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bmac

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I'm currently in New York traveling on business. Today was a mess, pouring like crazy in the morning. I brought my nikon rig with me to take some quick snaps between meetings. Of course I dont want to bring it out in the rain with me.. so I went to the Center of Photography and caught their exhibit, lots of good work, lots of so so "art". After checing out the gallery, I went into the bookstore and there it was... A Holga! Just what the doctor ordered. As I left the gallery the rain was ending and I started shoting. It was a great change of pace, not having to worry about what lens to use, silly things like exposure, etc. I'm not sure I even want to process the film, the memories of taking the shots are too good. LOL!
 

Black Dog

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Yeah, know what you mean-a change can really revitalise you and then you go back and see differently with your regular stuff. Happy experimenting!
 

Sean

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Cool!

My 35mm plastic lens expirement is really making me look at things differently. To get the look I want, I have to compose everything from a distance, then on the print zoom inward to that composition (enhances the plastic lens look). I've always composed full frame and now am only using distant compositions taking up 1/4th of the frame. I agree, a change every now and then can recharge the visual batteries.
 

BobF

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Last month I saw a dozen or so Holga photos nicely framed, matted and hung in an entry hall. They were wonderful and I even went back a few weeks later to look again and am trying to contact the Photographer to see what he did different.

I think what he did was what Sean is suggesting, compose loose and use only the sweet spot (or on a Holga that could be semi-sweet) and crop out the bad distortions. The images seemed like 1800 lens work or maybe very well done pinhole.

His use of two solid themes and very good presentation also turned "cheap toy camera" shots into something special. Photographer was Kyle Masuga about whom I know almost nothing except he is a Denver photographer.
 
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With the holga I found 2 things really helped , Right behind the lense is a square frame I taped an orange filter their and once the film is loaded tape the hell out of the back! remember also your finger is the shutter speed. I used to take the holga every where and of the 100's of rolls of film I have 2 images I'm proud of. Course I was able to go back with a real camera and re-shoot the images that the holga inspired.... Have fun but don't expect the holga to follow any rules.
 

BobF

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[quote=" I used to take the holga every where and of the 100's of rolls of film I have 2 images I'm proud of...[/quote]

I know very little about Holgas, but if the success rate is that bad I am even more impressed with the images I saw.
 

Jim Chinn

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I love my two Holgas. To learn more and make some slight modifications to eliminate light leaks (unless you like that with a holga) and cut out the film insert to hold the film flat in sq format here is a good sight:

http://www.geocities.com/markhahn2000/holga_mods.html

I use Arista 400 and soup it in Rodinal. I have modified one holga with a larger aperature and recalculated depth of field for the new F-stop. I had a third that I had removed the spring and locked the shutter open for night shots but broke it.

Have fun.
 

lee

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I think Randy at www.holgamods.com can supply a ready to use Holga that has all those modifications. For a price of course. I use Velcro to hold the back to the main camera body and a piece over the little red window.

lee\c
 

Lex Jenkins

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I just got (and refurbed myself) an Agfa Isolette V folder, hoping for something of a Holga-like effect, 'cept with a better camera in a more portable package. Fits my cargo jeans pocket just fine.

I just hope the lens isn't too good. That was the problem with the Yashica 635 TLR I got last year - lens was too good.

With luck the Isolette's triplet Agnar will have some edge softness and falloff toward the wide apertures. I know it'll have some flare problems 'cause I had to remove the coating to get rid of the fungus/mold/mildew spots.

I'll keep y'all posted.
 

FrankB

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I must dig out my brother's old Lubitel 2 and have another go with it. If I can get it through my head that soft focussing and vignetting are not necessarily bad things, there may be hope for me yet!


('Course that's a pretty big "if"...!)


Regards,

Frank

...Power corrupts. Absolute power is even more fun!
 

David A. Goldfarb

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Mark produces some beautiful stuff with the Plungercam, but it's got to be the priciest toy camera out there--a $250 Rodenstock loupe attached to a Hassy (focal plane shutter) body with a rubber gasket. He's also done something involving a lot of duct tape and an Ebony 4x5".
 

Ailsa

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I'm with you on the whole Holga thing. The first time I used mine I couldn't wipe the grin off my face! The main problem with mine is that the film doesn't wind onto the spool evenly, resulting in fogging, so I have to carry a changing bag around with me and unload the film into it, then keep it in there until I'm able to load it onto the dev spiral. Bit fiddly, but worth it for the fun element.
 

Lex Jenkins

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I'd already been doing something similar to Mark Tucker's work with the Plungercam years ago and didn't realize I was an artist.

I found a Spiratone Portragon 100/4 fixed aperture, single element lens, very primitive with heavy spherical aberration. The concept is identical to the Plungercam, except it's ready made with a focusable helical.

Great effect for the right kinds of images. You can get the same effect by mounting a close up diopter onto a macro bellows, which enables focusing to infinity.

Spiratone advertised it as an option for soft focus portraiture but I prefer it for still lifes and landscapes.

The buckets photo in my personal folder ("Study in Gray") was taken with the Portragon.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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The plungercam allows for tilts and swings, which a focusing helical doesn't.
 

