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Behind the Scenes: The Inventors of Lomo LC-Wide (Part I)

Want to know more about what happened during the developmental process of the whole Lomo LC-Wide shebang? Then you just have to read on if you're as excited as we are!

Because of a strong interest in analogue cameras and an endless spirit for innovation and improving products, Lomography R & D team bring usinfinite possibilities for product development. Below is the first exclusive interview with one of the inventors of the Lomo LC-Wide, Mr. Cat. We’ll be given a behind the scenes look at how they came to develop this new camera!

First on stage is Mr. Cat who, well, likes cats. Meow!

Lomo LC-Wide Inventor secret file (1)
Name of inventor: Mr. Cat
Location: Hong Kong
Years working for Lomography: 5
Lomography cameras developed: Since 2006, All cameras products after Lomo LC-A +

Please list the 5 most attractive things of Lomo LC-Wide:
• Different than the past lens: Minigon 17mm f4.5 (103 degrees) super-wide-angle lens
• Quick and easy to focus: free-focus from 0.9 meters to infinity, the shortest focusing distance is 0.4 meter
• Retained the most beloved classic Lomo LC-A appearance
• Unlimited repeatable exposure and long exposure
• Half-frame and square frame, so there are 3 range shooting modes:
Full frame mode at 17mm
Half frame mode at 28mm
Square frame mode at 21mm (Like Hasselblad SWC)

photo by clickiemcpete

When developing the Lomo LC-Wide R & D ultra wide-angle camera, where did the inspiration come from?
Our inspiration came from Hologon, Hypergon, Orion, Russar, Biogon, Distagon, Super Angulon, Flektogon, Topogon, all the famous and legendary optical lenses. We all know them for their famous lens, but they are not the most in line with our camera design.

Even with the best lens, we also need the most suitable body. The Lomo LC-A appearance is the most suitable. We studied and created a completely new lens set that goes with the Lomo LC-A body and theLomographer.

Our lens is called Minigon-1 – which means our favorite Lomo LC-A Minitar-1, plus the popular wide-angle vocabulary “gon”. Minigon-1 also means the lens is very compact. It is really more compact than the ultra wide-angle lens outside.

In the days of developing Lomo LC-Wide, when was the time that you felt most successful? Where there any momentsthat you felt frustration?
The most important part of the design process is the lens. The happiest thing that happened during the process was when we were finally able to meet the requirements for the lens. However, its success is the result of a lot of research and testing, you can imagine the problems and frustration that we experienced.

We spend the longest time developing the Lomo LC-Wide. It took us 3-4 years from the concept up until the day of product release.

photo by hspada

What is the most suitable subject to be photographed using the LC-Wide?
Any scene, figures, animals, anything! Just remember to go close, then closer, and closer if you can even go closer. I was a journalist. I know that a close-up shot is a good view for a cover.Remember, Robert Capa said: If your pictures are not good enough, you are not close enough.

Can you imagine your life without analogue?
No, no! That is an impossible thing to happen, so I don’t need to think about this.

photo by dakadev_pui

What inspired you to turn you interest in cameras as a career in camera development for Lomography?
This is a long story. Simply put: strong interest and coincidence brought me to the world of product development of Lomography cameras.

Who are your favorite camera designers?
Yoshihisa Maitani from Olympus camera; Heinz Waaske from Rollei camera.

photo by eyecon

What tips can you share with other Lomographers when using the LC-Wide?
Closer, closer, and closer
Forget the viewfinder (Even it is installed on our camera)
Use higher ISO value film
Shoot endless panoramic photos

Step One: Set the shooting mode button at the bottom of the camera to half-cell mode (HF)
Step Two: Don’t put the plastic half-flame or square flame into the film room
Step Three: Make sure the lens cap is half-open only
Step four: Shoot the whole roll of film
Step five: When you finish the entire film, you will see beautiful overlapping pictures

If it where the end of the world, which three things will you bring?
Just being with my famly is enough.

With interest and dreams, you can develop an ideal career with more designs and features, you can achieve the perfect camera.

To learn more about the LC-Wide, you can enjoy the LC-Wide Photo Gallery, check out the Microsite or go to our Shop to get one for yourself!

written by yanicat

8 comments

  1. boredbone

    boredbone

    hey Mr. Cat, I want to be your lomo-padawan:)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. vicuna

    vicuna

    That answers my question about the origin of the Minigon lens! :)

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. bulletofmine

    bulletofmine

    Yeah, I got the answer where is the wonderful minigon came from ! thanks!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. eva_eva

    eva_eva

    Mr. Cat, I'm your fans!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. clickiemcpete

    clickiemcpete

    Hey cool, they used one of my shots for the article! :D Wow, no kidding, 3 years in development...

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  6. b0rn2b1ush

    b0rn2b1ush

    you meow big time, mr. cat!

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  7. ouroborosx

    ouroborosx

    Cat is a hero to all Lomographers.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. 86john

    86john

    make it 0.4mm next time. it will be very very cool.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish, 한국어 & 日本語.