Playing The Long Game: Outdoor Photography With Telezooms

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography

Lomography's new Lomo LC-Wide is a newly developed (excuse the pun) film camera, with a Minigon1 17mm wideangle lens.

| Lomography Lomo LC-Wide in Film Compacts
Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomo LC-Wide

The Lomo LC-Wide is an all new FILM camera. Yes, film. If you've never shot with a film camera, or tried it, then it's worth trying, as it's a whole different shooting experience to digital. You can't see your photo straight away and you can't check instantly whether the focus, exposure, or settings are correct.

Lomo LC-Wide Features

The Lomo LC-Wide is an update to the Lomo LC-A and features a whole new ultra wide angle lens, at 17.5mm compared to the original 32mm lens on the LCA, additional features include the support for half frame and square frame photos using the provided brackets. These brackets need to be put inside the camera before loading the film and then the whole film is recorded in the same way. (There is no option to change half way through or photo to photo as you would on a digital camera).

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:   Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:

As a film camera, ISO is dictated by your film used, and must be set at the same time as putting the film in. You can change the setting on the camera, however this will confuse the camera into under or over exposing photos.

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:

Cable release and a standard tripod socket allow you to set the camera up on a tripod and take long exposure night shots without camera shake. The modern day equivalent would be the built in self-timer, however there is something unique about having a physical / analogue cable release, and it's a shame that rarely any modern cameras support a cable relase.

Lomo LC-Wide Features (From the Lomo LC-Wide manual)

  • Newly developed 17mm Minigon 1 Ultra-Wide angle lens
  • Stunning vignetting effect
  • Coated glass optic with mind-blowing colour saturation and contrast
  • Closest focusing distance closer to 0.4m
  • Choice of Half or Full frames
  • Unlimited multiple exposures
  • Film ISO capability ranges from ISO100 - ISO1600
  • Film cartridge window to see what film you're shooting
  • Standard cable release thread for easy long exposures
  • Programmatic auto-exposure
  • Lightning-fast zone focusing
  • A very similar size, look, feeling, smell, sound, handling, and taste (but please dont' eat it) to the LOMO LC-A+

Lomo LC-Wide Handling

You need to manually set the ISO speed, load the film, wind the film on, set the correct options on the bottom of the camera, and remember to set the focus correctly when switching between close up and landscape subjects. The camera has two focus positions 0.4-0.9m or 0.9m to infinity, and unlike the original Lomo LCA, you do not need to set the aperture manually, the camera takes care of this for you.

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:   Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
Tripod socket allows the camera to be mounted on a tripod.   The top shutter release supports a cable release.

Loading the film is straight forward, with the film spooler (where you put the end of the film roll) having a firm action, and the camera is reassuring in that you will know when the film is correctly loaded because the rewind knob on the top left of the camera will turn when winding the film on.

The camera feels sturdy, well built, with a good textured front and back, and the optical viewfinder is of a decent size - not too small, but also not overly large. The flash hot shoe supports modern flashes, and worked with our studio wireless flash.

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:   Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
Opening the back of the camera gives you a good view of the back of the lens.   Loading the film into the camera is quite straightforward and the pegs grip well.

The bottom of the camera has a small battery compartment where you need to load 3 button batteries, this is quite fiddly, and was always a problem with the first Lomo LCA. The original LCA did not have a very firm contact with the batteries and the connection pressure was weak, and occassionally needed adjusting - thankfully with this new improved model this does not seem to be the case at all. I suspect that this is something Lomography fixed on the LCA+ when they re-worked / improved and updated the camera, and it has continued on to the LC-Wide. The batteries should last around a year even with a lot of use.

The design of the camera and new lens increases the depth of the camera compared to the LCA, and the biggest clue, visually, that this is the new LC-Wide, is the solid red band that runs across the front of the camera. The size of the camera is increased however, the camera is still considered a compact camera for a 35mm film camera, and it fits neatly into trouser pockets.

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:   Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
The back of the camera features a window so you can easily view whether there is film in the camera.   It also lets you see the film speed, so that you can ensure your camera is set correctly.
Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:

Switches underneath the camera let you set the mode. (Half frame, square, etc). The MX switch lets you take another photo without having to wind on the film. You can take as many as you want, although too many and you'll overexpose the photo and get nothing. 2 exposures - 3 exposures is recommended.

There is no flash built into the camera, and Lomography will sell you a variety of flashes, including colour flashes with tinted covers to give your photos a more creative look, however the generic flash hot shoe means that any second hand lens from ebay should work, and you can create your own colour flashes using plastic sweet wrapers.

