- Johnny Wilson
First impressions of the Lomo LC-A+
Updated: Jan 14, 2021
As I started to get more seriously into photography, I found myself turning to film as a creative medium, based mostly on the enjoyment I got out of shooting with disposable cameras. There was something about film that just felt closer to what I wanted to create, I liked the unpredictability of it, and the imperfections. Digital is great for slick, sharp, perfect images and the nature of the storage medium means you can take 10-12 photos and pick the best one. But I didn't always want that. Film embraced artistic quirks, and imperfections and was more expressive which was where I wanted to go with photography, and film just felt right! I was already shooting with my Olympus OM10 by this point and I'd been given a Lomography Fisheye as a present, something which I was really getting some enjoyment out of, but I wanted to expand and open up more avenues. I'd learned about the Lomo LC-A+ when looking into Lomography and I really liked the idea of having such a powerful little film compact that I could carry everywhere but could also do so much. My OM10 was great, but didn't really fit in my pocket and wasn't very inconspicuous! The LC-A+ was far more portable and although not on par with a film SLR it still had a lot of features that I could play around with: it had an automatic exposure circuit built in, coupled to a light meter on the front so no messing around with aperture or shutter speed before taking a photo, it had a hot shoe mount to swap and change flash units so you could couple it with the Lomography Colorsplash flash (my recommendation!) or your own flash unit. And it had a multiple exposure switch as well as an accessory mount over the lens to get really experimental with your photos. I found out Lomography were running a "roadshow" in Birmingham on the 2nd July 2011 so I went along with my at-the-time girlfriend in hope that I'd get to test drive an LC-A+, and thankfully I did. It was supplied with a roll of Lomography colour slide 200 film, which when developed like normal film it introduces a colourshift and grain to the photos. I didn't know much about zone focusing, or cross processing, terms like that we're all new to me so the photos I took didn't turn out great but I still got a handful of decent shots!
But more importantly I got to use an LC-A+ for the first time! It was great to finally be able to see one in the flesh, and hold it in my hands, and play around with it, and put it through it's paces to see if I felt comfortable with it. After toying around a little I got used to the settings and figured out how zone focusing worked and got a few more better photos than the first half of the roll. I wanted to test out all the various little settings; take a multiple exposure, try the close up focus, try it with my flash unit, and really see how changing things yielded different results, and as I got more comfortable with it I began to imagine how it would improve my photography and how useful it could be to me.
I came away from the roadshow knowing that if I wanted a handheld compact that I could carry with me all the time but could also be relied upon to capture great photos and still give some room for experimenting, that the LC-A+ would tick all of those boxes. It took me some time, but by the end of 2012 and after spending some time working temporarily for Lomography in a concession in Selfridges in Birmingham, I finally got my hands on my own LC-A+ and I've been using it ever since! You can take a look at some of the photos I've taken with it by clicking this little bit of text.