Lomography Oktomat Review: the 8-eyed art machine

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Where I come from, we call that RUBBISH!


Obviously there must have been a mistake in the production, so I sent the camera back to Lomography for a quick and hassle-free replacement. One roll went through OK, and I was just getting used to it, when my new Oktomat developed the same fault.

My subsequent messages to Lomography were sadly ignored, and now that the machine is out of warranty, Lomography dont’ have it in stock anymore. That’s a surprise!


I really wanted to make this thing work, so here’s a few tips on how to do that.

You need:

  • a small phillips screwdriver
  • a flat screwdriver
  • an unexposed 35mm film
  • a changing bag or darkroom
  • some black masking tape (or similar – you’ll see why)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Open the back of the camera.
  2. Hold onto the bottom bit of the rewinding clamp
  3. On top of the Oktomat, lift the film rewinding crank to reveal a small screw. Unscrew it.
  4. Remove both the crank and the clamp. We do this to make sure there’s nothing holding your film back from transportation, even the slightest resistance
  5. Now tape up the resulting hole where the rewind crank used to be. We need to make sure no light comes thorugh. Masking tape will do, but so would a chewing gum… be inventive!
  6. Put your Oktomat in a changing bag, together with your favourite brand of film and a flat screwdriver.
  7. Obviously, close the changing bag. The next step needs to be carried out in the complete darkness.
  8. Carefully pry open the film canister and remove the spool with film. Make sure it doesn’t unwind.
  9. Pop the spool into the Oktomat, and make sure the film winds into the wind up spool. It’s like loading your Oktomat with your eyes closed. You know what you’re doing!
  10. Close the Oktomat (obviously) and start shooting.

When you’ve finished the roll, give the entire thing to your lab and explain the situation. Ask them not to panick, and reiterate NOT TO OPEN THE OKOTMAT outside a darkroom.



This is what happens when the Oktomat does accidental double-exposures

Oktomat-Miami-0454 Some come out really cool, but most of them are out takes (if you’re lucky enough to ever see results from this thing).

I find that the lenses aren’t wide enough, so it’s VERY hit and miss to create an image that’s cohesive enough. The Supersampler is much better at that, and much better built too.

You can see more of my Oktomat Journeys on Flickr.


Well it was a nice idea, and a lovely present from Julia πŸ˜‰

But if you’re after one and think it’s a great art machine, spare yourself the disappointment and get a Supersampler instead. Or a Golden Half.

The red brick Oktomat isn’t worth the effort.

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7 thoughts on “Lomography Oktomat Review: the 8-eyed art machine”

  1. Hm.. I was actually looking into getting an Oktomat, but now I’m really considering the Super Sampler.. Thanks for the post! And thanks Google for getting me here, haha

  2. thanks for your honest feedback and comments on about the cameras, i was thinking of getting it. but now i think i’m getting something else and i’ll definitely come on your page for more ideas on what kind of cameras to get! cheers!! :):)

  3. Thanks for your review, i have just bought an Oktomat and i would not have realised about any problems until the photo shop handed me back a load of blank films. You are right about the problems with the film but i think i have found an easier solution than getting the screwdrivers out…

    When you first load the film, it appears that..
    ‘the wind-up mechanism has too little power to pull your film out of the cartridge’
    … as you said in your review. However if you waste the first 3 or 4 photos and help the wind up mechanism get a hold on the film by pushing on it and really cranking the wind up lever, after that it seems to be able to do it fine. I think thats ok!?!?

    anyway, nice review. shame you didnt get along well with it.

  4. My husband gave me the oktomat as a birthday present 2 weeks ago, I really hope I don’t have the same problem. I’ll see in two days what are you talking about when they give me my first film revealed.

  5. I didn’t the same issue with my Oktomat but you are definetly right about the camera not being worth it at all. The results you get are never satisify and when you are taking the photos you are so excited about the results and the possiblities and getting them back … the excitement dies.


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