Is the LC-W Really Worth its Recommended Retail Price?

2012-06-25 10

Is the LC-Wide really worth its recommended retail price? No, let me rephrase that question. Is the LC-Wide a value for money? Read what a first time user of the LC-Wide has to say about one of Lomography’s most expensive cameras.

After the iconic LC-A+, I dare say that the LC-Wide is Lomography’s next most successful camera. The reasons are obvious. But I’m not going to repeat what thousands of users and fans already know. Instead, let me share with you my experience with the camera as a first time LC-W user.

Like many before me, I’ve been eyeing the LC-W since it was launched. Why? Simply because I love the idea of a camera that is both wide angled (I like to see the big picture) and yet has the ability to shoot half-frames (I don’t like to reload when I’m shooting street photography).

Then one day (actually in April this year), I took the plunge and got the LC-Wide not for myself but for my wife as her birthday present. Initially I wanted her to shoot the first roll. But I ended up testing the camera to make sure that it was working properly first. Unfortunately, the camera that I received had a few minor faults. Thankfully, it was easily solved by my friends at Lomography Singapore. So I do advise anyone who has a problem with their Lomo products to approach the friendly Lomography staff for help.

Now back to my review. After the quick fix, I ran 2 more rolls of film through the camera and learned several important lessons that I felt should be shared.

1. The Wide Angled Lens

Having a 17mm lens is great for capturing the big picture in a tight space or if you want to capture the scene from a certain angle.

BUT, you do have to remember that because the lens is so wide, your finger can be part of the photo too, if you are not careful, as I found out a couple of times.

2. The Zone Focus Lever

With only 2 zones to remember, it is quick to zone focus. BUT do be careful on how you position your fingers or take your camera out of your bag or protective case. You may accidentally flip the lever to the wrong zone.

3. Going close

If you think you are close, go closer. I know this can be applied to all cameras, but with the LC-W, you do need to go close for impact!

4. Type of film

While the LC-W can accept film speeds from ISO 100 to 1600, I recommend that you use a higher speed film when in doubt or when you’re not sure what the lighting conditions will be. That said, the camera does fairly well with an ISO 200 film at night, which surprised me.

But remember to keep the camera still to avoid camera shake. However, a tripod (even a mini tripod) is in order if you don’t know how long the exposure will be.

5. Endless panorama

Having the option to create an endless panorama is great fun, unless you misread the instructions like I did. If so, you’ll probably get images like these.

Epic fail!

6. Camera built quality

If you are used to Japanese or German made cameras, the quality of the LC-W (or the lack of it) will be obvious. While it seems rugged, do treat it with care. If you are going bring the LC-W on a holiday, it will be best to bring a backup film camera. Better safe than sorry, I say.

7. The Shutter Sound

Compared to rangefinders, the shutter click is loud. While the sound may not be that audible in an open and busy place, it will give you away if you are using it in a quiet environment like in the library, or when you are taking a close-up of a stranger unaware, or when you’re trying to be as quiet as possible.

8. Check your lens cover!

And finally, whatever you do, check your lens cover! Make sure that it’s fully opened or you’ll get photos like this.

So what’s my take about the LC-W? I am glad that I got an LC-W, even though it’s not for me. What I need to do now is find good reasons to borrow the camera from my wife for my solo lomo walkabouts. Got any great excuses that I can use?

The Lomo LC-Wide boasts the newly-developed 17mm Minigon Ultra-Wide Angle lens. This 35mm camera wonder is the perfect companion for your photo expeditions. It produces eye-catching splashes of colour with astonishing saturation and contrasts with the added versatility of 3 different formats. Open up to a new photographic experience with the LC-Wide, available in our Shop.

written by uncle_jay on 2012-06-25 #gear #film #review #money #street-photography #road-show #singapore #iso-200 #color-film #lomography #exhibition #national-day #value #user-review #efiniti-200 #lc-w #lomography-cn-800 #toa-payoh #sunny-dx200

Mentioned Product

Lomo LC-Wide

Lomo LC-Wide

Capture your life in wide angle with the world's widest 35mm compact camera with a 17mm ultra-wide-angle lens.

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10 Comments

  1. kingferrer
    kingferrer ·

    great article :)

  2. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    great review! :D

  3. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Very good article...<:) I really don't think the LC-W worth the money if you ask me.... sorry...<:) Because : 1. I doult about its quality. From my personal lesson of LC-A+, my first LC-a + had a loose lens, and after a few rolls, it totally fell off. Fortunately, GuangZhou LOMO shop friendly replaced it with a nwe one, and again it is quite loose in the lens, plus there is a problem in the frame counter, now I don't dare to take my LC-A+ out . It becomes a dust collecter on the shelf, It is more of a decoration, allow me to show off before people that I have a Genious LC-A+, it's like a claiming that I am a true lomographer...<:), which is more than stupid I know...<:) 2. I agree with jay, that the shutter of LC-A+ is too loud, and That makes street photography a little awkward sometimes, I think the Olympus pen or trip is more acceptable in this respect...<:)

  4. alex34
    alex34 ·

    Buy a cheap SLR and use change on a wide angle lens, or get a Sprocket Rocket...you will get the same effect ,-)....

  5. barns
    barns ·

    I must say, I dearly love my LC-A+ and think about buying the LC-W, since I'm into landscape photography. I never had any problems with my LC-A+, it's robust, though I'm not careful and it's just lying in my bag with other stuff.

    I think your pictures turned out great, I love the saturation and dof - I personally always check if the lens-cover is opened, though it never got stuck with mine. ?_?

    The loud-shutter-issue is in my opinion a good reason to talk to strangers, ask them for a photo, almost no one ever refused, plus you get to know those people better - it makes the photo more interesting and personal. :)

  6. uncle_jay
  7. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @wuxiong: Thanks for sharing. And I agree with you, I'll stick to the Trip for street photography.

  8. uncle_jay
    uncle_jay ·

    @barns: Thanks for your kind words. I have not really used the LC-W for landscape, unless you consider urban photography as landscape :) But I think I'll use it when I travel and I do like the color saturation of the lens too.

  9. wil6ka
    wil6ka ·

    It is worth the money, when you consider, that the lomo-team developed an analogue camera with great optical features and a sturdy body, that makes it an ideal companion to take out. THEY DEVELOPED a quality analogue camera in these times. I consider most lomographic cameras toys - this one is quality. The vignetting is great and it is very light sensitive and it looks awesome. the wideangle lens for lc-a+ was not very convenient, the lc-w is. if you want the lomo-effect and wideangle it is the best mix. and it comes in a great wooden box and honestly the lc-wide book, which comes with the package, is one of the best books ever published here. I would buy it again!

  10. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    Well for maybe a similar price you can get a voigtlander 15mm lens, which will of top quality and will last much longer than a plastic LC-W. So basically NO

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