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My Secret LCA+ Affair

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.

Introducing Holga

If you’re a lomo fan, one of the first cameras you may have started off with was probably a Holga and if you wanted to hone your lomo skills (like me) you would probably have gone through a couple of these cameras (I did – 3 in total) before you got reasonably comfortable using the media.

In all honesty, it’s the best first lomo to get. It’s hardier than the action samplers (oh god, yes they are) and allows you to get familiar with using 120mm film like no other cam, except the Diana of course.

Lord knows it was painful every time for me to realise that no matter how delicately I handled these cameras, it was bound to get broken somewhere, so be ready to fork out dough for at least 2 Holgas in your lomo lifetime.

However, the results can be stunning as you can see here.

From sprocket mode to cross-processed or B&W grain, Holgas can give you a great start into the world of lomo. In fact, I might get another one myself soon as I haven’t been using it for 4 over years now.

Camera: Holga

Film: Kodak 120mm T-MAX B&W 100

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