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
The large wooden box is packed full of goodies, including 2 films, two brackets for half-frame and square photography, a wrist strap, cable release, camera, printed manual, LOMO LCA+ book, LCA+ Accessories leaflet, and the new (larger) LC-Wide book.

Lomo LC-Wide Performance

Speed, the camera's shutter response is instant. Focus? is pre-set, so there is no delay. Getting the photos back... this can take some time, with the camera using film, you need to finish the film (taking 24 or 36 shots) before you can rewind the film and take it somewhere to get the photos printed or put onto a computer (CD) or send it off to Lomography and you can pay £12 for prints and digital versions. This is expensive compared to your local Asda/Tesco or other photo processing centre, especially as most processors now offer the ability to put your photos onto CD for an extra few pounds. However, lomography are setup to process some of the more unique films from cameras such as the panoramic, half frame, etc (see site for details)

Image quality...

ISO noise - this is what ISO100 film looks like. If you view at full size you can see the film grain, it looks more like the results you'd get if you left your digital camera on ISO1600 - ISO3200 by accident (we've come a long way).

Waiting to get results back... sending the photos to Lomography's processing labs, and asking for the images on CD, you get back a CD full of 3.2 megapixel images, scanned on their Fujifilm SP-3000 Minilab.

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
Studio with wireless flash Poppy field shooting into the sun
Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
Multiple exposure poppy field Trees, dark

Lomo LC-Wide Value For Money

The Lomo LC-Wide costs £349 - this is more expensive than the current LC-A+ which is £230. There are a lot of people somewhat shocked by the price of the cameras available on Lomography - especially when the original Lomo LC-A was around £30 to buy when it was first in production, however, production stopped and Lomography brought the camera back with improved reliability. When the original camera was on sale, it was likely that 7/10 wouldn't work correctly. You may be able to find the original LCA (or Cosina CX1/2) on ebay for a more reasonable price, however the LC-Wide is a completely new ultra wide lens film camera, and there is little to compare it to.

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography:
This is what a 35mm film looks like. Included with the camera is a leaflet on the accessories available for the LC-A+

The lens is ultra wide angle (17.5mm), finding a digital camera with such a wide angle lens could be difficult. The closest is the 21mm Casio Exilim TRYX, and 22.5mm Nikon Coolpix P500. Although there are many other new digital cameras to choose from with wide angle lenses, starting at 24mm equivalent, most of them under £350.

The camera comes with an impressive package of interesting and useful items, such as the cable release, two rolls of film, two lomography books, one on the LCA+ and one on the new LC-Wide.

Alternatives available include the Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim (£20-30, also available under different names) or any number of alternative cameras available from ebay, such as the Polaroid Instant (and Impossible instant film), or you could hunt out a film camera from a local car boot sale - I picked up a Voigtlander Vito B for £6, a Polaroid instant camera for 50p, and a Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim for 50p. Original LCAs can be found on ebay UK for around £60 or less on ebay Germany.

Lomo LC-A Wide Film Camera from Lomography: Lomography

Lomo LC-Wide Verdict

I'm in two minds about the LCA+ and LC-Wide and the high price of the new cameras, as one of the reasons for the original camera's success, was its low price, making it a great camera to buy and have fun with, and as the price has quite dramatically increased over the years, the fun element starts to disappear as you have to think much more seriously about parting with your cash.

On the other hand, it's great to see Lomography bringing out a new camera, and reminding people of how much fun and creativity is possible with film cameras (which is partly why digital cameras are increasingly trying to introduce new fun features, such as pinhole, toycam, and multiple exposure support). The LC-Wide updates the LCA with even more creative and fun options, namely the ultra wide-angle lens, with the addition of half-frame, square, multi-exposures, and longer exposures, this is quite a unique camera, and offers a number of features rarely seen in any camera (including both film and digital!).

The Lomo LC-Wide produces images that are quite sharp, reasonably detailed, and with high levels of contrast and saturation. The lens produces strong vignetting in the images, and with the combination of film grain you get genuinely retro images. Noise in images will vary depending on the film you use, but needless to say there's a lot of noise, especially compared to the smooth noise free images you get from good digital cameras. True black and white photography is possible with the right film, and the strength of colour from colour film will be dependant on what film you use, and how you process it.

The camera performs well, with an instant "snapshot" response you're really able to capture the moment, without having to think about white balance, exposure compensation, face detection focus, etc, and in a way, the LC-Wide is a much simpler camera to use than many digital cameras. Not knowing what you're going to get from your shots is a really quite unique experience (especially in this day and age of digital cameras), and the exciting wait for your results is an enjoyable, if slightly anxiety inducing experience. Taking the prints into the office and passing them round to show your friends, family and work collegues is a great way to show the photos, and is noticeably missing in the digital world.

