Focusing Holga & getting "sharp" images

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radiant

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Oh the Holga focusing ring icons!

I was playing around with focusing glass on my Holga and I found out that the photo seems to be pretty much always as focused as it can when:
- focus ring is set to infinity
- distance is more than 2-3 meters

My camera is sharp from 1 meter to some meters at the shortest distance focusing setting.

So my new rule would be: if it is very close, use the shortest distance focusing setting, otherwise use the "scenery" focus setting. Anyone else with this experience?

The other thing: I'm pretty sure my photos are blurry because of tiny camera shake when taking the picture. 1/125 (or 1/100 or god knows how much, really) seems to be quite fast for 90mm for handheld shooting but I'm starting to believe I should always use tripod. Holga is so light and the shutter button is not the best one (stiff, finger can "drag" on the camera body) so I think that is the problem.

Do you share any of these experiences?
 

Valerie

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I own a couple of Holgas, and have several more at school for students. It’s my experience that each is slightly (or greatly!) different. What may be true for one is not for the next. My advice to students is to get to know that particular camera and it’s quirks. A few I’ve used are surprisingly sharp. Another is blurry no matter what we do.
 

Dali

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Holga is no different from any other camera in this matter.

A f/8 60mm lens is quite forgiving and the icons focusing system makes sense.
 
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radiant

radiant

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Embrace the mush - "sharp" and Holga are normally oxymorons, kind of like jumbo shrimp and military intelligence. There's a major serendipity factor with Holgas, and as Valerie suggested, get to know the weirdness of yours and use it for its strengths, or just get another one if it lacks them.

You both are absolutely right. Holgas are personalities and I need to learn more about my unit.

Funny thing is that I purchased second year two ago and it had broken shutter; only bulb worked. It also light leaked like crazy. One day I got idea to use Holga lens in enlarger and I dissasembled the faulty one. I didn't like it in enlarger as it produced too good prints. I mean it has some blurriness but in general the prints were sharp and too normal. Now I realized maybe the lens itself in that unit is pretty good.

And no - I'm not looking for normal sharpness in my Holga.

Some of my weekends shots here: http://blog.vedostuu.fi/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/holga_strip.jpg (I added some "toning" to have a print feeling) - now looking at those after long walk maybe the blurriness isn't that bad. But I would still consider using tripod..
 

momus

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My Holgas were only sharp in the center. That's how it is. Then there's the light leaks, mysterious shutter speed, and a few more things. I was happy that I got any image when I owned them.
 
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radiant

radiant

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My Holgas were only sharp in the center. That's how it is. Then there's the light leaks, mysterious shutter speed, and a few more things. I was happy that I got any image when I owned them.
Yes, that's the way it is. At the best it is sharp from the center.
 

ciniframe

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I believe that lens will really only cover 4x4 without excessive fall off. At any rate I enjoyed your album.
 

ciniframe

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Yep, and, the original Diana and clones were 4x4. One advantage of 4x4 is that you have 16 exposures per roll. With the prices climbing on all film that might be appreciated. I believe the Holga still comes with a 6x4.5 mask, you should be able to get 15 or 16 exposures with that.
 
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