Lomography Spinner 360 Review

UPDATE: I’ve posted 2 new shots from Canada Day weekend! Love this camera!!

UPDATE #2: I was just interviewed by the Lomographic Society about the Lomo 360! Check out the interview here! There’s a bunch of other great interviews at this link as well!

There’s days I just love the instant gratification that the Internet provides. I saw this preview of the new Lomo 360 on Gizmodo, and promptly gave the Lomography society my $150 Canadian. Less than a week later, it’s in my hands. Love it!

500x_spinner1

I have a sweet spot for plastic cameras, and have gone through a number of them over the years, including a classic Lomo LC-A, an Action Sampler, and a few lomo flashes. I have a pretty large collection of ‘lomo style’ apps on my iPhone, since I just love the look of slightly blurred, not totally crisp look that film provides. Digital cameras are great and everything and have come a long way, but there’s something about the tactile and physical nature of film that gives it a certain aura of mystery. I love going to the photo lab, and opening up a box of slides, and going through them one by one, to see if there’s any gems.

When I saw this new Lomo Spinner 360, it was a no brainer. I had to have it! I love a well done panorama as much as the next guy, but they always seem so static and lifeless, since it’s such a laborious process to create them. First you need to set up on a tripod, take a shot, move the camera, take another shot, etc etc etc… Then you have to stich them all together in Photoshop, or try one of the automatic tools, and hope it doesn’t butcher things too badly. There’s no way to take a quick 360 panorama digitally, and capture an action shot. You simply can’t move the camera that fast… But the Lomo Spinner 360 is another story!

The way this camera works, is you load up any 35mm film, pull the ripcord, and the camera head does a 360+ degree revolution in less than a second. The camera is light, portable, and durable, so you can take panoramas in places that were totally unthinkable before. For example, How about taking some shots on a ride at a carnival:

Red_River_Ex_2010_Swings_01
Swings Ground_SM2
Red_River_Ex_2010_Glider_02

New shots from Canada Day weekend:
Lake_Dog_Spinner
Lake_Water_Fight_Spinner

This camera totally rules, and I’m having a blast playing around with it. I’m going to take some infrared shots at the lake and the beach over the next 2 weeks. If you want to keep updated with my new shots, you can always see my latest work at http://kertgartner.com or just go directly to my flickr feed at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgartner/

If you have any comments or questions, just let me know! Thanks! :)

 

33 Comments

  1. Shane Bekker says:

    Wow! Way cool

    DO you think one could attach a fisheye to that to take full 360 images?

  2. flippy says:

    I have a question. How do you get your shots developed? Are there services available that will do it for you, or do you have to develop them yourself and then scan them yourself? Thanks!

    • kgartner says:

      Hi Flippy,

      I just go to the local superstore (or Walmart) and get them to develop the roll as one long strip of film. It costs like $2-$3. I take that film home, and scan it in on my Epson CanoScan 8800F.

  3. mike says:

    360 Lomo Camera

    How to scan? What resolution?

    Film tested What worked what did not?

    B&W Slide Films

    • kgartner says:

      Hey Mike!

      Here’s a few answers to your questions. There’s all sorts of scanners you can get to scan negatives, but one of the best/cheapest options is the Cannon Canoscan 8800F. You can scan in the negs with the sprockets, which is nice, since there’s a large surface area on the scanner that supports negs.

      I found that iso 400 Kodak Gold film works pretty well, and it’s readily available in 5-packs at Walmart for $20 CDN, so it’s a good, cheap alternative. I threw in a roll of fuji iso 100 slide film, and it was really underexposed, but I had it set to the “sun” aperture setting. It may have worked better if I set the aperture to the larger setting. I don’t have any more slide film, so I haven’t had a chance to re-test it. I haven’t tried any B/W just yet, but I’ve got a roll of Infrared loaded for the next time I use it :)

      TTYL!

  4. Dodo says:

    hi, lomo spinner 360 is so fun to play with…… but the developing and scanning of the film in my country is quite troublesome…..i would like to know how u scan the film including the ‘hole’…. thanks :)

    • kgartner says:

      Hi there, I think I’ve mentioned this a few times already, but all you have to do is buy a flatbed film scanner like the Epson CanoScan 8800F. It’ll scan in the whole negative along with the sprocket holes. The other low tech option is to shoot slide film, and tape it to a window and take a picture of it with your camera :)

  5. Greg says:

    if you hold the the spinner by the camera rather than the grip, will it rotate the film while camera is stationary? also can you get it to rotate more than 360 on one pull, say 720 or more?

    • kgartner says:

      Hey Greg,

      Yup! If you hold the camera stationary, you get a kind of slit scan effect. It’s hard to describe, but check out this link and it’ll show you wahat that looks like.
      http://microsites.lomography.com/spinner-360/techniques As for getting it to do a 720, I don’t think you’ll get it to spin that much. If you pull the rip cord as far as it goes, it probably does close to a 500 or something like that. Check out some of my shots, and you can see it overshoots 360 by a bit almost every time.

  6. Mike says:

    Hi Kert!
    I also love the spinner 360ยบ and I received a gift :D Amazing!!!
    So, I just see all of your videos and pics, but and this moment I didn’t find what I’m looking for. How do you do the scan in the CanoScan 8800F? I’m asking because when I do it gives error, like as it does not recognize the negative film.
    Do you think the chance to make an explanation?
    Thanks a lot! and GOOD SHOTS!!!

  7. Mike says:

    Hi Kert!

