Introducing: the Lomography shop, where digital cameras are so 2009
The place: Formerly the cluttered Red Indian Deco, 536 Queen Street West is now home to Lomography’s only Canadian store. First launched in 1997 as one of the first social networking sites for fans of LC-A cameras—everyday point-and-shoots known for their auto-exposure capability—the company quickly created an on-line product shop, followed by stores in major cities (Beijing, Paris, New York) around the world. At a time when both professionals and amateurs were making the switch to digital, Lomography developed a cult following among tastemakers (blame the nostalgic design and low price tag), who picked up the cameras on trips to Asia and Europe.
Manager James Greenspan, a long-time member of the site, wants the store to act as an artist hub, offering workshops to beginners and a photo lab in the new year. Products are displayed for hands-on browsing, and the staff is knowledgeable and happy to give lessons.
The stuff: A three-pack of Lomography X-Pro Chrome 35 mm film ($19.90) promises intensified hues, but the cameras are obviously the main attraction. The ActionSampler ($30) is the ideal entry-level shooter, with four lenses and four shutters that go off consecutively, capturing movement in a single photograph. The shop also sells the limited edition large-format Diana F+ camera, a collaboration with the Paris-based boutique Colette ($110).
The shoppers: Hipster parents and their brood (the price point makes these cameras a good way to introduce kids to photography), photography students ironically taking digital photos of the space, digital photographers considering going analog.
Our favourite things: The Diana F+ camera with flash ($95) is a must-have. A number of accessories can be added to this basic model, such as a fish-eye lens ($45), which will distort the subjects in your photo, and a Diana Instant Back + ($95), which spits out photos moments after they’re snapped.
Lomography Gallery Store, 536 Queen St. W., lomography.com.