Instead of a holga

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by christin_buehrer, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. I love the random and contrasty pictures I got with a holga I shot with (I borrowed it) last fall. But I have a hard time paying so much for a plastic camera. Is there another camera I could get that would capture the same images as the holga, without such a price? It would be a bonus if it shot 120 film or something easy enough to find. (I shoot in b&w)
    Thanks alot =D
  2. what is so much freestyle has them for $25.oo us plus shiping
  3. Old box cameras are nice - much nicer than Holgas!
    Perhaps a Kodak Brownie:
    Or a Zeiss Box Tengor:
    Or maybe an Agfa Clack:
    Then there's the Altissa Box D:
    And the stunningly beautiful Super Altissa:
  4. Don't know if they still make Diana cameras. I've got one of those, along with a couple of Brownies. The Diana took okay pics. Not bad for a plastic lens.
  5. The only thing that comes immediately to mind is the Agfa Clack, also known as the Weekender. Mind you, from your perspective, it's probably unsuitable in that it takes quite good pictures, rarely has light leaks, is plastic, and costs as much as if not more than a Holga.
    I guess my best recommendation would be to pick a budget - $5, $10, $15, or whatever - and patiently hunt on eBay for old Afga, Ansco, or Agfa-Ansco folders that are offered in "as-is" condition; preferably one with one unmarked shutter speed, two "apertures" (sunny and cloudy), and - if you're feeling especially bourgeois, a selectable yellow contrast/fog filter.
    Focusing, if there ever was any, won't work anymore; the plastic bellows will leak light like a sieve; film flatness probably won't be very good; the viewfinder, if any, will be squinty and horrible. You'll love it...
  6. You can always do it the other way. Find some horrible old film and use it in a decent camera. I've got a roll of the first Kodak 400 C-41 film, I remember being quite grainy and now that it's sat in a can for 20 years, it'd be perfectly seasoned for artistic effects.
  7. Mark: Ah, but decent cameras cost, well, more than Christin apparently wants to spend. And a whole world of "artistic" evils can be produced with cross-processing and grossly unsuitable filtration, but that requires money and planning, too, to say nothing of the decadence of a modern capitalist society (i.e. a photo lab.) :)
  8. I recommend something like a Rheinmetall Perfekta or a Beirette or other old East German cheapies. They show up irregularly on eBay.
  9. Try making a pinhole camera; it can cost practically nothing and there are plenty of sites out there giving instructions.
  10. Diana, and its variants (I believe they turned these out under as many names as cameras made) are regular junkshop/flea market/boot sale items, and usually cost about $1 US. They will all give you that mysterious Holgaesque look.
  11. Maybe you can pickup a used Holga.
  12. I guess it depends on where you are what a Diana costs. I see them come up for $20 sometimes, and people buy them. Go figure. I can get a Minolta Hi-Matic 7s or 9 for that, along with other good common cameras. The sad thing is there were so many cheapie junk plastic cameras in the '60s in the US that will give you the same results as a Holga, but they almost all used 620 film, and they're not all easy adapt to 120. I think Gene posted on the Savoy, one of the cameras I had as a kid. Such barrel distortion! Such lack of anything being in sharp focus! It'd be perfect.
  13. I second Robert's suggestion of a box camera. A Kodak No.2 Brownie model F is a nice one, and takes 120 film rather than the proprietary 620, so no respooling or looking for old 620 spools
    This model has three apertures, selectable by a pull-out lever. I couldn't find much on the f/numbers associated with it, so I measured the aperture diameters as accurately as I could, and by my reckoning, assuming a focal length of the meniscus of 105mm, the three f/ratios are f/15, f/19, and f/52. The shutter speed is anything you want to call it, with an obvious starting point of 1/25.

    A nice variation on the No.2 is the No. 2 Portrait. A little spring-loaded lever on the side swings out a supplementary lens in front of the meniscus, for closer focussing. It's not latched ; when you let it go, it swings back out of the way.

    Mine is shown in the attachment, which should display in-line. When I got it, the portrait lever was sticky and the suplementary lens almost white with gunge, but it cleaned up nicely.
    Also very nice to play with are the Zeiss Box Tengors. I know that Holgas have their devotees, but it's nice for these old boxes to get an outing now and again.
  14. Have a Brownie no. 2. It would make a good camera. I found out that those cameras need a slow film. Ilford Pan F would be great. I saw on Pnet, a page from a Kodak film book. It said that do not use Super-XX ,(which is a 100 speed film) in a simple box camera. So, I guess Plus-X and any other 100-125 speed film would be too fast.
  15. Jack,
    Times change. The amazing exposure latitude of any of today's good 400 ISO negative emulsions make these the film of choice for the old box cameras. With a shutter speed of 1/50 and an aperture of f11, a 400 ISO film will only be overexposed by four stops in bright summer sunlight (well within its performance range), and will still yield decent results down to two stops under (ie, shade, or heavy overcast).
    Also, once you've put one of these films through an old box camera you'll be less worried about minor exposure errors on any of the other cameras discussed on this forum.
  16. Thanks, Mark. From what I've seen in my box cameras, from the 120 to the 124 and 130 sizes. That my favorite film to use is actually the Ortho films. The pictures I took with the 100 and up films seem more flat than those taken with the Orthos. But, my favorite pan film is Ilford Pan F. But, this is a personal descision call for the individual. The oil print on my profile was taken with ortho film with a 124 box.
  17. Point taken, Jack. And I agree with you about Pan F.
    Love your images.
  18. Find a camera with a 3 element glass lens. Reverse the center element. Instant Holga with possibly better controls. Requires basic DIY camera repair skills.
  19. not to defend the Holga... but if you are going through a conventional source or ebay you will be hard pressed to beat the Holga... two apertures (possible), strap lugs, fast enough shutter and a focusing lens.
    It doesn't have strap lugs, but a Bella 66 would be a possibility.
    The Clacks are decent and kind of cool, but very slow shutter speed and not close focusing.
    Lubitels are fun... not exactly a Holga thing, but still fun and will vignette etc.
    Box cameras with a squinty little view finder are torture, even even if they are made by Zeiss.
    If you are willing to live with the lack of speeds and focus, the Baby Brownies are really cute, especially the original model with sports finder... well, then the field becomes wide open and there will be all kinds of cameras.
    I would just get the glass lens Holga or the Lubitel though...
  20. my vote goes to the 1950's agfa click and clack--of course the image quality is much higher than the holga but they're cheaper, older, easier to use and in my opinion hipper!

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