The Lomo LC-A camera has achieved cult status. It is sought after and becoming rarer to find in good condition since production ceased in 2005. My ebay name is Dandytrades and I sell a lot of LC-A's and other soviet era cameras. I decided to write a simple troubleshooting guide so that you can try to fix your camera before having to send it away for an expensive repair.
The three most common faults with LC-A's are -
A) No Power
B) Sticky Shutter
C) Broken Electromagnet
A) No Power
7 times out of ten your batteries will be flat, 2 times out of ten the battery contacts are dirty and one out of ten you have an electrical fault that needs a tricky and expensive repair.
So firstly check your batteries. How long have you had them? When you depress the shutter release button , with the lens guard open, do you get a red light on both diodes in the view finder, none or just one? (when you gently half press the shutter button you should see a constant red light from the left hand diode and a flash in the right hand diode) .
I recommend buying new batteries (I normally have sets of three for sale on ebay) .
But before you do, open up the battery compartment and take the batteries out. Have a look at the batteries. Can you see any white powder on them? If so they are well past their best. Are the terminals in the camera crudded up? A small wire brush is the best way of cleaning the terminals, otherwise take a screwdriver and gently scratch the terminals at both ends of the battery compartment. They are generally cruddy and often benefit from a good scrape. Gently prise out the centre piece of metal from one end- just a little- this will ensure a good tight contact with the bateries. Pop the batteries (or new batteries) back in and see if the shutter now works. You can check this by opening the back of the camera and holding the camera upto the light as you depress the shutter release button fully. Do you see light through the shutter- does it open??
B) If the diodes are working but the shutter is still not opening you may just have a sticky shutter. Take a can of compressed air with a nozzle - available from most model shops- and give the shutter area a good blast with this, it sometimes does the trick. Sometimes it is grease that is stopping the shutter opening. You will not be able to see it but you can do something about it. Open the back of the camera and give it a good hot blast for a few minutes with a hairdryer. Sometimes this can melt any grease and free up the shutter. (Dont hold the hairdryer too near and burn anything!)
If the shutter is still not opening you may have the following.
c) A broken electromagnet. This is the worse case scenario. Often they cant be repaired - or it just isn't cost effective to get it repaired. One way of telling is by listening to the almost inaudible double click of a working lomo when you press the button and comparing this to the decidedly single click on a lomo with a broken electromagnet. The clicks are almst linked on a working lomo- so differentiating is an art.
I sell a variety of Lomos, lomo accesories and offer a repair service too. If i can help please get in touch. I hope that some of you have used these notes to fix your Lomo. They are vintage beasts and are fragile- so look after them!