I am a bit of a purist. There is a certain pride I take, a pleasure I feel, when I correctly manually expose an image and it comes back perfect. It’s what annoys me about digital photography. All technical knowledge can be replaced by a monkey could be a photographer. It is this belief that tarnished my opinion of the LC-A…
To be honest I never really wanted an LC-A, mainly because of the points I have mentioned but also because I plain couldn’t afford it. But I dint really have to worry about any of this because fate stuck her mucky fat fingers in and I was one of the winners in the Russia bar crawl competition where part of my prize was an LC-A+. Ok, so that’s the history now here is the review.
I always thought the LC-A was annoying, like a really good student at school, but the kind of student that kind of annoys the teacher and pupils “Can any one tell me…” asks the teacher “Ooh ooh ooh me I know I know I know” the LC-A’s hand shoots up. Always gets the question right; straight A student. “I need a volunteer for…” continues the teacher “I’ll do it, me, me, me!” says the LC-A as all other cameras looked doggedly away pretending not to notice.
The LC-A is small. I didn’t know it was small until I got one, I mean the clue is in the title compact, but I don’t put it together. I opened the box and a wave of disappointment flashed over me when I realized how small it was. I now have some understanding of how my wife felt on our first night together. Looks wise it is actually a rather attractive camera, which made me resent it if anything a little bit more clever and attractive – how dare it! I thought the size might be an issue as I have rather large hands that comfortably handle the magnificence of the Russian Fed 3, not tickling this dainty piece of plastic, but you know you stick with it.
The first time I shot with it was at my 30th birthday party, I loaded some Lomo X-Pro set the colour splash and got ready to shoot. My party was awesome. Some days later I collected the film. Instantly I took back everything I had ever thought bad about the LC-A. I still maintain it is like the clever kid, but its more like the clever kid in an American teen movie we don’t quite believe where the kid gets some sort of makeover and turns put to be really cool and everyone loves the kid and we all learn a little bit about ourselves and feel slightly sick at the same time. It captured colours and movement unbelievably, my favorite feature about the camera is that when it flashes it rear curtains, in other words it flashes at the end of the picture producing a mix of motion blur and crisp images. Its ability to correctly expose means that you can shoot in many more environments than normal. The camera produces stunning vignettes and captures tones I have only really seen on high end medium format cameras. These features are really what launch the camera into its well deserved legendary position.
So to conclude; The LC-A is a gorgeous, gorgeous box of delights. It slips comfortably into your pocket. The trickiest part of the LC-A is trying to get the distances right, but it doesn’t take long to instinctively change the focal length and the camera and very quickly it becomes part of your daily routine, may be even like an extra limb. You adapt to the size as you realize the old adage of “Its not the size it what you do with it” sums up the LC-A perfectly. Now if I could just convince my wife of the same.