Lomo Cosmic Symbol

LOMO as a company produced cameras that changed the world of photography. They launched a number of cameras including the world renound LC-A. This camera started the photographic movement known as lomography, arguably one of the biggest trends in the discipline that has been keeping film photography alive!

My camera was made in 1974 but the whole line was produced between 1971 and 1991 The cosmic symbol was the UK branded version of the smena cymbol.

The level of control available to the user is pretty typical for consumer models at the time, there is a strange difference however. Most cameras would stick to loosely based “shutter priority” mode of shooting, keeping the shutter speed the same and altering the aperture value to compensate. good examples of this are the Holga and diana cameras, relying on a system of “sun” f16 or “Cloudy” f8. On the cosmic symbol cameras it’s the complete opposite. The aperture value is set by the filmspeed then the exposure adjustments are made by changing the shutterspeed to indicate the available lighting/weather. The result of this means in lower lighting conditions, you have to slow your shutter speed.

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to exposure however. If you have a good handheld meter like my weston master II, an accessory shoe meter like the Kodalux or even a light meter app, you can control the exposure manually! This can give you so much more creative control over the camera in more difficult lighting situations, the one thing I’ve had to worry about using this camera is the focus, it having a standard viewfinder with no rangefinder facilities make it a case of complete guesswork sometimes. There are helpful images on the lens barrel to estimate distances based on the subject you are photographing!

The camera is very lightweight due to its all plastic construction. Now that would usually be a bad quality, but that somehow works in this cameras favour. The plastic they used is sturdy, doesn’t creak while in use and still has a reassuring feel in the hand. While it can be difficult to master, it’s definitely fun to experiment with. The charm of these cameras is not in their specs, there are no megapixels to shout about or super fast 1000 point auto focus system. This camera strips back all the features and makes it as basic as possible for the photographer. Now this can be difficult to work with, but challenging yourself as a photographer by stripping it all down to basics can help you perfect your craft.


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