_Cheap_ plastic camera for 6x6 - recommendations?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by rondal, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I'd like to buy a cheap plastic camera (ideally with a plastic lens,
    too, complete with all of its distortions and other quirks) for
    shooting 6x6 on 120 film. New or used; I don't care. The keyword here
    is CHEAP. Originally I considered the Holga N, but it appears as
    though a creepy, Lomo-esque cult following has developed around this
    camera and I can't find any under $15 / 15 Euros (not including the
    expensive shipping fees, since all sellers appear to be from Hong Kong).

    This should really be the type of camera I can take hiking, or to the
    local swimming pool, and not care if it breaks or gets stolen by some
    poor jerk who thinks he just swiped a Hassy. The cheaper the better. I
    don't need tripod mounts, interchangable lenses, the ability to shoot
    different formats, or any of that jazz. It _would_ be nice if the
    thing was relatively light-tight, of if it was fairly easy to make it so.

  2. Are you in the US? If so, check out BH. There's a link on the main photo.net page. Holga S for $16.95.
  3. I believe Adorama still sells the Holgas, and then there is always the Seagulls, Chinese made TLR's which are the lower end of REAL 6x6 cameras which cost you ~$100, used or slightly more, new.
  4. Ljubitel TLR might work for you. They are about $20 on eBay. I think the shutter runs from 1/15 to 1/250, aperture 3.5-22. Focusing is little wacky, but you can get used to it. I have Ljubitel 2 and it makes neat pictures. The light falloff towards the corners/edges is significant and so is the loos of sharpness, but it kinda adds to unique feeling of the picture.
  5. Oh, just Holga. Creepy, cheap, call it what you want, there is no substitute.
  6. To clarify: I live in Europe, and at the very most I would be willing to pay $20 (or 20 Euros) already including shipping. So BH and Seagull seem to be out of the question. Thanks.
  7. The Holga is clearly the answer. Why you are quibbling over a few euros is beyond me, especially relative to the cost of the film (over time).
  8. Rob - it's a matter of principle! This isn't going to be my main camera or anything. With shipping and taxes from Hong Kong, the Holga comes to about 30 Euros. This is essentially a $5 camera, and I want to keep it that way - cult following or not.
  9. I'd probably look for a yard sale or something similar and find a cheapie box camera from the 1960s. Plenty of those around.
  10. A folder camera might be in order, but the lens might be too good for your needs ;)

    Also, sometimes if you look you can get a russian TLR for under $20 US, and i know they are popular in the UK. Lubitel is the name. Diana's<sp> are also similer to Holga fame....
  11. About the Lubitel suggestion: The TLRs tend to have good lenses (comparatively speaking, not Xenar/planar/tessar class, but adequate), but cheap plastic bodies. Therefore, you get reasonably sharp shots, but a fair amount of light leakage, which I couldn't fix with masking tape on mine. It may be that others are light-tighter, as USSR source cameras tend to be very variable.
  12. Ronnie,

    Check out makinghappy.com, it's another quirky plastic
    camera website. However, under the archive heading, photos
    are listed by camera type. You could see what your results
    might be with the various types.
  13. Masking tape doesn't do much to block light. Electrical tape would be the better choice. Seems to be a favorite for keeping plastic P&S cameras together.
  14. On Ebay you can get an Ansco Shur Shot box camera that takes 6x9 pictures for less than $10. Some even have sync terminals, though you'd have to make the sync cord. No focus, no shutter speed, no aperture! Just make sure you use 400 speed film. I have two of these critters, they're pretty cool.
  15. You can get an Ansco Rediflex for about 2.00. The Kodak Duaflex was made for U.S. and European markets. Usually about 7.50. Both light tight.
  16. I suggest searching flea markets and thrift shops for "junk" cameras. There were a lot of plastic roll-film cameras discarded a few years ago, though I think the supply is drying up now. Most of them have gone into landfill. There still should be some around and your budget limit of 15 euros should not be threatened.
    Your money would probably buy a Lubitel but this doesn't exactly fit the parameters. Though it's definitely cheap, obviously plastic, and has its fair share of quirks, it also has pretensions, like variable aperture and shutter speed, and some kind of focusing mechanism (though I never got mine to focus on anything).
  17. Yard sales, Garage sales and Flea markets (boot sales in the UK?)are definitely the way to go. You can usually find something that takes up space in a family closet, that would be ideal for your wants. I know you said you wanted it to be junk, but I have found some VERY sophisticated cameras for a few dollars at flea markets here in the states.
  18. Here's another vote for the thrift stores & flea markets. I picked up a Nikon FM w/50/1.8 lens for $14.50. After I unstuck the shutter, it's fine. Just needs light seals. Got a clean Diana for $3, too. There's bound to be a thrift store or two somewhere near you.
  19. hehe---I have a Lubitel, Seagull and Woca (the upscale Holga) but my fav is still my the ubiquitous Holga for everyday mf stuff..My local lab quite often doesn't even charge me because "it didn't come out" (lol)..B and H is still the best source..(Maybe you should also consider the 8x11 Minox for the ultimate challenge)..very funny thread

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