• Lomo LC-A

This is the Lomo LC-A - straight out of 1980s USSR. In recent years it has become somewhat legendary, and was the start of the whole "Lomography" craze.

It's a pretty simple camera. If you want you can choose an aperture value, but this fixes the shutter speed to 1/60th second. On automatic mode, it does its thing and works out a shutter speed and aperture.

It has a nice little range of ISO settings - 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400. This can be a bit annoying if you want to use some of the more exotic films (like ISO64 or 320) but you can slightly under/overexpose them - it doesn't matter too much. 400 is a fast film speed, but in some instances I've felt like I've needed faster.

Focusing is pretty simple too - you can select one of four zones (0.8m, 1.5m, 3m and infinity). Some people take tape measures or string with them to help get the correct setting. I've had a few fails on some good subjects, but generally my guestimates seem to have been pretty accurate so far.

The main appeal of this camera, apart from it's ease-of-use, is it's unpredictable-but-awesome vignetting. Sometimes it does it so well, and sometimes not at all - it is a lot more pronounced when cross-processing film. There is a technique to boost the vignetting by half closing the shutter cover mid-shot.