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.
Here's a couple of LC-A photographs. Apologies for the poor scans.
LCA Sunset by Takumar, on Flickr
LCABug by Takumar, on Flickr
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.
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:
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.
By the way: The LSI just has introduced a completely analogue printing service (no hybrid process involved):
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!