Say goodbye to Holga

Discussion in 'Extreme, Retro, Instant and More' started by henryp, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. I have been using Holgas and others for years. I think that it is a sign of the times but I have what I call my 4 lens kit with it. The truth is availability of 120 film in local areas had much to do with it as the fact that there are just so many people that won't process 120 these days. I am lucky that I can process my own films be they color or B&W at home. The casual shooter of film won't do what I do to keep film alive. I have many "Toy cameras" so the death is no surprise to me as it may be that we can't count on the children.
    Many though still out there and in production or maybe not.
    This is one of my favorites and I have modded them.
  2. There are sooo many old 120 and 35mm cameras out there, and for less than Holgas were selling for.
    I have a Kodak No. 1 that I bought last year, probably for less than a new Holga. I don't know how the lens or light leaks compare to Holga. For 120 film, manual focus, and no light meter, I would rather have the No. 1.
    I have never tried to teach a photography class. It is an interesting idea to have the same camera for every student. Did they offer them in quantity discount?
    Seems to me that a 35mm Diana is about as good a choice for a class, though. Easier to buy film and get it developed. Even better, students can do it themselves.
    There are a lot of older 35mm cameras out there, if you want a film camera. Some even with unreliable shutters. You could even put a Holga lens on some of them!
    Old toys are expensive, as they often weren't seen as valuable enough to save. But people keep old cameras, usually believing that they are more valuable than they actually are. The roll film cameras from the 1930's, the SLRs from the 1960's and 1970's, all out there for very low prices.
  3. Like many photogs my age, I did my requisite stint with a Holga to try and get that Toy Camera look into appropriate subject matter. The cheap plastic lens, really did the trick for a cool look but one had to tape the camera up like a mummy so it wouldn't leak light. And then it would still leak light. I know, I know, that was part of its serendipitous "artsy" charm. Poppycock! It ruined more of my pictures than I cared to remember. My old Ansco Panda was a better tool that this over priced junk. Lucky today you can buy a Holga lens, pinholes and filters to fit most major DSLR's.
    So, it's not really a goodbye to the Holga as much as a goodbye to the frustration of using film in a non-light tight body. I can always add random light leak artifacts in post if I really missed them. I don't. So goodbye Holga, and don't let the film door hit you on the way out.
  4. AJG


    The Holga was never my esthetic choice, but I'm sorry to see any currently available film cameras go away.
  5. It is a shame that Holga never went for a digital camera with a square sensor. That would have caught my eye. Quite frankly, with all of the older quality film cameras around, why spend for a cheap plastic camera. Was Holga championed for lens quality? No. Their special edition models could be decoratively attractive but too highly priced for what they could create photographically.
  6. Mathew. Is this close enough?
  7. Yes sad to see it go, but they were way overpriced.
    You can get a nice Canon FD mount camera, with a nice lens, for $10.
    I don't see why a Holga should cost so much more.
    If you want a fixed focus plastic lens, there are plenty of those on the used market, too.
  8. Larry, that Digital Diana looks to suck the big one with only 2 megapixels. I still shoot with my Canon 10D converted to IR and get good results with 6.3 Megapixels. I tried recently to get some night shots with my Canon 300D but found them fairly bad. Sensor technology has advanced a lot since 2004.
    What I would like to see is at lease a 24 megapixel square sensor in a camera. At least I could take advantage of all of the usable lens real estate with it. It has to have a Canon EF mount too. I know, I am picky !

  9. Sell for that sir you need a Hasselblad back. I thought we were talking toy cameras. ;)
  10. I never did buy a Holga. I am going to skip the new Holga also.
  11. Surely someone can make a PS action or a phone app that imitates a crappy plastic lens and light leaks?
  12. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher

    Already been done in Instagram, and many other stupidphone camera apps and social site filters, and available as part of the Nik Collection choices for manipulation.

    But think a moment--the Holga or the Diana are a 'feng shui' sort of thing. The whole lomography shtick... :cool:
  13. I never understood the attraction of the "new" crappy cameras when so many old ones are for sale on eBay.
    I know,
    I collect (among other things) old East German cameras.

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
  14. PapaTango

    PapaTango Itinerant Philosopher


    THAT is one ugly chunk of bakelite... :eek:
  15. It seems that there is now a Holga Digital, with the same (low) quality lens as the original.
  16. My last Rolleiflex cost about as much as 3 Holgas.

    The Tessar type lens is not up to even 1970s standards for quality, but it's still pretty darn good and looks really good around f/8. Even wide open, it's not bad if you ignore some loss of sharpness in the corners. About the only thing it doesn't handle that gracefully is high contrast situations, where it ends to lose a decent bit of contrast and resolution as a result.

    It's 70 years old, is still light tight, and works perfectly.

    BTW, I've never quite understood the thing about medium format being difficult to find or process. If you're fortunate to have a decent camera store nearby, they probably stock at least SOME emulsions. My local carries most of the Kodak and Ilford emulsions available in 120, and if you're serious about film do yourself a favor and order from one of the two big New York stores or from Freestyle. These three places sell enough film that you'll most likely get fresher film than you'll find at your local shop.

    As for processing-each B&W film is unique enough that I can't imagine sending it to a commercial lab that's going to run everything in D76 for 7 minutes or whatever other developer they're using. Aside from the difference in films, different developers, dilutions, and agitations are all going to change the character of the negative.

    If you don't want to do color yourself, it's really not that hard. I have a local lab that will do C-41 for $4.50(no prints) and E6 for $10.50, both on-site. Unless there's one drug store that's holding out, I think they're the only lab that develops film on-site in town. Failing that, drop it in the send off box at Wal-Mart and you'll get it back in a week or two at a pretty reasonable price(I think $6-7 for E6). It's not much different from sending off 35mm, except for the fact that it takes a bit longer since Wal-Mart sends all the "special" stuff to Dwayne's photo.

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