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Roger Hicks
10-18-2010, 06:52
It's probably one of those questions which, if you need to ask, you will never understand the answer. But I'd be grateful for serious attempts at an answer, rather than just put-downs, attacks on Leicas, etc.

Over the decades I've owned quite a lot of very basic cameras, including (in the 70s) a Diana. I still have a Box Brownie 620 that my father bought in the 40s. I don't think I'll ever forgive Kodak for 620, incidentally.

You can take rotten pictures with any camera. The less versatile the camera, the harder it is to get good pictures.Otherwise, fairly obviously, there would be no market for cameras with focusing lenses, variable shutter speeds, controllable apertures, interchangeable lenses, etc. Is that the appeal? Getting a good picture after limiting yourself drastically? Or what?

I can sort of see the appeal of something as cheap and simple as a Lubitel. Anything much more basic leaves me cold, as a usable camera. That's fine: we all have diferent preferences. But if you are attracted to really basic cameras, what's the appeal of a Holga over any other rock-bottom 120 camera out of a thrift store/charity shop/car boot sale/swap meet/yard sale/vide grenier/whatever?

Come to think of it, likewise (or possibly even more so) Lomography instead of a $5 (or even free) point and shoot?

Cheers,

R.

Carlos M
10-18-2010, 07:02
Again?

I replied to your "other" thread: Because it's FUN!

MatthewThompson
10-18-2010, 07:11
I don't see the appeal. I've completely redone a couple Brownie Hawkeyes and beyond the appeal of saving something that would have gone in the trash and bringing it back to new condition, I never used them save for a test roll to make sure I didn't screw up the mechanism. I'm far from a gear snob, but they all seem a complete waste of time. In my opinion Lomography is just another great business plan to separate people from their money.

I have my FUN! with something capable of paying back my reasonable investment with excellent results.

sig
10-18-2010, 07:14
They are even simpler than mechanical cameras, and according to a lot of people using simple cameras makes them more like real photographers (e.g. why a lot of people on rff uses mechanical rangefinders and never uses their DSLR)

And it is a bit liberating to shoot with them, no worries about settings just shoot and hope it is close enough. I have 1 Holga and I bought it because it says 'mjau' (or whatever a cat say in English)

As for the Lomo I have no idea. The price difference between 5 and 400 dollars is big in percentage, but in dollar value it is not so much so maybe that is the reason?

JayGannon
10-18-2010, 07:14
Well it started off as people having a laugh with it, but its no bought into as a counter culture of look how bad my photos are.. something that I don't think photographers understand but people who are not actually into photography seem to get more than we do. I dont think someone who is into photography would ever get into the 'look how bad this is' side of Lomography. But using a taped up holga for a certain look in a photo I can understand.

Carlos M
10-18-2010, 07:20
Lomography is just another great business plan to separate people from their money.


I don't know of any camera company who aren't in it for the profit.

Do you know of any charitable camera manufacturers? :rolleyes:

will-i_am
10-18-2010, 07:21
yeah i dont really get it either and i do own a holga which gets no use anymore i guess it was a bit of a faddish thing for me.

but at least it sells film.

damien.murphy
10-18-2010, 07:31
I never got on with my holga, promptly selling it, but I can see Lomo cameras being quite a tonic - all you have to worry about is composing the image.

Writers get writer-block, so when photographers get photo-block, why not leave the more capable cameras at home and bring the holga for a walk.

Serendipity has its place in photography, just like anywhere else..

Gazzah
10-18-2010, 07:34
I have an old Lomo TLR that gets an outing about once per year.
Using it is like a pessimists view on the world - expect the worst possible outcome and you will be pleasently surprised with what actually happens!

MatthewThompson
10-18-2010, 07:34
I don't know of any camera company who aren't in it for the profit.

Do you know of any charitable camera manufacturers? :rolleyes:

Yes, but most camera manufacturers are into doing other things, like starting you with a technically decent image to apply your skills and artistic license to.

unixrevolution
10-18-2010, 07:46
I, personally, don't get the Holga thing, except that I do like the end result image that it's little plastic lens makes. That said, I don't think it's worth putting up with the rest of the camera.

I like using super-basic cameras, because I feel like a genius when I use sub-par equipment to take good photographs. It's fun. And using the older cameras lets me know what it was like to take pictures 30, 40, 50 years ago. Not just for the lucky soul who got to use my TLR or my 6x9, but for the "everyman" who bought his brownie hawkeye or duaflex to take on family vacation.

wgerrard
10-18-2010, 07:54
...cameras with focusing lenses, variable shutter speeds, controllable apertures, interchangeable lenses, etc. Is that the appeal? Getting a good picture after limiting yourself drastically? Or what?


Roger, if you're thinking about experienced photographers, I have to take at face value the comments by folks who say they enjoy the simplicity, the liberation, etc. (Although I'm not sure about that "liberation" bit, because that suggests focusing, setting aperture and shutter speed, etc., are somehow oppressive. In any case, the same liberation can be achieved by using a fully capable camera in automatic mode.)

A considerable number of people know next to nothing about cameras and don't want to know. They want to point and shoot, whether that's with an expensive digital, a cheap film camera, or something like a Holga.

It's my impression, though, that Holga and Lomography market specifically to folks who are attracted by film's coolness factor, i.e., the retro bit. The quirkiness and the deliberate flaws are part of the appeal, maybe because film itself is seen as quirky and flawed. Different expectations, then.

It doesn't appeal to me, though. If I wanted quirkiness and flaws, if I wanted to be surprised by what the camera might do, the world is full of old, dirt cheap half-broken film cameras.

zumbido
10-18-2010, 07:58
Again?

I replied to your "other" thread: Because it's FUN!

That's a non-answer. You can have fun with any camera. I have fun with a free Argus brick. I have fun with a homemade pinhole camera. Roger's clearly-stated question was: what is specifically "fun" about a Holga that *is different from other primitive/cheap/toy cameras*? Why Holga instead of a box camera?

Muggins
10-18-2010, 08:04
I agree with a lot of unixrevolution's point - I find much the same things. I also found that it meant that I only had one thing to concentrate on, which was that little thumbnail-sized piece of glass, meaning that all I thought about was what I could see. Bizarrely, it marked for me the end of just being a snapshooter, and the beginning of trying to do better than that, because of the change in the way I applied my skills.

In terms of bang-per-buck, a £5 box camera has it all for me, especially if I develop my own and (one day...) print them as well. All hands-on stuff, which is what I like. Plus, the reactions from people are good - no-one is aggressive, and people are curious, and many of them are really pleased to see "one like my Mum's" still being used. Yes, I like being spotted... sad, I know. And a £5 camera over a £200 Lubitel... no contest, though I'd try a Lubitel at £5.

Would I recommend it to everyone? No. But I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who fancied trying something a bit different, even only to see why cameras evolved. After all, box cameras roamed the photographic world from the nineteenth century right through to about 1960, so they must have had some merits (OK, some of those merits can be quite hard to find!). Roger, I've got a No 0 Brownie you can have, I'll even throw a roll of 127 in for you! :D

Adrian
(mind you, that does mean that I'm missing the point entirely, if the two posters above me are right :o)

Spider67
10-18-2010, 08:09
I remember that I felt a bit ofa shock wehen I met a guy with a taped Holga who said "That's my first real camera!".
The only thing I don't like about the Lomography business are the premium prices they want for basic cameras like Fed 5's, Holgas or Lomos (Which can be found for decent prices elsewhere).
Otherwise shooting with a Holga as recreation reminds me of people who go hunting with spears (becaus even bows are high teck nowadays)

breathstealer
10-18-2010, 08:23
I made the first reply in the other thread and never saw what happened next, but I'm guessing that it went somewhat off the rails kinda like this discussion is now.

Merits of the Holga aside, people buy it because it's what they know. One of us young people sees pretty pictures that his friend took, asks his friend "what camera did you use", and gets pointed to the Holga. Then he buys it as his first film camera, not knowing anything about alternatives. It helps that Holgas are readily available new not only online, but in big chain bookstores and shopping malls all around the world. Someone who doesn't own a camera isn't going to research Cameraquest and trawl flea markets for a camera when he can just take a new box off the shelf.

edit: hmm, somewhat beaten by the above post. But I'm not talking about 20-30 somethings, more like 15-20 somethings.

kevin m
10-18-2010, 08:24
Perhaps Holga-lomo owners and Aspherical-Uberlux owners are playing the same game, just at different ends of the food chain? :confused: :D

hipsterdufus
10-18-2010, 08:30
Isn't photography about capturing light? All cameras, by their very nature, must do this. So, if the photographer behind the Holga has a great eye for light (followed by composition, colors, etc.), the picture taken with the Holga could be mind-blowing. The same photographer could take a mind-blowing picture with a Leica as well. Photographers (particularly male photographers) fetishize gear way too much; photography is not about gear, it's about light.

Roger Hicks
10-18-2010, 08:35
Thanks to everyone who genuinely tried to answer the question -- indeed, who tok the trouble to read it before aswering -- and I'm looking forward to more replies. A few points: Jay's analysis must be important in many cases; I can see how Damien's argument about "writers' block" might work for some people, but I am sure it would have the opposite for some others (including me), so it's a matter of temperament; the point made by unixrevolution (seeing how things used to be) is perhaps the one I understand best of all, along with Bill's point about 'cool', though I can personaly relate to the former far more than the latter; Adrian's £200 Lubitel wasn't even something I'd thought about: one of my Lubitels was free and the other cost me £3, the bottom end price range at car boot sales and the like, but all I'd care to pay (and thanks for the offer of the 127 Brownie); and Spider's analogy with spear-hunting must be exact in many cases.

Finally, I'd like to thank Carlos. The 'other' thread to which he referred was simply a picture of a very pretty Ultra Fex, asking why anyone would buy a Holga instead of that. Several people made perfectly reasonable arguments (not least that it takes 620 not 120) but I hadn't realized I'd offend the Holga crowd quite so much, which was why I deleted the thread. Without Carlos's somewhat abrupt answers, I might not have thought of this thread, the responses to which I find quite interesting.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-18-2010, 08:40
I made the first reply in the other thread and never saw what happened next, but I'm guessing that it went somewhat off the rails kinda like this discussion is now.

Merits of the Holga aside, people buy it because it's what they know. One of us young people sees pretty pictures that his friend took, asks his friend "what camera did you use", and gets pointed to the Holga. Then he buys it as his first film camera, not knowing anything about alternatives. It helps that Holgas are readily available new not only online, but in big chain bookstores and shopping malls all around the world. Someone who doesn't own a camera isn't going to research Cameraquest and trawl flea markets for a camera when he can just take a new box off the shelf.

edit: hmm, somewhat beaten by the above post. But I'm not talking about 20-30 somethings, more like 15-20 somethings.

And, indeed, your thoughtful rely to the other thread was one of the reasons I asked the question. Thanks for taking the time and effort to reply again: I am sure you are right.

Cheers,

R.

shadowfox
10-18-2010, 08:41
Holga sells because of marketing hype and most importantly...

people who would pay for it *do not know* that there are thousands of similarly built and equipped 120 cameras still available for much less cost.

For example:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2719/4129488278_d8dc5b0818.jpg
* I'm planning to bring this guy to a Holga meeting someday :)

To put it simply, people like to be spoon-fed rather than looking for them.

But in the big picture, that is okay because it provides a taste of film photography for those who may never get a chance otherwise.

MatthewThompson
10-18-2010, 08:42
Perhaps Holga-lomo owners and Aspherical-Uberlux owners are playing the same game, just at different ends of the food chain? :confused: :D

Absolutely.

kevin m
10-18-2010, 08:50
Absolutely.

Obviously, right? We're all guilty of this to some degree. It's only "bad" when you lose sight of why you picked up a camera to begin with....

filmtwit
10-18-2010, 08:55
Some times art is actually more creative when the artist limits their pallet. So a basic camera is essentially that, it places limits, but it also allows the artist to still create.

Carlos M
10-18-2010, 08:58
Finally, I'd like to thank Carlos... Without Carlos's somewhat abrupt answers, I might not have thought of this thread, the responses to which I find quite interesting.

Cheers,

R.

Dear Roger,
I'm sorry if my "FUN" appeared abrupt to you. (You are not alone. zumbido is having trouble with the same concept).

That's a non-answer. You can have fun with any camera. I have fun with a free Argus brick. I have fun with a homemade pinhole camera. Roger's clearly-stated question was: what is specifically "fun" about a Holga that *is different from other primitive/cheap/toy cameras*?

Roger's question did not seem clearly stated to me.
It seemed more like a "Why would anybody bother with anything other than technical superiority in a camera?".




BTW. I'm in the 60 - 70 demographic.



.

zumbido
10-18-2010, 09:02
Dear Roger,
I'm sorry if my "FUN" appeared abrupt to you. (You are not alone. zumbido is having trouble with the same concept).

