As a photographer I feel it is important to test as many cameras as I can get my hands on. I don’t have to own them all, but I want to know about them. So I recently tried a Sprocket Rocket.
The Sprocket Rocket is a 35 mm film camera. The image size is 72 x 33mm including the sprocket holes. That’s its claim to fame. Not a unique feature, but an interesting one. There are other cameras in the Lomography line that also expose the sprocket holes. The picture you capture spreads out over the sprockets on the film. If you crop off the sprockets when you scan the negative then the resulting image will be 72 x 24 mm.
The shutter speed is 1/100 but there is also a ‘bulb’ setting when you need longer exposures. The aperture is either f 10.8 or f16. More light reaches the film at the f 10.8 and also results in a faster shutter time.
The strange thing about the camera is the film advance. You have to look in a little window, and I mean little, and wait for a white dot to appear. In dim light the white dot is difficult to see. Also, the film advance knob is on the opposite side of the camera from the film advance window. So what happens when you don’t remember this? Well, about half way through my roll of film I mistakenly used the knob on the left to advance my film. WRONG! The knob is on the right. I inadvertently began to rewind my film. I didn’t notice I was doing this until I had exposed several more frames. If I then started advancing the film properly I would have triple exposures so I stopped and decided that I would remove this roll and start again. The result: many double exposures of who knows what.
When I was using the camera properly I liked it. I liked the panorama effect. I usually shoot 120 film so 35mm was kind of fun because you get more photos per roll…..when you do it correctly. There are two focusing distances: .6 to 1 meter and 1 meter to infinity so you can get pretty close to your subject.
My conclusion: I’ve already put a second roll of film in the camera. Hopefully I will remember which knob to use to advance my film. I’m excited to try. Oh, and it comes in many different colors.
If you want to see the camera check out the Lomography web site, www.lomography.com, where you’ll find many creative people doing amazing things with this camera and others in the toy camera genre.