I took the Lomo Apparat out for a spin so I can show you how to use it and get the best shots with it and find out if it’s worth the price!
The Lomo Apparat is a film camera that Lomography released in 2022, it comes with a massive range of accessories and attributes that really set it apart from other film cameras today. This camera can take double exposures, split pictures, kaleidoscope, close up, and more.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about Lomography’s new little beastie.
Format: 35 mm
Focal Length: 21mm
Shutter Speed: 1/100 (N), Bulb (B)
Flash: Built-In Flash
Multiple Exposure: Yes
Tripod Mount: Yes
Cable Release: No
Battery: 1 × AA
|Double Exposures||Moderate price|
|Loads Of Accessories||Not technically great|
|Flash Loads Fast|
|Easy To Use|
So What Is The LomoApparat?
The Lomography Apparat is a contemporary 35mm film camera made with accessories in mind. Designed and produced by Lomography, the Apparat has a vintage look and feel, with genuine Italian leatherette.
The Lomography Apparat feels like it’s bringing back the idea of fun in film photography again. You can experiment and play with all of its accessories, from kaleidoscopic double exposures to completely split images.
At $89, the Apparat is moderately expensive, but there’s no other camera that does all the things that the Apparat does, so if experimenting is your thing, then you might want to give this a go!
What Comes With The LomographyApparat?
If you buy a Lomo Apparat, you’ll receive a box with the camera, a book, lens accessories, flash gels and a nice metal wrist strap.
The lens accessories are an interesting addition that I haven’t seen on other cameras, you receive a kaleidoscope filter, a close-up filter and a splitzer which can be used to create half-and-half pictures (see below). These lens filters are a bit gimmicky in my opinion, and I think you’d only use the splitzer regularly.
The key feature that I like about this camera is its ability to take double exposures, I believe this was inspired by the Split Cam Image Fusion, there’s a small button on the back of the camera which means you can double expose pictures, so you can make split images or normal double exposures, I think this could be a lot of fun!
The book you receive is almost like a photography zine which does talk about the camera but doesn’t really seem to give instructions (unless I missed them, everything’s a bit all over the place).
The flash gels are stored in a small pouch at the back of the camera, these gels can be inserted in front of the flash and they basically make your flash change colour. This is another thing that I think is a bit gimmicky, but what I do like is that you can store three different flash gels and choose between them, so you don’t really have to think too much about them.
Finally, the cute little metal wrist strap is something that stands out to me because most point-and-shoot cameras either provide a leather or plastic strap. The metal strap feels pretty nice and I like the look of it a lot more than others.
Is The Lomography Apparat Worth It For The Money?
Whether you think the Apparat is worth it or not depends, for £89 there are some far better second-hand film cameras that you can buy but there aren’t any film cameras that do all of the things that this camera does.
I have to say I’m impressed by the Apparat, Lomography made a new film camera that isn’t just like a reusable point-and-shoot. The Apparat is fun and quirky, they put time and effort into making this 35mm camera something different.
So it depends on your intentions, if you want a camera that’ll give you amazing, sharp pictures, then this isn’t for you, try the Olympus OM10 or Pentax ME Super in this price range. If you want something that can do a lot of different things, it’s fun and a bit weird, then try the Lomography Apparat.
Considering that the Kodak Ultra F9 is essentially a reusable point-and-shoot at half the price of the Lomo Apparat, I think the Lomo is worth the punt.
So Is The Lomography Apparat Any Good?
Well, in terms of picture quality, the Apparat is not amazing, I’d say that the photo quality is just a bit better than the Kodak Ultra F9. But to be honest, I don’t think that’s why people buy this camera.
With an aperture of F10 and a shutter speed of 1/100, there’s not much that sets this apart from a disposable camera. That being said, I was fairly happy with my shots and to be fair, I don’t think most people will buy this camera for picture quality, it’s all about the Apparats accessories and abilities that most other cameras don’t have.
The Apparat’s lens is a nice, wide 21mm, which makes it a bit less likely that you’ll get a blurred shot, but it does mean that the outer portions of the picture will be soft focus. There’s also a vignette on all four corners too.
The fact that this little 35mm camera also has a tripod mount is really cool, I don’t think a lot of people will use the tripod mount but because this camera has a Bulb setting, you can technically take long exposures if you have a really steady hand.
I do think that the random array of accessories that this camera has will be the unique selling point of the Apparat, and judging by those things, this is going to be a great and fun camera!