Take a look at my sig. Note the url. I like fun in my photography, not technical exactitude. Ad-hominems only help your argument when they're right. ;)

Roger's question did not seem clearly stated to me.
It seemed more like a "Why would anybody bother with anything other than technical superiority in a camera?".

Really nothing to say to that, because he explicitly stated that his question was "why holga and not a box camera?" Shrug.

fuzk
10-18-2010, 09:05
A considerable number of people know next to nothing about cameras and don't want to know. They want to point and shoot, whether that's with an expensive digital, a cheap film camera, or something like a Holga.

It's my impression, though, that Holga and Lomography market specifically to folks who are attracted by film's coolness factor, i.e., the retro bit. The quirkiness and the deliberate flaws are part of the appeal, maybe because film itself is seen as quirky and flawed. Different expectations, then.


Indeed, as an owner of a Holga, This was what I wanted when I first bought the camera - the coolness factor. It was something different, retro, and yes, it looked fun.

I agree with a lot of unixrevolution's point - I find much the same things. I also found that it meant that I only had one thing to concentrate on, which was that little thumbnail-sized piece of glass, meaning that all I thought about was what I could see. Bizarrely, it marked for me the end of just being a snapshooter, and the beginning of trying to do better than that, because of the change in the way I applied my skills.


Like Muggins, it marked the end of simply "Don't think, just shoot" (something Lomography preaches), and nudged me into moving on to something that actually allowed me to do what I wanted instead of the other way round.

It helps that Holgas are readily available new not only online, but in big chain bookstores and shopping malls all around the world. Someone who doesn't own a camera isn't going to research Cameraquest and trawl flea markets for a camera when he can just take a new box off the shelf.


I also agree with breathstealer, when I first bought my Holga, I really had no idea about cameras and such. I didn't even know RFs existed.

To answer your question Roger, I guess the appeal with Holgas is that they have made a basic camera, cool. And that is something that 15-30s crave. Do they prefer the overpriced version as compared to something cheap over ebay? Maybe, but my guess would be that a lot of these people who buy it more expensively doesn't know that there are cheaper alternatives.

At the very least, they are promoting film and to me at least, it has brought me to the world of RFs. :)

Muggins
10-18-2010, 09:05
*Edited for the snippet I spotted*The 'other' thread to which he referred was simply a picture of a very pretty Ultra Fex

Ooooh, lovely! I have a Himalaya which I really must roll-my-own for one day. There must have been something funny in the water in 1950s France, because they came up with some really striking, and distinctly odd, Bakelite cameras - Photax Blinde (ignorant monoglot lack of accents notwithstanding), anyone?

ETA: Funny, somehow I didn't think you'd jump at the offer of the Brownie! It's like taking photos through a keyhole two feet from your eye...

Adrian

wgerrard
10-18-2010, 09:06
...people who would pay for it *do not know* that there are thousands of similarly built and equipped 120 cameras still available for much less cost.


True, but I suspect that Holga buyers usually are not looking for a 120 camera. I'd bet many or most of them don't know about 120 film before they buy the Holga.

As has been pointed out, odds are they've seen and liked the photos produced by someone's Holga.

I'm not sure what we can make of the apparent connection those users are making between film photography and quirky, flawed cameras and quirky, flawed images. Is there an assumption that film is, by definition, quirky and flawed?

AJShepherd
10-18-2010, 09:08
I got my Holga off eBay, brand new from Hong Kong for about £25 (almost half of which was postage). That's a fraction of the price that buying one from Lomography would have cost.
I've liked some of the results I've got from it, but then more recently I picked up a Kodak No.2 Brownie. In terms of picture quality, it, erm, relieves itself all over the Holga from a great height.

Andy Kibber
10-18-2010, 09:19
But if you are attracted to really basic cameras, what's the appeal of a Holga over any other rock-bottom 120 camera out of a thrift store/charity shop/car boot sale/swap meet/yard sale/vide grenier/whatever?

I don't use a Holga but I expect those who do (instead of another rock-bottom 120 camera) like the unpredictability or the cultural cache or just aren't aware of other similar cameras.

Perhaps the Hipstamatic iPhone app will send Holgas the way of the dodo.

oftheherd
10-18-2010, 09:23
...

Writers get writer-block, so when photographers get photo-block, why not leave the more capable cameras at home and bring the holga for a walk.

...

Has Joe seen this?


...

Otherwise shooting with a Holga as recreation reminds me of people who go hunting with spears (becaus even bows are high teck nowadays)

Nothing to do with the original question, but I gotta know. What do they hunt?

Isn't photography about capturing light? All cameras, by their very nature, must do this. So, if the photographer behind the Holga has a great eye for light (followed by composition, colors, etc.), the picture taken with the Holga could be mind-blowing. The same photographer could take a mind-blowing picture with a Leica as well. Photographers (particularly male photographers) fetishize gear way too much; photography is not about gear, it's about light.

I have never understood the allure of the Holga for some people. It just wouldn't be for me. Mind you, I have seen some interesting photographs done with Holgas, Lomos, and Dianas (a somewhat more serious camera). Just not my cup of tea.

I would rather have something I could dumb down when I want, that can give me better photos when I want them (I realize that what is "better" can be argued), than something that gives what I consider poor (even if artistic), and can never give me anything "better."

But obviously there are some who prefer the look obtained by the Holga et al. Probably for any of the reasons given above. Good for them as long as they are happy with their results.

wde60
10-18-2010, 09:55
A Holga is a light weight, simple, new and functioning medium format camera. It costs around $30 U.S., has a tripod socket, bulb setting and can take readily available filters or a cable release with the addition on inexpensive adapters.

When you buy one you can be confident that the shutter will work, there will be no fungus on the lens and the focus will work. These things are always in doubt when you buy an older medium format camera.

In addition there is a large amount of information readily available to Holga users who want to learn more about the functions of the camera or who want to try new types of photography with it.

breathstealer
10-18-2010, 10:02
Nothing to do with the original question, but I gotta know. What do they hunt?

I've seen some spectacular photos from places in the US where hunting wild boar is encouraged, as they destroy crops. Some people do it with spears, though I gather not everyone has the guts for that.

GoneSavage
10-18-2010, 10:05
Why would someone with no photographic experience risk starting with a camera that they don't know anything about? I mean that seriously. If people find Holga photos appealing, why should they be expected to search for a more complicated camera that might give them the same look? Or might not?

Holgas impart a strange atmosphere to the photos that they produce, which isn't exactly typical of similar vintage cameras that weren't designed to do the same.

zumbido
10-18-2010, 10:05
You said FUN is a non-answer. QED.

No ad-hominem.

I counted five question marks (?) in Roger's first post.
And "Because it's FUN" is answer enough.

Nah. It isn't. The question was "why". If you don't feel the need to answer it, then don't.

zumbido
10-18-2010, 10:08
A Holga is a light weight, simple, new and functioning medium format camera. It costs around $30 U.S., has a tripod socket, bulb setting and can take readily available filters or a cable release with the addition on inexpensive adapters.

When you buy one you can be confident that the shutter will work, there will be no fungus on the lens and the focus will work.

First paragraph makes a lot of sense but I'm confused about the second. I thought the fact that you *can't* be confident about it was most of the fun. From the unpredictable specifics of the light leakage in any particular model to the infamous aperture-that-didn't-do-anything, I wouldn't have associated "confidence" with Holga except "confident that it will do something unexpected," which of course is a great appeal to a certain temperament.

kevco
10-18-2010, 10:17
A lot of this thread seems to imply that holgas are expensive. How much are people paying for them? Or is my definition of expensive just out of whack? I bought one from my local camera store for around $25 on a whim. I had vaguely heard of them and thought it might be fun to mess around with.

I got a few shots that I liked from it but the cost of getting the film developed and scanned didn't really seem worthwhile. However I recently bought an Epson 4490 refurb (from another forum here) and a developing tank so I can develop and scan my own negatives, so the last time I was at the camera store I picked up a few more rolls of 120 to dust the holga off again.

So, to me the camera itself was very cheap but the development costs were what put me off.

jsrockit
10-18-2010, 10:23
To me, you use Holgas, Dianas, etc for their quirks and defects ... the other cheap 120 cameras are too good and don't give you the suprises plastic holgas do.

zumbido
10-18-2010, 10:23
A lot of this thread seems to imply that holgas are expensive. How much are people paying for them? Or is my definition of expensive just out of whack? I bought one from my local camera store for around $25 on a whim. I had vaguely heard of them and thought it might be fun to mess around with.


This seems to be more about the folks who wouldn't be hanging out in camera stores. In "middle America" it seems the big thing is the kits, anywhere from $50 to $250 and more, at chain fashion retailers like Urban Outfitters. I don't know anything about NY/LA, where there are official Lomography stores and likely more options for the casual buyer.

paulfish4570
10-18-2010, 10:39
I like the challenge of obtaining an interesting image with ultra simple gear.
But Holga? I handled a Holga in the shop; didn't much care for it. For a simple tool, I prefer my Tower 120 film box camera.
I'd like to see an inexpensive 35mm square format eye level or waist level camera come out, as in less than $50. The Blackbird meets that concept but costs WAY too much.

wlewisiii
10-18-2010, 10:40
I have a Brownie #2 box camera that I love putting Ektar & FP4+ through when the light is right. But if it leaked light like a Holga I'd throw it away. I want to be source of the crappy pictures, not the camera :)

William

jsrockit
10-18-2010, 10:55
You either get it or you do not. If you want a cheap camera that performs good, you don't buy plastic toys cameras. If you want the Holga look to a photo (Vingetting, interesting light leaks, weird colors, etc ... you aren't getting it with a major manufactuers old school camera with a glass lens. With toy cameras, it isn't about getting a good deal on an old camera that performs well... it truly is about using the quirks and suprises to get something a little different.

charjohncarter
10-18-2010, 10:57
A Holga is a light weight, simple, new and functioning medium format camera. It costs around $30 U.S., has a tripod socket, bulb setting and can take readily available filters or a cable release with the addition on inexpensive adapters.

When you buy one you can be confident that the shutter will work, there will be no fungus on the lens and the focus will work. These things are always in doubt when you buy an older medium format camera.

In addition there is a large amount of information readily available to Holga users who want to learn more about the functions of the camera or who want to try new types of photography with it.

I like cameras that work, too. I have five cameras with plastic lenses (one even has three elements) and they all function flawlessly. Each has a different look, almost to the point that you can identify which is which. I don't see anything at all wrong with using them, enjoying them, and getting results that few others can get.

PKR
10-18-2010, 11:08
Roger; I don't know what happened to the previous thread you had ..

I think the Lomo/Holga folks have, through clever marketing, created a "photo cult" for these plastic cameras. Many have flashy paint jobs and produce imagery that, by current photo standards, is very poor.. but unique in their way. The cost, before the cameras became hip, was very affordable for the young.

Locally, many photo students bought these cameras and produced some interesting work. I think the instructors found that students could afford the cameras, and built course projects around them.

Now, the Lomo/Holga marketing folks are opening Lomo Camera Stores. There is one here in California. The whole thing kind of reminds me of the "Pet Rock" if you remember that marketing tidal wave?

p.

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/high-balinese-ritual-low-holga-technology/


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/16/lomography-store-in-west-_n_718747.html

wde60
10-18-2010, 11:08
Holga quality has gotten quite good. Like leaks are rare and the lens does a pretty good job with colors. There is still plenty of "look" to the images produced and lots of vignetting if you remove the negative masks.

Ansel Adams pre-visualized his images and said he knew exactly what he was going to get. Diane Arbus said she never got the image that she expected. I always hope to be surprised by the images I take and I like to use a Holga sometimes for just that reason.

PKR
10-18-2010, 11:55
Holga quality has gotten quite good. Like leaks are rare and the lens does a pretty good job with colors. There is still plenty of "look" to the images produced and lots of vignetting if you remove the negative masks.

Ansel Adams pre-visualized his images and said he knew exactly what he was going to get. Diane Arbus said she never got the image that she expected. I always hope to be surprised by the images I take and I like to use a Holga sometimes for just that reason.

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/0...ga-technology/ (http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/high-balinese-ritual-low-holga-technology/)


Stanmeyer complained about the light leaks in the NY times link above.

I like the look produced by his cameras.

PKR
10-18-2010, 12:18
It looks like the Lomo folks have taken the "Leica" marketing plan seriously. There are a number of "Special Edition" cameras offered on their web site.

http://usa.shop.lomography.com/cameras/lc-a-no-nukes-edition

Look at the prices ..

nikon_sam
10-18-2010, 12:32
I started my photographic career with a Kodak 126 Instamatic...this was summer school, 1976...I thought the results were just fine...well, until I saw some shots taken with a SLR from the teacher's aide (Nikon F)...well this just ruined the whole thought process that I was doing okay with the 126...since then I don't have a desire to work, in my words, backwards...I like to have, somewhat, control over the exposure, DOF, focus and composition...for many, many years after I wanted everything in my photos, from lens filter to infinity, in focus...lately, I've been practicing selective focusing.
I have tried the Kodak Brownie, Hawkeye, Autograph 1 and a few other old folders...
I haven't found one yet that gives me something I'm willing to continue working with...
I have seen photos taken with these types of cameras and I will admit there are some shots I do like...it's just not my cup of tea...
If I want to shoot a camera with character, I'll grab my YashicaMat 124...

