New Lomography shop in Manhattan

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by David A. Goldfarb, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This evening I was walking down Eighth Street in the West Village on the way to pick up my son from daycare and saw the fantastic new Lomography boutique, which also looks like the new headquarters for www.lomography.com. Even if you're not into the whole Lomo/Holga/Diana thing, and you think these things are all too trendy and overpriced, it's really an encouraging sight to see a new shop like this in such a visible, high rent district. They've been open a month so far, and they have gallery space and plans for events and workshops. They sell a wide range of Lomos, Holgas, and Dianas, but they also have the Fuji Instax camera, film of various sorts, Lubitels, the Widepan medium format swing lens camera (a mechanical version of the medium format Noblex for $1000, which is better than the price I've seen for it on eBay), two new models of Horizont based on the 35mm Noblex, the Bulldog 4x5" kit from Camera Bellows UK, some other pinholes, various collectable Soviet rangefinder cameras, and lots of hipster type bags, portfolios, and Lomography gear, and most importantly, there were young people in the shop enthusiastic about the products.

    The shop is at 41 W. 8th St. near the Christopher St. stop on the 1 train, and generally near NYU.
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    What was the film selection like?
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I just glanced, but they seemed to have a range of Ilford B&W, some Portra films, Velvia, and then something probably East European that they repackage as "lomography film" in 120 and 35mm, and they have expensively repackaged APX400--"the final cut"--in wooden boxes. At least they're doing some more creative marketing than the big manufacturers in general. I didn't notice large format, but they only were selling one LF camera (4x5" Bulldog). In New York, it's probably cheaper to buy film from B&H, Adorama, or Calumet, but if you run out in the Village, there's a better selection at the Lomography shop than at the little photo store that carries supplies for NYU students on the other side of Washington Square, where I once paid an absurdly high price for a roll of Tri-X 120.
     
  4. eric

    eric Member

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    Awesome. Is the little, tiny, tiny, tiny Italian restaurant in the corner still there? Also, its hard to find but right around there is the famous Dennis Hopper painting of the people in the corner diner.
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think that would be Edward Hopper's painting, "The Nighthawks," and I think the building with the diner was demolished, though there may be a plaque commemorating the location. I don't think there's a tiny Italian restaurant there, but it could be something I walk by all the time and don't think about.
     
  6. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Very cool... Do they have a website that explains their workshops etc...?
    Thank you.
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Try www.lomography.com, and you might e-mail shopnyc[at]lomography[dot]com to get on their mailing list.
     
  8. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Thank you much... Just emailed them.
     
  9. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    P.S.
    Happen to notice if they have a lab for customers?
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Didn't notice, but you could ask and report back what you find out.
     
  11. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Yeah, that's the value of lomography - turn people on to shooting film. Otherwise I'd rather buy an old $10 camera on ebay than a lomo-branded item of similar specs for $150 :smile:
     
  12. eye_of_wally

    eye_of_wally Member

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    I actually think they turn more people off to shooting film, then they start. The scenario goes like this.

    1.)Digital shooter interested in trying out film
    2.)Digital shooter stumbles onto Lomography
    3.)Buys expensive camera
    4.)shoots a few rolls of medium format film in Diana +, or slide film in LC-A+ to cross process.
    5.)Has difficulty finding places to develop
    6.)Finds place to develop and scan.
    7.)Pays place to develop and scan big bucks
    8.)After a few rolls the thrill is gone, "shooting from the hip" with no thought gets old. Costs to buy film and then process get to expensive. Results are not what they wanted/expected, don't like waiting days or weeks to get film back
    9.)Goes back to shooting digital, never to shoot film again
    10.)Sells "near mint" Lomography camera on Ebay or Flickr
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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  15. mhcfires

    mhcfires Subscriber

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    Hah! I get better results from my 60+ year old Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 box camera. I have to respool 120 film onto a 620 spool, but I think my stuff is at least as good as some of the work coming out of those overpriced toys. I only paid $10 including shipping for my camera, cleaned it up and it works like a charm. :tongue:
     
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  16. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    Every pursuit has people who get started and lose interest. Billions of dollars of power tools have been sold to guys (and women) who've watched a few episodes of This Old House and then ran out and bought a garage worth of stuff that then gathers dust.

    An important question is: where is the next generation of film users going to come from? High schools, colleges and even art schools have all killed their film photography programs. Where will young people learn about film and appreciate what it can do?

    I feel that the Lomo/Holga thing has been fantastic for film photography, and that without it we would be in even worse shape than we are and have an even dimmer future. These cameras have generated a lot of interest with the younger generation and, most importantly, have inspired some really excellent work.

