My new Holga is far too good. Help, help, help...

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by joe tarrant, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. Evenin', all.

    I'll get right to it. My new Holga isn't living down to its reputation. I think the designers
    have been at it. The film cavity and the cavity it's wound into have foam padding, which I
    assume is meant to hold film in place and eliminate the need for stuffing cardboard round
    the edges and hoping it'll work. I didn't need a chisel to change the slider from 16 to 12.
    There's a mask for 6x6 now: how am I supposed to get that scarred, lo-tech look? I tried
    an old exposed test roll and it wound through flawlessly. Twice. Nothing has fallen off.
    The instruction book has colour illustrations and it's well written. I've clicked the shutter
    maybe 50 times and it still works (famous last words, I know...). It's the super-duper
    model with the filters and other stuff and nothing was missing. Even the Holga pics book
    by that French guy was included.

    I read lots about this camera and I feel quite cheated. Where's the 1970s plastic charm?
    Where's that feeling of adventure? Where's that feeling of struggle with lousy communist
    rubbish? (Although my Praktica never had that either, so maybe I was silly to expect it).
    It... just... works... It's not fair. If it delivers focussed and properly exposed photos, I'm
    going to ask for a refund. I'm warning you all here and now: prepare to be disappointed.

    Help me, someone. Was I wrong to expect too little?
  2. Try the original 120S.
  3. Hmmm.... it seems to me that you need to make a HOLGA MOD... on your camera.

    A modification to return it to previous production standards...

    Great ! This contributes to the "magic" of this camera.

    Good luck and good fun.
  4. Joe,
    If your new Holga has a B shutter and really produces good pictures, I'd like to trade my mint Holga 120 SF with yours. It is the same as Holga 120S but with built-in flash and therefore more expensive. Without flash, it produces the same kind of image as my 120S.
    You can see the picture of the camera (120SF) in this thread:
    Email me if you are interested.
  5. it's a leveling process, all cameras will soon be alike.
    the new conmsumer azomms are much worse than the zooms of the 1950's ( and slower , too) p&s have f/5.6 lenses. eventually that will all meet in the middle and they will discontinue film entirely. The say SEE film doesn't work.
    only a few of us with yougoslavian film and pre 1970 cameras, with metal bodies and real glass lenses will know the true story.
  6. Second throught. It seems that you live in another side of the globe from me. The
    postal fee could be more expensive than the cameras. It is not worth it.

    My dream camera is a simple good Holga that can produce images as good as those
    form XA or mju-II.
  7. Ahem... My post was very tongue-in-cheek, guys. Not sure everybody got it.

    I'm quite happy with the camera. Just a bit surprised that my Holga seems so... well...
    solidly-built. No swaps on offer! But thanks for the comments. :)
  8. S. Liu,

    It's the 120CFN. You can buy one anywhere Holgas are sold.
  9. Yes, I saw it on Adorama site for $35. Unfortunately, it has a flash and I hate flash
    and battery ;-)

    BTW, I have too many (3!) Holgas already. I don't want to buy another one unless I can
    trade/sell my 120SF ;-)

    It is not about money, it is about space!
  10. Ah, I saw a 120N at B&H for $20. I might get one just for the bulb exposure.

    Still need to find a way to get rid off 120SF :-(
  11. Sorry you are dissapointed...I bought a Holga about 3 years ago and it truly is a piece-o-crap. It's great. Sometimes it is my favorite camera, and sometimes I can't be bothered...but it remains in the rotation. Maybe you should keep an eye out on eBay for a Diana. They don't get any worse than that.
  12. Joe

    You mean you don't even have to tape the two little holes inside the top of the film chamber to prevent light leaks? What about taping around the back? Boy, you need a 120S. Like NOW, man.
  13. Sample variation is soooooo frustrating.
  14. I bought one of the new ones a few weeks ago. I painted the inside flat black and velcro'd the back on. I was also impressed (or disapiointed) with how good of a picture it took. With the lens set to infinity, landscape pictues are almost totally in focus throughout the negative. But when set to the close focus, theres plenty of vignetting and blur on the edges. I took it to my own wedding two weeks ago and pulled it out on my bride as she walked down the isle. I now have a priceless black and white of my wife and father in law on our wedding day.
  15. Can I see some of the "too good" photos shot with 120N? I am really interested in a Holga that takes normal photos instead of "Holga look" photos.
  16. So, let's see it, John.
  17. Detail.
  18. Bake it.

    Set the oven to broil, make sure the lens is pointing up, and put it in there for 30-second bursts, until it's "just right".
  19. Here's the wedding shot of my wife and father-in-law.. I apologize for the horrible quality but I am scannerless. So I decided to take a shot of it with my digital in horrible lighting. The pic is much more detalied and not so yellow. I'll get it scanned later. John
  20. John, Nice shot.

