At first sight the Lomography Sprocket Rocket seems like a good buy. It has a cool name, it’s got a vintage design, it’s a 35mm format wide angle panorama camera that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, and you can keep the sprockets in your photos themselves, which is an option that is pretty awesome.
Sounds like a great deal right?
Well, not so much…
Let me start by saying that there ARE people out there that are clearly amazing photographers with a Sprocket Rocket in their hands. The Lomography site proves that. But it’s not because they can do it, you’ll be able to do it.
The main issue with the Sprocket Rocket is stability. Unless you have a super stable wrist and/or a tripod, there’s going to be an issue, because the merest movement will make your photo completely blurry.
You need a reliable photo lab to get these rolls developed. Which means dealing with a proper photography store (or go via Lomography themselves, who are very reasonably priced when it comes to printing and developing photos), and that will likely be both pricy and a bother (unless you go via Lomo, then it’s just a bother unless you can drop it off in a Lomo store that handles development). The reason is that each photo takes up the space of two on the negatives sheets, which will likely confuse the hell out of lab technicians that have no idea what this concoction of a camera is.
Also: if you’re like me, and you use a negatives scanner, you can count on having to manually puzzle your photos together and you can kiss your sprockets goodbye. Of course, there may be scanners out there that play nice with this format, but mine definitely isn’t one of them (and it’s a good scanner, I love that scanner).
On the upside, it is very, very easy to load. But that, it’s cool looks, fun double exposure (if you can get it to work) and the sprocket feature are about the only positive things I have to say about this one.
In short, the Sprocket Rocket may look like a great buy, but in reality, it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth unless you are willing to carry a tripod and don’t mind bothering with the developing and printing of the pictures.