    It works!!! Thanks a lot for your information.
    Tomorrow I’ll start SHOT with my Spinner :D

    Good year 2011!
    Mike

  8. Bill says:

    has anyone used it indoors and got decent pics? I have looked online and every pic is outside… i am a pro photographer that does alot of events and think it would be a cool tool to have in my arsenal to use at parties and weddings but I havn’t actually seen any pictures that proove what it look like used inside- like a crowded room etc. Has anyone got any I can see that they can email or upload please? I am reluctant to buy one if its limited to exteriors, I know it says ‘indoors’, i just want to how it copes with interior exposures!

    • kgartner says:

      Hey Bill,

      The experiments I’ve done with the Lomo 360 indoors have so far been a total fail. I beleive the two aperture settings are something like F8 and F11, and the average shutter speed when it’s spinning is around 1/125th. There’s just not enough light indoors to expose standard film properly. That being said, I just ran two rolls of ISO1600 film through the lomo, and will be picking them up TODAY! If there’s anything good, I’ll scan them and update this post.

    • kgartner says:

      Hey Bill, I thought I’d let you know that the two rolls I shot indoors at 1600ISO were totally underexposed. This is basically an outdoor only camera, unless there’s a lot of light inside :)

    • Michelle Ecume says:

      Hey, Bill! If you want, I can send you a couple indoor 360 shots. They were exposed manually and the lens turned slowly, so there are vertical lines through the entire picture. If you’d be interested to see what it looks like though, I can send you some pics. They can actually turn out pretty interesting! :)

  9. surik says:

    hi Kgartner, how you set on canoscan8800f bigger size of negative. i have negs from horizont, but it still put them in normal size frames
    thanks for help

    • kgartner says:

      Hi there, i’m not sure what you’re asking here. I’m using the VueScan software to scan them in, which might get around some limits of the canon software.

  10. surik says:

    aha i have mp navigtor and i cannot choose bigger frame.

  11. Michelle Ecume says:

    It can be done then!!! OMG, I see you clearly used a filter for your 360 infrared shots, but what kind of filter? I mean, how did you get it onto the lens? I’ve been thinking about shooting a roll of infrared on it myself. :)

    Beautiful pictures!! I very much wish I had had my lomo cameras when I went to Paris. Alas, I did not. Hopefully I can go back over there at some point in my life! :)

  12. Michelle Ecume says:

    Nevermind! I found how the filters can be put on the 360, and my Hoya R72 fits PERFECTLY!

    My next pressing question is this: how do you shoot with it? Do you have to use a motor, or manually turn it, or is there something else?

    • kgartner says:

      Yup! The 360 takes 52mm filters, I believe :) Since the 360 has a fixed aperture and shutter speed, the best you can do is spin it and hope for the best. :) I got my best exposures at around high noon, in super bright sunlight, with the aperture set to cloudy. Just spin it and let it rip! Most of my roll was underexposed, but I got a few good shots when the sun was unobstructed by cloud, and super bright. Good luck! and if you get any good shots, please shoot me a message! I’d love to see more 360 Infrared!

      • Michelle Ecume says:

        Okay, thanks for the info! Sure, I’ll let you know! I can’t do it right now, but it’ll be September, at the earliest, when I can do it, and for Texas, that shouldn’t be a problem. :) Thanks again!

      • Michelle Ecume says:

        Sorry, more questions! Heh.

        I only have an Hoya R72 filter. Would that be too dark to successfully shoot with, do you think? Have you tried it? If not, I’m wondering if I could just manually turn the lens to capture pictures. Or would you recommend getting an orange filter? Also, what were the specifics on your filter?

        • kgartner says:

          I would only recommend shooting with the R72 if you’re shooting black and white infrared, and not colour. I find you get the best results with an orange filter with EIR Infrared. I took a look at the orange filter I’ve got, and there’s no rating on it :( It just says “orange” :)

          • Michelle Ecume says:

            Oh, I don’t have any color infrared film, unfortunately. I’ve never heard of it in 35mm though – that’s pretty cool! :)

            Just “orange,” huh? No number or anything? Can you use it with regular film too? I’d be concerned about getting an orange filter and then it not coming out with the infrared film.

          • kgartner says:

            If you’re using black and white infrared, you HAVE to use a Hora R72, so you’re all set. Don’t use anything else, otherwise your film won’t turn out. I never tried B/W infrared in the 360, so I’m curious to know what’ll happen.

          • Michelle Ecume says:

            For some reason, I’m not getting a “reply” link on your latest response. Weird.

            Yeah, I’m curious to know what would happen too! You’re the only one I’ve found online who has shot infrared film in the 360. Nothing else comes up, so I’m guessing I’m on my own with the black and white! I may get interesting results though, who knows? No one ever got anywhere by not experimenting though! :)

  13. Vivian says:

    Hi!
    This might sound really stupid, but how many can i take with a 35 mm film? and do i just keep pulling the ripcord till the film runs out?
    thanks

Leave a Comment

 
 




 

 

About Kert Gartner

I make Indie Game Trailers & Online Promotional videos.

I love Photography, Animation, Visual Effects and have over 8 years experience working as a 2D compositor for Hollywood Feature Films. I am an Adobe After Effects and Photoshop Certified Instructor, and teach at Red River College and New Media Manitoba in Winnipeg

I'm currently available on a freelance basis if you looking for someone to help you out with Photography, Consulting, Speaking, and Visual Effects Training.

Tutorials at VFXHaiku.com