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In a world of photo gear that's becoming increasingly smaller, smarter, quicker, sleeker and oh-so-techier, it's kind of refreshing to review a line of cameras that are mechanical, don't require calculators to figure "effective focal lengths," are made out of plastic (and wouldn't be authentic if made of anything other than plastic), have lenses that contain nary a single aspheric surface and are guaranteed to break through the veneer of your grumpiest, stiff-necked relatives. They go under a class of photographica called Lomography cameras, and we've got them in all shapes, colors and sizes.
Despite, or perhaps because of their Fisher-Price appearance, Lomography cameras have developed a huge following in the art world, which is understandable considering that the most mundane of Lomography pictures are "artsy" regardless of the intentions of the person who pressed the shutter button.
Lomography cameras are available in a variety of camera types and styles and are collectively categorized under the heading "Lomography," which includes Lomo, Holga, Horizon Panorama and Diana-style cameras, along with a gaggle of accessories that include flashguns, underwater housings, accessory lenses, SLR lens adapters (Nikon & Canon), 35mm and Polaroid film backs and an equally eccentric selection of cases and pouches in which to safely store them.
Note: For best results (and sharper images) it's strongly recommended you use ISO 800-1000 film when shooting with these fine imaging devices.
One of the coolest aspects of Lomography is it’s not an expensive habit. The least expensive Diana+, a 120 film camera, sports a 75mm lens that’s made of genuine plastic. And despite it’s under-$40 price tag, you can do some pretty impressive photographic tricks including multiple exposures, half-exposed frames and stretch images. And if $40 is a budget-buster for you, prices for other models start at $11.95 for disposable Lomolitos. There's even a paper pinhole model for @22.95. Other Lomography offerings include cameras that rapid-capture four- and eight-lens photo sequences and others that capture wide-field panoramic images.
Most Dianas and Lomos use 120 and/or 35mm film, and with the exception of the Lubitel twin lens reflex camera, are all single lens viewfinder-style cameras. Retro in design, most would look right at home alongside Uncle Ned’s black-and-white Zenith console TV, or better yet, on the passenger seat of a Nash Metropolitan. (We don’t sell either of these items, but we highly recommend you check them out… especially the Nash Metropolitan. It's such a cool-looking car.)