Lomokino -- experiences?

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Donald Qualls

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I picked up a Lomokino and its matching strip viewer a while back, and haven't even loaded it yet. I saw a video a few days ago, Ari Jaaksi has one and has made some films with it, and the ones on the Lomokino microsite at Lomography are quite good.

Based on the specs (f/5.6 to f/11, 1/100 shutter) it looks as if a 100 speed film would be right for daylight, and 400 speed for lower light (or maybe a 200-400 speed C-41 for a pretty wide range), but Mr. Jaaksi showed what I see as two problems. One is that you can't readily use the camera's viewfinder while cranking the film; the other is that it seems very difficult to hold steady while cranking (even with a grip of some sort attached to the tripod socket).

Steadiness can be solved with a tripod (Mr. Jaaksi is on record as not liking them), but is there a good solution for the cheek/crank conflict?

Has anyone used one of these?
 
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I remember when those came out I thought it would be interesting to add a motor to it. Otherwise I think the whole lo-fi thing of wobbly pictures is the purpose of it. I've been meaning to get one just for giggles and treat it like a camera instead of a movie camera.
 

Jeremy Mudd

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I don't have anything to offer here, other than I love watching Ari Jaaksi's videos.

Jeremy
 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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I remember when those came out I thought it would be interesting to add a motor to it. Otherwise I think the whole lo-fi thing of wobbly pictures is the purpose of it. I've been meaning to get one just for giggles and treat it like a camera instead of a movie camera.

A motor with adjustable frame rate had come to my mind, too. The aspect ratio (8.5x25 mm frame, very Cinemascope) combined with 144+ frames (38 seconds at a reasonable crank rate of 3 fps) on a standard roll makes for real potential as a time-lapse tool or animation camera, too. That's a nice even 2 perfs per frame, similar to 16 mm single perf, leading to dreams of splicing for projection (but it's much more practical to scan and paste into a GIF or similar). I doubt the mechanism is durable enough to think about modifying the back to feed from larger rolls -- but I thought about it anyway...
 

Algo después

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Hey Donald. I tried one of them several years ago while I was searching alternative ways to shoot home made film as Super 8. Think I made 5 or 6 clips and after that I decided Just storage mine until my children want to try in the future. As far as I remember, I needed a lot of patience after shooting because all the process (scan/ PS/Final Cut) takes time and sometimes the results can be a bit disappointing. But still, it was a fun device. That if, no matter how much you use a tripod (at least my experience), it may move due to the lightness of the device. Also, I once saw someone on youtube who set up a rotary motor like a drill to get 24 frames per second or something else. Soon after, he posted another video on how to fix the crank. Apparently he broke it in that process.
 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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I wouldn't even consider trying for 24 fps with one of these -- first, that' only 6 seconds on a 36 exposure cassette, and second, I'd expect the plastic parts to fail under that kind of stress. If I were to motorize, I'd use a gear motor that produces around 3 fps.

I can automate much/most of the scanning; Vuescan will let me define how many frames are in a strip, crop them, and then do something else while the scanner runs; that will cover two strips (~ 1/3 of a roll) in a single load. I use GIMP, but pasting into GIF is about the same. I don't know if Final Cut is even available for Linux (I've been Linux-only for about ten years), but there should be something that will turn a GIF produced by GIMP into .mov, .flv, or .mp3 video file -- and the editing would mostly be done in the GIF creation process.
 

Algo después

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Indeed, making gifs is a consistent option for using the Lomokino. For sure the FC is expendable for what you want to do. I used it at that time because for the final export I needed less compression in the final file. Although my interest was also to make clips of 5 seconds approx. I couldn't find a gif maker online that would allow me to export the file in high res. There may now be one out there.

BTW a recent experience of a motorized Lomokino

 
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Donald Qualls

Donald Qualls

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I'll have to check what GIMP can do in terms of exporting animated GIF. I know it can make them -- I've seen them used for wigglegrams from stereo cameras -- but I don't know any reason they wouldn't export at the same resolution as the images stacked to make them. Guess I'll find out in however long it takes me to shoot a roll of .EDU Ultra 400, process, scan, and stack a hundred and some frames...
 

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These are kinda funny. Need to adapt it to hold 400' of Vision3. Put a motor on it and film an epic! I wonder what this would look like protected? This is what a 1/4 frame??? Need a custom made SW 20mm f2 lens :smile:
 

Truzi

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I'll have to check what GIMP can do in terms of exporting animated GIF. I know it can make them -- I've seen them used for wigglegrams from stereo cameras -- but I don't know any reason they wouldn't export at the same resolution as the images stacked to make them. Guess I'll find out in however long it takes me to shoot a roll of .EDU Ultra 400, process, scan, and stack a hundred and some frames...
There was a fork of GIMP that was specialized for photography. I forget it's name and don't know if it still exists... and I'm not sure that it would help for what you are looking at. I think the fork basically optimized certain functions so the user had to jump through fewer hoops.
It did the same things GIMP did, but had more specific presets for the sorts of things we would do with film scans - less fiddling under the hood.
 

wahiba

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Practically the biggest bind is scanning the 140+ images. I do not know if there are any commercial scanners that can do a really precise job. I have tried, flatbed, one of those cheap basically a camera scanners and using a digital camera wit a lit background. Lomo do a basic device for imaging 35mm negatives, slide using a camera phone. This does come with a LomoKino frame and while I have never used it with a camera phone it is fine with a digital camera.

There is a viewing device and i think some people use that but I have never tried.

The lens on the LomoKino is not all that great so really other than a DIY effort there is no point. As a one time 8mm cine man I use mine now and again, but only with cheap monochrome. I used colour once but the lens really did not do it justice.

Most video editing programmes allow movies to made from a series of stills and this is how a movie is created.

It is an interesting device and does not cost a lot, but do ot expect to produce an oscar winner!

Thiis the link to one of my efforts. LomoKino at Vimeo

 

xya

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Years ago Lomography had an app for their smartphone scanner that could do the job quite well. They did not update the software, so it's no longer available. Unfortunately I don't have the smartphone any more with this app, but I have the scanner. If anyone has a hint how to get this app again, I would be very happy. I do have several older Android smartphones in case of...
 

Bronson Dugnutt

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I love the concept and I've considered getting one of these to leverage the unique 24x9mm format (think super-panoramic minox) but have been put off by concerns over build quality, ergonomics, and having too many cameras.

Apart from providing a means of direct observation, the viewer provides a way to natively 'telecine' the footage without cutting the filmstrip and flatbed scanning it. Images being exposed onto 35mm film makes traditional flatbed scanning an option if you have an efficient way of isolating individual frames either through the scanning software itself or in post. Careful camera scanning could produce results of the highest fidelity if needed. 16mm and especially 8mm cine films become tremendously difficult to scan either way without specialized film holders.

It's also useful to consider its capacity as a stills camera given the unusual format is suitable for (vertical!) polyptych compositions. I'd probably treat it as a high-speed, panoramic subminiature stills camera; kinda like a half-frame viscawide-16 with poorer optics.

Thiis the link to one of my efforts. LomoKino at Vimeo



Hell yes; didn't know the lomokino handles the (sound) tracks quite so well! 😉

Edit: Proper pay-to-play scanning in the sub-35mm cine realm starts at about 10K.
 
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