Pretty much everyone has heard of the Lomo LC-A, and if you're reading this then you probably own one or know someone who does. But what about it's lesser-known sibling, the Lomo LC-M? Never heard of it? Well read on..
The Lomo LC-M is one of the rarest cameras I own, and it took me ages to track one down. It was destined to be the successor of the hugely popular Lomo LC-A, but for some reason, it wasn’t meant to be. Only a few thousand were made during 1986/1987, whilst production of the hugely popular LC-A continued until 2005.
As you can see in the photo, it looks a bit different to the LC-A. Some people think it’s ugly – possibly a contributing factor to it’s (lack of) popularity. I think it looks lovely – the Russian text around the shutter is a great touch.
Apart from its looks, this camera has several major technical improvements over the LC-A. Firstly, it’s ISO goes up to 800, making it even better for shooting in dark/low-light conditions. This ISO setting comes with the cost of losing ISO25.
The camera also has a cable release screw-in hole. This is a very useful feature – I always found myself accidentally nudging or shaking my LC-A whilst holding the shutter button during long-exposures, leading to blurry pictures. It allows me to do self portraits thanks to a little clockwork shutter-release thingie I got. Or I can screw in a cable-release cord and do blur-free long exposures.
There are a few minor changes too – there is one light in the viewfinder (instead of the LC-A’s 2); it takes two batteries (instead of 3); the nearest focus is 0.9m (instead of 0.8); and the shutter mechanism is apparently better/more-reliable, but I haven’t really noticed this.
Photos taken with this camera have the same characteristics as an LC-A – vignettes, accurate exposure, contrasty-ness – I wasn’t expecting anything less. But as you can see from my photos, I have a few lightleak issues. The camera is also missing it’s ISO Selector dial, meaning I can only use ISO100 films. This is not a great problem as I have loads of film, but it would be nice to use other ISOs some time! I think a trip to the repair man is in order.
If you can find an LC-M, I really recommend getting one!