Lomo LC-A: The Camera That Started It All

Lomography's latest article, exclusively written for ePz, is all about the camera that started lomography.

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Article By Joy Celine Asto - www.lomography.com

One of the reasons why film lives on to this day is its ability to stretch the creativity and imagination of even the most novice of photographers. The thrill offered by this experimental side of photography is just what the movement called Lomography embodies. It has been inspiring film photographers and enthusiasts for quite some time now, but maybe you're wondering, just when and how did it begin?
Lomo LC-A
The answer lies in a compact analogue wonder named Lomo Kompakt Automat, now called the Lomo LC-A, and its colorful history. Born in 1984 in St. Petersburg and based on the Cosina CX-1, it was the former USSR's answer to make snapshooting more affordable for its people. While a rather cheeky copy of the Japanese compact camera, it quickly found its way into the pockets and hearts of Russian photo enthusiasts, and was eventually exported to Ukraine, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Cuba.

1981 camera production

Fast-forward to 1991, a handful of students from Vienna discovered the almost forgotten LC-A while roaming the Czech capital of Prague. No longer adorning the shelves of major stores, one could only find LC-A cameras in vintage camera shops, and it was in one of these quirky stores that the Viennese students chanced upon a perfectly working unit. 

After shooting one film roll after another in all sorts of random, playful ways possible, the students were surprised to find beautifully saturated colors gracing the developed images. Photos were shared, people began wanting their own LOMO cameras, and soon, the Lomographic Society was born. 

'91 - lomography societ was born

Lomography and the LC-A has gone a long way since then, with the iconic analogue camera now coming in several enduring guises. Today, more than just a movement, Lomography is also a growing community of creative individuals seeking fun, fresh ways to make their photos more compelling. With many film photography enthusiasts still finding their lomographic adventures highlighted by a shot from the Lomo LC-A, looks like this compact shooter will keep adding more years and milestones to its nearly three-decade career!

Joy Celine Asto is an editor for the Lomography Magazine. Feel like experimenting with film? Visit Lomography now for more tips, tricks, and articles about analogue photography!

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