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Here are four of the five test shots I’ve done so far using the Lomo’Instant,  and it looks like it’ll take a few Instax packs before I get used to how the camera behaves.  I’m only really happy with the shot on the upper right,  shot in Automatic mode with a color gel. The MX shot is way overexposed and a mess,  the one in the lower right overexposed as well.  The cat shot used the close-up lens attachment – it’s okay but not as sharp as I’d want.

The one test shot I threw away was an MX of my cat,  using no flash for the first exposure and a single pop for the second at -2 EV. Far too dark.

More to come as I continue this test drive.

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My last camera purchase for 2014 was Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 8, bought new for half the retail price because,  I suspect,  it came in a shade of pink only JPop stars can pull off –  even Sanrio fans might balk at buying this color camera.  A handy shooter,  no doubt,  but doesn’t quite go with my beer gut or personal aesthetic.

It is fitting that I start the year with another instant camera,  the Lomo’Instant in immaculate white.  Like the Fuji,  this uses Instax film,  but is far more versatile than the Mini 8. With exposure compensation,  multiple exposure,  bulb,  color gels and four creative modes,  the Lomo’Instant can certainly give the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic a run for its money.

I’ll be testing this camera out for the next few days and I hope to do a proper unboxing video. I will have to put everything back in the box though,  hah hah,  and do it all over for the video.  Couldn’t resist taking it out as soon as I got it. 

Be back in a few.

This just in from Lomography dot com. They’ve recently released two new film stocks, the Lomography X Tungsten 35mm and Earl Grey Black & White 120.  Here’s their marketing schtick:

Lomography X Tungsten

Tungsten Tones And X-Pro Powers 35mm/64 ISO

Lomography X Tungsten is a 35mm, 64 ISO color-slide film guaranteed to shock you into excitement with its electrifying personality! Used under the right light conditions, it will wash your photos in blue hues and tones. And things get extra exhilarating when you take X Tungsten over to the parallel universe of cross processing; get ready to experience beautifully vivid colors with that distinct tungsten appeal!

Earl Grey Black & White 120

The Monochrome Earl Is Now Available
in Medium Format! 120/100 ISO

Recently we launched Lomography Earl Grey 35mm and now the Earl has ascended to 120 format too! Lomography Earl Grey 120 is a stunning 100 ISO black and white film, perfect for all your Medium Format Cameras – You’ll get super smooth shots with amazing black, white and grey tones; get yours today!

Now, I already have my favorite B&W film stock, so Earl Grey doesn’t really interest me. I’ll stick to my tried and tested, thank you very much. Lomography X Tungsten. however, is a different case.

Normally I’m not one to mindlessly drink Lomography’s Kool Aid, but X Tungsten is…intriguing. It’s balanced for tungsten light, meaning, the film eliminates the color cast produced by tungsten light upon a subject or scene, say in an indoor shot. If you shoot tungsten-balanced film under different lighting conditions, the colors in your photos take on different qualities.  Shoot tungsten-balanced film outdoors and you’ll get a blue cast in your shadows, for instance. Cross process that and the blues get even deeper.

Now the really intriguing bit for me is the new film’s pricing, US$25.38 per pack of three. Compare that with Fujifilm Fujichrome 64T ISO64 Tungsten-balanced film, priced at US$11.59 per roll, and you’ll see that Lomography’s film comes out cheaper. For a company that is known for its ridiculously overpriced films, that  is a big surprise.

So what’s the catch? Is LXT expired? Is it from some dubious supplier in China? Is there even a catch?

What I definitely would like to know is what film stock is under all of Lomography’s branding. Unlike The Impossible Project, Lomography doesn’t make their own film, so this is for sure a rebadge. If I can identify what the film stock is, then I can get it even cheaper hehe.

I’m not sure when this will hit Team Manila stores here in the Philippines or how much these will cost per box, but hopefully they don’t deviate much from Lomography’s online price. Methinks I’ma gonna try ’em out.

Hurray for squiddy goodness!

Just about an hour ago, Lomography launched their new La Sardina camera, a 22mm wide angle 35mm shooter that comes in four editions: the El Capitan, Fischer’s Fritze, Sea Pride and Marathon, each one designed to look like a can of sardines. The first two come with the Fritz the Blitz flash, which will probably be sold separately.

