Sunday, 5 June 2011

Camera Review 1 - My Lomo LC-A

The first camera I am going to review for my new series (which I mentioned a few weeks ago and never got off the ground!). I had coveted an LC-A+ ever since I became a member of the Lomography community and saw the beautiful yet unpredictable lo-fi images it produced. At a cost of £280, I had to put it on hold until I had a slightly better job. When it came time to buy, I had done a fair bit more research and decided to go for an original model, the LC-A because although this does not include a multiple exposure switch (I am not a huge fan of the MX anyway), it comes at less than 1/3 the cost and features the original russian made lens rather than the newer cheaper chinese model. It also feels a lot more robust, weightier and just better made. It also means that you can set your own aperture, whereas the newer + model only has auto mode. I got mine off ebay after doing a fair amount of research on the subject. I chose a seller who was patient with all my questions (he even hand wrote me an idiots start up guide) and seemed to know a bit about cameras. That is not to say I didn't encounter a few teething problems.
As soon as I got it out the box at work, I loaded a roll of Ilford XP2 and started shooting, rushed to Asda that very evening and had the roll developed - only to find it was all blank. Then once I figured out why (batteries most likely), I got those replaced, learnt what the LEDs actually meant and then it was onwards and upwards! Except I still couldn't get the LEDs to light. A quick tightening of the connections and I was up and running and took my new toy to a trip to London that weekend, but then this happened:-

The light leak was fairly horrific and I couldn't understand why. It was off to Flickr for some advice and at this point I found out the seals were worn and needed new foam. This was all fairly easy due to the magic of ebay and in a few days I had a pre cut pack of foam and some bamboo sticks.
And now I have run a good few rolls through her, I couldn't be happier. For the £82 I paid, I am so glad I got the original model as I think the new one would have been an unnecessary expense. The only downside to this one is that the ISO only goes up to 400 so I don't know how I will cope without using her in the winter, or prey that we have at least a few sunny 400 iso days through the duller months. I would recommend this camera to anyone, it is easy to use and never fails me. Long exposures are easy to achieve by covering the light meter and with an active hotshoe it is also great for flash photography. 

Above you can see some of my favourite shots taken over the last 6 months with this camera. I see no valid reason not to get one!
*For any bloggers out there who have not heard of lomography and the community there, please check it out. It is one of the friendliest places on the world wide web and I am so so glad to be a part of it.

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