Lomo LC-A 120 isn't a cheap camera, but it's a unique plastic cam. It's smaller than most of the
folders, it weighs less. There is no wide-angle folder, let alone an
ultra-wide. And you can slide it into your pocket as any folder. The Lomo LC-A 120 is built in China, it's all-plastic, except the lens, there is no rangefinder, just a 4-zone
focussing lever and the shutter is all automatic, no means of manual
intervention except the ISO dial. The camera chooses aperture and
speed, but doesn't let you know its choice. However the choice is quite
reliable, it is a fun camera with ambitions.
The camera was
released in 2014 by Lomographische AG, Vienna and is obviously based on their Lomo LC-A+. The LC-A+ is remake of the LC-A (non+), a Russian 35mm camera built by LOMO, Russia, between 1984 and 2005.
Size (mm): 125* x 108 x 63 *without strap lugs Weight: 360 g Lens: Minigon XL 1:4.5 38mm (21mm equiv.), closest focus 0.60 m Shutter: full automatic, B - 1/500, F 4.5 - 16, ISO 100 - 1600 Finder: simple viewfinder, 4-zone focussing (0.6, 1, 2.5, ∞) Film advance: automatic via knob
are some photos of the camera. There is a short introduction to the use of it and how it
feels at the bottom of the page.
Camera closed. The grip is a Case Logic grip attached to a Manfrotto 200PL style quick
release plate, a special plate made by HorusBennu for their grips. It
allows you to use the camera, with the grip attached, on a Manfrotto
RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter.
front, open. To the right of the finder: ISO dial.
from the back.
Seen from the bottom: tripod socket, peg locks, battery compartment (3 LR44)
from above. From left: hot shoe, film counter, shutter
release button, double exposure switch, film wind knob. Hot shoe cover.
. Right side. Camera back opening button. On the lens cover: 4-zone focussing scale, 0.6m, 1m, 2.5m, ∞ and lever.
Camera back open.
Film chamber. Note the 2 switches to liberate the pegs.
Just to give you an idea of the photos it takes:
Calais, Quartier du Beau Marais, on a grey day (Ilford HP5)
Calais, fishing pond au Marais.
a Lomo LC-A 120
is easy, everything is where it should
be, it has just the basics. It's quite like a 120 film folding camera.
is fine. Open the
camera back and put the
film roll into place, the pegs on the bottom retract via the switches.
procedure for the take-up spool. Insert the film
into the spool and advance it using the advance knob until the film
start arrow matches the marks in the middle of the film plane. If you
stop about 3cm earlier, you may not loose half of the last photo. Film
wind is uneven and you have to adapt to your camera.
Close the camera and wind until the window will
show "1", film wind is automatically stopped.
down the lens and finder cover. Set focus distance. Look
through the finder and compose your picture. Press the shutter button
halfway down. There are two LED on the upper border of the finder. The
left one has to be lit, it indicates good battery function. The right
one will only be lit if there is low light to warn you to keep your
camera steady. Then press the shutter down.
it. Advance the film to the next
picture, there is a double exposure prevention. The MX switch allows
double exposure. Think about adapting the ISO setting and don't forget
to set both back.
As it's a very wide angle camera, focusing is really easy, it has 4 focal stops at 0.6m, 1m, 2.5m, and ∞. But you have to remeber to set the focus.
The Lomo LC-A 120
is a nice, special purpose camera, easy to use. It fits
into a coat pocket. It's all plastic, but has a quite remarkable glass
lens. Prior to buying I read all the crap that was copied and pasted by
different blogs from the Lomographische AG press releases in guise of a
review. They say that it's sturdy despite of being plastic. It isn't,
it's cheap plastic, but it feels o.k if you already had Lomo gear. My
original LOMO LC-A feels heavier and sturdier. On the other hand
the Lomo LC-A 120
only weighs 360gr., half the weight of a good folder. Some manual
correction and an indication of the chosen aperture/speed combination
would be marvellous. There is no ultra wide 120 film folder on the
market. The nearest would be an old Hasselblad SWC which is at least 5
times the price, is not pocketable at all, has no metering and weighs
about 4 times as much.
Built as a fun camera the Lomo LC-A 120
nevertheless delivers astonishing results. High ISO film keeps the
aperture smaller if this effect is desired. You can't do smaller for
wide angle on 120 film. I love it.
gereral words about Lomography and their service: There is a 2-year
warranty, at least in Europe. My personal experience with their service
is very good. As most of their cameras are made of (cheap) plastic,
there is no repair, they just exchange your defective camera. You have
to send it in to their Vienna office at your expenses, which is not cheap
if you are not based in Austria, but they try to compensate by adding
film or so to the return. You absolutely need a proof of purchase,
there was heavy abuse by fraudulent customers they told me. So if you
buy second hand or your camera is gift, be sure to put your hands on
the proof of purchase. After the 2-years warranty period it's over.
They will try to help for the expensive not-so-plastic cameras like the
LC series, but for the rest there is no repair. Keep this in mind for
the prices you pay for older gear.