New toy arrived today - Lomo LC-A 120.

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TheFlyingCamera

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Well, I'm going to put some film through my new Lomo LC-A 120 today. It arrived last night in FedEx. I know- it's a plastic-fantastic, and rather pricey at that, but it weighs a fraction of what a Hassy Superwide does, has the same field of view, and costs a fraction as well, plus it has auto-exposure. Given my current comfort level with my Belair, I figured this can't be too hard to get used to. I'll post results when I have some to share.
 

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Well, I'm going to put some film through my new Lomo LC-A 120 today. It arrived last night in FedEx. I know- it's a plastic-fantastic, and rather pricey at that, but it weighs a fraction of what a Hassy Superwide does, has the same field of view, and costs a fraction as well, plus it has auto-exposure. Given my current comfort level with my Belair, I figured this can't be too hard to get used to. I'll post results when I have some to share.
I have one myself. Loading film can be tricky- just make sure the ramps on those little pegs are facing forward. Also, don't wind on until you're ready to take a photo. I find sometimes it will accidentally expose if it gets knocked. Check out the photo of the tree in my gallery, I shot that with the lc-a 120. Mine seems better for black and white. My colours are less saturated than my lc-a+.
 
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TheFlyingCamera

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I have one myself. Loading film can be tricky- just make sure the ramps on those little pegs are facing forward. Also, don't wind on until you're ready to take a photo. I find sometimes it will accidentally expose if it gets knocked. Check out the photo of the tree in my gallery, I shot that with the lc-a 120. Mine seems better for black and white. My colours are less saturated than my lc-a+.
I'll be extra careful with handling it until I'm used to shooting. I loaded a roll this morning and it loaded easily. But then I'm used to loading my Belair, which is so primitive this seems like loading my Rolleiflex by comparison.
 

4season

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I like mine, great travel camera. I do notice that if I press the shutter release 3/4 of the way then decide not to take the picture it wastes a frame anyway.
 
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TheFlyingCamera

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I like mine, great travel camera. I do notice that if I press the shutter release 3/4 of the way then decide not to take the picture it wastes a frame anyway.
That's exactly what I got it for - doing street/travel photography. I'm going to Mexico City for Dia De Los Muertos in November and I'll be using it for shooting the parades/street festivities. Hoping to get some really good images out of it.

How have you all found focusing with it? I know it's zone focusing, but is depth of field often/ever an issue? I saw the chart in the owners manual that has the specs at f4.5, and they're pretty shallow. I'm spoilt on my Belair because I have the glass 90mm for it that has a true focusing helicoid with distance markings, and I can choose the aperture with it too, so I can be more precise.
 

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That's exactly what I got it for - doing street/travel photography. I'm going to Mexico City for Dia De Los Muertos in November and I'll be using it for shooting the parades/street festivities. Hoping to get some really good images out of it.

How have you all found focusing with it? I know it's zone focusing, but is depth of field often/ever an issue? I saw the chart in the owners manual that has the specs at f4.5, and they're pretty shallow. I'm spoilt on my Belair because I have the glass 90mm for it that has a true focusing helicoid with distance markings, and I can choose the aperture with it too, so I can be more precise.
I find focusing very easy. The wide angle lens is pretty forgiving. 0.6 is about an arms length away. 1m is just out of reach. 2.5m is roughly two of me lying down, then infinity. it's not hard if you put things in relation to body parts... It becomes second nature and really very fast. It may not provide critical focus on a specific area, but the focus is definitely acceptable. I find it really shines when shooting black and white film. Give that a try when you get a second!
 
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TheFlyingCamera

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I find focusing very easy. The wide angle lens is pretty forgiving. 0.6 is about an arms length away. 1m is just out of reach. 2.5m is roughly two of me lying down, then infinity. it's not hard if you put things in relation to body parts... It becomes second nature and really very fast. It may not provide critical focus on a specific area, but the focus is definitely acceptable. I find it really shines when shooting black and white film. Give that a try when you get a second!
I'm pretty good with the distance guessing - I'm just wondering about the depth-of-field given that it doesn't tell you what aperture it's using or give you an aperture control. I just put a roll of some outdated Fuji 400H through it - I'll get that souped at the lab and see how that goes.
 

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I'm pretty good with the distance guessing - I'm just wondering about the depth-of-field given that it doesn't tell you what aperture it's using or give you an aperture control. I just put a roll of some outdated Fuji 400H through it - I'll get that souped at the lab and see how that goes.
I know you have no control over aperture and that results in a lack of control. I have found that even when shooting in darker conditions the zones hold up. Things really are in focus within the zones, even at the aperture that provides the smallest depth of field. It's a lomography camera and my best advice is the advice they give in their golden rules. Lomo tells you to not think, just shoot. Go with that. The lca-120 is a pretty nice little camera. Medium format, autoexposure, very small and lightweight, protected lens so easy to throw In a bag. The metering system responds to fluctuations in lighting while the exposure is happening, not just when you first press the shutter. It's really not half bad and I enjoy mine. I can't say I've had many focus issues. If you find you like it, their lc-a+ is very similar but I find that camera shines better in well lit conditions, which produce more of the "lomo style". Heavy vignetting and very very saturated colours even without cross processing. Strangely my lca-120 only produces the vignetting. The colours for my 120 are very subdued I find. Maybe yours will be different though.

