Is the LC-Wide really worth its recommended retail price? No, let me rephrase that question. Is the LC-Wide a value for money? Read what a first time user of the LC-Wide has to say about one of Lomography's most expensive cameras.
After the iconic LC-A+, I dare say that the LC-Wide is Lomography’s next most successful camera. The reasons are obvious. But I’m not going to repeat what thousands of users and fans already know. Instead, let me share with you my experience with the camera as a first time LC-W user.
Like many before me, I’ve been eyeing the LC-W since it was launched. Why? Simply because I love the idea of a camera that is both wide angled (I like to see the big picture) and yet has the ability to shoot half-frames (I don’t like to reload when I’m shooting street photography).
Then one day (actually in April this year), I took the plunge and got the LC-Wide not for myself but for my wife as her birthday present. Initially I wanted her to shoot the first roll. But I ended up testing the camera to make sure that it was working properly first. Unfortunately, the camera that I received had a few minor faults. Thankfully, it was easily solved by my friends at Lomography Singapore. So I do advise anyone who has a problem with their Lomo products to approach the friendly Lomography staff for help.
Now back to my review. After the quick fix, I ran 2 more rolls of film through the camera and learned several important lessons that I felt should be shared.
1. The Wide Angled Lens
Having a 17mm lens is great for capturing the big picture in a tight space or if you want to capture the scene from a certain angle.
BUT, you do have to remember that because the lens is so wide, your finger can be part of the photo too, if you are not careful, as I found out a couple of times.
2. The Zone Focus Lever
With only 2 zones to remember, it is quick to zone focus. BUT do be careful on how you position your fingers or take your camera out of your bag or protective case. You may accidentally flip the lever to the wrong zone.
3. Going close
If you think you are close, go closer. I know this can be applied to all cameras, but with the LC-W, you do need to go close for impact!
4. Type of film
While the LC-W can accept film speeds from ISO 100 to 1600, I recommend that you use a higher speed film when in doubt or when you’re not sure what the lighting conditions will be. That said, the camera does fairly well with an ISO 200 film at night, which surprised me.
But remember to keep the camera still to avoid camera shake. However, a tripod (even a mini tripod) is in order if you don’t know how long the exposure will be.
5. Endless panorama
Having the option to create an endless panorama is great fun, unless you misread the instructions like I did. If so, you’ll probably get images like these.
6. Camera built quality
If you are used to Japanese or German made cameras, the quality of the LC-W (or the lack of it) will be obvious. While it seems rugged, do treat it with care. If you are going bring the LC-W on a holiday, it will be best to bring a backup film camera. Better safe than sorry, I say.
7. The Shutter Sound
Compared to rangefinders, the shutter click is loud. While the sound may not be that audible in an open and busy place, it will give you away if you are using it in a quiet environment like in the library, or when you are taking a close-up of a stranger unaware, or when you’re trying to be as quiet as possible.
8. Check your lens cover!
And finally, whatever you do, check your lens cover! Make sure that it’s fully opened or you’ll get photos like this.
So what’s my take about the LC-W? I am glad that I got an LC-W, even though it’s not for me. What I need to do now is find good reasons to borrow the camera from my wife for my solo lomo walkabouts. Got any great excuses that I can use?
The Lomo LC-Wide boasts the newly-developed 17mm Minigon Ultra-Wide Angle lens. This 35mm camera wonder is the perfect companion for your photo expeditions. It produces eye-catching splashes of colour with astonishing saturation and contrasts with the added versatility of 3 different formats. Open up to a new photographic experience with the LC-Wide, available in our Shop.