This is the camera that started it all. Of all the Lubitels, the Smenas and the 135BCs, the LC-A is what started the Lomography Society and the most celebrated and iconic LOMO product (and the only camera that still features on the company’s international website).
There are several reiterations of the Kompakt-Automat (or LC-A):
- PK7310 – Earliest production batch (excluding prototypes), with a defective viewfinder and the GOST label underneath the film speed window. Brand in cyrillic.
- PK7315 – Just like the first one, but without the “Minitar-1” markings on the lens cover. Brand in cyrillic
- PK7320 – Like PK7310, but with the GOST label next to the window. Brand in cyrillic.
- PK7325 – International version, with ASA markings instead of GOST, “Lomo” brand in latin text and Zenith badge below the lens.
- PK7330 – New LOMO Cyrillic logo and a commemorative badge for the 27th International Communist Congress of 1986.
- PK7335 and PK7340- Rebadged “Zenith” versions of the PK7325, the first with only the ZENIT logo instead of LOMO’s, the second with the additional sticker below the lens.
- PK7345 – A PK7330, but a different commemorative badge.
- PK7350 – This is the one I own! ISO/ASA settings (despite the cyrillic GOST label), LOMO logo in latin text.
- PK7360 – Like the 7350, but with ZENIT label instead of LOMO. Proudly made in the USSR, despite being released in 1993.
- PK7365 – 100th Anniversary of Lomography in St Petersburg edition, with a fancy new design. This is one of the batches produced for Lomography by LOMO before ceasing production
- PK???? – The latest model currently produced in China for Lomography, features a Chinese copy of the Minitar 1 lens (stated to be 98% comparable to the original). This series is the one currently available on Lomography’s official shop, without manual aperture. I don’t actually know if it belongs to a “PK” series or not. They support more film speeds and are actually branded as LC-A+.
This timeline has been taken from sovietcams.com (link here). See their page to find also prototypes and other models!
The classic lomographic look of the pictures is due to the MINITAR-1 32mm lens f/2.8, which produce pictures with the classic vignette effect, trademark of lomographs.
There is an aperture selector lever on the left, which features apertures from f/2.8 to f/16 and an Automatic mode. On the right side, the focus distance selector, with the 0.8m, 1.5m, 3m and infinity settings. The small dial next to the viewfinder allows for film speed selection, from 25 to 500 ISO (although the marking says GOST).
The camera features a manual rewind crank, a film advance dial (with auto-stop and automatic shutter cocking), a shutter release button, frame counter and a hot shoe for flash or other accessories.