Lomography Fisheye Baby 110 Basic review

The Lomography Fisheye Baby 110 Basic is a fun toy fisheye camera, but it's not easy to find a lab that handles 110 film.

The Lomography Fisheye Baby 110 Basic ($39.99 direct) is a tiny film camera that produces a circular fisheye image on 110 film. Its images are extremely soft and dreamy, which could be a pro or con depending on your aesthetic sensibilities. The camera is fun, but using it isn’t a perfect experience—if the film cartridge doesn’t have a frame counter built-in there’s no way to tell how many exposures you’ve made on the roll until you finish it, and you may have a hard time finding a lab that can process and scan 110 film. 

Living up to its baby moniker, the camera measures only 2.8 by 2.7 by 2 inches (HWD) without film. To load a roll you have to remove the back of the camera—the film cartridge clips directly on to the Fisheye Baby. It’s a neat design, and adds just a bit of size to the package as the enclosed spools of the film cartridge hang out of either side.

The lens is plastic with a fixed f/8 aperture and the shutter can only fire at 1/100-second or in bulb mode, which keeps it open as long as you depress the button. It’s not sharp by any means—wider views have a soft, dreamy look. Shooting very close to your subject helps to better capture detail, but it’s still not as sharp as a camera with a modern glass lens. I used black and white film and found that the best shots were of very high contrast scenes.

Because of the fixed aperture and shutter speed, your choice of film will determine what kind of light in which you can shoot. The Lomo Orca black and white stock is an ISO 100 speed stock, while the Tiger is a 200 speed color negative. Both types of film give you some exposure latitude, but as you can’t add a flash to the camera, it’s best used in daylight or brighter light.

If you’re still considering shooting with film, you’re already in the right mindset to give the inexpensive Lomography Fisheye Baby 110 a try. It’s impressively tiny, and the circular fisheye lens can be a lot of fun. Its images are very soft and dreamy, so look elsewhere if you crave clinical sharpness. I’ve had more fun with other Lomo cameras—the La Sardina and Sprocket Rocket  in particular, but I’ve also never been a fan of the fisheye look, so your mileage may vary. Depending on where you live, getting 110 film processed might be a chore, and the lack of fast film limits the camera to outdoor use.

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Verdict
The Lomography Fisheye Baby 110 Basic is a fun toy fisheye camera, but it's not easy to find a lab that handles 110 film.
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