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View Full Version : BBC story on 20th anniversary of Lomography.



Andy K
11-22-2012, 03:23 AM
Interesting take on things. I agree the Lomo LC-A is a remarkable little camera, I've had one since 1993. But I think the writer saying that Lomography was an early form of Instagram is missing the point that Instagram, Hipstamatic etc. are all digital versions of Lomography and were all created to copy the Lomo/film/xpro 'look'.


It was a nervous time for film photography when digital cameras took off in the 1990s, and seemed set to take over entirely. But with some help from Vladimir Putin - then deputy mayor of St Petersburg - the little Lomo camera became a retro cult classic, and showed film had a bright future.


I don't agree Lomography 'saved film photography', but it did make a contribution by introducing many younger people to film, and the article borrows heavily from the Lomographic Society International's gospel, but an interesting read all the same.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20434270

AgX
11-22-2012, 04:15 AM
We must not forget that Lomography and Impossible employ a very active media approach.

Film-Niko
11-22-2012, 09:26 AM
We must not forget that Lomography and Impossible employ a very active media approach.

Exactly.
Unfortunately both are currently the only companies who have a real and effective marketing strategy for film.
And because they do marketing, they have increasing sales for years.

Well, Kodak don't have money for marketing in their current situation. Ilford and Fujifilm are doing very little marketing. They could and should do more.

And very very unfortunately profitable film distribution companies like Freestyle don't do marketing for film. That is one of the big problems of the market.

NZed
11-22-2012, 11:09 PM
Exactly.
Unfortunately both are currently the only companies who have a real and effective marketing strategy for film.
And because they do marketing, they have increasing sales for years.

Well, Kodak don't have money for marketing in their current situation. Ilford and Fujifilm are doing very little marketing. They could and should do more.

And very very unfortunately profitable film distribution companies like Freestyle don't do marketing for film. That is one of the big problems of the market.

Well, I think its quite fortunate that they are having this effective marketing strategy for film because without them, film could be less popular and some types harder to find. Doesnt mean film will vanish without it though.

PentaxBronica
11-23-2012, 12:08 PM
Lomography is very good at branding itself as a single entity. They offer the cameras, the film, and any accessories under the same name. Much like Apple. It makes life easy for the consumer as they know that everything will work together with no need to do much research beyond matching the numbers up. It's much the same marketing trick Kodak used with the original Brownie - you buy a package and just have to hand over the cash to have it processed and returned to you with a fresh film loaded.

Ilford on the other hand make film, papers and chemicals, but no 35mm or 120 cameras. You have to seek out the camera yourself, do the research, find a dealer or reputable internet seller, and buy it before you get started. There is no simple starter kit where you just click "buy now" and have everything you need delivered a few days later. It's up to you to either learn how to process your own or find a lab able to do it for you.

The frankly outrageous prices of Lomo stuff make me weep. 289 for a Lubitel 166+? I paid 30 for a 166U brand new in the mid 1990s and thought that a reasonable price for the fun it gave me. The money they want now is serious MF territory - you can find a working Bronica ETRSi for that much which is light years ahead in image quality and handling. I also worry how many will think that the "Lomo" look is all film is capable of and give up on the whole idea if they don't like the very peculiar results.

jnanian
11-23-2012, 12:14 PM
the prices are right out of the kodak play book too ...
the original KODAK cost $45 which was 3months pay back in the 1880s when
the camera was introduced ...

its always hard to be hip when you're broke ...

bsdunek
11-23-2012, 01:31 PM
The frankly outrageous prices of Lomo stuff make me weep. 289 for a Lubitel 166+? I paid 30 for a 166U brand new in the mid 1990s and thought that a reasonable price for the fun it gave me. The money they want now is serious MF territory - you can find a working Bronica ETRSi for that much which is light years ahead in image quality and handling. I also worry how many will think that the "Lomo" look is all film is capable of and give up on the whole idea if they don't like the very peculiar results.

There's something I hadn't thought of. I do like the fact that Lomography promotes film use, but yes, if people think those generally crappy pictures are what film does, they may be as harmful as they are helpful. Certainly food for thought.

E. von Hoegh
11-23-2012, 01:55 PM
We must not forget that Lomography and Impossible employ a very active media approach.

Yes, and we must not forget that they both sell garbage.

AgX
11-23-2012, 02:28 PM
I can't say that in that general way. There is quite a lot I like.

But as said above the former offers a whole package. For what you pay.

Andy K
11-25-2012, 01:42 PM
Yes, and we must not forget that they both sell garbage.


I have to disagree with such a generalisation. The Lomo LC-A is actually a very capable little camera with outstanding low-light abilities.

E. von Hoegh
11-26-2012, 10:52 AM
I have to disagree with such a generalisation. The Lomo LC-A is actually a very capable little camera with outstanding low-light abilities.

You mean this thing at $338.00? You're joking, right? My Nikon F with lens cost quite a bit less than half that - and it's a real camera.

AgX
11-26-2012, 10:57 AM
I assume Andy has it about the camera as such and not with the current Lomography price tag in mind.
Furthermore it would not be fair to compare a fleamarket Lomo with a brand new made by Phenix. (I would go for the fleamarket one though).
And I'm not sure what a Nikon F would cost today new right from Nikon.

Andy K
11-26-2012, 10:58 AM
You mean this thing at $338.00? You're joking, right? My Nikon F with lens cost quite a bit less than half that - and it's a real camera.

