Really, it was close… sorta. I knew headed in that the plastic cameras would win over the LC-W, and the inclusion of the super-fancy FM3a/17-35mm f/2.8 was so spur-of-the-moment that I didn’t even really consider it. But here we are.
After those few days at Mom’s and a week of round-robins, the LC-W and FM3a did objectively better, in every way, than the all plastic Konica Wai Wai and Vivitar Ultra Wide & Slim… every way, that is, than producing photographs that I wanted to look at.
So which did better at making “bad” pictures?
One major benefit to the FM3a (or, rather, the 17-35mm f/2.8) is the ability to change apertures… Sadly, I almost never bothered. I shot this one wide open, and while the FM3a and LC-W have roughly equivalent shadow detail, the LC-W auto-adjusted the shutter blades to produce a nice-enough, if oddly shaped, sunstar.
There’s also a nice bit of ghosting in the LC-W that won’t win any awards, but does add something.
If I wanted perfection, I wouldn’t be shooting film… and if I did, I wouldn’t be shooting crappy Lomo cameras.
This shot, not shared in any of the Round Robins rounds, really picked the winner for me, more or less. (Not for either of these cameras.)
I’m not sure why the LC-W looks farther away, or wider… I think maybe the zoom slipped a bit. Seems I recall twisting it around and feeling disgust shortly after I made this shot.
I’m not sure if it’s the slightly closer framing or the more highlight-favoring exposure program, but I have a slight preference for the FM3a, here.
So who takes home the Consolation prize (there is none)? Well…
Again, it’s all up to you. If you have $1600 lying around, you too can shoot the FM3a and 17-55mm f/2.8 at random plants and scenes around your mom’s house in NW Arkansas… And if you have a relative who is willing to send a Lomo LC-W to you for your birthday, say “Thanks!” and have fun with it! It’s a fun little camera, and I love it in half-frame mode.
For me, since I’m fortunate to have both, I’ll keep using both: the 17-35mm is my unboxing lens on the D780, and if you’ve seen any of my unboxings in 4K, they were made with it; and the LC-W is my camera of choice for vacations and other times when I want the maximum number of photographs. Both are great, and both deserve our consolations…
For me, it’s a tie.