Panorama Shoot-Out, Part 4: Diana (without a gate)

The lovingly recreated Diana+ by Lomography is the ugly duckling in my collection.

However, looks can be deceiving; I’ve had some excellent results with this baby since I bought it last year.In fact, it’s slowly becoming my favourite plastic camera!

Lomography have added some funky bits to the package, like the possibility to shoot 3 different formats: original square images (16 square 4cm), full frame images (aprox. 5.2×5.2cm) and endless panoramas! Pop in a different gate and start shooting.

That means I have to test both options here: images without a gate, making the images look blended into each other on the sides. Or, pop in the Endless Panorama gate, which means that the images have only a little to no gap or overlap between them. Both very attractive options.

First, Diana’s NO-GATE option:

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Not too shabby, is it? This by the way in MTV in Camden.

I’ve taken plenty of them, using some Fuji RMS (pushed by two stops on a very bright day), as well as some on Fuji T64 Tungsten on a rather overcast day. Needless to say, the latter came out RUBBISH – although I pushed them by two stops. T64 is dark, blueish and has limited colour scope. Let’s stay away from anything lower than 100 ASA in the future, shall we?

Bottom line:

I like the ones from the sunny day, although I do see a rather harsh overlap between images.  I’d prefer a more blended look. But then: is that the actual camera, or would more sun get rid of this problem?

All I know, Pink Holga does it beautifully – and Diana (with no gate) doesn’t. Next!

We’ll be back for Diana when we pop in the Endless Panorama gate.

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Walker's Sensations: Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour (2009)

Walker's Sensations: Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour (2009)

Havine recently changed their packages to “mysterious shiny black” from “really cheap glossy white”, Walker’s make the same old thing a chunk more fashionable. Same “real ingrediaents” on the inside as before, 40g in the bag.

They’ve even given this flavour its own website: (say that three times fast, especially with a mouthful of these).

Verdict: they’re alright.

Burger and Chips from McDonald’s, Chiswick

After such an amazing experience with my own home made burgers, I thought I’d give the Chiswick High Street ago and seek out the ultimate defender of the burger.

They stopped counting once they had sold their billionth burger, they had countless re-designs of their stores and re-bradnings. They’ve never had a good review in their life and were under public scrutiny since 1982 – of course I’m talking about the one and only Mc Donald’s.

The Big Tasty... apparently with bacon
The Big Tasty... apparently with bacon

I’ve seen this particular candidate on their menu before, called The Big Tasty.

Inevitably, I associate this burger with the taste of human flesh… there’s something about the special sauce that reminds me of when the German cannibalism trial was on (remember? Bloke answers an ad and wants to be eaten, then eats parts of himself with the other guy? Not funny!) – think that’s when the Big Tasty came to Britain.

First things first:

I ordered the one with bacon. It said “with bacon” on the box, and that’s certainly what I’ve paid my £5.29 for (that’s with soggy fries and a flat diet coke). Bacon would seriously have made a difference here – but it was not to be. 27 thumbs down for that to start the review.

Next up:

the burger itself. Bigger than the bun, fried well (at Micky Dee’s, they’re not grilled you know). There’s something about that beef taste though… I’m sure it’s not 100% as the advert claims.

Is this the same product?

We also find some “special sauce” on this thing, a slice of tomato, some lettuce, cheese (preformed) and onions. It’s all like the advert describes, it just does’t look like it.

When I ordered the “large meal”, I didn’t recall being asked if I wanted some chips with my salt either! I did find some though: soggy, not sweaty, and with that typical Mc Donald’s fat taste once they cool down. You know, the one that sticks to your gums long after the meal is over.

This burger combo gets some plus points in regards to price though:

for the same amount of food, you sually have to shill out a lot more money. And when you do, you don’t get a headache later that day, like in this example (now we know what we pay extra for). My overall wellbeing after eating this was… well… not amazing.

Sure I survived, and I’ve lived on an almost exclusive Mc Donald’s diet many moons ago – but it looks like over the years my body has developed senses for what’s good and what isn’t. This clearly isn’t!

Do you see any damn bacon on this thing?
Do you see any damn bacon on this thing?

In conclusion:

This monster of a huge burger isn’t for the faint hearted. In fact, it’s for NOBODY. Do youself a favour and order the nuggets instead.

Verdict: 47 Thumbs Down!



If you like to try your own hand at running The Fast Food Business and experience the difficulties first hand, why not try the amazing McVideo Game at (not endorsed by McDonald’s btw)

Panorama Shoot-Out – Part 3: Pink Holga

Time to check out what the contestants can do!

[singlepic id=300 w=320 h=240 float=left]As I said before, the Pink Hoga is my favourite (at the moment). I love them all to bits, but the colour really does something for me. “It’s so gay”, people say – but I think it’s more like a funky breath of fresh air in my drawer.

Like most of the panorama tests, I shot these images using the 12 shot gate, but only advancing the film with the 16 setting. That way, I get an equal amount of overlap from picture to picture.

I can’t take credit for this idea though. I had pondered over how best to make it all as equal as possible, until I came across this article by Rob Turner in JPG Magazine. Some of the gaps still look wonky, but that’s because I’ve only found out about this article half way through my tests. Thanks Rob!

All was shot on expired Fuji RMS, developed in Tetenal Colortec E6 (opened over two years ago, but still going strong), on a few sunny days around Camden, Mount Pleasant and Islington. Enjoy!