The Lomo LC-A is a real camera too. It's as real as my Rollei, or my Bronica, or my OM-1, or my F80, or my Bessa R3M, or my QL17 GIII, or my Pentax K1000, and my many lenses. But then I'm not wrapped up in gear snobbery and recognise that the best camera is the one you have with you.
Here's a couple of LC-A photographs. Apologies for the poor scans.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2233/2082942501_5089fa2e0c.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/adk1962/2082942501/)
LCA Sunset (http://www.flickr.com/photos/adk1962/2082942501/) by Takumar (http://www.flickr.com/people/adk1962/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8207/8220842065_76b32b9fd2.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/adk1962/8220842065/)
LCABug (http://www.flickr.com/photos/adk1962/8220842065/) by Takumar (http://www.flickr.com/people/adk1962/), on Flickr

E. von Hoegh
11-26-2012, 11:10 AM
I assume Andy has it about the camera as such and not with the current Lomography price tag in mind.
Furthermore it would not be fair to compare a fleamarket Lomo with a brand new made by Phenix. (I would go for the fleamarket one though).
And I'm not sure what a Nikon F would cost today new right from Nikon.

I'll grant that it's a decent little camera you can bring everywhere. But not at that price, not at half that price.

A new F body would be well into the mid thousands, I'm sure.

Andy, my issue is with the whole lomography marketing scheme/aura. I've nothing good to say about them and my opinion won't change until their business model changes and they give honest value for the money they want to charge.

Henning Serger
11-28-2012, 11:28 AM
Andy, my issue is with the whole lomography marketing scheme/aura. I've nothing good to say about them and my opinion won't change until their business model changes and they give honest value for the money they want to charge.

In your opinion they may not give honest value. But more than a million other photographers think different, otherwise they would not be customers of the Lomographic Society International (LSI) and buying their products.
I've already said it in another thread, but I think it is worth to think about it again:

Whether you like what the Lomographic Society International (LSI) is doing, or not. Fact is no other company has done so much for public awareness of film in the last years as the LSI.
Have you ever seen someone from Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Foma, Freestyle etc. promoting film use on international TV?
The LSI is doing it, Lomography UK on BBC World News:
http://www.lomography.com/magazine/n...bbc-world-news

The LSI is taking more efforts in marketing for film use than Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Foma, Freestyle etc. together. Sad, but true.
Of course they alone can not save film. As long as the others stay passive concerning marketing for film, the market situation remains difficult.

If you had been in the last years at the biggest worldwide photo fair, the Photokina in Cologne, you would have seen the excellent representation done at the LSI booths. Boothes often bigger than lots of the digital companies, and with very good and innovative ideas to present the products and to get lots of attention from visitors.

Those who criticise the higher prizes of their products should at least think about the following:
What is the LSI doing with the profits? Are they buying golden Rolls-Royce for their staff? No....
They are investing the earnings in
- the worldwide marketing
- in the construction of their worldwide Gallery and Embassy Stores; real, not virtual shops you can walk in, tests the cameras, and where you can join courses
- the design and production of new camera models like the Spinner, Sprocket Rocket, LomoKino, new 110 cams, Bel-Air etc.

All the above investments are very expensive. You don't get that for free. You simply have to sell your products at higher margins to be able to do such a worldwide growth strategy.
These customers that pay the higher prices enable LSI to do so. They therefore support the global marketing and film consumption.
They don't only pay for the camera or the film, they pay a company for marketing for film, for building the biggest global website for film photography, building real walk-in stores worldwide, for bringing new cameras to the market, for getting younger people in touch with film.
And they think it is right to pay for that and support activities increasing the film user base.

Best regards,
Henning

By the way: The LSI just has introduced a completely analogue printing service (no hybrid process involved):
http://www.lomography.com/magazine/news/2012/11/26/from-inside-your-camera-to-on-your-wall-new-printing-service-from-lomography

arealitystudios
11-30-2012, 10:29 AM
I have to disagree with such a generalisation. The Lomo LC-A is actually a very capable little camera with outstanding low-light abilities.

I totally agree.

If one goes by the old mantra that the best camera you can buy is the one you take with you then the LC-A is pure photographic gold. I have that little camera with me almost all the time. It's robust and can take a beating, the lens is actually sharp at times, and between the manual control of ISO and f-stop control you can use it from a creative perspective quite easily.

I do think they charge too much for the LC-A these days but then again, that all depends on your perspective. I've been using mine once a week at least since 1995. I've paid a lot more than $300 for cameras I can't make the same statement about.

As for the Lomographic Society itself, yeah, they do tend to overhype themselves. But hey, that's called marketing and I wish other film based companies would do it. Goodness knows we see the same thing from the likes of Apple, Google, every car company on earth, cosmetics makers, etc. etc. I think some of the knee jerk resistance to the Lomographic Society tends to come from the fact that they market in a much different way than film has ever been marketed in the past. Up until Lomo came along it was always about the "art" and the technical abilities of a particular film. Either that or it was about "capturing memories" when it came to marketing to the masses. Lomo on the other hand just brands itself as trendy and cool and hip, which are far more abstract concepts.

Anyway, thank you for sharing the article. Good read!

Henning Serger
12-03-2012, 06:39 AM
Whether you like what the Lomographic Society International (LSI) is doing, or not. Fact is no other company has done so much for public awareness of film in the last years as the LSI.
Have you ever seen someone from Kodak, Fuji, Ilford, Foma, Freestyle etc. promoting film use on international TV?
The LSI is doing it, Lomography UK on BBC World News:
http://www.lomography.com/magazine/n...bbc-world-news


And another one, this time on ABC news:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151344587906495&set=vb.135961613082117&type=2&theater

Best regards,
Henning