Film Noir with the LC-A : How the Lomo learned to love B&W

The Lomo LC-A is usually a bit of a marmite* camera.  But stick in some B&W  and it becomes a different beast and actually does pretty well.

Area 51
LC-A with Agfaphoto APX100, Dumfries 2014

For those of you that hate the LC-A due to its response with colour shots it really is a case of ‘everything looks better in B&W’  (if you like the colour stuff again all I can say is that is becomes a different beast)

Up to no good
LC-A with Kodak BW400CN, Carlisle 2014

LC-A Specs

  • Lens:  32mm 1:2.8
  • Focus: Zone (4)
  • Shutter: 2min-1/500
  • Aperture: f/2.8 – f/16
  • Metering: Automatic, CdS
  • EV (100asa) :  17 (max)
  • ASA:  25-400ASA
  • Filter-Thread: none

You still benefit from all of the LC-A’s strengths – the fast lens, shutter that can shoot from 1/500 right down to 2mins.  As a street shooter its compact nature, relative quietness and 32mm wide lens make it handy. Okay you loose the colour impact of the lens but what you get is a pretty good B&W shooter. Don’t believe me? Well try loading a roll of C41 B&W film like Ilford XP2 or Kodak BW400CN that you can buy in Boots for 2 rolls for about £12 and get processed at any labs.

Escape from shopping hell
LC-A with Kodak BW400CN, IKEA Newcastle 2014

These films are all locked at 400asa and probably suit the LC-A the best. I’m not going to claim the LC-A has as sharp a lens as others like the Olympus Trip 35 but at faster film speeds the narrower aperture helps. You still get a little vignetting though.

Light at the end of the alley
LC-A with Ilford XP2, Dumfries 2014

The results are good although in fairness no better than any other reasonably competent P&S. Unlike others adding a yellow, orange or red filter ain’t an option (although the LC-A+ does allow filters). The LC-A’s tendency to sometime under expose remains a curse and a blessing. Lower speeds are acceptable but not always as sharp. For colour this is less of an issue due to chromatic colours shifts and the effects they produce, but here that’s not an advantage.

Line up
LC-A with Ilford XP2, Dumfries 2014

Helpful links

*Marmite is a yeast based sandwich spread sold in the UK. Unlike the Australian Vegimite which seems to be universally loved by Aussies, you'll either love or hate Marmite. The makers even parody this in advertising.
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