Film Is My Sensor!


Hmmm, digital? Really LSI?

Well it seems that Lomography, the heroes of the New Analogue Movement, will start allowing digital images on the website. This unexpected development has not come as welcome news to most of the members and I am detecting a groundswell of dissatisfaction amongst the more serious in the ranks.

How did this happen? Why did the folks who brought us such mantras as “Leave the Digital Grind Behind” suddenly have a change of heart? Granted, there have never been any explicit rules in regards to content on the site and sometimes people post digital images for one reason or another, usually to show a camera collection or for tutorials. Sometimes such images are accompanied by an apologetic line or two and there have even been some big fights where people were accused of trying to pass off digital images as analogue. Clearly there are strong feelings about this!

But we have been bombarded recently with digital images from the upcoming Petzval lens project and now the micro 4/3 lens set. So it would appear that the folks who run the show are looking for a broader audience and perhaps an enhanced revenue stream. As a small business owner I can certainly understand that mode of thinking, if indeed that is what is going on. But honestly, I don’t really know what’s going on and no one else does either. Perhaps it would have been nice if LSI would do a better job of communicating with their community so that such moves would be better understood.

Here is what I have learned through my own online business experience: You have to be very careful when you have developed a business and a social media presence. Particularly if you are a big operator which Lomography clearly is. LSI created a movement, an idea that our group, our tribe if you will, is bucking the trend and keeping the analogue dream alive. We are the caretakers of antique equipment and the modern experimenters with fantastic new instruments. The fact that we are seeing such an emotional response to bringing digital into the equation speaks volumes. There is a general feeling of betrayal among the community. LSI has sold us out for a few lousy bucks. Whether right or wrong, that’s the feeling and it’s not a very nice one.

So, what to do? Just keep on going I guess…. I think I’ll post an album tonight. It will be filled with images taken with an analogue camera and film was my sensor. Keep the faith my friends, we know who the true heroes are here. ;)

Credits: clickiemcpete

written by clickiemcpete on 2013-10-23


  1. gauthierdumonde
    gauthierdumonde ·

    Well said

  2. grazie
    grazie ·

    So right Peter! Well said :).

  3. ophelia
    ophelia ·

    Great Peter!! I totally agree!

  4. cc-in-paris
    cc-in-paris ·

    I feel like you have put it so well.

    What Lomo is mostly doing is hurting it's own brand, the brand it worked so hard to create. Lomo's success in creating the Analog future brand is coming back to bite it in the ass, as seen my the emotional back lash (as you pointed out). Also, people are you using Lomo's own slogan "Leave the digital grind behind" as protest. This is all evidence that of the enormous misstep. Some people are dissing the anger with "why do you hate on digital?" No one hates digital, we all use digital photography too. But Fuji or Kodak don't urge us to leave the digital grind behind and have an analog day. Nor do they ask us to pre-pay several months in advance for cameras or film... (I would pre-order some Neopan 1600 gleefully, on that note....) We are asked to write article for pennies and submit free content and pre-order stuff in the name of supporting a community. And a lot of people feel betrayed. And all that to sell plastic lens to people who would rather just use their phones and some free apps (myself included). Sounds like Lomo jumped the shark.

  5. yyyhorn
    yyyhorn ·

    very well put Peter!

  6. bloomchen
    bloomchen ·

    hmmm, i already wrote this in the shoutbox this afternoon: to me it is an ambivalent thing. running a business with a more and more decreasing market is pretty hard so they have to jump on digital to keep the business going i think.
    a good comparison to me is maybe german television. german law says that each channel has to broadcast/show cultural or to some degree "educational" content. there is a strong tradition with the public channels to produce documentaries, reports or show concerts and so on. completely different to the private tv channels. they usually show stupid things and stretch the law. but still there are some tiny little "islands" (broadcasts) that stand out. and the only reason they excist for many years is that the channels can afford to keep them alife just because they earn so damn much money with their commercial breaks during movies. so now the question is whether it´s a good or a bad thing? LSI selling digital products does have zero effect on me on most of us here just because we are not the target group. they simply use channels they already have. and i believe it might be good for the analogue community simply because it ensures to some degree that LSI can afford analogue. in the end it´s a business and i´m not a dreamer as to think they will ever change their policy and analogue is the only thing they ever wanted. maybe this was an intention when starting it and today it´s somewhat broader.

    the only thing i really can´t accept is if digital content here is completely mixed analogue. this would be a pretty bad thing as this community is open-minded and many many good talents are around and it is inspiring what people capture with their cams. digital content here will mess it up and this community will quickly chnage because there is no difference anymore to some other plattforms and new user will show up and upload all their stuff and finding analogue will not be an easy thing. if LSI offer a plattform for digital content they should do it separated.

  7. bloomchen
    bloomchen ·

    i meant mixed with analogue content.

  8. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    My thoughts exactly Peter. When I first saw what the new product was I said to myself:
    "Lomography appears to be trying to appeal to a wider market. They probably need to find a way to expand their market share and generate more revenue.The members of this community are obviously not the target demographic". Though I would not hesitate to recommend the new lenses to my friends that don't shoot film.

    I also thought "why bother with a product like this for digital photographers when anyone can download any number of free apps for their smart phone and replicate (sometimes astonishingly) the lomographic effects".

    My issues with what has been happening on this site over the past few days are:
    a) LSI keeps trying to shove this product down this communities throats when the community has been very vocal about not wanting this type of product. There are other venues they could utilize to advertise these accessories for digital cameras.
    b) This is the only time I have ever seen an LSI representative be so active and responsive on the shoutbox. I found this very disappointing because they seem to care so much about defending this product, but never respond to other concerns from the community (such as not receiving piggy points for competition wins, or why certain items never seem to be restocked in the shop, etc).