Bob Michaels
10-18-2010, 12:56
It's probably one of those questions which, if you need to ask, you will never understand the answer. But I'd be grateful for serious attempts at an answer, <snip>
R.

Roger:

I own two Holgas and shoot with them every six months or so. I can honestly say that they have not worked for me so far. However I do have two projects in the beginning phases that I am considering restarting and shooting entirely with a Holga.

I do have two friends who have used Holgas sucessfully for projects. I understand why they do work for them.

Pete shot a series of color photos with a Holga recreating the sights he saw some fifty years ago as a boy when he and his family took a number of trips including one cross country and back. Pete shoots otherwise with high end equipment but chose to used a Holga just for this project. I have seen the series exhibited and agree it would just not work with a "normal" camera.

Perry frequently works with a Holga for personal projects simply because he says it makes him feel more creative. He is well exhibited and has one commercial book to his credit so I cannot argue with what works for him. His day job is a conventional photo instructor at a well known art school. He is very proficient with all types of photo gear.

I remember from a discussion a year or so ago that you (Roger) had difficulty getting your thoughts around why Holgas work for some people. There are many things that are great enjoyment or simply work for some that do not for me. I just accept it. Maybe it is just that situation your referred in your opening sentence with the phrase "if you need to ask, you will never understand the answer" so you just have to accept.

Carlos M
10-18-2010, 12:59
I have (amongst others) a glass lens version, the 120GN.

The apertures work correctly, all recent models do. That manufacturing/design fault was corrected a long time ago.

The front of the lens housing is not threaded, though a 46mm to 49mm filter adapter will cut it's own thread in the plastic allowing me to use my 49mm filters.
This is useful as I load a fast film for low light and when the sun comes out I fit a yellow, orange, red or ND filter according to needs.

The camera has a "B" speed, a tripod socket and a cable release adapter (not fitted in the photo).

With the box camera or $5 p+s mentioned in Roger's first post, I could not "play" with my filters etc. It would be no FUN.

Working with the Holga as I do, does give me FUN. It pleases me. It amuses me. I enjoy it.

The black tape you see is not for light leaks. There aren't any.
It's to hold the film door closed. The door catches are a weak point.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82049&d=1287431790

82049

lxmike
10-18-2010, 13:10
Nver been a fan of Holgas or indeedthe ethos built up arround the Lomo, for me I would rather pay a third of the price of a Lomo and get a Minox 35

JoeV
10-18-2010, 14:13
Roger;

I'll take your question about box cameras and slightly modify the definition, which in my usage implies a handmade, one-shot box camera contraption, sometimes preloaded with a sheet of film or paper negative media, at other times using sheet film holders also loaded with paper negatives. Given this definition, the appeal to me comes from having participated in the design and construction of the camera, bringing it along to a point of usefullness, and being able to see the finished contact print. It's a participation in the process at every step of the way that is as much satisfying to me as is the image itself.

I find less pleasure in using premanufactured box cameras (like the Kodak Brownie designs) with minimal technical controls, mainly because I feel more disconnected from the process.

In fact, I more enjoy simple point-and--shoot 35mm toy plastic film cameras, using C-41 film and commercially processed, mainly for the quick turnaround from shooting to having prints in hand. In this case the simplicity of the camera's operation works well with the convenience of commercial processing and usually good results from film's wide exposure latitude.

~Joe

Roger Hicks
10-18-2010, 14:38
Once again, thanks to everyone for all kinds of fascinating suggestions, some of which I had already begun to suspect; some of which I hadn't, but made immediate sense as soon as I read them; and some of which I am still grappling with to some extent. And thanks Carlos for actually beginning to answer the question, in post 57. Just one question: if the film door falling open doesn't cause light leaks, why do you need to tape it closed?

PKR: previous thread deleted because so few people took it for what it was, a light-hearted question about a pretty camera. Thanks very much for the thoughtful answer.

Bob: 're-creation'. Yes. Makes sense, though I'd still ask "Why Holga instead of an actual 'period' camera?"

Joe: another perspective entirely. Not one I fully understand (much like Holgas, really) but one I can begin to understand. Thanks.

This was the purpose of this thread: to elicit ideas about something I don't really understand, so that I can think harder about it. Repeating the same old cliches, with capitals for emphasis, doesn't really add much to anyone's understanding.

Cheers,

R.

Brian Sweeney
10-18-2010, 14:40
I've made some RF coupled "Monocle lenses" for some M8 and M9 users. It was fun to make them, and they have fun using them. I did not keep any, gave away the last one.

I'll go through the thrift store, see some of those "time/Life" cameras with the single-element plastic lenses on them. Most are 50mm/F8 or so. Buy one, pop the lens and aperture, put it into an I-61 focus mount. Some people enjoy it, gives an old look. One RFF member in England dubbed it the "Leica Diana".

Austerby
10-18-2010, 15:17
The two cameras I took on a Greek holiday this year were my M8 and my Holga. I used the M8 by far the most, but had a very satisfying time wandering around Skopelos old town with the Holga, followed later by the fun of developing and scanning the resulting films. It provided some of my favourite shots of the week.

The fact that the Holga is very light, requires practically no technical knowledge to use and produces interesting results are benefits for a holiday camera, as well as being something of a counterpoint to all the other cameras I own.

damien.murphy
10-18-2010, 15:19
This seems to be more about the folks who wouldn't be hanging out in camera stores. In "middle America" it seems the big thing is the kits, anywhere from $50 to $250 and more, at chain fashion retailers like Urban Outfitters. I don't know anything about NY/LA, where there are official Lomography stores and likely more options for the casual buyer.

You would have thought these kids had heard of ebay.. :rolleyes:

Carlos M
10-18-2010, 15:25
...And thanks Carlos for actually beginning to answer the question, in post 57. Just one question: if the film door falling open doesn't cause light leaks, why do you need to tape it closed?

Cheers,

R.



The film door: I used the camera for the best part of a year with no light leaks or doors falling off. It was only after reading several posts on other forums warning of this possibility and pointing out the weakness of the door clasps that I added the tape as a simple precaution.

As you can see from the accompanying image, the door clasps also integrate the strap lugs. The danger comes from yanking on the strap too hard but as I carry the camera in the hand, sans strap, I don't foresee any problems.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82061&d=1287441940
82061






.

Brian Sweeney
10-18-2010, 15:49
I still have a Brownie Super 27 picked up for $1, two settings on the aperture- F8 and ~F16, two settings on the lens, close-up and distance. Last time I used one was when I was 6. Two element lens, I need to check the Focal Length. Overall, much better made than the Diana, but uses 127. If it used 120, would go for a fortune on Ebay. I can still remember Diana cameras in the 5 and dime stores, 25cents new in the box.

Ade-oh
10-19-2010, 00:15
It's probably one of those questions which, if you need to ask, you will never understand the answer...

I don't think so. It operates on several levels.

Firstly, a photograph doesn't need to be of high 'technical' quality to be a good picture and it doesn't need to demonstrate, in any way, the photographer's 'mastery' of the medium. It is perfectly possible for a picture to be taken by a seven year old who has never used a camera before, be out of focus, motion blurred, poorly exposed and wreathed in colour casts and yet still be a good or striking picture - as many 'Lomographers' demonstrate all the time. They don't have to do this deliberately or ironically: the image is the thing.

Secondly - and this argument has been rehearsed on RFF a thousand times - having expensive versatile equipment and being adept at using it are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for taking good photographs. Sometimes, being able to coax a good image out of a toy camera like a Lomo, Holga or Diana is actually an indication of technical virtuosity: well done to people who can do it, it certainly impresses me. It's the difference between using a computer programme to solve a crossword and actually sitting down with pencil and paper and doing it oneself.

Thirdly, it's liberating. Expectations are lower, and successful results all the more exhilarating as a result.

As am amateur, I'm not bound to photograph in a particular way or to achieve particular results: I just do it because I enjoy it. I haven't personally tried Lomography, but I did used to have a Lubitel and I thoroughly enjoy using various ancient-ish cameras I own to see what happens down the line. If I was a commercial photographer, no doubt I would stick to expensive, top-of-the-line equipment but I'm not so I don't have to.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 00:38
I don't think so. It operates on several levels.

Firstly, a photograph doesn't need to be of high 'technical' quality to be a good picture and it doesn't need to demonstrate, in any way, the photographer's 'mastery' of the medium. It is perfectly possible for a picture to be taken by a seven year old who has never used a camera before, be out of focus, motion blurred, poorly exposed and wreathed in colour casts and yet still be a good or striking picture - as many 'Lomographers' demonstrate all the time. They don't have to do this deliberately or ironically: the image is the thing.

Secondly - and this argument has been rehearsed on RFF a thousand times - having expensive versatile equipment and being adept at using it are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for taking good photographs. Sometimes, being able to coax a good image out of a toy camera like a Lomo, Holga or Diana is actually an indication of technical virtuosity: well done to people who can do it, it certainly impresses me. It's the difference between using a computer programme to solve a crossword and actually sitting down with pencil and paper and doing it oneself.

Thirdly, it's liberating. Expectations are lower, and successful results all the more exhilarating as a result.

As am amateur, I'm not bound to photograph in a particular way or to achieve particular results: I just do it because I enjoy it. I haven't personally tried Lomography, but I did used to have a Lubitel and I thoroughly enjoy using various ancient-ish cameras I own to see what happens down the line. If I was a commercial photographer, no doubt I would stick to expensive, top-of-the-line equipment but I'm not so I don't have to.
All fair enough, though it doesn't really address the question of why one would choose a Holga over another very limited camera, and the bit I really don't understand (and, I suspect, never will) is why it's 'liberating' not to know whether or not your picture is going to come out.

That's not to say for an instant that you're wrong, just that different people have very different world-pictures. Personally I find it a lot more liberating to be reasonably confident that the camera will deliver the picture I wanted.

Most of us probably understand the concept of fun, but there are (after all) people whose idea of fun is masochism ("Sticks and stones may break my bones/But whips and chains excite me") or playing golf ("a good walk spoiled").

Now, I'm never going to understand why anyone likes masochism or golf, nor do I especially care, but when it comes to photography I'm much more interested, which is why I value thoughtful replies like yours.

Cheers,

R.

Alpacaman
10-19-2010, 02:00
I suspect it is their entirely unambitious nature that leads to them being chosen over their kindred. They are simple, and unreliable. So, keeping it up and running makes it all the more "your own" - it becomes personal. Put tape on it? See - you did that - yourself. Sure, it is tape, not any kind of big repair, but it is your tape. The same applies for tripod holes and cable releases, weird filter combinations, etc. If you invest thought and tape in these things, it will stop being a Holga, and become your Holga. if that sounds sappy, I apologize, I have never owned one of these things, and I am just tapping thoughts in.

The cheap film point and shoots do not have the same approachability - they are generally more complex, slightly more fiddly, and not as easy to take apart. Of course there are other cameras that are even simpler than than the Holga, why not them? I have no idea. Perhaps the Holga was in the right place at the right time.

Ade-oh
10-19-2010, 02:20
The liberating part of using crappy cameras is that - provided they are actually functional - you will normally get some kind of image and it can be exciting and interesting to see what it looks like, unbounded by anxiety about focus and exposure, for example. It isn't always great, but so what?

My personal likes in photography tend towards informal portraiture and reportage: I really can't bear the whole Ansel Adams pre-visualisation schtick and when somebody starts talking to me about the sacred Zone System, I just want to drop-kick their Tachihara into the Yellowstone River. The lomography 'cult' has opened up some new pathways to explore in the areas which interest me and that's why I really don't have a problem with it or its adherents.

As you rightly say, some people do have strange tastes (I knew a masochist who liked to take an ice cold shower first thing every morning, so he had a hot one instead:D) but the joy of being an amateur enthusiast is that I'm free to follow my photographic whims and see where they take me. Your question seems to have a deep-seated implication that ultimately there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and I just don't agree.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 02:46
The liberating part of using crappy cameras is that - provided they are actually functional - you will normally get some kind of image and it can be exciting and interesting to see what it looks like, unbounded by anxiety about focus and exposure, for example. It isn't always great, but so what?

My personal likes in photography tend towards informal portraiture and reportage: I really can't bear the whole Ansel Adams pre-visualisation schtick and when somebody starts talking to me about the sacred Zone System, I just want to drop-kick their Tachihara into the Yellowstone River. The lomography 'cult' has opened up some new pathways to explore in the areas which interest me and that's why I really don't have a problem with it or its adherents.

