Lomography Sprocket Rocket review

Digital perfection be damned! Can Lomography’s strictly analogue Sprocket Rocket re-introduce us all to the warts-and-all joys of shooting film?

Sprocket Rocket
(Image: © Gavin Stoker /. Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The analogue fixated Lomography continues to surprise us with its ever-expanding range of low-fi film cameras – the eye-catching and imagination-firing Sprocket Rocket being a case in point. A retro-styled panoramic camera that gets its name by exposing right into the rectangular holes at the top and bottom of a frame of 35mm film, this one is all about fun and experimentation for a near pocket money price. Plus embracing any mistakes, double exposures and blurred edges. However, once finished shooting, you’ll need to hunt down a lab that can cope with a non-standard development / digitization request.

Pros

  • +

    A relatively simple way to get back into film photography – or discover it for the first time

  • +

    Unique look to images

  • +

    Very affordable if you want to have fun or experiment

  • +

    No batteries required, just a roll of 35mm film

Cons

  • -

    Clips that fasten the camera back aren’t as tight as we’d like to prevent light leakage

  • -

    Takes ages to rewind the film when completed

  • -

    Need to find a lab that can cope with a non-standard development request

  • -

    Toy camera-like image quality can betray the camera’s inexpensiveness, but that’s no surprise

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As the digital photography revolution got going in earnest some 20 years ago, the emerging Lomography took a different tack, reinventing and to an extent resurrecting the film camera as a low cost novelty. Defiantly analogue, it perversely stood out when everyone else was ‘going digital’. 

Instead of seeking perfection in pixels, its pocket money priced cameras were all about willingly embracing their imperfections. Light bleed, fuzzy focus, vignetting and dodgy colors were seemingly all part of the charm, as were camera designs that harked back to classic looks, or were garishly rendered in brightly coloured plastic. Because of this it built up a fan-base among photographers who were not only willing to go against the grain, but accept the appearance of visible film grain, dust spots and worse – something digital photography had sought to banish.

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Gavin Stoker

Gavin has over 30 years’ experience of writing about photography and television. He is currently the editor of British Photographic Industry News, and previously served as editor of Which Digital Camera and deputy editor of Total Digital Photography


He has also written for a wide range of publications including T3, BBC Focus, Empire, NME, Radio Times, MacWorld, Computer Active, What Digital Camera and the Rough Guide books.


With his wealth of knowledge, Gavin is well placed to recognize great camera deals and recommend the best products in Digital Camera World’s buying guides. He also writes on a number of specialist subjects including binoculars and monoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, trail cameras, action cameras, body cameras, filters and cameras straps.