I had a Lomo LC-A a few years ago but sold it off along with other cameras when I moved to digital.
After getting back into film I decided to get another one. Actually I ended getting quite a few other film cameras. I got GAS big time but that’s another story!
So I headed over to eBay and put watches on a few that were described as working, there are quite a few that are marked as “Parts only”. I’ve been lucky in the past with some of these auctions and the camera works when you put new batteries in. On other occasions they have been broken and beyond my skills so in the bin. I generally will only risk about £10 or so on these so win some, lose some.
I won one for £27 that has a few pictures and was described as working. When arrived there was a big crack on one corner of the top plate that suspiciously hadn’t had a photo of that area. Also, the meter wasn’t working. This camera will fire without batteries at something like a 1/60 of a second, which is why I think it was described as working when it actually wasn’t.
I contacted the seller and in their defence they refunded the full amount and told me to keep the camera. I dug out some new SR44 batteries, it takes 3 but the meter was still dead. So I cleaned the contacts and bend the prongs back. Low and behold the meter sprang to life, showing a red LED in the viewfinder or two if it’s too dark
So I tested it without film in various lighting conditions only to find that it worked ok on speeds below about 1/60 but above that nothing! This was beyond my skills so though it would end up in the bin. But I felt I owed it at least a chance to a new life. After some search engine research I found a guy that special issues in Russian cameras and said it would give it a go.
So I sent it off to the lovely Roger Lean he doesn’t have a website but his details are :
After a couple of weeks I got it back. He had managed to glue the crack, its not perfect but I think it adds to its charm, at least it was only on the surface and didn’t cause any light leaks. He’d had to swap a few bit of the circuit board to fix the fast shutter issues and given it a full CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust). So like new apart from the battle scars!
I loaded it up with FomaPan 400 and took it on dog walks and customer visits over the next few weeks.
It’s a great camera to use, there are loads of reviews of it out there so I won’t try to duplicate those. It really is a point and shoot, all you need to do is worry about choosing one of the 4 fixed zone focus areas. I pretty much left mine on 3m due to the depth of field gained when shooting outside with 400 film.
You might notice some emulsion damage on some of the images here. I’m still getting to grips with developing with my LabBox, plus I struggled getting the film leader back out of the canister. I must remember to make sure I don’t wind it all the way back in, force of habit I suppose.
Anyway, I’m not too sure what happened. Luckily only a few were completely ruined. The rest I think added a little bit extra to it, that’s me truly embracing the Lomo aesthetic!
So far I get the impression this camera could be jinxed. But this is the first roll and Ive shot one more plus another about half way through. So hopefully they will come out OK, as long as I don’t muck up on the processing again.