The latest addition to Lomography's fleet of non-digital cameras, the Spinner 360° promises dizzying panoramas with the pull of a cord. Thanks to the unconventional (and often unpredictable) results produced by the camera's simple mechanics, anyone who can point-and-shoot—or in this case, point-and-pull—will have fun with it. I recently had the opportunity to try the camera out, and can attest to the joys of pulling, pointing, flipping, and adjusting the angle to create as many different nine-inch images as possible.
Designed to spin at optimum shutter speed, simply pull and release the device's trigger cord to set it in motion. A revolving hand-held axis allows the camera to capture up to eight complete 360° panoramas on 35mm film, which—depending on the camera's levelness and position—can range from a straightforward landscape to a sloping distortion of reality.
After a few test runs, I realized that if the photographer is in the shot, the hand that just released the cord often appears in the photo as if they're making a handgun gesture. But no matter, there's an endless number of shooting options (cards printed with tips come with the camera)—our favorite is the "Backflip," which results in a vertical, full body panorama.
Other than unusual images, the camera also exposes the full width of its film, making the film's sprocket holes a hallmark component of every shot. Also, make sure to send it to a lab that will know where to cut the negatives at the appropriate places, or simply not cut them at all. For the novelty of these fun shots, we deem it well worth the extra time and effort.
With Polaroid's Impossible Project also alive and thriving, these continued advancements in analog film photography offer solid proof that shutterbugs need not rely solely on digital cameras for means of producing fresh imagery. The Spinner 360° sells online and at New York's Lomography Store for $145.