What you also quickly learn is that how you use the rip cord can give you quite a lot of control over how quickly the camera spins and how far. For example, if you hold onto it rather than just letting go then you can make the camera rotate quite slowly. You can even try rotating the camera body by hand, although it’s harder to do this smoothly enough to avoid some banding caused by uneven exposures. Another neat trick is to hold the camera steady and turn the handle which then passes the film in front of the exposing slit which stretches stationary objects, but moving subjects will be recorded more or less normally (unless there’s a big difference between their speed and that of the advancing film). So, you really can let your imagination run wild with the Spinner 360°.

Holding the Spinner at a slight angle results in an image that has a wavy appearance. As with any Lomo camera, it’s all about experimentation.

If you want to avoid starring in your panoramas then you’ll have to hold the camera above your head and hope for the best with aiming.

If you simply hold the camera in front of you in the conventional manner and make an exposure you’ll end up appearing in the middle of the picture.

Out Of The Box

In addition to the set of techniques card, the Spinner 360° is packaged with a panoramic poster, the spare drive band, a lens cap (which you’re never likely to use) and a basic, but wellpresented instruction manual. As we’ve noted with the last few Lomography cameras we’ve reviewed, the Spinner’s packaging is again a work of art. It’s shaped in a quarter curve, made from extremely heavy-duty materials, printed in full colour (with spot varnishing in this case) and just far too good to throw away. A must-have accessory for many Spinner 360° users is the DigitaLiza which is a nifty masking unit for holding a length of 35mm film so it can be scanned in a flatbed scanner sprocket holes and all. A conventional film holder masks off the sprocket holes, but obviously they’re all part of the Spinner 360° deal. The DigitaLiza is actually quite an elaborate bit of design as well because Lomo had to come up with a way of holding the film without clamping onto the sprocket hole runs so a system of magnetic plates was devised. It’s a much more convenient method than trying to tape film lengths to a piece of glass. A metal plate is first attached to the rear of the open holder and then the film strip is inserted over the top. Next a magnetic top plate is located over the top of the film (using guide pins) which positions the film within the mask. The mask is then closed, the plates removed and the film strip is ready for use in any scanner which employs a backlighting system. A length of up to 23 cm can be accommodated. The DigitaLiza sells for $55 in Australia and is well worth it because you aren’t going to get a digital equivalent of the Spinner 360°.

The Verdict Over the Lomography display at Photokina 2010 was a banner which read “Leave The Digital Grind Behind” and it’s very true that the technicalities can become all-consuming to the detriment of simply taking pictures for the fun of it. The Spinner 360° is the most ‘out there’ Lomography product to date, but it’s a huge amount of fun to use and you’ll be surprised at just how many applications you’ll find once you get into it. It’s certainly not a camera you’ll carry all the time, but the creative possibilities are limited only by your imagination and how much you’re prepared to spend on film processing.

At around seven shots a roll, experimentation can get pricey, but once you’ve mastered the basics of exposure control and aiming, you can start to spin out and simply go with the flow. And even if you think you might be a bit above all this plastic film camera nonsense, the Spinner 360° will have you turning full circle!

The Spinner 360° is supplied with set of technique cards which replicate film strips. The spare drive band is also shown in this illustration.

Lomography SPINNER 360°

Price: $220
Type: 35mm scanning-type panorama camera with 360+ degree coverage.
Lens: 25mm f8.0 behind scanning slit.
Focus: Fixed, one metre to infinity.
Aperture Range: f8.0 and f16.
Shutter Speeds: Spin times roughly equal to 1/125 to 1/250 seconds.
Metering: None built-in.
Image Sizes: Depends on the amount of rotation. Roughly 35x160 mm with a 360 degree spin (sprocket areas exposed too). Up to 35x240 mm with a full spin.
Film Transport: ‘Automatic’ via spinning mechanism. Manual rewind via crank handle.
Features: Rubber band drive (spare band supplied) with rip-cord, built-in bubble-type level, detachable metal lens hood, accessory shoe, 52 mm diameter screwthread filter fitting, tripod mounting socket (in base of handle).
Dimensions (WxHxD): 102x197x108 mm (with lens hood fitted).
Weight: 290 grams (without film).
Power: No batteries required.
Price: $220 (includes shooting technique cards, poster and spare drive belt).
Distributor: Lomography Australia, telephone (02) 9967 5955 or visit www.lomography.com.au