Lomography, an analog company builds camera lens for all shapes and sizes
Lomography got its start 20 years ago in Austria, by a group of ambitious photographers and artists who stumbled across a cheap Russian camera called the Lomo that used 35-millimeter film. The Lomo produced charming photographs that often contained artsy blurry streaks and were oversaturated with color. This occurred due to the camera’s body design and construction.
Lomography, a company and organization that champions the use of analog film photography, has found a foothold in a rocky market.The company cultivated a following of niche users who liked the funky effects the camera lent the final prints. It also managed to maintain that appeal despite the rise of an on-demand world where each moment is documented, tweaked with a filter and uploaded to the Web.
Kitschy camera company Lomography (or Lomo) has returned to Kickstarter for its seventh crowdfunding campaign. The campaign introduces a trio of lenses that can fit most name-brand digital or film cameras. The Neptune Convertible Art Lens System, as Lomo calls it, is being sold as a package of three fixed lenses — a 35mm f3.5, a 50mm f2.8, and an 80mm f4.0. The Neptune Convertible Art Lens System launched on Kickstarter blew past its goal of $100,000, with over $300,000 now pledged. Future focal lengths being explored include everything from an ultra-wide 15mm to a powerful 400mm telephoto.
The system starts at $599, comes in silver or black, and is paired with an adapter that can fit the lenses to everything from a Canon 5D Mark IV to an Olympus Pen-F to a Leica M. (Backers will have to specify which mount they want when they order, though.)
Very few have had a chance to try them yet, but there are some impressive sample images available on Lomo’s Kickstarter page from photographers who have. It’s not easy to find three even halfway decent name-brand lenses for under $1,000, so the versatility of Lomo’s new system might be the best thing about it at this price.
Lomo is also throwing in drop-in aperture plates that can shape the background blur or bokeh. The company plans to make more lenses in this system, too, and it says that backers will get a chance to vote for which lens they want Lomo to make next.
The Lomography brand has been around for a while, and it has proven it can operate successful Kickstarter campaigns without ghosting on its backers. Curious photographers should know they’ll be in for a wait, though, because the Neptune lenses won’t ship until at least December 2017 or January 2018.