Last week I shared a few images and my thoughts on Lomography's Redscale film. This week, I'll do the same with the Lomography Fisheye No. 2 camera. I received this camera as a Christmas gift from my wife last year. I ran a test roll of Fuji Superia 400 color negative film through it and had it processed at the local Walgreens. The results were less than satisfying, but they did unveil a few pecularities of the Fisheye camera that would be helpful for all future rolls.
The Lomography Fisheye No. 2 camera was launched by Lomography in 2006; just one year after their successful launch of the original Fisheye camera. According to their site, the original Fisheye quickly became the best selling plastic camera of all-time; I'm not sure if those numbers still stand, but based on the Flickr groups and the images uploaded on Lomography, it's still very popular.
The Fisheye No. 2 camera is a very compact, lightweight, 35mm shooter. It's 10mm f/8 lens captures roughly 170 degrees of your surrounding environment. The camera has two shutter speeds; 1/100 of a second and bulb, which of course allows for long exposures. The Fisheye No. 2 also comes with a hot shoe mount and a built in flash as well as a handy multiple exposure switch. All of these features make for a compact, fun, lomographic experience of film photography.
After shooting a roll of film and viewing the results, you'll quickly discover that the Lomography Fisheye No. 2 is a camera that likes a lot of light. Even if you shoot 400 speed film like I did, a sunny, well-lit environment performs best for this camera; unless of course you're shooting at night and using the long exposure button. In my first roll, I wasn't aware of this fact and only about half of my exposures came out. I fared much better with my second roll; I didn't lose a single exposure. The other thing that takes some practice is the viewfinder. Similar to all toy/plastic cameras, their is not a mirror system in place. So, what you see through the viewfinder is not exactly what the lens sees. With the Fisheye No. 2, I've had a tendency to frame the top of the shot too close. With a little practice, it's easy to adjust and you won't be in for any surprises when you get your results back. The multiple exposure button is a nice feature that makes double exposures super easy. Once you fire a shot, simply click the MX switch and fire another exposure. Do it again for a triple exposed shot or simply wind the film to the next frame. I didn't try the MX switch with my first roll, but I did with my second and I liked the result.