Travelling light in Dusseldorf – 1: with Lomo’s Granddad

It can cost little to pop over to Dusseldorf for a long weekend from my home thanks to, providing you take only hand baggage, accept any seat and don’t take any other ‘offers’. So I go quite often to see my grandchildren who live there. Travelling light means no Mamiya Press, no SLR and even no ‘conventional’ rangefinder. The Lomo LC-A can be a good choice, but I had its granddad in a jacket pocket on my most recent trip last weekend (and an Olympus in another, but more of that perhaps on another day).

Even without their clothes, the magnificent trees add to the magificence of the Konigsalle

Even without their clothes, the magnificent trees add to the magificence of the Konigsalle

Dusseldorf is a lovely city, the ‘alt stadt’ (old town) nestling along the Rhine in the centre, littered with fascinating street sculptures and surrounded by the imposing architectural delights of the ‘new’ town.

Lomo’s granddad? – on which all the shots in this post were taken (except those of the camera itself – taken with GF1). Well, at first glance this looks like an LC-A


but go to open the lens cover and that gives the game away:


You turn the lens cover through 90 degrees to open it, not with a lever like the LC-A, but otherwise this Cosina CX-1 was pretty much copied by the Russians to create the Lomo. In fact, it was the later CX-2, with its 35mm f2.8 lens which was copied; the CX-1 has a simpler but slightly wider 33mm f3.5 triplet. (PS. Since writing this I realised that, because it hasn’t worked for years, I’d forgotten that the LC-A actually has the slightly wider lens, at 32mm. Sorry.)

I don’t know why the Russians dispensed with the turning lens cover; perhaps its engineering was more complex and thus less reliable. But it’s less of a fumble to get it out of the pocket and turn it on fast.

All the shots here are on Retro 400S. I’m not sure whether I don’t really like this film (I certainly don’t much like the polyester base), whether it’s my developing (D-76) or my scanning technique, but something isn’t quite right. I think it’s the scanning – there’s a lot of conflicting advice on internet and I’ve not yet had time to try all the suggestions and see which works best for me.

I had hoped to scan in the Lomo 35mm DigitaLIZA mask (discussed in my post of 13 November) then make a comparison with the time taken  doing it in the Minolta Scan Dual II, but it would not scan at all on the Epson 4990, though no problem on the Minolta.

As I’ve commented before, I’ve still a lot to learn about scanning and it seems to me that good old wet printing was a lot simpler. My only regret for downsizing to a small flat is there’s no room for a darkroom.