Lomography LC-Wide hands-on

Analogue camera specialist Lomography has expanded its classic LC-A range with the introduction of the LC-Wide, featuring a new wide angle lens as well as a choice of picture formats. We were invited down to the Lomography Gallery Store in central London for a close-up look.

The new camera looks and feels similar to its older sibling - the LC-A+ but it has a few aces up its sleeve. Firstly, it sports a new wideangle 17mm lens (compared to the LC-A+'s 32mm) which is about as wide as a lens can get without becoming a fisheye.

Secondly, the LC-Wide gives you the option of taking square photos (24 x 24mm) or half-frame shots, which will give you up to 72 snaps on a 36 exposure roll - the first time that either option has been available on an LC-A model. Of course, you can also use the LC-A's original full frame if you prefer. If you want to stick to one format for an entire roll, then you can use one of the supplied masks for square or half-frame prints. These can be slipped inside the body of the camera at the same time as loading the film, although obviously if you choose to use one, you won't be able to take it out until you switch rolls.

If you prefer, you can do away with the masks and switch between square, half-frame and full frame by manually using the controls on the camera body. You won't get the clear, defined edges at the end of the each frame that the masks offer, but you will get a cool effect where each photo blends into the next one. This means that you can easily stitch together shots to make a panoramic picture. We saw some of the results from the new camera taken by some of the Lomo staff, and they looked great - sporting the telltale vignetted finish that's associated with LC-A snaps.

The LC-Wide also includes the usual switch for multiple exposures and features a standard tripod mount and a hotshoe for adding a flash.

The camera weighs in at 220g, but that's before you've added the battery and the film. We thought that it felt a tad heavier than the original LC-A+, although it's still a compact and perfectly manageable snapper. It also feels a fair bit more robust than its predecessor.

The LC-Wide has a maximum shutter speed of 1/500 sec and the max aperture is a 1:4.5. ISO settings range from 100 to 1600, but of course you can really use any speed film you want, depending on the lighting conditions available and the effect you want to get.

Although we haven't had a chance to try the camera out properly yet (the sample in the Gallery Store was attached to a chain so that it didn't go walkabout) the LC-Wide certainly looks like a sturdy piece of kit at first glance and we look forward to taking it out for an in-depth review.

The LC-Wide is available now with a price tag of £349. It's a bit steep compared to the LC-A+, but the addition of a wide angle lens and the shooting format flexibility should help to sweeten the pill.



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