El Capitan with flash

Fischer's Fritze with flash

Sea Pride

Marathon

Both front and back of the camera enjoy the clever design themes. Best skin for me is Marathon because I like eating squid (grilled, not canned) and because House Greyjoy don’t frakkin sow.

Funny, though, that despite their fishy motif, none of these have fisheye lenses, just an ultrawide 22. Probably because LSI already has two fisheye cameras in their catalog. This slots in as a direct competitor of the SuperHeadz Wide & Slim, points out my colleague Ed. Good call. Neither is the La Sardina (the THE sardine) waterproof. Given the leaky failure that was the Frogeye, guess LSI doesn’t want to repeat its mistakes.

With multiple exposure (MX) capability, bulb mode and a scale focus with even fewer distance markers, plus the quaint designs, this camera will likely attract some folks who want something new and interesting, despite the steep US$64 and US$101 (for the flash edition) pricetags.

Below are the specs, pulled from the Lomography website, which is suffering massive lag times, probably due to folks like me checking out this new release.

La Sardina Features

  • Mind-blowing Wide-Angle Lens
  • Rewind Dial and MX switch that make multiple exposures easier than ever before!
  • Fritz the Blitz Flash attachment
  • Film cartridge window on the rear of camera – to see what film you’re shooting
  • Easy-to-use focusing with two simple settings
  • Bulb setting for night-time and long-exposure experimentation
  • Screw-in Cable Release Option
  • Incredible collection of unique La Sardina editions – a design for every mood and occasion

La Sardina Technical Specs

  • Film Type: Standard 35mm (135)
  • Exposure Area: 36mm x 24mm
  • Lens Focal Length: 22mm
  • Aperture: Fixed f/8
  • Angle of view: 89 degrees
  • Shutter Speed: Bulb (B), 1/100 (N)
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 0.6m
  • Focusing Steps: Two Step Focusing — 0.6m-1m, 1m-Infinity
  • View Finder: Inverse Galileo-Type Built-in Viewfinder
  • Film Counting: Auto Film Counting
  • Film Stopping: Yes
  • Multiple Exposures: Yes
  • Cable Release Connection: Yes
  • Tripod Mount: 1/4″ Tripod Screw
  • Shutter Release Lock: Shutter Locks After Lens Collapsed
  • Flash Contact: Unique La Sardina Micro Contact (for Fritz the Blitz flash only)

Well, hello there.

After a series of hints and teasers, Lomography has finally unveiled their latest star performer, the LC-Wide, sending Lomo fans into epileptic shocks of lust.

I’m not sure who broke the news first, whether it was Gizmodo or Lomo UK, but Lomo’s US official launch event is still a few hours away, poor saps.

I won’t get into detail here, just follow the links above to get the skinny, but in short, the LC-Wide is a wide angle and multi aspect ratio (full frame, half frame, square frame) film camera that makes me rethink my camera budger for the year. Much as I don’t really buy this whole Lomography lifestyle hype (despite my blog’s name), I do feel that this is one product of theirs that I’d spend a premium on.

Camera Creative

I was browsing the photography section at a local bookstore this afternoon when I stumbled upon a freshly stocked book titled Camera Creative. Written by Chris Gatcum, a former editor at What Digital Camera?, the book is a compilation of all the quaint tricks and techniques I’ve been dabbling in for the past few years – false tilt shift photography, light painting, lomography, plastic lenses, digital cross processing and then some.

Over four chapters, Gatcum describes 52 techniques/projects covering creative shooting, lens and accessory tricks, DIY lighting gear and the dark arts of digital post processing. Included are features on toy cameras and Holga hacks as well as el cheapo stereo photography, yay!

In the eight hours that I’ve owned this book I’ve only been able to read a few pages, but from what I’ve seen so far, Camera Creative is a great jump-off point for folks who like going against the grain. This isn’t a book for everyone, but the stuff in here will most definitely add a new unexpected dimension to your photography, if you apply the lessons well.  There’s a lot of cool things to try out.

As for me, I can’t wait to have a go at TTV photography. TTV stands for Through The Viewfinder, where you mate your digital camera to a TLR and shoot the image that appears on the TLR’s viewfinder. Such a cool hack, methinks. Will definitely post results once I build my “contraption” (it seems this is what the TTV community calls the DIY interface) and shoot. Meanwhile, here’s a TTV flickr group to keep you occupied.

If you’ve got a bookstore near you, give it a look. Otherwise, there’s always Amazon.com.