Speaking of Panoramic Cameras – How About The Sprocket Rocket?

I recently came across a fascinating article from the MSNBC Photo Blog.

It was about Mario Tama, a Getty Images photographer who returned to Ground Zero in New York 10 years after 9/11 with a Lomography Sprocket Rocket Super Wide Angle 35mm Camera.

At less then $83 most anyone reading this should be able to afford such a camera. But what really got to me was the way the images – captured on film – showed a purity that I don’t usually find in images that are digitally created.

Some key features of the Lomo are:

* Super-wide angle lens captures entire width of film including sprocket holes!
* Scrolling knobs allow easy multiple exposures
* Hotshoe for flash and standard tripod screw
* B-setting (Bulb) mode for nighttime/long-exposures
* Uses all kinds of 35mm film (color negatives, slide, black & white, etc.)

The first item on the list is what really appeals to me. The lens captures the ENTIRE width of the film – including the sprocket holes. And if you look at Toma’s work, that’s the thing that grabs me. There’s great image data out there where the sprocket holes live.

His choice to shoot black and white film also appealed to me. Now where you’ll get this film developed, proofed and printed is beyond me. I would guess he does his own darkroom work, but the results are simply mesmerizing.

To see more ofTama’s work – go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44020480.

I’d really love to know what you think of the images and the camera and if you have any actual experience with the Lomo please feel free to chime in, especially on where you get the film processed.

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About scottbourne

Founder of Photofocus.com. Professional photographer. Author. Speaker.

Posted on August 12, 2011, in Gear and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. These are fantastic images, thanks for pointing them out. The last one in the slideshow on the photoblog you linked to (the one with the couple on the bench in New Jersey and the view across to the Manhattan skyline) is probably my favourite. All of them are great though.

    I initially agreed with your conjecture that, given the unusual exposure of the whole film, processing needs to be done by a specialist lab, or at home (if the latter, perhaps that contributed to the photographer deciding to shoot these black and white).

    But then I got to thinking – in normal development the whole film is immersed in the chemicals, right? So the edges/sprocket hole surrounds *are* normally developed, in any standard lab process, it’s just that there’s nothing there to see because a normal camera doesn’t expose that part of the film. So maybe any normal development process will do…

    If so (& I realise I could easily be completely wrong here!) the camera is even more attractive at the price!

    Thanks again for the tip, I’m really enjoying the 3exposure site & podcast.