As you rightly say, some people do have strange tastes (I knew a masochist who liked to take an ice cold shower first thing every morning, so he had a hot one instead:D) but the joy of being an amateur enthusiast is that I'm free to follow my photographic whims and see where they take me. Your question seems to have a deep-seated implication that ultimately there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and I just don't agree.

That's all right. I don't agree either. No such implicaion was intended. Sure, there's a right way for me, and another right way for you, and yet another right way for Zonies (possibly). If you want to wind Zonies up, ask them how previsualization differs from visualization.

I don't think I have a problem with any kind of photographers, be they Zonies or Lomographers or Holgistas, though I do have difficulty in understanding why the latter but expensive indifferent cameras instead of cheap indifferent cameras, which was the point of the original question. There have been many good answers, including Alpacaman's, and yours. As I say, I'm interested in trying to understand others' viewpoints.

On the subject of the Zone System, you may find the Evolution if the Gospel according to St. Ansel to be of interest: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/zone%20system.html

Cheers,

R.

dogbunny
10-19-2010, 03:21
I enjoy using toy cameras sometimes. I have a Fuji Pet that I really like and I fiddle with my wife's lomo now and then. I like the aesthetic, but I also find it tiring after a while. In an odd comparison, I like Jackson Pollock--more so his early work--but after 20 or 30 of his "drip" technique paintings I'm ready to move on.

For those that have chalked it up to clever marketing, I wonder how you account for the interest that existed in these cameras before all that. I was introduced to it by people who where buying these odd old Russian cameras off of ebay for pretty cheap. They were a cheap fun time. The original Lomo was a fairly obscure camera outside of Russia--maybe even in Russia. I have no idea.

The "lomography" website just seems to have co-opted some nifty, funky old cameras jacked up the price to facilitate the product's perceived hipness.

Currently, it kind of reminds me of how some modern music groups spend a ton of money in the studio to achieve a "low-fi" sound. Something is just odd about it.

But I still love my Fuji Pet ;)

fuzk
10-19-2010, 03:33
Roger,

For me at least, I chose the more expensive Holga over another limiting inexpensive camera because I had no idea there were other choices.

I think it's 'liberating' to not know how images will turn out because in today's information-loaded world, it actually feels good to "not know", and also that it feels good to be surprised by a good image.

I think many of those who bought the Holgas as their first "real" camera has no actual knowledge of how to take a good picture (myself included), and the Lomo society has made it "easy"... and this also brings me back to the point of why I purchased the Holga instead of another camera instead.

"Just load your film and use it under bright conditions. Remember, Holgas love the sun!" is what they will tell you. They have also included tips, guidelines, etc. on their websites to help you take your first picture, further nudging any potential buyers to purchase the camera, and using the site as a sort of safety blanket since they have no idea what's going on and there's information on that site.

Well, that's sort of what happened to me anyway.

I hope I have helped you to understand, at least a little bit, why someone would choose the Holga over something else.

-Jy

thegman
10-19-2010, 03:36
Roger: I disagree a little with the thought that there would be no market for camera features if they were not useful. I think there is a market for Lomo cameras because of ingenious marketing, and the same can be said for the millions of features found in modern cameras. Most of the features are not useful, but are marketed so buyers think they are. Hell, most people still believe that a 12 megapixel camera on a phone will take a better picture than a 10 megapixel camera, on say an EOS 500D.

I own an LC-A+, and like it a lot. It's very simple to operate, and also very fast to operate, you flick the lens cover out the way, scale focus, and shoot. It's obviously no replacement for a "proper" camera, but it's fun, small and can be jiggled around in my bag without me worrying about rangefinder alignment. There are a million camera out there that would fill the same brief, for a lot less money, but I could say the same about just about every camera that an RFF member owns.

People buy Lomos because they *want* one, it's not logical, I don't pretend it is. I doubt a single one of us here buys cameras for logical reasons though.

Carlos M
10-19-2010, 03:37
...Zonies or Lomographers or Holgistas, though I do have difficulty in understanding why the latter but expensive indifferent cameras instead of cheap indifferent cameras, which was the point of the original question. There have been many good answers, including Alpacaman's, and yours. As I say, I'm interested in trying to understand others' viewpoints.

Cheers,

R.

Dear Roger,
Holgas are only expensive if you buy from a Lomography boutique or Urban Outfitters and ask for the multi coloured model with color flash filters etc.

From chinaproducts.com (can't remember the exact name) or even on ebay, Holgas are not expensive. I've bought three in the last two years: a 120N (plastic lens), a 120GN (glass lens) and a WPC120 (Wide Pinhole Camera, 6x9 or 6x12), non of them cost me more than $35 inc' shipping from China.


The "lomography" website just seems to have co-opted some nifty, funky old cameras jacked up the price to facilitate the product's perceived hipness.

Leica do the same with posh address boutique stores showcasing Limited Editions and Lizard skinned specials. (shrug).

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 03:45
I enjoy using toy cameras sometimes. I have a Fuji Pet that I really like and I fiddle with my wife's lomo now and then. I like the aesthetic, but I also find it tiring after a while. In an odd comparison, I like Jackson Pollock--more so his early work--but after 20 or 30 of his "drip" technique paintings I'm ready to move on.

For those that have chalked it up to clever marketing, I wonder how you account for the interest that existed in these cameras before all that. I was introduced to it by people who where buying these odd old Russian cameras off of ebay for pretty cheap. They were a cheap fun time. The original Lomo was a fairly obscure camera outside of Russia--maybe even in Russia. I have no idea.

The "lomography" website just seems to have co-opted some nifty, funky old cameras jacked up the price to facilitate the product's perceived hipness.

Currently, it kind of reminds me of how some modern music groups spend a ton of money in the studio to achieve a "low-fi" sound. Something is just odd about it.

But I still love my Fuji Pet ;)

Calling it 'tiring' after a while, and likening it to Jackson Pollock, strikes me as an excellent insight. It reminds me of what a very pretty teenage girl, the sister of a girlfriend when I was in my 20s, said about David Hamilton: "You see one of his pictures, and you think, wow, that's brilliant. And then you see some more, and you think, they're good too. But when you've seen about twenty, you ask, 'What else can he do?'"

The point about clever marketing does not exclude the pre-Lomography interest, which, like you, I remember well. What puzzles me is how 'cheap fun' became 'expensive fun': in order to be a 'real' Lomographer, you have to use a 'real' Lomo. I find Lomography quite entertaining -- they always have a stand at photokina -- but if I were going to do it myself, I think I'd use a cheaper camera such as the Kodak point-and-shoot I was given a while back, or the little scale-focus Foca I paid 6€ for at a vide-grenier. Likewise, I can't remember if I was given my Diana in the 70s, or paid a few shillings for it -- and I've already mentioned my two Lubitels.

Buying a new Lomo or Holga, both astonishingly expensive for what they are, on the basis of the assumption that The Name is somehow a guarantee of interesting pictures, strikes me as being like buyng a Leica with the same assumption. Leica users are the subject of endless attacks for this, but Lomographers/Holgistas aren't. Which puzzles me. Hence the original question.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 03:54
Dear Roger,
Holgas are only expensive if you buy from a Lomography boutique or Urban Outfitters and ask for the multi coloured model with color flash filters etc.

From chinaproducts.com (can't remember the exact name) or even on ebay, Holgas are not expensive. I've bought three in the last two years: a 120N (plastic lens), a 120GN (glass lens) and a WPC120 (Wide Pinhole Camera, 6x9 or 6x12), non of them cost me more than $35 inc' shipping from China.
).
Dear Carlos,

A very fair point, and as you say, $35 is hardly expensive. You have also made a very fair point about filters, though actually, once you go above the level of a true box camera (with its recessed lens), quite a few elderly, inexpensive cameras (even less than $35) can be fitted with filters.

Admittedly, too, I'm prejudiced against buying anything on line, which doesn't help.

@thegman -- yes, I'm sure you're right about the worthlessness of many 'features' on many cameras, but I'm intrigued by the idea of charging more for less (as on a 'boutique' Holga or Lomo) instead of more for more, even if the 'more' is mostly just a marketing fantasy.

@fuzk -- again, yet another enlightening answer, which did indeed aid my understanding. Thanks.

Cheers,

R.

thegman
10-19-2010, 04:01
@Roger - Yes, the Lomography store did indeed relieve me of a lot of money, for not a lot of camera. It's almost unreal what poor quality the build is, and how much it cost me. It makes no sense whatsoever, but as my brother said on seeing it : "It's a piece of crap, but I want one". They just seem to have a peculiar appeal that was very attractive to me, different strokes for different folks.

I don't know how a non-pro can buy a Nikon D3X for however much it is, to me it's just a bundle of electronics, but obviously people do.

Muggins
10-19-2010, 04:03
Hope this doesn't sound too crabby, Carlos - it's not intended to! Try to read with one of these :D rather than one of these :(, please!

Glass lens... easy! Pre-plastic era cameras... and often behind the aperture. so very deepy hooded, little problem with flare.

"Good" box cameras - Kodak No2, Ensign All-Distance 20,Zeiss-Ikon Box Tengor all come with a choice of apertures in the form of Waterhouse stops, B setting, and the Ensign and the Zeiss even have limited focusing ability. All three have a tripod bush - the Kodak has 2, not sure about the others - for a 1/4" screw tripod. The Zeiss might have a cable release fitting (I know I'm being vague - I don't have them in front of me), Agfa certainly made box cameras with them.

As for film, I do exactly the same as you, but I use two rubber bands to hold a filter over the front of the camera. Piece of cake.

Horses for courses, of course, I'm not going to argue that you can't have fun with your Holga - I'm sure you do - and I'm not going to tell you not to either because, let's face it, if we are not trying to make a living from it then we should be enjoying it. Just saying that there are other ways to do it... I get fun from my box cameras, you get it from your Holga - let's keep having fun!:D

Now I just need models like Sanders McNew (where is he lately, I wonder?) uses with his box cameras...

Adrian



I have (amongst others) a glass lens version, the 120GN.

The apertures work correctly, all recent models do. That manufacturing/design fault was corrected a long time ago.

The front of the lens housing is not threaded, though a 46mm to 49mm filter adapter will cut it's own thread in the plastic allowing me to use my 49mm filters. This is useful as I load a fast film for low light and when the sun comes out I fit a yellow, orange, red or ND filter according to needs.

The camera has a "B" speed, a tripod socket and a cable release adapter (not fitted in the photo). With the box camera or $5 p+s mentioned in Roger's first post, I could not "play" with my filters etc. It would be no FUN.

Working with the Holga as I do, does give me FUN. It pleases me. It amuses me. I enjoy it.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 04:06
There are many styles of photography with many different cameras.

Now, I may say I use Leicas because I prefer RFs to SLRs, and because I prefer interchangeable lenses to fixed, and because I prefer the M-mount because it allows me a huge choice of lenses.

Someone else may say they use Holgas because... well, because of a number of good reasons that several people have given in this thread.

But what I was (and am) looking for is exactly those reasons. Personally, as I've said, I'd use other (cheaper) cameras, just as others prefer other (cheaper) cameras than Leicas. All I'm suggesting is that Leicas, Holgas and Lomos are all invested by some people with a mystique that relatively few other cameras possess. I understand the Leica mystique, because I've been using 'em for 40 years. I'd like to make some attempt at understanding the Holga/Lomo mystique as well. And at understanding why the Holga/Lomo mystique seems to inspire so much less bitterness than the Leica mystique.

EDIT: What thegman said in post 81 is indeed an important part of why I asked the question.

Cheers,

R.

Ade-oh
10-19-2010, 04:13
That's all right. I don't agree either. No such implicaion was intended. Sure, there's a right way for me, and another right way for you, and yet another right way for Zonies (possibly). If you want to wind Zonies up, ask them how previsualization differs from visualization.

I don't think I have a problem with any kind of photographers, be they Zonies or Lomographers or Holgistas, though I do have difficulty in understanding why the latter but expensive indifferent cameras instead of cheap indifferent cameras, which was the point of the original question. There have been many good answers, including Alpacaman's, and yours. As I say, I'm interested in trying to understand others' viewpoints.

On the subject of the Zone System, you may find the Evolution if the Gospel according to St. Ansel to be of interest: http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/zone%20system.html


I possibly sounded a bit too ferocious but the idea does definitely float around the wonderful wide world of internet photo forums that there is some kind of Platonic ideal form for photography which cannot be achieved without the right clobber. Looking at the stupidly large number of cameras I have lurking around, I do worry that I subconsciously subscribe to this :eek:.

Can I add another verse or two to the Book of Ansel:

'And he was wroth, and he spake unto the Pictorial-ites, saying "Take thou thine naked ladies, and thine dubious pictures of scenes from the classics, and stuff them up thine fundaments. For I have uncovered the true path, and if my commandments are not heeded, thou shalt block up thine shadows and burn out thine highlights".
And lo, the Ansel-ites, and the Zone-ites, and the Yosem-ites went forth and previsualised, and spot-metered, and placed they zone three in its appointed place. And they stoppeth down their lenses to maximise depth of field, yea not once, but four times four times four.
And so it came to pass that they took manifold pictures of the same mountains but yet they marveled at interesting cloud formations and appropriate negative density.'