    I am going to buy a 120N tomorrow ;-)
  21. Sam's pic proves once again that you can't beat a big negative.

    There is a number of Holga models. I have the 120CFN - the GTi of Holgas. It was an early
    birthday present. It came with a tripod socket, does normal or bulb, coloured flash (red,
    blue, yellow and normal) and a push-on filter holder for square filters. I assume they're a
    proprietary Holga size, but I don't know. The filters are orange, red, yellow and blue. You
    also get a set of soft surround filters in red, orange, blue and normal. Using colour flash is
    said to have the same effect as using coloured filters. I guess you could mix if you wanted
    to! Sam: the Holga works fine without batteries. They're just there for the flash. There's
    also a manual, with illustrations and Holga pics; a sheet of instructions (which contradicts
    the manual on the subject of which film is best); a wall poster; a softback book of Holga

    From my reading, I know there is also a Holga "Woca", which has a glass lens instead of
    plastic and which is said to do better quality pics. Or worse, depending on the look you're
    trying to achieve. I don't think Holga will ever produce a one-speed Rolleiflex, somehow.
    Although it would be fun...

    I'm about to go out with the camera for the first time. Wish me luck.
  22. Ummm, Sam? Not to be too obvious, but nothing prevents you from leaving the batteries out or the flash turned off if you get a Holga 120SF (or a CFN, for that matter). The only big gotcha with the 120SF compared to the original 120S is that you can't just leave the mask out (to get nice non-flat film) because it holds the batteries in place -- but if you don't load batteries, you probably could leave the mask out and get all the same charming crap...
  23. > I am really interested in a Holga that takes normal photos instead of "Holga look" photos.

    You need a Woca... The glass lens can be damn sharp and that's the only difference between a Holga and a Woca.
  24. Donald, I have three Holgas: 120S, 120SF and Pinholga (made by Randy at holgamods). I have used 120SF for a while ( see my subway photos.) But I prefer the weight and feel of 120S because besides the batteries, which I have to tape after removing the 645 mask, the flash on 120SF itself also adds a little weight.
    The problem with 120S (and WOCA I believe) is the lack of bulb shutter. That makes night photography difficult but not impossible.
    Contrary to most Holga photographers, I shoot Holga not because of its image quality or "Holga look" but the way I handle the camera itself. For example, in my latest work on Puerto Rican Day Parade, I could have used Rolleiflex but in such a chaotic environment, it is safer to have a Holga in my hand, film in my pocket and no camera bag. It provides low profile and mobility. What I lost is Rolleiflex quality.
  25. Right, you bought the OFFICIAL Holga kit. How much you paid for it? I got mine from a Hong Kong shop featured in e-bay for a third of what it cost in the UK (GBP 55), with all the faulty stuff in place, photocopied instructions manual included. Should you start modifying yours until the desired effects turn up? There is plenty of information on the Internet, just google it!
  26. Sam, you sound like a fine candidate for a quality folder. Smaller than a Holga (folded, it'll fit in the same pocket with the film), not much heavier, same eye-level viewfinder and similar ergonomics -- but lenses ranging from at least as good to vastly better, no light leaks (unless the bellows has holes), and overall smoother operation.

    I'd suggest starting with a Speedex Jr. You shouldn't pay as much as $10 for one; you can probably get one for $5 plus shipping if you keep an eye on eBay for a while. The shutter can be cleaned in 15 minutes if you know what you're doing, or under an hour if you're figuring it out as you go along (as I did on my first one); the bellows is likely to be in much better condition than most Agfa/Ansco 6x6 folders (for whatever reason, the Jr. has leather, while the others have some shiny synthetic that cracks and flakes), and it's almost as simple as a Holga -- fixed focus, I and T shutter (I is about 1/25), and f/11 to f/32, just right for ISO 200 in daylight (you'll overexpose one stop in full sun, but that's not a big deal with negative films), though certainly comfortable with 100. Does a fine job with color, despite uncoated, non-achromat double meniscus lens. Has tripod socket and cable release socket for night shots.

    The lens is a good bit better than the Holga, and anything more than about 8 feet away will be in within DOF even wide open. At f/32, it'll make images good enough to count the bricks in a chimney from half a block away, or support 8x12 prints from a 35 mm size crop. And did I mention this camera is probably $15 less than a new Holga? It looks older and cheaper even than a Holga. Nothing lost but the images still inside if someone steals it...
  27. Sam, I believe there's a Holga 120GN available. That's a 120N (thus including bulb setting) with a glass lens (hence the G in the name). Have not seen the picture quality myself, but I'm supposing it would be better than a plastic lens.

    Also, I figure you want to avoid 35mm rangefinders because of the smaller negatives... What about using a $10 dollar Lubitel or so, and instead of looking at the glass, just use the sports finder... makes for an extra challenge! ;)
  28. I have a $10 Kinaflex ;-)

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