When I bought my first Lomography camera, I spent hours and hours on the company’s website, on YouTube and photography blogs. All the time in search for an answer to the question: Which Lomography camera should I get? Since then, I bought and tried a few so today I’ll give you some advice on Lomography cameras for beginners, that are not too pricey.
They are not always cheap but they sure look like that: Lomography cameras. They come in crazy colors or look like black bricks. You can get tiny or bigger ones. Sometimes you have to use tape on the camera in order to avoid light leaks. When you are used to shoot a DSLR or any other camera that is technologically advanced, you might end up wondering. How is a camera with just one shutter speed working? And only one aperture? And a lens made out of plastic? If you haven’t tried any Lomography camera yet be assured: it works.
Lomography cameras are not perfect – most of them are far away from that. Sometimes they fall apart and you have to use ductape to hold everything together (didn’t happen to me yet). You might get multiple exposures by accident – but often enough, these shots turn out really good. You never know if the picture gets sharp or not because focussing is more like guessing. Sometimes you forget to set the focus ring to the right position at all. One time I forgot to take the lens cap off. So, why should you get such a camera? Because shooting this way is fun and somehow liberating. Don’t expect too much, you don’t know what you get before the rolls return from the lab – it’s all part of the (fun) game! Not sure if you’re ready for this kind of beautiful imperfection? Then check out these 20 signs that you’re into Lomography!
Beginner? Start here!
If you are new to Lomography, you might wanna have a look at these cameras. They are not too expensive and easy to use. The only thing you must decide is whether you want to shoot 35mm or medium format film. But: Some cameras even let you do both!
#1 Diana Mini
She’s cute, quite cheap and you can use 35mm film. The perfect camera to take with you wherever you go. You can choose between one fixed shutter speed (1/60) and bulb mode, plus there are two apertures: f8 and f11. The ability to change the lens is a plus. There are always limited editions of the Diana Mini in different designs, if you are into something special.
#2 Holga 120
This was my very first Lomography camera. Somewhere I read that it’s not a good choice for beginners but I highly doubt that! I got great results with this camera even as a Lomography beginner. I don’t know why but I prefer using black and white film over color negative film when I shoot with the Holga. There are a few different cameras within the Holga family. I bought the one which has a glass lens (Holga GFN) because the center of the pictures is slightly sharper than with a plastic lens. I love the 6×6 format! If you want to get a Holga, you should be quick. The factory was closed some time ago and there will be no new Holga cameras. I even restocked on a few backup Holgas for the future.
#3 Holga 135
The little sister of the Holga. I got one because I wanted to have another cheap plastic camera that I can use with 35mm film. Sometimes you can find a Holga 135 BC which means “‘Black corners”. As a result, you’ll get rather prominent vignettes on your pictures and the shots are not really sharp. Holga style.
#4 Diana F+
More into medium format than 35mm? Be sure to have a look at the Diana F+. Some say the camera is not that easy to handle but I didn’t make this experience so far. You can buy this camera in different designs and there are a lot of accessories like different lenses. You can even take off the lens and use the Diana F+ as a pinhole camera. There are three apertures (f8 , f11 and f16) and one shutter speed (1/60) plus Bulb-mode for long time exposures. If you want to know how my very first shots with the Diana F+ turned out, have a look here.
#5 La Sardina
Another camera I got and recently tried is the La Sardina. As a fact, I won this Lomography camera at a competition – can’t complain! I wanted this camera for a long time. The focal lenght of 22mm makes the La Sardina perfect for landscapes or other shots where you want to go wide-angled. There’s one shutter speed (1/100) and one aperture (f8) – that’s it. If you like, you can buy a flash for the camera and even use different color filters for that.
Of course, there are some other Lomography cameras which are great too. I haven’t tried the Lomography LC-A yet but as far as I know, the results are great and the camera seems to be quite beginner-friendly.