LOMO Camera Lens
LOMO is a Russian company that has been making optics since 1914. One of the company's most famous analog still cameras may be the LC-A, a small analog fixed focal length film camera that produced colorful, vignetted images. This mirrorless automatic shutter camera resulted in the rise of an art movement called lomography. The Lomographic Society International facilitates the lomography community worldwide. Lomographers use 35 mm, medium format, or instant film and LOMO still cameras to create unique images. The company's cine lenses also have their own special characteristics.
What Should I Expect From LOMO Still Camera Lenses?
LOMO no longer produces still cameras and optics. However, a company called Lomography does, and buyers can purchase new cameras and camera lenses made by them. Inspired by the original versions, these are the characteristics of the newer offerings:
- Color: The original LOMO LC-A instant camera had a plastic lens that produced saturated colors. This is a quality present in most LOMO still cameras and optics, even today, and an essential component of lomography. In addition, users can use other techniques exclusive to film, such as cross-processing and double exposures, to introduce more color shifts and real-time effects to their images.
- Vignetting: A characteristic of the original LC-A, vignettes are a classic feature of most LOMO still cameras. While some may consider this a flaw, it adds to the unique look of pictures that lomographers create.
- Compatibility: Lomography (the company) makes new camera lenses that are compatible with other cameras, including full frame and crop sensor DSLRs using Nikon and Canon mounts (with the proper adapter). The lineup does not include any zoom lenses, but has a number of prime lenses. These include wide-angle, fisheye, normal, and telephoto lenses and may be premium lenses, such as the Russar+ wide-angle lens, or experimental lenses that come in kits.
What Should I Look for in LOMO Cine Lenses?
While the company still makes professional cine lenses, some cinematographers recommend looking for a good set of vintage ones. Unlike the plastic optics that give the instant cameras their unique characteristics, these 35mm lenses are made of glass and produced to a much higher standard.
- Lens Type: The company's cine offerings come in both spherical and anamorphic models. Anamorphic lenses feature a large front lens that lets in more horizontal light and produces a unique horizontal flare. In addition, the optical blocks may be normal speed or fast speed. Normal speed blocks have maximum f-stops that are either f2.0 or f2.8, while fast speed ones, ideal for low-light situations, have maximum apertures with f-stops of f1.2 or f1.8. They are available in prime focal lengths, including 18mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm.
- Mount: Vintage cine lenses are available in two mounts: OCT18 and OCT19. Adapters help these mounts fit on other modern cameras.
- Optical Qualities: When users shoot with these lenses, the results feature oblong bokeh and a unique softness to the image. If the lens is anamorphic, it also introduces horizontal flare.