Finally, there do seem to be wildly varying prices for Holgas etc, depending on who one buys them from. A five minute online search seemed to show them from about £15 up to about £60 with more packaging and a £3 film thrown in...

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 04:30
I possibly sounded a bit too ferocious but the idea does definitely float around the wonderful wide world of internet photo forums that there is some kind of Platonic ideal form for photography which cannot be achieved without the right clobber. Looking at the stupidly large number of cameras I have lurking around, I do worry that I subconsciously subscribe to this :eek:.

Can I add another verse or two to the Book of Ansel:

(i) 'And he was wroth, and he spake unto the Pictorial-ites, saying "Take thou thine naked ladies, and thine dubious pictures of scenes from the classics, and stuff them up thine fundaments. (ii) For I have uncovered the true path, and if my commandments are not heeded, thou shalt block up thine shadows and burn out thine highlights".
(iii) And lo, the Ansel-ites, and the Zone-ites, and the Yosem-ites went forth and previsualised, and spot-metered, and placed they zone three in its appointed place. (iv) And they stoppeth down their lenses to maximise depth of field, yea not once, but four times four times four.
(v) And so it came to pass that they took manifold pictures of the same mountains but yet they marveled at interesting cloud formations and appropriate negative density.'

Finally, there do seem to be wildly varying prices for Holgas etc, depending on who one buys them from. A five minute online search seemed to show them from about £15 up to about £60 with more packaging and a £3 film thrown in...

Hallelujah, brother! I think you've just written Chapter 2, Verses i to v (I have taken the liberty of annotating them). But perhaps thou hast need of an few more italics.

I especially like 'four times four times four'. And the Yosem-ites.

I think the 'Platonic ideal' may involve shadows on the wall of a cave...

Oh, right: ultra-large-format pinhole photography. Sorted!

Cheers,

R.

jsrockit
10-19-2010, 05:33
Wasting time talking about Holgas to someone who doesn't understand is as silly as talking about Satanism to someone who doesn't believe in God. ;)

john neal
10-19-2010, 05:33
Dear Roger,

Very interesting thread - I haven't read every post, but it's certainly stirred some widely differing responses. As a (reformed) toy camera user, may I add my 2p?

I could easily be a gear snob, went that way for a while and it did me no good. I tried "out-trending" the toy camera crowd, and that didn't work either - there is always someone with a better / more obscure / desireable (delete as appropriate) toy, etc.

I'm now firmly of the opinion that it comes down to results - and, possibly, one question when looking at the final product - do I like it? In the final analysis, the equipment used is somewhat secondary to the vision of the maker and the effect that the result has on the viewer.

I feel it's a bit like modern art (whatever that is) - I used to struggle with artists like Rothco, but as I came to learn more about art, I could see his influences and how they affected what he did. Sure, the big pieces are far from figurative, but just compare them to one of his influencers - JMW Turner. Take a look at some of Turner's later works and see how he was really developing impressionism - not using pointillism, or cubism, or any other drafting device, just using light to create a feeling of what it was like to be there for him.

Isn't that what we attempt to do with our little light-tight boxes?

Now, if I see that someone has managed that with any photographic method I'm impressed, and it makes me realise just how far I have to go as a photographer.

Andy Kibber
10-19-2010, 05:40
I don't think I have a problem with any kind of photographers, be they Zonies or Lomographers or Holgistas, though I do have difficulty in understanding why the latter but expensive indifferent cameras instead of cheap indifferent cameras, which was the point of the original question.

I don't agree with the underlined statement. As others have said, Holgas are inexpensive. I owned one briefly. It cost about $25 from Holga Mods (and that's with a bit of work done before it arrived at my door). You can probably get one for less than that on Ebay.

Sure, you can get less expensive 120 film cameras, but they're not that much less expensive. It seems your question is premised on misinformation.

zumbido
10-19-2010, 05:50
You actually had a "very satisfying time" and derived "fun" from using a Holga?

Well good for you. I'm glad that I'm not alone in understanding this concept. :)

There's some sort of communication or language problem going on here, because nobody participating in the conversation is anti-fun. :rolleyes:

Or, you don't understand that other people, gasp, find fun in different things than you do.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 06:09
I don't agree with the underlined statement. As others have said, Holgas are inexpensive. I owned one briefly. It cost about $25 from Holga Mods (and that's with a bit of work done before it arrived at my door). You can probably get one for less than that on Ebay.

Sure, you can get less expensive 120 film cameras, but they're not that much less expensive. It seems your question is premised on misinformation.

Dear Andy,

No, the original question made no mention of price. It was, more or less, "What is the appeal of a Holga over any other rock-bottom-basic camera?" I have to admit that after 7 dozen posts I misrepresented myself on this one!

I have been enlightened by others on the fact that Holgas are still available cheaply, which doesn't affect the 'boutique' Holga question, and besides, $25 is a LOT more than nothing, which (I am reasonably sure) is the price for which many of us could find an old, basic 120 camera, if we don't own one already. It's also at least twice what I'd expect to pay for one in a thrift shop, etc.

Cheers,

R.

zumbido
10-19-2010, 07:01
If there is a language problem it came when you declared my "Because it's fun" to be a "non-answer".

There is definitely a miscommunication. Cheers. :)

wlewisiii
10-19-2010, 07:16
I don't know, Roger, I've actually been having fun learning to use the Zone system of late, but I don't expect or intend to do anything beyond using the knowledge as a way to see why "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights" can work. But that's just me and where I'm at right now no matter if I'm using my Crown Graphic or my Leica IIIf or my #2 Brownie box.

And it's fun! :angel:

William

p.s. ain't no difference but spelling between pre-visualization & visualization :)

Gumby
10-19-2010, 07:16
Just one question: if the film door falling open doesn't cause light leaks, why do you need to tape it closed?

Ha ha... that's funny. Roger, you should have been a comedian instead of a

Bob: 're-creation'. Yes. Makes sense, though I'd still ask "Why Holga instead of an actual 'period' camera?"

Well, that's my question too. I use a vintage camera, 1930's era Kodak Duo, but my intent was not to get Lomo-like images. I actually hoped for better. What I actually get are not much better than an old box camera... which does not achieve my goals. I chose that option becuase I could get the old camera for less money than a Holga or the like. Plus, it looks more like a serious camera. Plus it has a fully functional shutter with all of the expected shutter features.

Re: Lomo stores... I noticed an interesting thing at a local shop that hawks lomo cameras. No matter when I go there I never see anyone buying them. I noticed an interesting thing on the streets of L.A. No matter where I go I never see anyone using them. The market must be good since those cameras are constantly advertized, but I have no idea who really buys and uses them!

Andy Kibber
10-19-2010, 07:40
Dear Andy,

No, the original question made no mention of price. It was, more or less, "What is the appeal of a Holga over any other rock-bottom-basic camera?" I have to admit that after 7 dozen posts I misrepresented myself on this one!

I have been enlightened by others on the fact that Holgas are still available cheaply, which doesn't affect the 'boutique' Holga question, and besides, $25 is a LOT more than nothing, which (I am reasonably sure) is the price for which many of us could find an old, basic 120 camera, if we don't own one already. It's also at least twice what I'd expect to pay for one in a thrift shop, etc.

Cheers,

R.

Roger,

I maintain that $25 is exactly $25 more than $0, which in absolute terms isn't very much money for us western-world types. :)

Buying a new Lomo or Holga, both astonishingly expensive for what they are, on the basis of the assumption that The Name is somehow a guarantee of interesting pictures, strikes me as being like buyng a Leica with the same assumption. Leica users are the subject of endless attacks for this, but Lomographers/Holgistas aren't. Which puzzles me. Hence the original question.

Again, I have to take issue with your assumptions. The folks who use the Lomo/LSI cameras are subject to plenty of ridicule for paying through the nose for a name. Maybe not on this forum because it isn't geared toward Lomo users, but certainly on others.

Regards,

Andy

Sanders McNew
10-19-2010, 08:08
Now I just need models like Sanders McNew (where is he lately, I wonder?) uses with his box cameras...


I've been away from photography (at least, from
the online photo communities) the past several
months -- my firm has transferred me from New
York to Boca Raton FL so I am trying to readjust
to life in the tropics.

I admire Roger and I appreciate where he is
going with this thread. Someone else remarked
that sometimes artists thrive with more limited
palettes but I think that misconstrues the issue.
It's not a more limited palette -- it's a different one.
We all worship at the altar of MTF charts. But at
times acuity and resolution get in the way and it's
times like that when a less literal way of capturing
a moment comes in handy. For me, at least.

I've played around with Brownies but if you really
want a versatile tool a Brownie or a Holga gets
really annoying -- I see no virtue in their inability to
adjust exposure or focus. I got a Rolleiflex SL66
body and mounted a simple meniscus lens (set in
a Copal press shutter) on it. The SL66 provides
the control over focus and exposure, with a lens
that gives a more dreamlike image. Here are links
to a couple:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandersnyc/4786794952/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandersnyc/4949875825/

Many routes to the same end -- this one is working
for me, for now.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 08:40
Roger,

I maintain that $25 is exactly $25 more than $0, which in absolute terms isn't very much money for us western-world types. :)



Again, I have to take issue with your assumptions. The folks who use the Lomo/LSI cameras are subject to plenty of ridicule for paying through the nose for a name. Maybe not on this forum because it isn't geared toward Lomo users, but certainly on others.

Regards,

Andy

Dear Andy,

Fair enough. It's just that I'm disinclined to waste any money. After all, $25 is 18€, and there are a lot of ways I'd rather spend 18€. It's a week of coffees for Frances at the local café-bar, for a start. I have no debt, and intend to keep it that way. As the old saying goes, "Look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves."

I will bow to your superior knowledge of the abuse that Lomo and Holga users get elsewhere, partly because I have no reason to doubt you, and partly because it's not central to the question of "Why a Lomo/Holga rather than something else?"

Cheers,

R.

retro
10-19-2010, 08:41
The Holga/Diana is to photography what "Plan 9 From Outer
Space" is to cinema.

Not necessarily simply the crappiest but rather the correct blend of
kitsch, cute and low tech to make it hip. Plus some clever marketing
of course.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 08:47
The Holga/Diana is to photography what "Plan 9 From Outer
Space" is to cinema.

Not necessarily simply the crappiest but rather the correct blend of
kitsch, cute and low tech to make it hip. Plus some clever marketing
of course.
Dear Bob,

Thanks for the most amusing analogy yet, and one to which I immediately related. All I'd add is "...hip and unthreatening"

Cheers,

R.

wgerrard
10-19-2010, 09:05
I think there is a market for Lomo cameras because of ingenious marketing, and the same can be said for the millions of features found in modern cameras. Most of the features are not useful...

That sentiment is often expressed here. Honestly, though, I don't think it is valid. Marketing alone can't sustain sales of a product people don't want to buy.

You can make the argument that any feature beyond the ability to control aperture and shutter speed and focus is not necessary.

It's my contention that most people who buy cameras do not know about controlling aperture and shutter speed. More to the point, they do not want to know. Features that, in effect, prepackage various settings -- portrait mode, landscape mode, etc. -- are, in fact, very useful to those users. They like remaining at that level, much as most people like to remain at the application user level with computers and the internet, without worrying about learning how to code or understand how a router works.

Holga and Lomo users seem to fit that description, with the added notion that they are attracted by the oddball nature of the cameras and, for whatever reasons, see their flaws as interesting, even positive, attributes.

Gumby
10-19-2010, 09:50
Oh... for those not in the US of A... that's a phrase used incessantly on a really annoying cell (mobile) phone advertisment series.

Ade-oh
10-19-2010, 10:15
Weird direction that this has all taken!

Anyway, I'm not into Lomography myself - whether with a Holga, Diana or whatever - but I think I understand why people like it so much. To add another argument to the strand, it's like the photography I did when I was a kid with a Kodak Instamatic back in the 70s: I never had a clue how things would turn out and it was always a bit of an adventure when the pictures came back. At that time, I couldn't understand why people like my Dad had cameras where you had to fiddle around changing settings (and his camera was a 1930s Zeiss Ikon Super Nettar which I still use!).

narsuitus
10-19-2010, 10:41
I once owned and used a Diana and loved it. I was so proud of the quality of the images I was able to get from that inexpensive camera, compared to the quality of the images from my Instamatic, that I eventually bought a decent medium format camera. I have been using medium format cameras ever since.


When I need to satisfy my urge to flee from technology and revert to a very primitive and basic camera, instead of using a Holga, I instead pull out two large format single-shot pinhole cameras that I made. Since I do not own a large format camera, putting a few sheets in the pinhole cameras does not seem wasteful. However, now that I own decent quality medium format cameras, putting 120 film in a Holga (or any other rock-bottom 120 camera), seems like a waste of a good roll of film.

