Overlapping nicely with the 52 Rolls project, last week saw the first ‘Shoot Week’ of the #FP4Party.The plan is to shoot a roll of Ilford’s iso125 stalwart during the second week of each of the next four months, posting the results during the fourth week. I chose the Lomography Sprocket Rocket, loaded up the film and shot it in a couple of days.
So this post covers three different bases. It’s my latest entry in 52 Rolls, my first in the FP4Party and a bit of a camera review too.
If you’re not familiar with the Sprocket Rocket, allow me to tell you a little more…
Like most things Lomography, it’s made almost entirely of plastic, but the styling is pretty cool. It’s sort of art deco looking and based on an obscure, old bakelite model. It has a couple of neat features; it shoots 72×35 sized imaged (18 per 36 roll), that’s the same as two frames wide, but the whole width of the film, sprocket holes and all.
The winding knobs allow you to move the film forwards and backwards at will, facilitating continuous panoramas or shooting the film in a random order if you wanted. The shutter isn’t coupled to anything and so multiple exposures, accidental or otherwise, are easily made.
Results from the all plastic lens are OK too. Unfortunately on this roll, because I shot it during the week but around working hours in the British Autumn, there wasn’t a lot of light around and the 125iso film probably hasn’t done the camera full justice. You can see some of my previous results (with faster film and sunnier days) over on Flickr.
There’s only two shutter settings, 1/100s or bulb, a couple of aperture settings, cloudy (f/10.6) or sunny (f/16), and to focus, you have the option of 0.6m-1m or 1m-∞. As you can see in the pictures below, it’s pretty easy to get these settings wrong. It’s also easy to leave the lens cap on when shooting as, like a rangefinder, you’re not looking through the lens.
On a couple of pictures below, I shot the picture and walked away, and then doubted whether I’d taken the lens cap off before shooting. So I returned and made another exposure. Both times, I had actually taken the first picture and so produced doubles.
Like most Lomography cameras, it’s great fun to use, but you wouldn’t want it to be your only camera. The sprocket effect (which by the way you don’t have to use as the camera comes with a mask to shoot 72x24mm) is cool, but gets old quickly. And those controls mean that, despite the LomoMantra of ‘don’t think, just shoot’ it can take a bit of effort to get the best from the Sprocket Rocket.
The final thing to mention is that when using this camera, you’ll need a way to scan the sprocket holes. You can use the Lomography Digitaliza shown above, or you can get a piece of anti-reflecting glass (your local picture framer will cut a piece and sell it to you for peanuts) and hold the negatives flat against the scanner bed.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s roll 73 of the year – as I said, they’re a little dark (iso125, 1/100s and not in the full light of day) but you get the idea.
First up, a quadruple exposure of my daughter gathering apples – she looks like a Victorian ghost!On the way to work, I like to take a short detour, and then a short walk to the top of Old John. It’s a hill in a country park, with a small folly on top, that overlooks the city. Early in the morning, it’s a tremendously peaceful place with just the distant 24/7 hum of the M1 motorway in the distance.
I’ll carry a small stove, an Aeropress and Porlex grinder. This set-up, probably assisted by the surroundings, makes the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. It might seem like a bit of a faff to carry this gear and go out of my way to make coffee from scratch, but it prepares me for anything that the working day might throw at me…An enterprising local café has managed to park a converted double-decker close to the top of the hill. I doubt their coffee is as good as mine!
Finally, a couple of accidental doubles…
Lomography Sprocket Rocket, Ilford FP4+, Ilfotec HC 1:31 for 8 minutes, scanned at home (hate it).