to use). This also means most of the picture will be in focus due to a deep depth of field.
Talking of focus, there are only two simple settings to worry about. ‘near’ or ‘far’. So unless you’re doing close-ups, you can leave the focus settings alone.
There are the typical shutter settings of Normal or Bulb. Normal for everyday use and bulb for longer exposures and everyone’s favourite: Light painting.
Of course Lomography wouldn’t forget to include an MX (multiple exposure) switch either.
The flash has 3 different power settings to help stop you from burning out your close-ups.
Everything about this camera is designed to make it easy, simple and fun to use. Don’t miss those unique moments worrying about settings, just point the camera and shoot. Your snaps will be in focus and if its in front of the camera, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be in the shot.
The old Kandor cameras which inspired this design were marketed as candid cameras, to capture those unique interesting moments you come across in every day life, and this is what the Sardinas will do best (OK bright red isn’t quite as subtle but it’s still quick and easy).
I decided that in homage to the Sardina’s roots, I would mainly use this camera to shoot fun, candid street photos. Being London based I wanted to capture some of the more interesting and unusual sights you see on the city streets. And of course, I love live music, so gig photos were a must too.
I’m really happy with the results. All my snaps turned out pretty much as I had intended. The majority are clear and crisp and the colours are great.
I was concerned about the lack of aperture adjustment and the effect this would have on multiple exposures but I’m really happy with my results. Just remember to be aware of your film’s speed and how bright the environment is, and you’ll be fine.
Who its for?
These cameras will be great for beginners as there are just enough settings to play with and challenge you, but still easy enough to operate so that it isn’t intimidating to newcomers. However, it’s just as great for seasoned lomographers who want something they don’t have to think about when using – perfect for party snaps especially with the colour filters. And it would be hard to screw it up, even when you’ve had a few grown-ups drinks.
Take a look at all of my test shots below.