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A toy camera with unique personality

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.

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 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. C’est la vie!

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. 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!

You can find more pictures in my album

written by photochrom


  1. wuxiong


    Beautiful toy camera...<:)

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. nigelk


    Nicely written!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. photochrom


    Thank you! :D

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. fahlavy


    NICE! =)
    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. mattcharnock


    cute camera, reminds me of kill bill!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. photochrom


    Yeah! :D

    I'm still waiting for the piggies! :@)

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. glenn


    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. user575


    where can i buy one?
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. photochrom


    I'm not sure, maybe eBay? :D

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. romson


    Kalimar Inc. was a distributor, they imported a rebranded cameras and photo accessories from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany and USSR. It looks like Kalimar LX-9 originally was Chinese camera known as Sunpet:
    <img src=http://www.ozcamera.(…)1267.jpg&gt;
    <img src=http://www.ozcamera.(…)321a.jpg&gt;
    And they still make cameras!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Русский, Spanish, Italiano, Nederlands & Português.