Leica M6, Lomography Minitar
5 frames with...

5 Frames with a Leica M6, Lomochrome Purple, and a Lomography Minitar-1 Art Lens – By Marco Diaz

September 1, 2020

More often than not, inspiration can be found in the unusual pairing. The way a great restaurant might surprise you by combining two seemingly disparate food types. Or two seemingly incongruous musical artists can come together and knock out a killer album. And so it was this type of thinking that led me to buy a Lomo Minitar lens for my Leica M6, and digital Leica ME (the original ME was an M9 with a slightly different casing and no frame line preview switch). Having had an original Lomo LC-A back in the day I was curious what it might perform like on a Leica.

The Minitar is pancake flat and features a fairly wide angle of view. You have guides on the lens for your aperture setting, and distance in meters. But very different from a true Lomo – you can actually nail focus with your normal rangefinder prism and not be subject simply to the mental distance measurement and hope that the original LC-A forces. A limitation which much like one might say about the origin of their progeny – resulted in a lot of happy accidents.

Separately but not completely unrelated, like many of us, I find that with four small boys (see above reference), I shoot more than I would like with the camera we have on us – a phone. And so to counteract the lethargy of boring iPhone shots, I started to use Hipstamatic with the “Jolly Rainbow” film pack which brought an interesting purple hue to the photos I was taking. So you can imagine with this backdrop when Lomo launched the Lomochrome Purple film recently there was a convergence of the bizarre that suddenly came to light. I had to pull all of these things together and see what the result would be.

What you get with this combination feels to me like a very organic recreation of vintage colorized postcards. Which I find super interesting when paired with an ambiguously timed backdrop. Like Rockaway beach or an anachronistic tavern. I find the Lomochrome film ‘magic’ responds best when used against green. So taking this film anywhere in nature such as camping or on a hike is truly a fun and stunningly different way to create art. The Minitar-1 brings in the classic vignette that the LC-A had. It’s a great way to shake things up for a roll, and challenge yourself. Now more than ever we can use a little inspiration. So whatever M-mount (or extension) you might have – I highly suggest giving this combo a shot.

People on a beach setting up an umbrella.

Rockaway Beach – Queens, NY

Dusk in a park.

Fort Green Park – Brooklyn, NY

Backyard ephemera.

Backyard – Cleveland, OH

Boys in a park playing lacrosse

Lakewood Park – Cleveland, OH

Rust belt tavern

Plank Road Tavern – Cleveland, OH

Thank you for reading.  I have been experimenting with a number of films on a few different cameras.  If you would like to see more of my work please feel free to check out my Flickr site here.

Marco Diaz

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Bernd
    September 1, 2020 at 10:28 am

    I’m a long time fan of the LC-A and that lens. your lovely pictures remind me to go though my archive again. But looking at that lens in front of a M6 is a bit like looking at a sheep in wolf’s clothing – if that makes sense…

  • Reply
    Ben Garcia
    September 1, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    I’ve always liked that Lomochrome Purple, too. The lens is surprisingly good, too (surprising to me since I’ve never owned an LCA). What iso did you develop these at? I’m guessing towards the lower end, 50-100?

    • Reply
      Marco Diaz
      September 1, 2020 at 6:12 pm

      Hello Ben. Close but I actually had it set to 200 ISO. The film recommends a range between 100 – 400 but so far I have shot 3 rolls all at 200. Maybe I will try 100 or 400 in the future.

  • Reply
    CJS
    September 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    What EI did you use? I’ve used the film too sparingly to make a definite determination, but I tend to lean towards EI 200; I recall it tends to be dark and mostly purple at 400.

    • Reply
      Marco Diaz
      September 1, 2020 at 6:10 pm

      Thank you CJS. The film comes with a recommended range of 100 – 400. I split the difference (sort of) and shot it at 200 so they wouldn’t be overly grainy. I would be curious to see how 400 looks. Maybe my next roll I will give it a shot.

  • Reply
    christos1973
    September 1, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    That camera / lens / film combo is by far the weirdest I’ve ever seen.

  • Reply
    Huss
    September 1, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Nice! I just used my Minitar on my Leica M7 with Lomo Babylon 13 film!
    The aperture tab stick thing long since fell off my lens, luckily the outside aperture ring is serrated so it is easy to adjust. Glad it wasn’t the focus tab/stick!
    My lens is sharp in the middle, all toy camera smeary to the edges. But if I wanted ‘perfect’ I would have just used a different lens!

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/bK1Y1v

    • Reply
      Marco Diaz
      September 2, 2020 at 4:10 am

      Nice! I haven’t tried Babylon 13 yet. But I did shoot a bunch of Fantome 8 very recently which I am very curious to see how it turns out.

  • Reply
    Ryan Poorman
    September 2, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    I thought I recognized Plank Road Tavern in that photo! I live in Lakewood, OH!

    • Reply
      Marco Diaz
      September 2, 2020 at 6:35 pm

      Hah, that’s great. We were at the Lakewood food trucks.

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