Cheryl Jacobs

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I haven't shot with my Holga in awhile, but I did grab a disposable B&W camera at a drugstore during a recent biz trip to Phoenix. They don't get stormy weather all that often there, and I caught the tail end of it, with no camera in sight. I was surprised with the shot I just posted in the non-gallery section. It was printed straight and basically uncropped -- just had to bump up the contrast.
 

Lex Jenkins

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I've been fooling around with what amounts to a variation on the Plungercam theme using an old Wollensack enlarging lens in a black plastic bag (from 5x7 paper), with a T-mount adapter. I handhold the lens to get the desired effect. More practical for closeups than normal distances.

All I lack is the artistry. Anybody know where I can get some?
 

FrankB

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Lex Jenkins said:
All I lack is the artistry. Anybody know where I can get some?

Back of the line, there! My need is greater than yours! :smile:
 
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bmac

bmac

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I processed the film last night, the negs look great, all but 1 shot are in focus (enough for a holga) and I'll try printing some of them this weekend, who knows maybe this will be the one roll in a holga in New York portfolio... lol
 

Mark Layne

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A good camera for fuzzy wuzzies is a folding Kodak VP 127 with a meniscus lens. They are also around in 120 size.

Agfa Isolettes and Zeiss Nettars with Novar and Agnar triplets may be just a little too good even wide open

Mark
 

Huss

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I processed the film last night, the negs look great, all but 1 shot are in focus (enough for a holga) and I'll try printing some of them this weekend, who knows maybe this will be the one roll in a holga in New York portfolio... lol

Ok, it's been 16 years. We've waited long enough. How did the prints look?
 

ozmoose

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Ok, it's been 16 years. We've waited long enough. How did the prints look?

Correction. Sixteen years. Don't jump the calendar too far, please. At my age, four years is a small lifetime.

I want to see the prints too, so come on, bmac! We know you are still a member...

A good camera for fuzzy wuzzies is a folding Kodak VP 127 with a meniscus lens. They are also around in 120 size.

Agfa Isolettes and Zeiss Nettars with Novar and Agnar triplets may be just a little too good even wide open. Mark

Yes. First, the obligatory disclaimer. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Holgas. First year university babydolls and cashed up scions of rich families adore them (and sometimes even use them, when they aren't busy eating all those smashed avocados on toast and going on holidays to do tabletop dancing in Phuket, and yes, they all have iphones for their serious photography), if they have lots of disposable dosh and live in a big city where a limited range of 120 film is still available in those scant few retail photo shops left standing. Or buckets spare cash to order online.

And a few (not many) serious photographers who are doing some excellent work with them. I think that about covers everyone.

I say all this partly tongue in cheek and entirely Without Prejudice. This to keep my head firmly fixed on my shoulders.

I've tried Lomos, Holgas and a few other obscure brands. As a sharp image fanatic I decided they weren't worth the bother. For me anyway. YMMD.

My favorite Holga-clone (or is maybe the other way around?) is a 1952 Voigtlander Perkeo I folder. Alas, this beautiful and simple piece of German engineering fails the Holga test in a big way. With a Color Skopar 80/3.5 lens the images are too sharp. Every roll of 120 film I shoot gives me 12 small engravings. I have to throw the enlarger slightly off-focus to get that pleasant blurry crappy-cheap camera look. Most annoying!

Nobody looks when I shoot with my Nikon D700 or even that antique, the D90. Everyone stares when I take out my Perkeo, open the front panel and snap away, especially after metering the scenery with a pristine Weston Master III meter. I enjoy the stares, as I like all the Over The Hill Generation became invisible to 95% of the population at age 40.

I paid A$95 for the Perkeo a few years ago, far cheaper than a new Holga even if on Australian Ebay many are trying to give theirs away for anything they can get. One sold last week for A$6 and most seem to go for A$20-$30.

Also consider the Zeiss Nettar 6x6 (I have two) or any of dozens of early 1950s German folding cameras. Or a prewar Kodak Brownie 120, ideally the cardboardy one Eastman sold in the UK in the late 1930s. Make sure it takes 120 roll film and not some obscure format like 620, 616 or 116.

I could stick my neck out even further and say get a Rolleiflex or a Rolleicord and shoot on the street with it. But I prefer to stop here and now. Say no more.

Holga afficionados should man up and post some images or links to their Flickr or other account where they can be seen. Proof of the pudding sort of thing. Sharp or not, I enjoy clicking on Flickr links to see what surprises (almost always pleasant) pop up. So please indulge us.

Remember, the true fun is in the shooting, not the camera name. (Did I say that? Oho!)
 
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awty

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jim10219

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My David White Stereo Realist is my "shooting for the sake of shooting" camera. I meter the light with either sunny 16 or my phone, set the aperture to as small as I can get away with (depending on available light), set the speed to properly expose the film (slide film doesn't have a wide latitude), and set the hyperfocal distance to whatever the aperture is. Then I just snap away and don't worry about anything until the light changes. The tiny 3D negatives (technically positives) aren't worth the hassle of printing and rarely get viewed by anyone but me. But they're still fun to view, even if the photos are terrible! I love taking it with me for vacations! Reviewing the photos really takes you back to those places and times in a way standard photos just can't.
 

Theo Sulphate

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I love those photos, Paul. Haunting and dreamlike - a bit spooky! I especially like the birds, tree, and moon (or is it the sun?) - anyway, I love it.
 
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