On the other hand, if I did not own medium format cameras, the Holga 120GN would be my first choice for a new toy and the Agfa Clack would be my first choice for an old toy. The 120GN, with its glass instead of plastic lens, and the Clack, with its 6x9cm format, would probably give me the image quality that I want from a relatively inexpensive toy camera.

narsuitus
10-19-2010, 10:51
A little off-subject but I could not help but notice that in this thread, not once was the Holga ever called a point-and-shoot camera. However, in this forum, digital compact cameras that are loaded with sophisticated features are frequently referred to as point-and-shoots.

gho
10-19-2010, 11:06
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/rffgallery/gallery/27794/U27794I1282725840.SEQ.0.jpg

PKR
10-19-2010, 11:57
Dear Roger,

Very interesting thread - I haven't read every post, but it's certainly stirred some widely differing responses. As a (reformed) toy camera user, may I add my 2p?

I could easily be a gear snob, went that way for a while and it did me no good. I tried "out-trending" the toy camera crowd, and that didn't work either - there is always someone with a better / more obscure / desireable (delete as appropriate) toy, etc.

I'm now firmly of the opinion that it comes down to results - and, possibly, one question when looking at the final product - do I like it? In the final analysis, the equipment used is somewhat secondary to the vision of the maker and the effect that the result has on the viewer.

I feel it's a bit like modern art (whatever that is) - I used to struggle with artists like Rothco, but as I came to learn more about art, I could see his influences and how they affected what he did. Sure, the big pieces are far from figurative, but just compare them to one of his influencers - JMW Turner. Take a look at some of Turner's later works and see how he was really developing impressionism - not using pointillism, or cubism, or any other drafting device, just using light to create a feeling of what it was like to be there for him.

Isn't that what we attempt to do with our little light-tight boxes?

Now, if I see that someone has managed that with any photographic method I'm impressed, and it makes me realise just how far I have to go as a photographer.

Very well stated John.

I'm occasionally asked for help regarding cameras and photos. I tell folks not to let the camera (leica, sinar or holga) get between you and the photo you want. It should be a seamless device when you're working; an instrument to record your vision. Play with the toy when you're home and not working at a photo.

Carlos M
10-19-2010, 12:41
A little off-subject but I could not help but notice that in this thread, not once was the Holga ever called a point-and-shoot camera.

Because it isn't one. It's scale focus, manual exposure.


However, in this forum, digital compact cameras that are loaded with sophisticated features are frequently referred to as point-and-shoots.

Well with AF and AE you do only point and shoot.

wgerrard
10-19-2010, 12:55
With some people seeming to like the experience of using a camera they can't fully control (a pre-broken camera?) I wonder if a similar phenomenon exists in music. That is, are there people who enjoy playing instruments they can't really control, that give unpredictable results? Are there people who enjoy playing recorded music on flawed hardware?

Frankly, that seems very unlikely to me, but it does raise the question of why some folks find the prospect of taking flawed photos more appealing than playing a flawed musical instrument or listening to a flawed playback.

zumbido
10-19-2010, 12:59
Because it isn't one. It's scale focus, manual exposure.

Well with AF and AE you do only point and shoot.

You're not only the arbiter of what is and isn't "fun", but also what constitutes a "point-and-shoot".

For the record Holgas only gained scale focusing relatively recently (and that's the wrong term anyway, since there is no 'scale', only four general 'zones' that are rated by purpose but do not map consistently to any particular distances). Fixed-focus and two mostly-indistinguishable apertures (one of which doesn't work at all in older models) doesn't particularly class the Holga as not-a-point-and-shoot.

wgerrard
10-19-2010, 13:07
Wasting time talking about Holgas to someone who doesn't understand...

Someone's apparent failure to understand is often preceded by someone else's very real failure to explain.

Of course, many folks these days seem to equate "understand" with "agree."

gho
10-19-2010, 13:27
With some people seeming to like the experience of using a camera they can't fully control (a pre-broken camera?) I wonder if a similar phenomenon exists in music. That is, are there people who enjoy playing instruments they can't really control, that give unpredictable results?


Sure:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2G3KfKbJwE

gho
10-19-2010, 14:27
I like toy cameras for several reasons. They are cheap, seemingly easy to operate and sometimes the pictures have a special look that I appreciate.

Sure, it is nothing for a commercial photographer who has to satisfy his customers with exceptional sharpness, exposure, composition and the latest high end tools, but for laid-back photography with a surpise factor they are just great. In my opinion of course. You don't have to use toy cameras, if you don't like them, but some people are enjoying them quite a bit.


http://georg.sdf-eu.org/photos/t1-15.jpg

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 14:35
I like toy cameras for several reasons. They are cheap, seemingly easy to operate and sometimes the pictures have a special look that I appreciate.

Sure, it is nothing for a commercial photographer who has to satisfy his customers with exceptional sharpness, exposure, composition and the latest high end tools, but for laid-back photography with a surpise factor they are just great. In my opinion of course. You don't have to use toy cameras, if you don't like them, but some people are enjoying them quite a bit.


But would better technical quality have detracted from the picture? It might not have made it better -- it was very good already -- but how would it have made it worse?

Cheers,

R.

Kim Coxon
10-19-2010, 14:42
I think sometimes it is not detracting from the quality of the picture itself but more the subjects. Use your mobile phone to take apicture and nobody bats an eyelid. Use what looks like an expensive camera and peoples reaction changes. Maybe it is something to do with the way they think about it. A toy camera is just someone taking a snap but they wonder why a photographer is taking their picture otherwise.

Kim

But would better technical quality have detracted from the picture? It might not have made it better -- it was very good already -- but how would it have made it worse?

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 15:19
Dear Kim,

I'm sure you're right, but as a counter-argument I'd suggest that it's partly the camera you use, and partly how you use it. With the picture in question I'd have said something like, "Believe it or not I was your age once," or (if I was with Frances) "I hope you're as happy together as we've been -- thirty years now." Might not always go down well with the lad (though it usually does) but the lass would probably love it... A "funny old camera" (Leica) worries very few people.

Cheers,

R.

gho
10-19-2010, 15:28
But would better technical quality have detracted from the picture? It might not have made it better -- it was very good already -- but how would it have made it worse?

Theoretically, the usage of a another camera could have made it worse by influencing the reaction of the subjects towards the camera.

Given everything else equal, the correct usage of a fine lens surely would have made the image better in technical terms.

So, technical quality definately would not have detracted from the picture, but on the other hand, if I had used a different camera I may not have gotten that picture. But who knows?

Personally I like it, if one gets both sides right, technical quality and content, but sometimes content dominates technical quality.

For example that special Holga look. From a technical viewpoint these images are flawed, but sometimes these "flaws" are desirable and stress the underlying emotional content of the subject or scene.

Cheers,

Georg

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 15:34
Theoretically, the usage of a another camera could have made it worse by influencing the reaction of the subjects towards the camera.

Given everything else equal, the correct usage of a fine lens surely would have made the image better in technical terms.

So, technical quality definately would not have detracted from the picture, but on the other hand, if I had used a different camera I may not have gotten that picture. But who knows?

Personally I like it, if one gets both sides right, technical quality and content, but sometimes content dominates technical quality.

For example that special Holga look. From a technical viewpoint these images are flawed, but sometimes these "flaws" are desirable and stress the underlying emotional content of the subject or scene.

Cheers,

Georg

Dear Georg,

Highlight 1: Absolutely. All counterfactual conditionals are true.

Highlight 2: Almost always, I'd say. Technical quality needs to be REALLY bad before it detracts from a strong enough image (like yours). Equally, content needs to be pretty feeble (Zonies who put their tripod legs in the holes drilled by their predecessors) before the first thing you think, on looking at a picture, is "What wonderful technical quality."

Cheers,

R.

f16sunshine
10-19-2010, 15:47
The Holga for me is about serendipity and the fun that can bring. After years of having enough knowledge to maintain relatively full control of an images outcome. Shooting the Holga brings back some of the fun and Mystery that I felt when I first began to understand photography. You don't know what you will get every time and that is the point. It may leak light, flare unpredictably, not focus correctly (mine used to get infinity but now does not). It's just fun nothing more. Surprisingly I get some images that people like. I have other cheap 120's. All seem to produce predictable quality images. The Holga has it's own way and it's not necessarily my way. It's a form of artistic surrender. "Click..... well I framed it right and the moment was good but who know?"
That may not be fun for you Roger or possibly others. For me it's a nice break from the histograms the like. As a young and starving photographer. It's as fun a break from the DSLR and Laptop as shooting my film RF's. Actually made better as I don't have to think... the camera won't let me ;) My Holga seems worst than most in it's flaws. Not sure I will ever get another but, I'm happy I have this one.

Now for some gratuitous images:
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4107/5097513809_133014abda_z.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4108/5080935665_25a6e7ea55_z.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4129/5094059601_affb59a0be_z.jpg

Roger Hicks
10-19-2010, 15:57
f16sunshine: thanks for some brilliant images which show that it's impossible to distinguish the 'best' of Holga from the 'worst'. Personally I prefer the colour shots, especially the second one (light leaks and all). There's a sort of 'instant subtext', though of course this is dependent on the choice of subject and the composition.

You're dead right that it's not for everyone, but you've half persuaded me to try one. "I don't have to think... the camera won't let me" -- I love that line, and propose to steal it immediately!

Thanks,

R.

Brian Sweeney
10-19-2010, 16:09
Is the draw of the Holga the simple lens? That character of the optic? Soft focus, vignetting, swirly bokeh, an older "family snapshot" quality.

But- most of the exposures look good enough. None are shown that are dark and muddy, completely overexposed, etc. With a Holga, box camera, Brownie, Instamatic- the camera must be used over a narrow range of lighting conditions to achieve acceptable results. I was disappointed by my Brownie Super-27 and Instamatic 150 before I was 10 because of lack of controls for exposure. I bought a Minolta Hi-Matic 9 when I was 11.

Most of the time I have a 1930s Sonnar or a 1950s J-3 on the M8. I have lenses that are much sharper, technically superior. I like the way the Sonnars draw, with all of their imperfections. As stated before, I've made a couple of single-element RF coupled lenses for photographers. They wanted the "Diana" look, but also wanted control over exposure and focus. The latter is what would keep me away from a Diana/Holga type camera. Guess I would use the Super-27 if I had the desire. Same controls as a Holga.

PKR
10-19-2010, 16:09
Rodger;

I’ll direct this to you (others respond as you wish), as you have a good blend of technical and aesthetic photo knowledge:

Recently, I made a pinhole camera by modifying a Nikon Body Cap. I have the pinhole lens with a Nikon shutter, thus.. better control.

Now If I were to use a Holga type lens and mate it to an SLR, and crop square.. And come up with “Holga” type results, would I be viewed as a heretic, by the Lomo-Holga church?

If, I were to keep quiet about this little Holga-Nikon modification, and exhibit and sell prints; while never claiming that they were taken with a Holga, but allowing the assumption, would I be dishonest?

If I purchased a Martian/Venetian clone of a Holga and made my photos with an “un-blessed” camera, would I be, again, in trouble with the Holgarians?

I think using a non-Holga to make “Holga-like” photos, would be a far more serious crime than using a Bessa or old SP to do Leica type RF work. In the case of the Leica, I don’t think many would care. In the case of the Holga, the religion is newer and likely far more radical and reactionary..

pkr

Brian Sweeney
10-19-2010, 16:15
Basically, PKR, you are stating that Holga users are gear-centric? I find that hard to believe. Really?

We'll need a thread titled "Why all the Holga-Bashing" and jump on the special limited edition Holga cameras coming out.

I hope that it is not true!

Now I have to look for my Super-27 images. They are old.

Yup. Special Limited Edition Holgas are available.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95299

and instructions for making an M-Mount Holga-Lens

http://www.instructables.com/id/HOW-TO%3A-Build-a-Holga-M-mount-Lens/

PKR
10-19-2010, 16:21
Most of the time I have a 1930s Sonnar or a 1950s J-3 on the M8. I have lenses that are much sharper, technically superior. I like the way the Sonnars draw, with all of their imperfections. a.

Brian; I have an old Focomat 1C. I have 2 Focotars, one that's of recent production and one (it's silver, with no detents for the stops) that's old. I don't know how old, but it's old. It has the look of old 30s-40s, sorta soft prints. It's a wonderful lens. p.

PKR
10-19-2010, 16:27
Basically, PKR, you are stating that Holga users are gear-centric? I find that hard to believe. Really?

We'll need a thread titled "Why all the Holga-Bashing" and jump on the special limited edition Holga cameras coming out.

I hope that it is not true!

Now I have to look for my Super-27 images. They are old.

