New toy! My Lomo LCA+

Just couldn’t resist, savings be damned. I’ve indulged my photography addiction and got myself a new piece of kit. Not the ultra-wide lens I was planning on, not a new DSLR, but something completely different. Yes, I’ve finally succumbed and joined the ranks of film junkies – not with a bargain pro camera but with the Lomo LCA+, a refurbished Soviet icon which has attracted a cult following thanks to its vignetting, over-saturated colours and the charm of its simplistic design and solid build quality. My friend Bear at Forro Cafe (呼嚕咖啡) sang its praises over my initial choice, the Diana, and after five minutes of picking up her own older model and playing with it I was sold.

My Lomo LCA+ with wide angle lens attached (thanks to Bear at Forro Cafe for the photo!)

Taking the leap back to analogue photography isn’t easy after training yourself  in all things digital and becoming accustomed to the safety nets and comforters it provides. Near-unlimited storage thanks to increasingly cheap memory cards? Gone, now every shot counts and costs. Fire-and-forget photography is no longer an option, you have to get it right first time or not at all. The instant gratification of the LCD panel? Forget about it. Now I have to wait for a little counter to creep up to 36, find a camera store, wait for processing and printing and only then will I know if I got even a single keeper. The entire roll could be a bust, who knows? Even something as simple and commonplace as autofocus is gone – I now select from 4 ‘focus zones’ of 0.8m, 1.5m, 3m and infinity, the first three with unforgivingly narrow depth of focus. In fact any semblance of control is now gone: I choose my focus zone, ASA setting and that’s it. No white balance, no shutter speed or aperture, no B/W option, nothing. Scary…

Still, I did this in high school and absolutely loved it and I’m already feeling addiction creeping in with this camera. There’s something about not only hearing but really feeling the ‘click’ of the shutter button that makes it somehow more real (sorry to sound like an obnoxious hipster). Anticipating the development of the first roll already has me excited, despite the fact that I have to get someone else to do it. Note to self – look up places which might let me use darkrooms…As an added bonus, this new model has a nifty button on the underside which allows for simple multiple exposures without fiddling around with rewinding films – prepare for some uber-cheesy images! The wide angle lens I opted for as well (thanks to the Taichung Lomography Embassy Store for a good deal…) has given me the little bit of flexibility I need. The other accessories for the LCA+ are weird and wonderful and I’ll no doubt try them out soon enough but for now it’s time to play.

The only downside to this – I was given two rolls of 100ASA film as a starter but my hours and the current weather make that a less than perfect choice. I’ll burn through them as practice as quickly as possible and pick up some 400 to give me more shooting options. And maybe some expired film for shits and giggles. And a colour flash. And the tunnel vision lens. And… and… and…

Oh dear.


5 responses to “New toy! My Lomo LCA+

  1. awesome purchase, i have a holga which basically creates the same feel, toy cameras are a lot of fun. if you think you’ll be shooting a lot of film your own scanner will be crucial. shops do a reaaaaally shit job of scanning for you.

  2. also, can you change lenses on that thing or is it fixed?

  3. I have a wide angle lens for it, there are slots on either side of the lens that let you attach one. There’s also a ‘tunnel’ lens available and some other toys. Have a look online for the ‘splitzer’, might pick that up soon 🙂

  4. By the way, that’s the wide angle attached in the photo, plus a viewfinder for it in the hotshoe for the flash…

  5. That looks like a fun new toy! I’m trying to figure out what kind of lens I want to buy myself for Christmas.

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