18 February 2013

Analogue, the New Digital

Digital cameras are now ubiquitous, and everyone with a mobile 'phone is a David Bailey. Against every trend however there is a counter-trend, and that against digital is known as lomography. This is both a community, centred around the Lomographic Society International, founded in Vienna in 1992; and a brand name, of Lomographische AG, distributor outside of the old USSR of the originally cheap Lomo LC-A camera made in St Petersburg from the early 1980s.

Lomography has become fashionable and 'lomo' cameras thus expensive: the all-plastic Diana of the early 1960s, available in 120mm and 35mm film formats, was made by the Great Wall Plastic Factory, Kowloon, and often given away as a novelty; the modern copy costs £80 new. Plastic cameras can though still be found cheap, as in the case of this unbranded 35mm made in the Republic of China (Taiwan). No batteries, no reflex mirror, a fixed-focus plastic lens, f-stops of only 6, 8, 11 and 16, and a single shutter speed.

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