Lomo LC-A

The Lomo LC-A (aka Lomo Compact Automat) is a compact camera manufactured by LOMO since 1983. This is a super cheap and simple camera that has become legendary and loved by many experimental photographers.

lomo lc-a

Lomo LC-A is not just a popular camera, but a device that gave rise to a whole photo philosophy called Lomography.

If you often visit the pages of Sovietcameras.org and read our articles, you most likely know that most Soviet cameras are copies of Japanese or German cameras. Lomo LC-A is also no exception because this is a copy of the Cosina CX-2 camera.

Lomo LC-A Specifications

  • Type: 35mm scale-focusing camera
  • Manufacturer: LOMO plant
  • Production period: from 1984 to now
  • Format: 24x36cm on 135 film
  • Lens mount: fixed lens
  • Lens: Minitar-1 2.8/32 lens
  • Shutter: leaf shutter-aperture with shutter speeds from 2 to 1/500 sec.
  • Viewfinder: optical viewfinder
  • Flash sync: X sync socket
  • Selftimer: mechanical
  • Weight: 250 grams
lomo Cosina

But this time, this is not an exact copy, but rather a very strong borrowing of the idea, because the shutter, lens, and partly the body were developed by LOMO from scratch.

The camera was designed for 35mm film and was equipped with a Minitar-1 2.8/32 lens. Unlike previous cameras manufactured by the LOMO plant, this lens is wide-angle. In combination with other solutions used in this camera, this made it possible to photograph without focusing.

lomo camera

The camera uses a leaf shutter with shutter speeds from 2 to 1/500 sec. The B shutter speed is absent. In addition to automatic shutter speeds, the camera also has also a manual shutter speed of 1/60 seconds. The shutter in this camera also works as an aperture, opening to the desired value depending on the lighting and the selected ISO.

lomo ussr camera
lomo soviet camera

The camera, like most devices created on LOMO, is made of plastic and sheathed with leatherette. The assembly is quite high quality, especially for a plastic camera made from the USSR.

The viewfinder is located above the lens, which reduces parallax well enough. Both of these elements close when the camera is not in use. Next to the lens is a small focusing lever, with which you can focus at distances of 0.8 m, 1.5 m, 3 m, and infinity.

lomo lc-a photos

Like most 35mm film cameras from LOMO, the LC-A does not have a rangefinder or mirror mechanism. This means that focusing should be done using the distance scale.

Of course, the Lomo LC-A camera is truly legendary. It gives interesting photos, which are very loved by the fans of Lomography around the world. But the team of Sovietcameras.org does not quite share the enthusiasm for this camera.

lomo lc-a minitar 1

The fact is that Lomography is a rather specific genre of photography. Appearing as a kind of protest against perfect-looking photos, Lomography has become a field for experimentation. Initially, unusual colors and different illuminated areas in the picture were the results of the structure of the camera itself. 

Then, many fans of Lomography did a variety of things to give their photos the most unusual look. They bought a very expired film, overheated it, supercooled it, underexposed it, and overexposed it.

lomo lc-a minitar

But here we may wonder. Are photo effects more important than the photo itself? Is Lomography something overrated? Will there be a moment when photographs taken with old phones with the first built-in cameras will also be considered art?

For ourselves, we answered these questions. What do you think about this? Write to us about this in the comments to this article.

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