Yup. Special Limited Edition Holgas are available.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=95299


I would term it "Anti-gear-centric". They work with a plastic camera, blessed by the creative, no fancy Nippon stuff necessary, and make some fun photos. And in a few cases some really good stuff. However, it's become a church with a serious following.

When one of the local art students pulls a Diana out of a pocket at a party, a brief quiet comes over the room.. until the "glow" returns to baseline.

Brian Sweeney
10-19-2010, 16:27
I had the Summar on the M8 today. Just picked up a beautiful Walz hood for it. Makes a difference. The colors are like looking at an old Kodachrome slide. And I have shot Kodachrome- "K11 process Kodachrome".

Brian Sweeney
10-19-2010, 16:30
When one of the local art students pulls a Diana out of a pocket at a party, a brief quiet comes over the room.. until the "glow" returns to baseline.

I picked up a Diana in the box for 50cents at a thrift store, sold it on Ebay. It went for over $100 to an art student, loved hers and had to buy one for a friend. I was so embarrassed at the ridiculous profit margin that I put in a dozen roll of B&W and Infrared film for them to play with.

PKR
10-19-2010, 16:39
I picked up a Diana in the box for 50cents at a thrift store, sold it on Ebay. It went for over $100 to an art student, loved hers and had to buy one for a friend. I was so embarrassed at the ridiculous profit margin that I put in a dozen roll of B&W and Infrared film for them to play with.

I've seen cameras kept in little shrine like shelves with "special" adapters and attachments. While these cameras are used, they are kept "on view" for the chosen.. when resting

I'm sure the Diana is kept in a place of high prestige..

It's cool you added some film.. I would have tried to find the weirdest film to enclose... out of date color IR ? + a roll of black electrical tape to seal the camera?

Brian Sweeney
10-19-2010, 16:39
Move over "Hello-Kitty Edition Leica!",

http://cgi.ebay.com/Lomo-Diana-F-Medium-Format-FLASH-Camera-Mr-PINK-Clone-/170553710673?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item27b5cb1851

Added- I included TMAX, HIE, and some Infrared Ektachrome -out of date-. Make an art student happy.

gho
10-19-2010, 16:45
I am not sure if this makes sense, maybe an expert could chime in, but what also comes to my mind is a distinction of a pictorialist vs. a straight approach to photography.

For example the unsharp character of the Holga shots. The unsharpness gives the images an almost impressionistic or surreal feel, that leaves room for projection. Not each and every detail is dictated by a technically sharp photograph and the viewer has some room for projection, or for filling in the details with ones own imagination.

The consensus seems to be, that the Holga images have a dream-like character. Similar considerations have to be taken into account for pinhole photographs.

This seems to stand quite at odds with a more modern, straight approach of a technically perfect image, that tries to document reality as perfectly as possible by the sole means of photography without any reference to painting.

Other factors that seem to attract people to Holgas and the like, besides of creating an image that is somehow at odds with how we normally percieve the world, think cross processing, extreme wide angle, pinhole photography, are a certain degree of uncontrollability and spontaneity.

PKR
10-19-2010, 16:49
Move over "Hello-Kitty Edition Leica!",

http://cgi.ebay.com/Lomo-Diana-F-Medium-Format-FLASH-Camera-Mr-PINK-Clone-/170553710673?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item27b5cb1851

Added- I included TMAX, HIE, and some Infrared Ektachrome -out of date-. Make an art student happy.

Very cool..

Well I went on the Lomo store site today and found a "special edition" - "No-Nuke" Holga for ...are you ready Leica collectors?.. $550.00 inflated Amerkian Dollieers.

The "No-Nuke" logo, was a (are you ready again) a RED "Leicaesque" emblem, with .. No-Nuke in the center..

Brian Sweeney
10-19-2010, 17:18
I get it.

The Holga is the lowest common denominator camera that uses 120 film and has some limited parameters for adjustment.

Holga users must stick with Holga cameras in order that their artistic output relates directly to their talent, and is not influenced by differences in the gear used. Output using a Holga lens on a (for example) modified Rolleicord would change the denominator, and that particular artist's output quality to talent ratio would be on a different scale than the rest of the group. Using a better camera might create a technically better image, but does not necessarily indicate an increase in talent.

Notice how this is posted well after Roger has gone to bed. Hope he has a chuckle in the morning.

sig
10-19-2010, 18:31
Now If I were to use a Holga type lens and mate it to an SLR, and crop square.. And come up with “Holga” type results, would I be viewed as a heretic, by the Lomo-Holga church?

If, I were to keep quiet about this little Holga-Nikon modification, and exhibit and sell prints; while never claiming that they were taken with a Holga, but allowing the assumption, would I be dishonest?

If I purchased a Martian/Venetian clone of a Holga and made my photos with an “un-blessed” camera, would I be, again, in trouble with the Holgarians?

I think using a non-Holga to make “Holga-like” photos, would be a far more serious crime than using a Bessa or old SP to do Leica type RF work. In the case of the Leica, I don’t think many would care. In the case of the Holga, the religion is newer and likely far more radical and reactionary..

pkr

google holga lens dslr and you will get a lot of 'how to' pages. So maybe you will be a heretic but at least you will not be alone.

K14
10-19-2010, 18:41
I had the Summar on the M8 today. Just picked up a beautiful Walz hood for it. Makes a difference. The colors are like looking at an old Kodachrome slide. And I have shot Kodachrome- "K11 process Kodachrome".

Pics Brian? Is that a coated Summar your using? We should start a thread like this to see if other folks claim using sensor/lens combos mimic Kodachrome. I haven't found a film that compares but your Summar/M8 got me curious.

Gary

PKR
10-19-2010, 19:19
google holga lens dslr and you will get a lot of 'how to' pages. So maybe you will be a heretic but at least you will not be alone.


Thanks Sig;;

It's called "Holgafication".. by one guy.. I like the word. Maybe we'll claim a splinter church.. we'll have to consult Brian and Roger.

http://www.markcassino.com/b2evolution/index.php/fun_with_the_holga_holgafication


If I can find a broken camera, I'll make a lens mount. I have some small shop tools here. I plan to test my pin-hole nikon in the near future.

p.

JayGannon
10-20-2010, 09:05
Last time I checked Roger makes a solid living from it. So I guess 'mundane snapshots' sell, and when you shoot for living you use quality equipment... 1+1=2

Brian Sweeney
10-20-2010, 09:13
However, people who spend $25 to do much the same thing are spending their money frivolously.


A number of people spend more than $25 on a Holga. How about the $550 Limited Edition Holga? Let alone the $200 version that Keith showed. Maybe Nieman Marcus can get into it, Urban Outfitters certainly has.

Nice outfit for $250 at Urban Outfitters.
http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=15935885&itemdescription=true&navAction=jump&search=true&isProduct=true&parentid=SEARCH+RESULTS

I would rather have a Leica IIIa with Summar, 9cm f4 Elmar, and Canon 35/2- which cost me less than the above outfit.

I think that is the point, "Why Holga or a Diana", why not a Brownie or other cheap camera? "Why does it HAVE to be a Holga or Diana". I understand it, using a Holga or Diana places you into a group, just as using a Leica places you into a group. It is a common ground for comparisons of individual's work taking differences in use of equipment out of the equation.

jsrockit
10-20-2010, 09:15
One person's snapshot is another person's masterpiece.

jsrockit
10-20-2010, 09:17
A number of people spend more than $25 on a Holga. I think that is the point, "Why Holga or a Diana", why not a Brownie?

How about the $550 Limited Edition Holga? Let alone the $200 version that Keith showed. Maybe Nieman Marcus can get into it, Urban Outfitters certainly has.

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=15935885&itemdescription=true&navAction=jump&search=true&isProduct=true&parentid=SEARCH+RESULTS

People follow trends ... it's just another trend. They've become fashionable (even played-out at this point) and once something becomes fashionable, you can charge more for it.

kevin m
10-20-2010, 09:21
A number of people spend more than $25 on a Holga. I think that is the point, "Why Holga or a Diana", why not a Brownie?

Well, caveat emptor, and all that. But if you want the look a Holga produces, then why would you pick up a Brownie, a 5D Canon or a Leica M9? Why not just use the Holga?

wgerrard
10-20-2010, 09:53
The point isn't the price of the hardware. The point is that people buy cameras that are built to be deliberately faulty and to produce deliberately faulty images. The discussion is about why people are attracted to that pre-broken $25 camera. I've seen a great deal of "it's fun" and "it's cool" and "if you don't understand it's your problem" and a whole lot of unwarranted juvenile defensiveness expressed in insults and character attacks.

But, I haven't acquired much of an insight.

kevin m
10-20-2010, 10:04
...The point is that people buy cameras that are built to be deliberately faulty and to produce deliberately faulty images. The discussion is about why people are attracted to that pre-broken $25 camera....

"Faulty" and "pre-broken" is a judgement you're making. The camera does what it does. If you like what it does, then why not use that camera?

f16sunshine
10-20-2010, 10:17
The point isn't the price of the hardware. The point is that people buy cameras that are built to be deliberately faulty and to produce deliberately faulty images. The discussion is about why people are attracted to that pre-broken $25 camera. I've seen a great deal of "it's fun" and "it's cool" and "if you don't understand it's your problem" and a whole lot of unwarranted juvenile defensiveness expressed in insults and character attacks.

But, I haven't acquired much of an insight.

If you find no insight 7 pages into this thread...then eventually you never will. If the Holga is not fun for you so be it. Experiment with a different vegetable. ;)
MR Hicks seems to be open to why the Holga has merit. Otherwise why ask the question. Whether it does or not I think will continue to be a personal view. For you clearly the answer is No it does not.

breathstealer
10-20-2010, 10:30
Well, caveat emptor, and all that. But if you want the look a Holga produces, then why would you pick up a Brownie, a 5D Canon or a Leica M9? Why not just use the Holga?

The assumption that Roger was working from to start with is that there exist cameras other than the Holga that produce images just like the Holga. So, he asks, why would you choose the Holga in particular, over the other cameras that produce images like it?

Nobody here is saying that the Holga is a bad camera (or at least nobody should be saying it, because that's way off topic). The question is what differentiates the Holga from the other good cameras that also do what it does, which has been discussed quite calmly in some parts of the thread.

wgerrard
10-20-2010, 10:58
"Faulty" and "pre-broken" is a judgement you're making.

Of course it's a judgement, and a correct one. The camera is unpredictable and produces images that in any other camera would be considered unmarketably flawed.

If you like that sort of thing, fine. Just don't go all defensive because you think someone is attacking you by being honest about the camera.

wgerrard
10-20-2010, 11:03
If you find no insight 7 pages into this thread...then eventually you never will. If the Holga is not fun for you so be it. Experiment with a different vegetable. ;)
MR Hicks seems to be open to why the Holga has merit. Otherwise why ask the question. Whether it does or not I think will continue to be a personal view. For you clearly the answer is No it does not.

Sheesh, Andy. See above.

Food is a bad analogy, but it isn't about you liking carrots and me not getting it. It's about me liking carrots, you liking carrots with worms and rotten spots, and me not getting that.

Like I said, nothing wrong with that, if it's your preference. But, there's certainly no need to respond as if criticism or rejection of a camera is criticism or rejection of the people who use it.

Carlos M
10-20-2010, 11:14
Of course it's a judgement, and a correct one. The camera is unpredictable and produces images that in any other camera would be considered unmarketably flawed.


http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82055&d=1287433185

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82056&d=1287433211

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82057&d=1287433562

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82058&d=1287434142

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82059&d=1287434166


"Faulty" and "pre-broken" :confused:

Mine seems to work just fine.
I've had my $25 worth of fun, over and over again. And still going strong.

kevin m
10-20-2010, 11:14
Of course it's a judgement, and a correct one.

Only within the assumption that a well-corrected lens is a universal good. The Holga isn't a "bad" lens anymore than an Aspherical Summilux is a "good" lens. If you want dreamy, smeary vignetted imagery, then the Summilux is bad; if you want well-corrected, high contrast, flare-resistant imagery, then the Holga is bad.

In the physical world, they're both lenses with properties. That's it. Good and bad exist only in your mind.

SimonSawSunlight
10-20-2010, 11:45
Photographers (particularly male photographers) fetishize gear way too much; photography is not about gear, it's about light.

interesting statement. I have seen more trendy girls wearing cameras as a fashion accessoire than I've seen blokes though...

Brian Sweeney
10-20-2010, 11:46
But if you are attracted to really basic cameras, what's the appeal of a Holga over any other rock-bottom 120 camera out of a thrift store/charity shop/car boot sale/swap meet/yard sale/vide grenier/whatever?


Roger's question was asking why does it have to be a Holga. Some of the answers that have been given are along the lines that it is fashionable. I think it is more like a "common denominator" among a certain group of photographers. Using the Diana/Holga defines them as being in a group. As far as flaws in the images: I have seen plenty shown with light leaks and other technical flaws that would put any other camera into the repair shop or the parts bin.

