Lomo LC-A

The Lomo LC-A isn't one of the cheap plastic cameras, but it can be found for low prices. It's easy to handle, doesn't let you know the settings it chose, and the lens is soft wide open. It makes part of the Lomography family and its style of photographing.

The Lomo LC-A is a very small 35mm film camera with automatic exposure. It was released in 1984. In 1994 production ended. It was resumed in 1995 for the Lomography company and produced in Russia until 2005. In 2006 production was resumed in China as LC-A+. The original of this camera was the Cosina CX-2, from which Lomo copied its LC-A widely. The CX-2 has a better lens and a self-timer. It is very easy to handle: You just slide dustcover open and it's ready. Its main features are:

32mm F2.8 Minitar-1 lens, 3 elements, zone focus, indicator in viewer window for early models, min. focus 0,80m
Automatic electronic shutter, ~120sec(!!).-1/500, Aperture F 2.8-16, Flash sync 1/60s, manual aperture.
Battery o.k. and exposure warning LED in viewfinder
Size 107x68x43,5,  Weight 250 gr.
25-400 ISO

Well protected behind the "dust cover". Sliding flash aperture control switch, ISO setting and indicator, focussing lever.

Seen from above. Exposure counter,
shutter button, hot shoe, rewind handle.

Seen from below. It takes 3 LR/SR44 batteries, still available. Motor wind coupling, rewind unlock button,
tripod socket, battery compartment, motor wind contacts. The motor wind was never released. The wind from the Cosina is not compatible. Under the lens: cover sliding lever.

Cover open. Focussing via the lever on the right side of the lens..

Camera open. The back cover is a modern + type one with a window for the film type.

The Lomo LC-A is a nice and easy to handle camera. It's very compact, its long exposure capability distances most of the others. It is widely appreciated thanks to clever Lomography marketing. The simpler lens is softer than the Cosina one. Lomo nearly copied all of the camera, except the sleek twist cover which they replaced by a simpler solution of a sliding cover. So the lever under the lens actions the cover and they added another lever for focussing to the right side of the lens. They left out the self timer. The rest is a very close copy. However the Cosina original is better and often cheaper. II cannot confirm that the Russian Lomo is unreliable. Mine work fine, maybe I was lucky.

The LC-A+ is more expensive and has some different features: ISO 100-1600, cable release socket, double exposure switch, accessory "grooves" on each side of the lens, no aperture choice for flash, no distance indicator in viewfinder. The build quality seems to be inferior to the Russian model, this was confirmed to me by a Polish repair firm. Especially the shutter button seems to be a problem. I have 3 LC-A+ cameras with issues, one of them new, but as it was a present, I could not get my hands on the warranty papers. Thanks to the Polish guys both versions can be repaired. You can find them on Ebay.

You can attach an Instant back to the camera shown here.