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My two cents:

I love the way the images blend together. As you will find out shortly, I’ve shot plenty of other images, and often the edges are harsh lines with ugly white gaps in between. Jay no like, innit?

As it turns out, my favourite camera (visually) delivers great results. So far.

But can it hold up against the competition?

We’ll find out soon ;-)

Panorama Shoot-Out – Part 2: Meet the Contestants

5 plastic fantastic cameras are going head-to-head in my tests, all of them lomographic pieces  of low value. They all eat medium format film, although they can survive on the odd roll of 35mm.

They’re happiest in brightest sunshine, they don’t like overcast or twilight shots, unless you utilise the bulb setting. Most of them have some kind of flash, but I don’t like to use it.

I’ve collected them over the years, have used and tested them all to a certain extent, but never (knowingly or deliberately) shot any broken panoramas with them.

Meet all five of them:

Holga #1 – Model 120 SF

[singlepic id=302 w=320 h=240 float=left]My first ever Holga brings back memories. I remember reading about it on the Lomography site, or seen it in a brochure that came with my first Supersampler. I picked this one up in a shop in Islington in 2005 after haggling with the owner about what turned out to be £5 (they wanted £45 originally).

This model is the original Lomography Holga, comes in a yellow funky package with one roll of film, black masking tape and a book called “Mes vacances avec Holga” by French lomographer Frederic Lebain. The only one in my Holga fleet that comes with a plastic lens.

Holga #2 aka The Fisheye

[singlepic id=301 w=320 h=240 float=left]My second Holga came with a colour flash and a proper 6x6cm gate. I got it from a lovely Chinese chap on eBay n 2006 I believe, and it didn’t take me long to grab that Fisheye adaptor for it too. Lovely outcome on both 120 and 35mm. Comes with a glass lens for er… “sharper” images. Yeah, right!

Apparently you can tell by the letters what model this is: G for “glass lens”, C for “colour flash”, F for “flash”, N for “don’t kNow”

Holga #3 aka Pink Holga

[singlepic id=300 w=320 h=240 float=left]How beautiful it is! I absolutely love it, and it makes this highly technical instrument look like a fashion victim from Beverly Hills.

Bought from the same Chinese vendor on eBay. Shame I can’t remember his name, he would get great credit here! I’ve used this on many occasions, and although VERY pretty, I have to admit my favourite is the previous one, the Fisheye. We’ll see what this baby can do for panoramas.

Holga #4 aka Yellow Holga

[singlepic id=299 w=320 h=240 float=left]Bought it at the same time as the pink one, because I couldn’t decide. They do a purple and a multi coloured one now too, and a white one and a gold one – but before I got completely mad and collected them all, I remember that all I wanted to do was take some funky pictures… so I stopped buying Holgas for the moment.

I use this one mainly for 35mm film, either with the adaptor, or with hand rolled bits utilising old backing paper.

Diana+ aka Ugly Duckling or The Outsider

[singlepic id=298 w=320 h=240 float=left]Bought in 2007 when Lomography released their new medium format plastic camera, the Diana+ is a loving recreation of the late 60ies model. As they do, many other Dianas have now been released with external flash, in different colours and lenses, this one is the simplest of them all.

Featuring a plastic lens, and an option for endless panorama (without overlaps). The main advantage of the Diana over all the Holgas is the aperture. Whereas Holgas don’t really have one (despite the switch, it’s always f10ish), the Diana can shoot at f8, f11 and f16 – even in Pinhole mode.

What’s more is that the shutter snaps at 1/60th, which is one stop improvement over the 1/125th of the Holgas. That means I can probably get better results on lower sensitivity film, or in less bright conditions.

I have to admit that I LIKE overexposure, and it’s easier to get my hands on 100 ASA and lower expired film than on 400+, which in Holgas yields the best results.

So the question is: which one of these cameras will get the plane ticket to Miami? Which one will be fed the most expensive film? And which one will give us the most amazing panoramic results?

Will we call them Holgaramas or Dianaramas?

Find out next week, when I’ll take all those ladies for a ride ;-)

Panorama Shoot-Out – Part 1: Introduction

We’re going to Miami Beach in July to finish working on the Miami Beach Huts project – I can’t wait!

I thought it would be fun to shoot some wonky panoramas on medium format while we’re there, some of the Beach Huts, and plenty of others in the brilliant Sunshine State sun.

But wait a minute…

Nobody can afford a 617 camera like Peter Lik uses, nor the film that belongs in it. I favour a lower cost approach with much higher wackiness factor: I’m going to shoot panoramas like the Supersampler. My panoramas are going to look like this:

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Over the course of this series I’ll have a closer look into the pitfalls of all that’s involved, and see which camera to take on the trip.

Our contestants are 5 strong lomographic 120 plastic cameras are in the race, as well as a variety of expired film I’ve picked up at my local shop.

I’m developing all rolls and formats myself, and I’ll have to scan them in afterwards. Digital Photography can appear on the site a few seconds after I’ve pressed the shutter, but with this project a lot more time and effort is involved.

Looking forward to the results? So do I! Burning question I want to answer in this contest are:

  • Which camera is the best for wacky panoramas?
  • Which film shall I use – Tranny or Color Neg?
  • And which Tranny or Color Neg am I going to use?
  • Does it really make a difference to shoot on fresh film, or stick with cheap-o-sucker expired material?
  • Shall  use E6 or C-41 for processing?
  • Is cross processing an option, and if so which film goes into which bath?

All will be revealed over the next few weeks – stay tuned ;-)