So How Do You Use It?
The Apparat isn’t too complicated to use, I show how to use it in the video I posted above, but I’ll also explain how everything works here!
On the front of the Apparat is the on button, and here’s where I think people can easily make a mistake, it says ‘Off’, ‘N’ and ‘B’. Now when I first used this camera, I wasn’t expecting there to be a ‘Bulb’ setting, I mean it’s a little point-and-shoot camera, it doesn’t make sense. Well, B means Bulb, which means the lens stays open for as long as you press the button, so be sure that when you’re using it, only turn the dial to ‘N’ which seems to mean ‘Normal’.
To turn the flash on and off isn’t so obvious either, you just have to press the small green button (it turns green once the camera is on), pressing the button turns the flash off, and pressing it again will turn the flash back on.
To take a picture there’s a large rectangular button on top, after each shot you’ll either need to wind your film on or use the ‘MX’ switch to create a double exposure, then wind it on after that.
To load your camera you need to open the back up by flicking the little catch on the side, once open, you need to put your film in the back and pull it across to the spool. Once you have your film across by the spool, press the shutter button and winder on, if the film catches and winds on then you’re good to go, if not then you might need to adjust your film again.
To unload your camera you need to use the little winder on the top left of the camera. Manually with the film back using this, it may sound a bit ‘crunchy’ but don’t worry, once the winding feels a bit looser, then you’ll be good to go and open the backup.
These are the basics, but the fun part is the accessories, I’ll explain how to use all of the many bits and bobs that come along with the Apparat!
To fit the filters to the front of the camera, you have to slide them on from the top down, this will make sense if you look at the filters. Remember, don’t plonk them on, slide them on.
To use the ‘Splitzer’, slide the splitzer onto the front of the lens then spin it around to the position you want. Take a picture, then press the ‘MX’ button to double expose. Then you need to spin the splitzer around again to the opposite position and take your other shot. This will give you your split image!
To use the flash gels, there’s a small pouch in the back of the camera that holds all sorts of colour gels to cover your flash. Choose which gel you’d like, then put it into the flash compartment (there’s a sliding switch that brings up this flash compartment). Simply slide your gel into the compartment and it’ll be good to go!
How Can I Get The Best Photos From The Apparat?
It’s really easy to mess up pictures on quite a basic camera. The Apparat has a middle-ground aperture and a very wide lens so it’s not always easy to know exactly what to do with it.
1) Keep it steady
It’s important to hold steady when using this camera because of its 1/100 shutter speed. It can be too easy to shoot willy-nilly and get blurred and out-of-focus shots. Just take a moment when you’re composing a shot and you’ll be so glad you did!
2) Use your flash in low light
Flash is important with a camera like this because all of its settings are set (unless you’re using Bulb). If the setting is low light then you need to use flash! This means if you’re inside, it’s sunrise or it’s sunset or just most of the time in England.
3) Try to have your subject near the middle
This camera has really soft focus towards the outer edges of the lens so it’s best to keep your subject towards the middle of your lens if you want them to appear sharper and more in focus. There’s also a slight vignette on the outer edges too!
Max’s Review, Rookie Mistakes
I thought I’d give a quick rundown of my experience with the Apparat for anyone that’s interested!
I was pretty excited to shoot with this camera because it was one of the first new 35mm cameras in a while. I took it out for a walk one day and it so happened that I ended up above the clouds on a small mountain near my hometown. I didn’t realise then but I was about to make a bit of a rookie error that would ruin pretty much all of these shots.
I shot away in absolute glee because this was an incredible scene, but what I didn’t realise then was that I’d put the camera in bulb mode, meaning most of my shots were out of focus or blurry. What an absolute bummer, I was really gutted because this day was amazing.
So what could have been the most amazing and exciting shots were pretty rubbish in the end.
I couldn’t leave it at that, so I decided to take the Apparat out again, on a beautiful -7 (celsius) morning. This time I knew what I was doing and I shot some really nice shots. There’s a hell of a lot to be said for an extremely basic camera, sometimes there’s just something about shooting with a camera that you don’t need to think about at all.
I was pretty pleased with the results of these shots, they’re not incredible but they are nice.
I can’t say that there’s going to be a place in my camera collection for the Apparat, it doesn’t suit my style or anything that I usually photograph. But this certainly wasn’t in any way a chore.
I’ll remember reviewing the Apparat fondly, whether that’s because of what I shot with it or how silly the camera is, I don’t know, but I do know I had fun.