The Lomo LC-Wide is worth considering if you want the ultra wide lens and creative half-frame, square, and multi exposure options availabile, and the camera feels great and the great box of goodies almost makes up for the high price. Alternatively you can save a lot of money by buying the LCA+ or risk the LCA second hand. If you just want to experience the film camera process then there are FAR cheaper ways to enter the market.

Lomo LC-Wide Pros:

Wide angle lens
LCA improved
MX Multi Exposure button
Impressive package, includes cable release etc
Fun, great online community

Lomo LC-Wide Cons:

High Price!
Film camera
Cost of developing every photo (good and bad)


Lomo LC-Wide Specification

Price £349
Exposure area 36x24mm,
24x24mm (square format)
17x24mm (half frame format)
Film type Standard 135 roll film
Lens focal length 17mm
Maximum aperture 1:4.5
Angle of view 103 degrees, 89 degress (Square format), 81 degrees (half frame format)
Focusing range 0.4m - infinity
Maximum shutter speed 1/100
Minimum shutter speed Unlimited
Auto exposure mode Programmatic
Exposure range Unlimited - EV18, Multiple exposure: independant MX switch
Film Sensitivity supports 100,200,400,800,1600
Flash connection X-type synchronnisation hot-shoe
Tripod socket thread Standard 1/4inch tripod socket
Cable release Universal cable release socket
Power 3x 1.5v button batteries, type LR44 / A76
Box contents LC-Wide Camera, Hardcover LC-A+ Book, Hardcover LC-Wide Book, LC-Wide Manual (13 pages, multi-language), Lomography 100 ISO Film (2x), Wrist strap, Batteries, Cable release, Wooden storage box, 2 Masks for Square and Half-Frame formats, 2 year international warranty.
Overall dimensions 108x68x44.5mm
Weight 220g (film and battery not included)

MPB Start Shopping

Support this site by making a Donation, purchasing Plus Membership, or shopping with one of our affiliates: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon CA, ebay UK, MPB. It doesn't cost you anything extra when you use these links, but it does support the site, helping keep ePHOTOzine free to use, thank you.


Other articles you might find interesting...

Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 Instant Film Camera Review
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Film Camera Review
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ6 Review
Lomo'Instant Automat Camera Review
Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Instant Camera Announced
The Creator Of This Analog 3D Pinhole Camera Wants To Revive...
Lomography Has Launched A £40 Reusable Underwater Film Camera
Leica SOFORT Available In Black


User_Removed Avatar
User_Removed 19 17.9k 8 Norway
They're having a laugh!!! 349.00!!!! ** Phffffftt **
Pete Avatar
Pete 22 18.8k 97 England

Quote:** Phffffftt **
Mike look under the camera - you need to set it to the FFS mode Wink
Paul Morgan Avatar
Paul Morgan 22 19.9k 6 England
Makes me want to dig out my old broken Lomo, hack of the lens and glue it to a body cap Smile
User_Removed Avatar
User_Removed 19 17.9k 8 Norway
Ah!! I see Pete...

And that will improve the optical quality will it?? Grin

Optically - it's still a Lomo.

And 'Lomo' = Fun - and cheap.

joshwa Avatar
joshwa Plus
13 927 1 United Kingdom

Quote:Makes me want to dig out my old broken Lomo, hack of the lens and glue it to a body cap Smile

A few people have done this - someone put the LCA lens in front of the Epson Digital Rangefinder (his website detailing it seems to be missing the post now), and someone also put the LCA lens in front of the NEX-5. I might give it a try Smile
Pete Avatar
Pete 22 18.8k 97 England

Quote:Ah!! I see Pete...

And that will improve the optical quality will it?? Grin

Optically - it's still a Lomo.

And 'Lomo' = Fun - and cheap.

Ahh I think you may have missed the irony...what is ffs normally short for in internet speak?
Paul Morgan Avatar
Paul Morgan 22 19.9k 6 England

Quote:and someone also put the LCA lens in front of the NEX-5. I might give it a try

Probably where Holga got the idea from, the lens is now available in M4/3 mount Smile
monstersnowman Avatar
Lens Baby, Holga .. these once fun and cheap things are just pricing themselves out of a market for people wanting to experiment with fun things that offer low quality but have a price tag to match. You really start expecting a bit more from this price band ..
altitude50 Avatar
Why would anyone buy this camera or anything similar when there are very high quality used and perfect 35mm SLR cameras available for less than 10 ???? I don't get it.

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join for free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.