You knew it was coming. You knew eventually we were going to get one of these and shoot with it. It’s like a big pitcher of Kool-Aid waiting to be drunk. Yet as we barely resisted buying an LCA- Wide, we couldn’t resist our little green Sardine can. Even though we already have essentially the same camera in the Ultra Wide and Slim, we did succumb to clever packaging and pretty cameras. And a hell of a lot of you did too.
When the Diana Mini was launched with their ‘secret countdown’ we scooped them and released images of the camera the day before they did. This time we resisted. We knew all about this camera months ago, but felt after the backlash of spoiling their last surprise we’d just let it go. Funny thing is we were actually impressed with the launch. Even as I write this, Lomo just emailed me that they have four new colors of the Sprocket Rocket, because why wouldn’t they? I guarantee you that within three months they have a special edition model as well. So why do we keep buying the same cameras over and over again? Did I need a Sardine camera? No. Did I want one… kinda. But let’s clear a few things up first before we talk about the new Sardine..
I don’t agree with Lomo selling any of this stuff at extortionate prices, but based on the recent posts here, it seems like this blog is turning into an anti-Lomo website. It was completely unnecessary to coat your Holga in that paint, but you did so to prove that it can be done cheaply.
Why not just leave it at the fact that you can’t take pictures at midnight, and you wouldn’t leave your Holga sitting around in pitch-black (after letting it sit under a light all day) anyways…
Take it easy on complaining about Lomo prices, if people buy it, they buy it. Hipsters get money from their parents, need the next thing that isn’t cool yet, etc. Please just go back to reporting on film trends, please!
That was a comment from reader ‘Justin’ who apparently thinks this site is starting to be anti-lomo. Apparently Justin is new to the site. We’re not anti-lomo, per se… we just don’t like the lack of innovation in their products, and we’d rather just get a camera instead of a big-ass book, 2 posters and a bunch of other crap that just drives the price of the cameras up. Yes, we are impressed with the design of the new Sardine. But once again, it’s a sample of another camera. Just like Puff Daddy digging through the archives to find a hook for a Biggie Smalls track, Lomo just looks at what others have done and, well.. re-does it. I’ve said before that I love my LC- A so much that I would buy one for each hand, but you can’t really credit that camera to Lomo. They found it, bought the rights to it, and called it their own. Fair play, it’s a great camera and they have updated it very well. But the Diana Mini? They say you can put lipstick on a Pig.. but do you need to then release 35 versions of an already bad camera?
So when we found out they were doing their take on the Kandor, we had mixed feelings.. but they pulled it off this time. They created a fun, easy to use 35mm film camera with a nice wide lens and a beautiful body. The design is great, the little deco touches are great, the easy wind and re-wind seem to be working very well. The images came out quite well, and it even has two tripod mounts! But…
Yes, you knew there would be a ‘but.’ Honestly I was going to stop reviewing Lomo products since Toycamera.com is now owned by Four Corners Dark. As the Editor of ToyCamera.com, I need to be as impartial as I can. Switzerland. Gary Moyer had already done a great review of the camera, and we posted it last week to lots of positive feedback. But…
Why the hell can’t they just make fixed focus cameras? Seriously. The Diana Mini wouldn’t have broken the first day if it had fixed focus. The neat-o pop out lens on the Sardine will suffer the same fate. You know it’s going to break. And the focus isn’t even that good on this camera. It’s more of a suggestion. I know what you’re thinking I am going to write next, and you are absolutely right. The Ultra Wide and Slim has fixed focus, and so does the Golden Half. By that alone they are both better cameras. If Lomo’s motto is to just shoot like crazy, why do you bother with this pop-out lens and zone focus? Just stick a damn lens on it and be done.
Take the Pop out lens off of this camera and I love it. I think the designs are great, all four of them. But in a month, when there are 35, we’ll see. This camera is so close to being great that it’s a shame they didn’t just make it the way they should have. Simple lens, simple packaging, simple fixed focus. Then the $60 Sardine would be less then $50, maybe even less then $40. And I wouldn’t have to keep moving that damn dial while I am chasing chickens across a field.