Analogue camera specialist Lomography has unveiled its very first movie camera, the LomoKino, and we were invited along to Lomo HQ for a top secret exclusive preview prior to the official launch.
As we’d already received an invite to the launch event in the form of an old cinema ticket along with a pack of popcorn, we’d guessed that the new product would be a movie gadget of some sort. However, while most internet rumours pointed towards some form of 8mm movie cam, the LomoKino actually uses good ol’ 35mm, which is nice and cheap to buy and easy to find, unlike 8mm cine film.
Equipped with a 25mm lens, the LomoKino takes 4 shots per frame, giving you a total of 144 shots on a roll which, when edited together into a digital movie file, should give you a silent film lasting between 36 and 48 seconds (at around 3-4 frames per second). You can use any type of 35mm film – whether that’s conventional colour negative, slide film or black and white – and all you need to do is turn the film crank on the side of the camera to capture your shots. Varying the speed of the crank will determine how slow or fast your film is and you can either take it all in one go, or stop halfway through and pick up “filming” later on, in another location.
The camera is available on its own, or in a bundle with the LomoKinoScope – a small black box into which you can spool your developed slide film, hold up to the light and watch your movie. Obviously, you can also use the device to view other types of 35mm apart from slide film, but your images will appear in negative, rather than positive (as slide film is specifically designed to produce transparencies, rather than prints). Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to see the LomoKinoScope in action, but we did get our mitts on the camera and it’s a beauty.
The modernist black plastic casing has a suitably retro look to it and although not the slimmest gadget in the world, it’s certainly small enough to fit into a bag (a fairly spacious bag, granted). And it’s also extremely lightweight and fits comfortably in the hand. Although we didn’t actually get the chance to shoot a roll, the loading mechanism all appears to be very straightforward, so you should be able to cut your own, hipster-flavoured version of Keystone Cops before you know it.
The rudimentary viewfinder pops up at the flick of a switch and packs down flat for storage. The viewing window is really quite tiny as it’s sized to match the quarter frame shots that you’ll be taking, so it’s a bit of a struggle to see through. However, most users will probably end up sticking to Lomo’s “shoot from the hip” ethos and doing away with the viewfinder in favour of freestyle shooting.
You can read the rest of the article on Pocket-lint.com (originally published 03/11/11).