Review: Hands on with the Lomo El Capitan

27 Sep

Over the last month I’ve had some hands on time with the fun little red 35mm El Capitán camera, my favorite from the newly released La Sardina Series by Lomography. This camera has been a lot of fun and has turned a lot of heads wondering if it was actually made from a sardine can from which it was inspired.

The El Capitán and its sister cam the blue Fischer’s Fritze were the first to boast Lomo’s new adjustable Fritz the Blitz flash which I had to get my hands on. I loved the ability finally adjust the power of the flash. The power control is based on the distance of the subject you are shooting. It worked pretty well and the new colored flash caps (red, yellow, blue, white) are much easier to use than the previous little gel slips. I liked the results of the yellow and the white diffuser caps much more than the blue caps. It was cool to have some really nice and warm colored snaps of my son that look a lot like the old summer pics of me as a child.

Lomography is known for their fun cameras, but also their packaging. The La Sardina series is no exception with the marine influenced packaging consisting of nets and ship’s wheels and other nautical symbols. This package also comes with cool fold-out poster manual and creative little La Sardina book that has exposed threaded edges. The book features their 10 Golden Rules of Lomography along with tons of shots from the La Sardina cameras of boats, old men, ropes and all-things-sea. Some people I’ve talked to wish they could get the cameras without all the excessive packaging, but as a designer I appreciate the little fun details of the experience they provide.

When I had the camera with me I didn’t take myself to seriously and just had fun snapping away with family and friends. One drawback of the adjustable focusing lens onboard was that I sometimes forgot to switch it in the moment. I’d be upclose shooting to infinity or vice-versa. I like the feature, but I need to pay more attention to what I have it set on. I was happy with the images I shot both on 100 and 800 speed films. The 800 was a bit grainy, but there’s no denying it’s actually film and not some instagram filter. All-in-all I had a lot of fun with the camera and I smiled every time I took it out with me to shoot and pretty much everyone who saw me with it smiled as well.

Some La Sardina Tech Facts:

Film type: 35mm
Lens Focal length: 21mm
Aperture: Fixed f/8
Shutter speed: Bulb(B), 1/100 (N)
Focusing steps: Two Step 0.6m, 1m-infinity
Film Counting: Auto Film Counting
Multiple exposures: Yes
Flash contact: For Fritz the Blitz flash only
Price: El Capitán $99, Frischer Fritze $99, Marathon $59, Sea Pride $59

Get yours at or your local lomography dealer.

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