Lomography Wednesday – Oktomat Review

oktomatOktomat Review

The Oktomat is a multi-lens toy camera that takes 8 sequential shots in 2.5 seconds on 35mm film. It works best with lots of light and using the highest possible speed of film like 400 or 800. I got mine a few years ago and have taken many rolls of film with it. Its a typical toy camera in the sense its very light and made with plastic. It also has a view finder that does little to inform you of what you are shooting, and it has no settings, just shoot and go.  I will show some things you can do with the camera before giving you my over all experience with it.

Oktomat (9) (1024x683)The subject moves, and you move. This is probably the funniest mechanic.

oktomat (18) (1024x683)Still life

oktomat (52) (1024x683)You are still and the subject moves

oktomat (46) (1024x683)You move and subject is still

oktomat (7) (1024x683)Shade (both taken on very sunny summer days)

oktomat (3) (1024x683)Sequence shots, you’ll also notice that it shoots backwards to what you’d except. Meaning if you want to have a sequence shot that look like sequence shots….you cant

oktomat (29) (1024x683)Self-portraits are doable

oktomat (51) (720x480)Oh and this happens…..all the time. The first and last square has a knack to going red, the lighting doesn’t matter, no light, lots of light….red corners.

oktomat (31) (683x1024)if you are curious to see what a night shot looks like, this was at dusk

oktomat (26) (1024x683)

Conclusion:

One of the first things you will learn about the Oktomat is it cannot shoot in minimal light or indoors, even a shot taken on a sunny day in the shade will cause shots to be dark. Not to mention pictures taken in the bright sun lead to light flares all over the film. I found the overall quality of the finished pictures whether I toke them in plenty of light or not to be very poor. That is one of the main reasons I do not use this camera any more. Also you will find on the pictures on the  packaging for the camera to be very deceiving, some of them look pretty much impossible to be shot with the actual camera which is unfortunate to say the least. Example: sequence shots (as shown above) the camera takes photos from the bottom left to right and then top right to left….don’t ask me why because I didn’t make the camera, but isn’t that really dumb?  However the camera is fun and you will have will have fun trying to think of interesting ways to use the 8 lens mechanic and the 2.5 seconds of shooting time. However when I got my film back each time I was mostly disappointed. For me it was more fun to take the shots then it was to look at them because they never quiet turn out how I imagined. It is my opinion that this is a fault with the camera itself since after several rolls and experimenting a lot with lighting I got the same results. Despite this I never had any technical problems with this camera until it was about 1 year old. Now it tends to get jams in the middle of the film and wont advance so I have to open it up to get the film unjammed so it will advance and in the process expose that section of film. That might just be from heavy use although I’ve taken pretty good care of it. Otherwise it has held up very well and the plastic is very sturdy, although the jamming is annoying. I think the red square were intended because a quick look of any Oktomat Flickr group shows most people get them, so I can’t claim this to be a technical issue, rather a intended design (a poor one at that). In conclusion the photos are fun and if you aren’t bothered by getting okay photos instead of great photos and just want a cool photo to remind you of a sunny day than this camera will work for you, plus the film can be developed anywhere. If you want a multi-lens camera I suggest trying a different one than Oktomat to begin, there are plenty of different cameras out there do have better resolution and quality.

My Top 10 Oktomat Photos:

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