Wanted: The Cheap, 35mm Movie Camera Lives Again, With LomoKino

This new camera from the analog fetishists at Lomography makes dreamy images on the cheap.

Attention indie music video directors: Your next retro-beautiful visual trend has arrived, courtesy of a little $79 film camera called the LomoKino. Stuff a roll of drugstore-bought 35mm celluloid into this thing (provided your drugstore still sells it), turn the hand crank, and you can make a minute or two of lusciously dreamy footage that’ll put Hipstamatic to shame. Like this:

Lomography, the creators of the LomoKino, claim in their press release that "the future is analogue!" They’re kidding themselves—what are you going to do, edit your LomoKino footage with tape and scissors and make it go viral from a bedsheet screening in your garage? But that bygone analogue look is still something that digital filmmaking can’t quite adequately simulate with postproduction filters—so now that you can achieve that look in all its unpredictable glory with a camera as cheap and gorgeous-looking as the LomoKino, why wouldn’t you?

Lomography says they "designed this camera as a true compact gadget… [that] takes you straight back into the time when people left the audience screaming because a locomotive was speeding towards them on a movie screen and the movies were still a true business without special effects." Indeed, this compact little piece of retro eye candy will no doubt be irresistible to the Wes Anderson wannabe in your life. But its compact size and appealingly physical mechanism (it’s a hand crank, remember?) offer tons of opportunity for creative experimentation. And it even comes with a little mini-projector so you can view your developed footage without resorting to digital conversion. The future isn’t likely to be analogue, but maybe the LomoKino can fulfill a parallel niche of its own, one where home movies are personal and intimate again, and instead of seeing your clips polluted with idiotic YouTube comments, you can just watch them with the people you care about. Imagine that.

[Buy the LomoKino here, for $79]

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  • John Arthur

    I got one of these, but it's been sequestered for Xmas. Shoots 2-perf "Techniscope", so 144 frames per roll, at 3-4fps. I think it's great, look forward to using it. They have a scanning service for the film, if you want.

  • M16

    I hope that isn't the company's sole product! What a stupid idea. Not worth the trouble of getting the 35mm developed.

  • Plustek

    What's funny is that shooting 35mm film is not at all a thing of the past for hollywood films. I think the majority of them are still shot on this format. Projection I know, is going digital.

  • jefflivesinchicago

    ok... so 36 or 72 frames per roll.... at about 12 to 24 FPS... usable for a few interludes, intros, etc...

    I've shot music videos, this could be cool in a way....

    I'm visualizing the video editor trying to get proper lip sync out of this.. uh, ok, for those B-roll moments, intros, walking away exit shots,etc....

    The frame scanning could be fun... I wish I had some of the time I spent scanning film back(!) ... does Lomo have a lab?  do I take it to some $$$ pro lab?  do I take it to Costco and get a CD of all the images?  hey, that may actually work.....

    could be fun... in its own way... 

    getting a 35mm projector is hard, 16 and 8mm are easier.... 

    ....but if commercial theatres are going digital, some top-line, HUGE, heavy 35mm projectors may be around soon...

  • michaelmousedisqus

    "you can just watch them with the people you care about" and listen to the
    idiotic PresentTube comments!  That the trouble with the comment section
    it enables the bad behavior of not listening to yo momma's advice: Keep yo comments to yo self, if you don't have something nice to say use superglue
    to keep it shut. I, of course, am exempt from that advice, having forgot it...

  • Tharkibo

    "you can just watch them with the people you care about" except that the people I care about are in five different time zones. Nice dream but I'll stick with my iPhone for now

  • Darrel

    The problem of deeper concern for society is that the people we care about are not near!