Lomo learnings

Fortunately the broken lens doesn’t seem to be broken or to have affected the fisheye pictures. Phew!

Films two and three have gone better than the first one, although I only ended up with 37 out of a possible 72 prints, mainly because I ruined the film by opening the back of the camera – as I mentioned in my last post – but also because I took (or tried to take) several pictures with the lens cap on. Oops.

Again these are unedited, and although there’s some way to go before I can say I have some great shots, there are a few things I’ve learnt about using a fisheye lens like this, which is part of the reason I’ve posted up some of the ‘mistakes’ here rather than filtering them out…

1. The wide angle lens is WIDE. I know this sounds obvious, it being a wide angle lens and everything, but it seems to be much wider than I give it credit for when taking pictures. It’s hard to judge until you see the photos afterwards, especially when you’re used to having a digital display on a DSLR, so I think this one’s going to take a while to conquer. You can see this in the pics below where some of the framing is off (like the photo I thought I’d taken of feet, which also includes heads!), or where the subjects are too far away. 

2. Even fast films (like the ISO 800s I’ve been using) produce poor quality pictures when the light is fairly low. The ones I’ve taken on bright days have been the most successful, so sunny days = good fisheye days. Low lighting? Probably best not to bother, unless you have plenty of film and are willing to take a chance. I can’t say I’ve used the flash much apart from in the first film, indoors on a dimly lit day. I think I was a bit close to the subject though as I just ended up with glare. Another learning.

3. If you want 800 film, it’s not that easy to get hold of. I’ve tried a couple of places in Manchester like camera shops, Boots etc. and they don’t stock ISO 800, only 400. When I bought my camera from the Lomography shop in Manchester (which I think has since closed), I paid about £9/10 for a pack of three colour 35mm ISO 800 films. The Lomography website is out of stock at the moment, and to get films for the £9/10 mark, I’ve just ordered some from the US (maybe I got them really cheap initially?). They’re expired films so we’ll have to see how they turn out in another blog post.

4. Handbags are not the friendliest places for camera lenses. Again, probably obvious. More obvious when you think you’ve broken your lens – I’ve been lucky! (That said, I was having a clear out the other day and found an old film camera which I think I got for my 18th a few years ago, and I can see that going in my handbag as soon as I get some new film, it’s really small and handy. There’s nothing like ignoring your own advice!)

5. It’s easy to take photos (or not) with the lens cap on. I’m used to a camera which doesn’t let me take photos with the lens cap on, so I suspect this will take some getting used to. I’ve annoyed myself several times by doing this so I hope I can train myself to remember to take it off every time (or at least most times) soon!

I’m sure there will be more learnings to come, so there will probably be a part two to this post at some point. In the meantime, here are a few more pics from Wales taken over Easter.

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