My love affair with the LCA+ began in 2007 when I was right smack in the middle of another affair with my Holga.
Unfortunately because I had to go through 3 Holgas in the space of a year and a half, the relationship soured. Quick.
I was also creatively frustrated with the Holga because out of maybe 3 or 4 rolls of 120mm film, each containing about 12 shots, only 7 or 8 shots were to my liking.
By that time, my short journey into lomography looked like it was reaching a dead end until 2008, when during the shooting of an infotainment beauty show, the talented director of photography and EP for the show, Russel Zehnder, recommended I purchase an LCA+ or Lomo Kompakt Automat, as it’s originally known. Russel advised that this was a lomo cam that could give me the kind of vibrant lomo pictures I was dreaming about.
Talented with a unique eye for framing and detail, I took Russel’s word for it and a few months later, with money saved up, I got my first LCA+ camera and boy, was Russel right about this baby!
But as luck would have it, after a trip to Tokyo and a month later, the camera malfunctioned and was rendered useless.
Returning to the shop I had purchased the camera from, I asked the saleslady if this camera was as fragile as the Holga because that would be a totally crappy thing to happen seeing how this camera was $300 more expensive than the former.
She said generally all toy cameras were fragile and that their use-by dates were short, so this wasn’t something unexpected.
However, she was just as surprised as me to see that my LCA+ gave out after a month, so she did the nicest thing anyone could’ve done at the time by actually replacing it with a brand new one.
I was so thankful that I could’ve given her a hug but I saved that for the camera later that day.:)
That was 2009. Since then my LCA+ and me have had many good times together. The pictures she gives me makes my heart skip a beat everytime I get it processed.
Sometimes of course, she totally disappoints me when a whole roll just gets chucked into the bin but she more than makes up for it with other gems.
The relationship was so good there that I even decided to look up one of her ancestors in the great LCA+ family tree a year later.
My research led to me to discover that the LCA+ is a Russian camera using a minitar lense and that the production of the camera was discontinued after 2005.
But I wasn’t disheartened. After a few months of researching local photo forums, somebody finally put up an announcement that they were selling their Russian made LCA+.
Well, you know what happened next because it was a reunion of relatives like no other the day I brought my LCA’s Russian counterpart home. Old and slightly scratched, this mighty beast of a toy camera still had a firm grip, a tight and very much functioning take-up spool and a clear, springy click.
Something no one can replicate in today’s toy camera industry.
For more information on the LCA and LCA+ go to the Lomography Society Website.
They have tonnes of product information on just about any lomo camera in the market.