Lomo Cosmic Symbol
This was my first camera. An all manual, all Russian LOMO.
I recently found a bundle of photos I took with it, featuring all the things that fascinated me as a nipper: landscapes, wildlife, abstractly lit objects and tanks. Oh yes, tanks. Lots and lots of tanks and military hardware, you’d think I was spying for the Russians. Well, through one of their lenses…
With a 40mm f4-f16 Lomo T43 lens and a range of six shutter speeds set by weather symbols, hence the name, it was a fairly robust bit of metal and plastic. Good job, as it got dragged around the countryside a lot.
I was, of course, dead jealous of my brother’s ‘fully automatic’ camera with its digital display and buzzing autofocus. But was my trusty LOMO better? fresh from stable of cult camera the LOMO LC-A? well that depends on whether you buy into Lomography (™) and its deviously marketed ‘old skool’ philosophy. What was good about the Cosmic Symbol was it was built like a tank and was all manual. This little puppy got me onto aperture and shutter speed at an early age and was undoubtedly a factor in developing my love of all things image.
Amazingly it managed to survive my early years in pretty good nick and now lurks on a shelf near my computer with some Ilford it in, just waiting to molest some weirdly lit detail down my street. If you’re going to procrastinate then do it in black and white.