    Anyway, the most effective thing that anyone can do to boycott is simply to not purchase the product.

    I love the passion that people like @atria007 have shown. When you care about something, you have to stand up for it, and that is what has been happening here. This is part of what makes this such a great community to belong to. It is unfortunate that in some cases it has been misinterpreted as being hateful. I hope that no matter what anyone's opinion is, they are able to continue to express it.

  9. ishifishy
    ishifishy ·

    Great thought !

  10. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    Well said, Pete! What the good folks at LSI need to realise - and I hope they will after reading all these views expressed in the community lately - is that if they mess too much with their unique selling point (which, to remind them, is ANALOGUE photography), they will no longer be unique, so many of us who have contributed towards keeping Lomography alive as a business may start to drift away. The end result, therefore, could be that, rather than LSI's market broadening through reaching out to digital users, it actually dwindles away altogether. Now that would be very sad indeed.

  11. ohlordy
    ohlordy ·

    right on pete!
    anyone remember new coke? that didn't pan out so well...

  12. crevans27
    crevans27 ·

    I agree, well said. Lets hope they do take notice of the feeling discontent running through the community at the moment.

  13. 134340
    134340 ·

    @cc-in-paris express my thought for this situation now on the site. also, what Peter's opinion, i hope lomography stop by and read. :)

  14. math0165
    math0165 ·

    hear hear

  15. frenchyfyl
    frenchyfyl ·

    Well said!!!!!!!

  16. kibs
    kibs ·

    Brilliantly said! and @ohlordy LOL . . . new coke . . . that made me smile :)

  17. istionojr
    istionojr ·

    it is just weird why LSI not discuss (communicate and feedback) with this community about their plan. they just announce it instantly oh, with a 'surpise'. start from new piggies policy and now about to accommodate digital photos in here.
    are they don't want to move forward alongside with the market (which is us, the analogue community) they have started with? I believe every enterprise needs a feedback from the market, not just for responding a running business plan but receiving the market needs too.

  18. jourdanlynch
    jourdanlynch ·

    They defend this product to death, I have seen people talk against it and there excuse for it is "it is bringing analogue to digital"... I have never heard such bullshit... you can buy bloody Holga lenses for DSLR's it is not exactly a breath of fresh air or a particularly unique product...
    They should have known this would piss the loyal followers of Lomography off, they should of had a poll about this digital upload crap...
    Film photography is expensive, they have made a unholy amount of money selling us great (but overly priced) pieces of plastic... now that isn't so bad but then to devalue the money we spend on film and the time and money we put into processing by allowing a new breed of new unappreciative "digital lomography" babies who haven't touched a roll of film in there lives start mass uploading digital photographs with "crossprocess" lightroom 4 effect applied and basically drown out everyone who is passionate about creating real images from real negatives...

    I don't know what else to say but I find this disappointing.

  19. analemma
    analemma ·

    AMEN :(

  20. stouf
    stouf ·

    Nicely put. I must say I am quite disappointed with all this. Seeing the new addition to our photo descriptions ('This photo was shot on film.') - carrying another shameless link to the shop - confirms that digital shots are going to be welcomed... And I can already see future competitions with the new 'experimental (ah!)' lenses which will obviously welcome digital entries... I feel now that in the future I might only stay on this site for an egotistical reason: I love my 'home' and can't even imagine loosing all my tagged photos and articles. I feel stuck. ( CC: @atria007 @pan_dre )

  21. hoseun
    hoseun ·

    I Agree 100% Pete! :)

  22. stouf
    stouf ·

    ... without forgetting the great community of course.

  23. jcgepte
    jcgepte ·

    My sentiments exactly..

  24. littlekoala
    littlekoala ·

    I think exactly the same. Thanks for telling to everyone

  25. juano
    juano ·

    "So, what to do? Just keep on going I guess…. I think I’ll post an album tonight. It will be filled with images taken with an analogue camera and film was my sensor. Keep the faith my friends, we know who the true heroes are here. ;)" // +1, me too, I'm hurt, but I don't overreact

  26. frenchyfyl
    frenchyfyl ·

    Yes, the real question now that we have all expressed our anger is: what can we do now? Nothing, I'm afraid. Their decision is already made, we can not change anything, unfortunately. The lack of official response to this blog is proof. We are stuck and they know it.

  27. deprofundis
    deprofundis ·

    so say we all

  28. alanfalzon
    alanfalzon ·

    Im not happy with this going digital idea.... Lomography is about analog.. there are 1000s' of other places to post digitally shot photos.. As i see it, Lomography is loosing what it stands for.. It is backing away from the reasons it exists, to become just another photo posting site.. I loved the idea of a place were all is i have to check each image to see if it was shot digitally.. We all know that it's products were never cheap but many accepted it to helpe create this community.. Now Lomography is going digital!!!! Ridiculous.. Not fair....Disappointing..

  29. togotogo
    togotogo ·

    O.K., that's right. For progress, people need sometimes new instruments. But the digital photos make Lomography no difference from other photo sites like flickr. I'm not welcome with it. What I especially don't like is too many trashy photos with no consideration in such digital photo sites.
    This digital movement is like a small hall on a dam.

  30. yago56
    yago56 ·

    As a Semprofessional photographer i have today any chance to sell analog images at an agency.
    But in this community is bussiness not my intention. Here it is fun and i don't need the digital world.
    At this place is film my only sensor.
    Well written Pete.