With that camera though remember to press the shutter with some authority. It does weird things with half presses.
 
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TheFlyingCamera

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I know you have no control over aperture and that results in a lack of control. I have found that even when shooting in darker conditions the zones hold up. Things really are in focus within the zones, even at the aperture that provides the smallest depth of field. It's a lomography camera and my best advice is the advice they give in their golden rules. Lomo tells you to not think, just shoot. Go with that. The lca-120 is a pretty nice little camera. Medium format, autoexposure, very small and lightweight, protected lens so easy to throw In a bag. The metering system responds to fluctuations in lighting while the exposure is happening, not just when you first press the shutter. It's really not half bad and I enjoy mine. I can't say I've had many focus issues. If you find you like it, their lc-a+ is very similar but I find that camera shines better in well lit conditions, which produce more of the "lomo style". Heavy vignetting and very very saturated colours even without cross processing. Strangely my lca-120 only produces the vignetting. The colours for my 120 are very subdued I find. Maybe yours will be different though.

With that camera though remember to press the shutter with some authority. It does weird things with half presses.
No problem. I'm planning to put some Ektar 100 through it when I'm down in Mexico with it for Day of the Dead, so saturation shouldn't be an issue. I'm also bringing along some Portra 400 and 800 for lower-light situations. I will also put some b/w through it to see how I like it.
 

4season

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Somehow I really haven't had any problems with focus: I just take my best guess and fire away. This isn't a Mamiya 6, it's more of an advanced Holga which works under a greater variety of lighting conditions and has somewhat sharp optics. I've had great results with Ektar BTW.

I haven't tried to force it into extreme vignetting, but it seemed to me that the original Soviet LC-A only did that when shutter and aperture were basically out-of-range, like with 400 film and lots of daylight.
 

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Somehow I really haven't had any problems with focus: I just take my best guess and fire away. This isn't a Mamiya 6, it's more of an advanced Holga which works under a greater variety of lighting conditions and has somewhat sharp optics. I've had great results with Ektar BTW.

I haven't tried to force it into extreme vignetting, but it seemed to me that the original Soviet LC-A only did that when shutter and aperture were basically out-of-range, like with 400 film and lots of daylight.

+1 re: focus

My current gen lc-a+ will do all those "lomo effects" but only in bright sun, so likely you're right there too. Still, they don't appear overexposed, just oversaturated and vignetted. I actually really like the photos I get out of the lc-a+. Strangely my personal lca-120 will only do the vignetting thing. I really can't get the oversaturated colours, but that may be my scanning abilities messing around with that. I can't say I've printed any of the colour photos from the negatives so maybe my issue is really my fault.
 
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TheFlyingCamera

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Very interesting! I was wondering how the glass lenses they came out with afterwards were - definitely a cool camera! I'd be interested to try one someday! :smile:
Part of the reason I was willing to try it was the tremendous success I've had with the glass lenses for the Belair (a 90 and a 117). They were an accessory option, and when new were pricey. I got both of them used, and based on that experience, I'd say they were some of the best glass I've ever worked with - very sharp, and very resistant to flare.
 

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I have used mine with flash. as the wide angle equivalent is 21mm, be prepared to darker edges. I don't have a flash that covers 21mm, but with my ~24mm flash diffuser the results were fine. I cannot confirm that the colours are less saturated. no problem with focussing yet, I keep to ISO 400 film. with mine I have to stop winding when loading the fim about 3cm before reaching the marks. if not, I lose half of the last photo.

my test of the camera is here: http://www.plastikcam.com/lomo_lca120.htm
 

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The one I tested had issues with the focus. Basically it had to be set to infinity for it to get anything in focus, no matter the distance. It was a bummer as this camera is really unique. There is nothing like it with the equivalent 'super wide angle' lens.
 
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TheFlyingCamera

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full


and yes, that's the shadow of the strap from the camera dangling down into the frame.
 

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This is very interesting, would be a great sidekick to the Rollei...hmmm.....
 
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TheFlyingCamera

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This is very interesting, would be a great sidekick to the Rollei...hmmm.....
That's very much what I was thinking too when I got it. It gives me something very very wide to travel with as a companion to the Rollei without going bankrupt on buying a RolleiWide. And it's a lot lighter and smaller than a RolleiWide too.
 

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That's very much what I was thinking too when I got it. It gives me something very very wide to travel with as a companion to the Rollei without going bankrupt on buying a RolleiWide. And it's a lot lighter and smaller than a RolleiWide too.
I find the biggest benefit to the lca-120 is it's amazing metering system. It hasn't let me down yet.
 
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