A few people have asked recently…is there a camera you want? Well I am a little embarrassed to say…I have coveted this camera for a while. But, I refused to pay the new or even regular second-hand prices. I kept putting low bids on listings, hoping one would stick. Finally one did…hence this post 🙂
I ended up with the Cubic version though there are a lot more. I have already tried the superheadz ultra wide and slim, plus the Vivitar UWS, but for some reason this other wide angle camera always hovered in the back of my mind. In some ways they are all the same camera, so didn’t really need it. So I suppose I am a true camera obsessive, if you hadn’t figured that out already.
When I first played with the cubic, there didn’t seem to be any light coming through the shutter. The shutter area seemed squewiff too.
I quickly figured out you have pull out and turn the lens barrel until it clicks in order for the camera to operate. On the lens barrel I could now see the words, “Only shoot if you can read me”. If the lens is locked into this position it will fire. Of course I hadn’t got the instructions or read them online at that point.
Oh and just to note, I read this thread that said the newer versions do not retract at all and people are breaking them trying to do so. Therefore mine is an older version.
Anyway, the next step was loading and using the camera. Loading it was easier than the other two cameras I mentioned as the spool has a slot for the film leader. This camera seemed a bit sturdier and I was more confident in loading a 36exp film. BUT when pressing the shutter there was never a satisfying click, plus the winder seemed “funny”. I really didn’t think it worked. In the end I cut the film after 3 shots and developed the really short section along with another film. It turned out to be fine.
I took two photos of my cousin’s children and one inside a birdcage. The latter shot shows how close you can get to the subject and still seem far away. If you check the technical details here you will see the camera has a 22mm focal length, with f8 and 1/100th settings. The minimum distance is 60cm…I was much less than that inside the cage.
The lens has two symbols on it, an insect and a group of people. The bug is used for anything less that 1m and the people for anything over 1m. I tended to forget to change mine, so for the most part left it on the people. The lens cover moves the focus point very easily so when taking it off, check what you have set the focus point too as it may have changed.
So, with that film success I decided to load the camera with an expired slide film and take it along to Robin Hood’s Bay. Basically I just wanted to use it up.
Despite the state of the film, the photos were fine…just fine. But I felt that I had used the camera in the wrong way. They didn’t show off what the camera is best at, the wide angle. So I reloaded the end of the HP5 I used originally and took it on holiday to Scotland and to a festival in Wakefield.
I was much happier with the results from that film and feel the camera suits portraiture or groups of people…busy scenes. None of the photos are exactly sharp, but it is a toy camera after all.
The Sardina also has the scope for multiple exposures. This great blog post shows some example photos but I haven’t use this feature yet.
I also didn’t use the flash this time which uses one CR123 battery. The flash comes with a diffuser cover as it is quite powerful when used close up. The camera body doesn’t need batteries so you can detach the flash , making it much easier to carry.
Despite the fuzzy look of the results, I liked the camera and using it. I preferred using both the other cameras, they seemed sharper and were smaller. But the multiple exposure feature of La Sardina, means I will probably keep this one. If you want to read about a real comparison between the cameras head to this blog post.