decisions, decisions: lomo lc-a+ vs. blackbird, fly

For a while now I’ve been planning that my next new camera was going to be the Lomo LC-A+, the modern knock-off of the camera that basically gave rise to the concept of Lomography. I’ve wanted one for years, but at around $250, it’s one of the more expensive “toy” cameras. But look at the lush, dreamy, color-saturated images it takes and tell me it’s not worth every penny.

It also has the advantage of shooting 35mm. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my medium format cameras and don’t regret for an instant buying them. In fact, if the house were on fire and I could only save one camera, I would go for the Diana without any hesitation whatsoever. She was my introduction to Lomography and still my “first love”. But I would rather my next acquisition be a 35mm camera.

However, with my never-ending capacity for being distrtacted by shiny objects, I’m also considering the Blackbird, Fly by Superheadz — the awesomely-named Japanese toy camera makers who also made my Golden Half, a little treasure that I find myself using almost daily and getting even more enjoyment out of than I expected. It’s great for experiments in redscale or cross-processed slide film, because at 72 shots per roll, you can afford to take chances.

The Blackbird, Fly has the unique capacity of being a twin lens reflex camera that shoots 35mm. The images it shoots are perhaps not as idiosyncratic as the Lomo LC-A+, although they certainly aren’t ugly. I think of it as a sort of consolation  prize for not being able to afford a “real” TLR camera until I have a more robust income. Also as kind of like training wheels — my Duaflex and Brownie Hawkeye look like TLRs but are technically pseudo TLRs, because they have fixed focusing. And it has the advantage of being on sale at Urban Outfitters right now for $79.99 — it usually retails for around $120.

At the moment I am leaning more towards the Blackbird, Fly; but I haven’t totally made up my mind. So if you have pros or cons regarding either camera, I’m still open to receive them.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. eggplantinspace
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 16:30:41

    I love photography (looking at it), but I don’t know about any of the equipment. I would like to know why is it that you would use that type of camera for those terrific pictures as opposed to a camera with a big lense and a filter.

    check this out. I adore how this guy has put it together using his camera and some editing program.

  2. pinstripebindi
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 16:33:36

    I’m not sure what you mean by “a big lens and a filter”. A wide angle lens? Zoom lens? Those do things that I am not looking for. “Filters” are seperate from the camera, they’re something you put over either the lens or the flash and have very little to do with what camera you start out with.

    If you mean why don’t I just approximate that look with a digital camera and photo editing software, well, that’s not really what I do. I’m interested in uniqueness and accidents and unintended results, not fake “flaws” that can be replicated over and over again on a computer.

  3. eggplantinspace
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 17:58:57

    Hey there. Sorry if i offended.

    I think I meant a wide angle lens and a filter with the edges darkened, and it was a genuine question.
    I loved the effect you linked to, and it reminded me of the filming you get on “Top Gear”. They showed the filter they put over the lens, and I wondered where the technical difference was.

    As for the link, I just thought it was cool and thought you would like it too. I liked the way he took stills and edited it together to make it look like footage. It looked odd and interesting.

    I really am sorry if I offended.

  4. pinstripebindi
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 19:00:48

    I don’t know why you think I’m offended. You didn’t understand my kind of photography and I was just trying to explain it.

  5. victoria evans
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 19:38:05

    I had the same decision on my hands and went with the Lomo LC-A+. It was a handling decision really – the Lomo LC-A+ is so easy to handle. The shutter is very quiet and it has amazing low light capability (which also swayed me). If you are like me and like to take photos in odd areas or take photos of people – it’s very portable and doesn’t look intrusive.

    A friend of mine isn’t too impressed with the Blackbird Fly. But I can recommend from Superheadz the Pink Dress:

    You can see what it comes up with on my photoblog:

    Would you recommend the Golden Half? I LOVED the rescale film you got with the Golden Half.

    I’m with you: if the house is on fire – I’d rescue my Diana F+

  6. pinstripebindi
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 20:30:25

    Actually I went ahead and got the Blackbird, Fly. I’d still want it even if I bought the Lomo LC-A+, and if I passed up a price that is about 1/3 the retail, I would regret it. I’m going to hold off on the Lomo until I find a job.

    The Ultrawide and Slim is a camera I’m interested in, and I love my Golden Half, so I would definitely be interested in Superheadz’s knock-off.

  7. victoria evans
    Apr 13, 2010 @ 22:35:39

    ah okay: looking forward to hearing about what you think of the Blackbird. I’m thinking of checking out the Golden Half tomorrow. I’ve found a store in Sydney that sells it. Your photos are great from that camera and you seem to like using it.

  8. pinstripebindi
    Apr 14, 2010 @ 00:50:43

    One of the things I like about it is how sturdy it is. Some of the lomo cameras, you’re afraid to breathe on them too hard, but the GH can knock around in my bag whenever I’m not using it and not be any worse for wear. And if you like inconspicuous, it can fit in the palm of your hand (when there’s no flash attached).

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