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loved my first Lomo Fisheye, not so much this one
on June 11, 2007
I had a great time using the original Lomo fisheye. The camera had it's limitations, including the annoying habit of shooting pictures of the inside of your bag while you weren't looking, but overall a workhorse that provided consistent image quality.
Having worn that first one out with heavy use, I decided to upgrade to the Lomo Fisheye 2. Tee features, locking shutter button, manual exposure with rear curtain flash, hotshoe!! all the things I covetted. Unfortunately, this model is just not what it could be, especially with the increased cost and SIZE versus slim changes in your average functionality.
Here's my specific, whining complaints. Most are what I consider design flaws or thoughtlessness that hamper truly effective use of the camera. (I assume others may not be impeded or annoyed by one or all of these issues, but if they haven't been redesigned, these are definite considerations to before purchase.
1. Film wind crank will not stay folded flush to camera. It is extremely flimsy, especially when taking into account the camera's poor winding action. The crank is going to either snap off in my bag or while winding a roll of film in the near future as it continues to loosen daily.
2. Lens cap will not stay on the lens. It just falls off, dragged down by the weight of it's cord or pushed off by the slightest contact. There are little tabs on the cap rim that are meant to hook over the BIG, gratuitous, metal lip of the lens body, but the cap itself is too soft and elastic to maintain a grip. My cap is now gone, having been torn off the lanyard somewhere then (my bad) misplaced during a night shoot where I was using the Fisheye to pick up some distinctive wide angles in addition to stard shots on a regular digital SLR.
3. The lens body got in the way of the flash on the Lomo Fisheye 1 when taking night or inside pictures. Why then make the lens body bigger, adding seemingly unnecessary, big, metal lip as a design element, further occluding the flash!! Why? To hold the lens cap on? Nearly no one is going to make a hotshoe mounted, full size flash unit their primary flash on this camera. For most it's a point and shoot, made especially enjoyable by it's unique images and instant use-ability. The fun of this camera disappears if you can't carry it easily and use it quickly.
4. Thanks for the hot shoe!! Great idea. Why not add a tripod mount socket to the base of the camera as well??? That would almost be more useful than the hot shoe with the new manual/buld setting on the shutter (THAT"S A FANTASTIC ADDITION. No complaints there.). Most flashes are going to make this light camera too awkward.
5. The film winding is constantly too tight causing the gears to frequently slip while advancing the film. Added pressure on film door back helps. Maybe using film loads of 24 exposures instead of 36 would work better.
6. Battery use and life has been greatly improved!! Flimsy battery door that can come open in your bag, has not.
7. Surprisingly, I find the new lens not as sharp on my Fisheye 2 as my earlier Fisheye 1. Too many elements maybe?? Something specific to mine? The sweet spot is not where it was somehow.
Lastly, I want to restate, after shooting hundreds of photos on both Fiheye models, I really like these cameras. More images have been shot on my Lomos over the last couple of years than on my digital SLR that cost 20 times as much. I would recommend both Fisheye 1 and 2 to anyone who enjoys serious play with cameras or shooting unique, candid, reportage, or experimental style photographs. Because you are shooting film, you have the ability to make some great blowups. I would though, recommend working with the best film you can afford and processing with a lab that will be attentive to their developing and printing process since the range of exposure accuracy is limited to the speed of film you choose and whether you turn on the flash, or your instinct when playing with log exposures.
If you want to carry it in your pocket, get the Fisheye 1.
That's enough from me.