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Kalimar LX-9, plastic love

Kalimar LX-9 is a 35mm plastic point-and-shoot toy camera that delivers soft images and unexpected lightleaks.

Kalimar LX-9 was love at first sight. The 35mm point-and-shoot toy camera with yellow-and-black plastic body reminded me of Bruce Lee’s tracksuit in Game of Death.

Photo by photochrom

The camera is basic, very light but a little bit noisy. It has a focus-free 35mm plastic lens and a single fixed aperture (f8 or maybe f11). It totally lacks multiple exposure capability and the shutter works only with the lens cover opened. Of course the 135 film must be advanced manually. The crappy viewfinder is not quite useless, you can rely on it in sunny weather. If you shoot from the hip (LOMO Rule #4) it should present no significant problems.

It may seem unbelievable but Kalimar LX-9 has a flash hot shoe that works like a charm. In my research I found out that these cameras were sold with their own flash units but I bought mine without one from a second-hand shop.

My camera delivers wonderful random light leaks when you least expect them (please see my examples below). When I developed the first film I was puzzled: where are those light leaks coming from? At first I thought that the camera is not light proof (because the plastic is not that tight) so I tried to tape the exterior with electrical black tape. On the second film the light leaks reappeared. I suspected that there are reflections from the shiny black plastic interior. I’ve got nothing against light leaks, it’s just that I don’t understand why they appear when I photograph in shady weather and only random in sunny weather. I decided that I don’t care and the I will embrace these (so called) flaws.

When I roam the streets people often ask me if I am a tourist. Because the camera looks so funny nobody takes me seriously and sometimes they ask me to take their picture just for fun. Kalimar LX-9 is almost like a invisibility cloak for the street photographer. So, forget those expensive Leicas and use a toy camera. It’s friendly, cheap and the results are unique and personal!

Please check out my album for more Kalimar LX-9 photos:

written by photochrom


  1. bear1973


    Great review. Did you enter this in the review section? I am sure it would be published.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. photochrom


    Thank you! Yeah, I did it a couple of days ago but I recieved no answer. ;))

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. dhuffone


    Haha! Bruce Lee's tracksuit! :-)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. carmenism


    They are epically slow when it comes to getting back to you about reviews. I've been waiting for a week or so to hear from them for mine. Hang in there; this is great so I am sure they will publish it! :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. photochrom


    I recieved an email that says "your review will be published on April 17." Keep the piggies comin'! :D

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. lalalalalalala


    Toy cameras are the best! :)
    about 3 years ago · report as spam