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!)