It's now been a year that I'm using the Lomo LC-A+. I brought it with me in most of the trips I took in 2011, and I will try to explain why it's the ideal compact camera.
When I first put my hands on the Lomo LC-A+, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve been using a Rollei 35 as my main camera for several years, and I really enjoyed using it on holidays and travels. These two cameras are pretty close on several aspects (small size, same focal length, same aperture, manual focusing) but they’re very different in terms of philosophy. I’d say that the Rollei is a camera that needs time. It doesn’t work well when you’re in a hurry, it loves black and white, and it is a great camera for shooting and keeping memories. On the other hand, the Lomo LC-A+ is more nervous and really defines what a point and shoot camera should be. Always in your pocket, you’ll take it everywhere, and it’ll be ready to follow you in all your adventures.
I still use my Rollei 35 occasionally, but I needed to tell you why the feels so special: it’s the camera that I’ve used the most last year, and therefore, it’s the camera that captured most of my memorable trips. I’ll be showing you various pictures from my travels: different films and different countries, so that you can see how versatile the Lomo LC-A+ can be.
Stage 1: Paris
This is not really a trip as I live in Paris, but nevermind that. This camera fits in a regular jacket pocket, and you can really take it with you everywhere. I used to use it with a Diana Flash, before Lomography released the Fritz the Blitz flash (the pictures shown here are lit by the DIana F+ flash).
First, I’d like to say that focus is pretty easy to do: you can choose between 4 different distances (0,8m, 1,5m, 3m and infinite). Once you get used to it, you won’t need to think about it when you take it out of your pocket. You’ll manage to roughly estimate the focusing distance in a fraction of a second:
• if your subect is close, or if you can (almost) touch it with your arm straight, just push the focus switch to the top (0.8m)
• if the subject is barely two or three steps from you, choose 1.5m
• at last, if the subject is further than two or three steps, use infinity (I almost never use the 3m focus distance)
This manual “scale” has been working most of the time for me. It’s all about getting the habit…after a few rolls, you will set up your focusing distance as soon as you’ll put your hand on your camera !
Stage 2: Berlin
I chose the LC-A+ for a short trip to Berlin in may. Weather was going to be cloudy, so I took two negative color 800ISO films, and two color negative 400ISO filmss, just in case. We’ve been lucky as the weather was pretty ok. Just remember that you can set up your ISOs on the camera, which means that you can use almost any film without worrying too much.
I feel that the 32mm focal length just what you need, in most of the situations. I see this focal length as a very balanced one : it’s neither too long, nor too short (I also have strong opinions on this subject, as I really thing that every camera should have a focal length between 28 and 50mm, but that’s not the point here…). This is not the best focal length for close pictures, but it’s perfect for portraits at a few feet from you, as well as street photography.
Stage 3: Croatia
In addition to the flashes (Diana and Fritz the Blitz), there’s another accessory you can add to your LC-A+: the Krab Underwater Housing, which allows you to take your camera into a pool or at the beach and take underwater pictures! It works pretty well, as long as you don’t plan to go really deep into the water (I’ve only tried it in a pool, and in the sea in about 5 to 6 feet deep).
I hope these pictures will show you how versatile the Lomo LC-A+ can be, and how you can use it during your travels and your trips. If I had to keep only one camera, it would probably be this one.