    The Second Annual Juried Plastic Camera Exhibit is now hanging at the Rayko Photography Center in San Francisco. Not only does this show receive many, many more entries than anything else Rayko does, but opening night attracted (by a friend's estimate) ten times more people than a typical opening at Rayko. It was a big, young crowd and they were very enthusiastic about film. That can only be good for film.

    Most important of all (to me), I found the work in the show to be inspiring. The range of creativity, imagination, and technical ability really blew me away.

    If a few overpriced plastic cameras can do all that, I say keep 'em coming. Overprice them even more, if that's what it takes.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2009
  17. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    p.s. it's nice to see that they carry the Fuji Instax films, including the mini. Instax mini film can be purchased more cheaply from Japan and Hongkong via ebay, but it's nice to know someone in the US carries it in case I need some overnight.
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Thanks for the info! Wish I was in NY!
     
  19. naeroscatu

    naeroscatu Subscriber

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    APUG?:smile:
     
  20. eye_of_wally

    eye_of_wally Member

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    You are making the very false assumption that "lomography" and shooting with Holgas, Dianas, and other lowfi toy cameras are one and the same. They are not. Holgas, Dianas, and even the LCA were around long before the boys in Vienna had anything to do with selling cameras.

    I own 8 Holgs, 9 Dianas (or clones) an orginal Russian LCA, and a bunch of other vintage lowfi toys. I only have one camera that came from Lomography it is a Diana+ it was a Christmas gift from my wife who got it out of the Freestyle Photo Catalog. I find it to be a total piece of crap, and very poorly made for what it costs. I can get 2 or 3 Diana clones from ebay for what a Diana+ costs. My LCA came from my brother inlaw who got it on a business trip to Russia. They are quite easy to find there, He paid around $10 for it.

    The next generation of film shooters will come from many sources, and if the future of film photography is in the hands of Lomgraphy then film is already dead. Shooting with toy cameras was around long before Lomography and if they went out of business tomorrow would still be around long after they are gone.

    I for one do not see why so many people have this huge doom and gloom outlook on film photography. The future of film based photography is very bright. New films are coming onto the market, old film companies like Harmon/Ilford are being brought up from the ashes and are now stronger and more dedicated to the market then they ever were before.
     
  21. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    You are right that Lomo doesn't have a monopoly on low-fi photography. What is important is that they are aggressively, and successfully, marketing film photography to young people in a way that no one else is.

    Ilford/Harman doesn't have the budget to open a boutique store in New York. Nor Fuji. I bet they are VERY happy that Lomo is doing it.
     
  22. eye_of_wally

    eye_of_wally Member

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    you are right I am sure that Fujifilm a multi billion dollar international company can simply not afford to open a small store in New York.

    On the other hand my guess is that both Ilford and Fuji sell more products and make more money at B&H in New York in one year than the entire volume of the Lomography store. One really wonders how that is possible since the only people that market and sell film seems to be Lomography.

    I am also sure that Ilford and Fuji just love all of the old dead stock film that Lomography sells, I mean it makes people buy old AGFA stock, or rebagged house brands and not new Fuji or lford but I know they must think that is good.
     
  23. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I think it's good that there are multiple streams through which people can participate in traditional photography, and it doesn't seem that the existence of one has to preclude the others. There's even another shop that sells funky gadgets called AC Gears a few blocks away from the Lomography shop, and they also have Holgas, Lomos, and the Blackbird Fly TLR on hand.

    Fujifilm and Ilford are manufacturers and are right not to get into retail, which would require a whole corpororate structure, and can cause conflicts with their distributors and end sellers. Lomography.com does retail and marketing, and they're apparently pretty good at it.

    Maybe the Lomography shop doesn't appeal to everyone, but it certainly appeals to some people who aren't attracted to B&H or Adorama or Freestyle or APUG, and don't know what to look for on eBay for the same kind of photographic experience.
     
  24. eye_of_wally

    eye_of_wally Member

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    David, I agree with you, and I am happy that Lomography is seemingly doing well, and I really hold nothing against them. I like money also, and if they can make it good for them.

    What I don't like is the idea that gets floated around the net that somehow Lomography is the great messiah and savior of film based photography, that without them no one would ever pick up a film camera for the first time. And film based photography is doomed without them. They are simply a vendor and a player in the game much like every other company that markets photography products
     
  25. msdemanche

    msdemanche Member

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    I am glad to here about them. I am up there next week and am going to check them out. Do you think they will be open on Friday?

    Michel
     
  26. Joe VanCleave

    Joe VanCleave Member

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    And the Urban Outfitters retail store chain also sells some Diana cameras, although they don't sell film, which I think is kind of funny.

    ~Joe