Monday, February 13, 2012

Cheap or Budget Lomography Cameras

So we discussed what is Lomography earlier, according to me anyways and we didn't touch the subject on the actual gear in depth. You can go out and buy a new or vintage plastic lens Diana, Volga or any other 120 camera for that matter. However, Lomography being hip these days some are a bit pricey.

This Minolta Hi-Matic is one of my favorite cameras. Got it for $3 with a dead flash. It's great for outdoor shots. It has automatic everything.

So unless you have one lying around or stumble upon a deal by chance what are your options if you don't want to spend a lot? May I suggest just moving a bit up on the food chain of cameras? Ok, way up compared to toy cameras, a film point and shoot or compact camera.

This Ricoh FF-70 came with the original box and receipt, $359.00. I got it for $5 and it also has automatic everything.
Film compact cameras are still around, plentiful and most importantly  dirt cheap. The market hasn't caught on to them yet and since they were built in the gazillions, they are everywhere. You might already have one in a box somewhere, so that would make it free and free is always good.

This Canon was a gift from a friend. It also has auto everything. It's only problem was some dirty battery contacts.
If not go to any second hand store, flea market or charity store and you will find them sometimes in bins at anywhere between $1 to $5. Not bad for a full frame camera! Some have fine optics if that's what you want, auto focus, motor drive, flash or none of that. Buy a few and it will give you some options.

Taken with the Hi-Matic on expired Fuji film.
Such a camera will give you the chance to try Lomography on a budget and if you don't like it, your out of pocket expense won't have ruined you. You say a camera like that will only take good pictures? Trust me when I say you can still screw up.

Taken with the Ricoh on expired color film processed at home in black and white chemicals.

A film compact will allow you to take good shots if you want. Some street photographers have actually started using them. Don't believe me? Check out street photographer Daido Moriyama's take on compact cameras.

I have to warn you, if you get 3 or more you might get hooked. Photography gear is addictive and the next thing you know you'll have 4 or more cameras lying around with film in them. It's called Gear Acquisition Syndrome or GAS for short.

I'll finish with one shopping tip. Bring some button and AA batteries to test before you buy when you are out hunting for gear. Try to stick with these easy to get batteries as they are plentiful and cheap.

Next post I'll deal with using film on the cheap side. Until then, go hunting.

Thanks for watching.

Gerry :)

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