As far as the Holga having a "bad" lens, if you like "bad" then it is "good".

I've made lenses that are better.

http://www.ziforums.com/picture.php?albumid=99&pictureid=830

http://www.ziforums.com/picture.php?albumid=99&pictureid=829

and right now, that lens is being used on an M9.

f16sunshine
10-20-2010, 12:12
Sheesh, Andy. See above.

Food is a bad analogy, but it isn't about you liking carrots and me not getting it. It's about me liking carrots, you liking carrots with worms and rotten spots, and me not getting that.

Like I said, nothing wrong with that, if it's your preference. But, there's certainly no need to respond as if criticism or rejection of a camera is criticism or rejection of the people who use it.

Label me if you must Bill. I don't find what a wrote juvenile or defensive. The message is simple. Some folks like these things some do not. You do not. As well after 7 pages of posts.. you also do not understand why some do. My fun is not yours. It was not meant as a personal affront. No need for you to see it that way. I don't like a booze buzz. Likely never will. I sure understand why some do. Again a comparison you may not like. There you have it though. Different strokes for different folks.

wgerrard
10-20-2010, 12:16
In the physical world, they're both lenses with properties. That's it. Good and bad exist only in your mind.

There is, and has been for more than a century, an accepted standard about the properties of a good lens. If you want to assert that my notion of good and bad lenses exist only in my mind, then you need to deal with that. A dose of relativism won't cut it.

You are the exception because you have chosen a camera that violates the universally accepted standards of what a good camera actually is. As I've said, there is nothing wrong with that. But, inexplicably, you have responded to questions and criticism of the camera as if someone was attacking you.

wgerrard
10-20-2010, 12:19
Label me if you must Bill...

Who's labeling? A good many responses in this thread meet my definition of defensive. More than a few are blatantly abusive. People are equating criticism of a camera they like with criticism of themselves, and responding in that vein.

Carlos M
10-20-2010, 12:28
There is, and has been for more than a century, an accepted standard about the properties of a good lens.

OK, but good for what?

Ever tried a Thambar? Roger has one, paid a lot for it too. Ask him to post some photos taken with it and to explain it's "faults".



Yes, the Thambar is a special-purpose lens that gives a particular look, but then so does the Holga lens.





.

wgerrard
10-20-2010, 12:31
OK, but good for what?

Ever tried a Thambar? Roger has one, paid a lot for it too. Ask him to post some photos taken with it and to explain it's "faults".

Yes, the Thambar is a special-purpose lens that gives a particular look, but then so does the Holga lens.

.

Why is so hard for some people to admit the Holga is unpredictable and faulty -- as measured by commonly accepted standards -- but they like that? That makes more sense than trying to prove that good is bad, bad is good, etc., etc.

Perhaps we need a new thread that asks why some Holga users are so emotionally involved with their cameras that they can't distinguish where the camera ends and they begin. If it is capable of producing the kind of reponses we've seen here, that bond must be very strong.

f16sunshine
10-20-2010, 12:43
Why is so hard for some people to admit the Holga is unpredictable and faulty -- as measured by commonly accepted standards -- but they like that? That makes more sense than trying to prove that good is bad, bad is good, etc., etc.

Perhaps we need a new thread that asks why some Holga users are so emotionally involved with their cameras that they can't distinguish where the camera ends and they begin. If it is capable of producing the kind of reponses we've seen here, that bond must be very strong.

Go read my first post #131. I'm not pickin on ya. I just think you are missing something. And yes I do absolutely agree. It's unpredictable and Faulty and I like that. The bond thing though I will not admit to.

Brian Sweeney
10-20-2010, 12:45
A lot of users have emotional bonds with their cameras, even if they are poor quality compared to the better ones owned. I still have the Instamatic 150.

Carlos M
10-20-2010, 12:59
Why is so hard for some people to admit the Holga is unpredictable and faulty --

From first hand experience with three different Holgas (120N, 120GN and WPC120) I can say that they have never behaved unpredictably or show any faults (within the limitations of lens design).

I am only trying to explain why I like to use them, occasionally.
I am not overly emotionally attached to them.
If I lost them I would not worry, I might not even replace them if I did.

Have you ever used one? A new one?
I think not, but then why would you waste your time, you've already decided that they are faulty and pre-broken.

zumbido
10-20-2010, 13:02
From first hand experience with three different Holgas (120N, 120GN and WPC120) I can say that they have never behaved unpredictably or show any faults (within the limitations of lens design).

I am only trying to explain why I like to use them, occasionally.
I am not overly emotionally attached to them.
If I lost them I would not worry, I might not even replace them if I did.

Have you ever used one? A new one?
I think not, but then why would you waste your time, you've already decided that they are faulty and pre-broken.

You say they are not "faulty", do not have light-leaks, are utterly predictable.

Fellow Holga users in this thread are saying exactly the opposite.

What, oh what is a boy to do?

Brian Sweeney
10-20-2010, 13:09
Wow- Urban Outfitters lists a lot of Film Products.

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/category.jsp?popId=&navAction=push&navCount=0&pushId=&prepushId=&id=APARTMENT_MEDIA

And a Pentax Digital replica of the 110 SLR. I have one of those, with the lenses, motor wind, and filter kit. Also have one of those Japanese 16mm Rollfilm cameras. Now that is like a Sub-miniature Diana. Used it for one roll of film. The lens is pretty bad.

Ohh- and for the Above, the "new Old Stock" Diana that I got for 50cents and sold for over $100 was faulty. I repaired it, and disclosed the repair in the listing. They break easily. They are not reliable cameras. These cameras used to sell for 25cents when they were new. The 5 and dime put them out in giant "bins" (metal trash cans) when for sale. Wish I had bought 40 of them.

Carlos M
10-20-2010, 13:13
You say they are not "faulty", do not have light-leaks, are utterly predictable.

Fellow Holga users in this thread are saying exactly the opposite.

What, oh what is a boy to do?

A lot of folks here had a lot of problems with Leica M8. Lots did not.

Have a look at Holgajen's blog HERE. (http://holgajen.blogspot.com/) You'll see some wonderful b+w photos by her and the Holga users she interviews.
I don't remember ever having seen a shot with light leaks there, and there's a lot of images.

zumbido
10-20-2010, 13:17
A lot of folks here had a lot of problems with Leica M8. Lots did not.

Have a look at Holgajen's blog HERE. (http://holgajen.blogspot.com/) You'll see some wonderful b+w photos by her and the Holga users she interviews.
I don't remember ever having seen a shot with light leaks there, and there's a lot of images.

As always, processed shots on the web don't really speak to anything. But that's not even the point... as noted, a number of your compatriots here--and thousands all over the web--all claim the light leak as a virtue of the Holga's character? Are they liars?

Brian Sweeney
10-20-2010, 13:18
Holga's and Diana's are notorious for light leaks, and some images with light leaks are present in this thread. I suspect most people do not post the shots ruined by light leaks. They are not the only cameras that develop light leaks, but it is inherent in the design of the mechanism that holds the back in place. That is probably why many people tape the camera.

Old Nicca's and Minolta RF's are notorious for developing leaks in the shutter curtains. Kiev's are notorious for developing light leaks around the finder. People live with it, does not happen to everyone. Holga's and Diana's are notorious for unreliable operation. One breaks, buy another. Do not get the $550 version.

robbeiflex
10-20-2010, 13:22
Wow- Urban Outfitters lists a lot of Film Products.

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/category.jsp?popId=&navAction=push&navCount=0&pushId=&prepushId=&id=APARTMENT_MEDIA

And a Pentax Digital replica of the 110 SLR. I have one of those, with the lenses, motor wind, and filter kit. Also have one of those Japanese 16mm Rollfilm cameras. Now that is like a Sub-miniature Diana. Used it for one roll of film. The lens is pretty bad.

Ohh- and for the Above, the "new Old Stock" Diana that I got for 50cents and sold for over $100 was faulty. I repaired it, and disclosed the repair in the listing. They break easily. They are not reliable cameras. These cameras used to sell for 25cents when they were new. The 5 and dime put them out in giant "bins" (metal trash cans) when for sale. Wish I had bought 40 of them.

Wow, they (Urban Outfitters) want 20€ for a roll of 120 film, unbelievable! :bang:

http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/bin/venda?ex=co_wizr-xapian&threshold=1&bsref=urbanoutfitters&morelike=&searchex=camera&itemsperpage=12&param1=3&searchinvt=1&carryfields=F,maxprice,sortname,sortrelease%3E,V,s ortprice,C,catname,minprice,U&F=&maxprice=&sortname=&sortrelease%3E=&V=&sortprice=&C=&catname=&minprice=&U=&srchopt=F,maxprice,sortname,sortrelease,V,sortpric e,C,minprice,U&ARG_DEFAULTOP=OR&xptpl=wz_xapian_advanced&filtercat=shop

Brian Sweeney
10-20-2010, 13:25
I should have stocked up on the Verichrome Pan and stuck it in the freezer. Next to the 25cent Diana's.

In fact, I should check the fridge. I have a stock of 620 film. I could use the Brownie. I bought it "new-old-Stock" in a thrift store for $5. Even though it was 10x the cost of the Diana.

Brian Sweeney
10-20-2010, 13:28
Wow, they (Urban Outfitters) want 20€ for a roll of 120 film, unbelievable! :bang:

http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/bin/venda?ex=co_wizr-xapian&threshold=1&bsref=urbanoutfitters&morelike=&searchex=camera&itemsperpage=12&param1=3&searchinvt=1&carryfields=F,maxprice,sortname,sortrelease%3E,V,s ortprice,C,catname,minprice,U&F=&maxprice=&sortname=&sortrelease%3E=&V=&sortprice=&C=&catname=&minprice=&U=&srchopt=F,maxprice,sortname,sortrelease,V,sortpric e,C,minprice,U&ARG_DEFAULTOP=OR&xptpl=wz_xapian_advanced&filtercat=shop

The $20 is for Instant Film for the Fuji-Instant Print version.

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?itemdescription=true&itemCount=80&startValue=1&selectedProductColor=&sortby=&id=15264625&parentid=APARTMENT_MEDIA&sortProperties=+subCategoryPosition,&navCount=7&navAction=push&color=&pushId=APARTMENT_MEDIA&popId=APARTMENT&prepushId=&selectedProductSize=

Their 120 B&W is $18 for a three-pack. Not bad.

Bob Michaels
10-20-2010, 13:29
A number of people spend more than $25 on a Holga. How about the $550 Limited Edition Holga? Let alone the $200 version that Keith showed. Maybe Nieman Marcus can get into it, Urban Outfitters certainly has.

Nice outfit for $250 at Urban Outfitters.
http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=15935885&itemdescription=true&navAction=jump&search=true&isProduct=true&parentid=SEARCH+RESULTS

I would rather have a Leica IIIa with Summar, 9cm f4 Elmar, and Canon 35/2- which cost me less than the above outfit.

I think that is the point, "Why Holga or a Diana", why not a Brownie or other cheap camera? "Why does it HAVE to be a Holga or Diana". I understand it, using a Holga or Diana places you into a group, just as using a Leica places you into a group. It is a common ground for comparisons of individual's work taking differences in use of equipment out of the equation.

First, I chose Brian's post to respond because he asked several intelligent questions. I do not purport to represent the majority views of all the Holga / Diana users out there. This is just my thoughts.

I own two Holgas. I use them infrequently as I just prefer more traditional cameras overall. But I do see some place for them. I do have friends that use their Holgas more regularly than I.

I would be unhappy paying $50 for something that I found out I could get for $25 regardless of label. I think I paid $22 and $26 for my Holgas because I could not find a used one. I just accept that some would buy a $250 Holga outifit because of charisma, that is just not me. I am the guy who uses a $1.59 pen because I think it writes better than the $300 Montblanc I received as a gift.

It does not have to be a Holga or Diana for me. I would use anything that gave that same unpredictability and certainly less that optimum image quality. The box cameras seem to have reasonable consistency and IQ, not why I would use one. FWIW, the "HOLGA" nameplate fell off one of mine. It has been replaced with a piece of gaffer tape to seal up the hole. I am a photo print guy, not a camera or equipment guy. Actually I do not even own a Leica body. Now I could probably duplicate some of that "Holga look" in Photoshop but I am not talented enough to make it look totally random the way the crappy cameras do.

While I cannot explain why others sometimes use a crappy camera (mine is Holga branded), I hope I have shared some insight why I occasionally use one.

K14
10-20-2010, 13:44
While I cannot explain why others sometimes use a crappy camera (mine is Holga branded), I hope I have shared some insight why I occasionally use one.

I see unique situations with my Diana. I like the built-in pinhole shots it takes too. Sometimes though the defects seem to fit. BTW I own a Leica too. ;) Gary

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2490/3886264590_5367ab1ef5_z.jpg

Roger Hicks
10-20-2010, 13:53
There's been lots of good stuff here -- most recently, thank you, Bob and K14 -- along with some convincing arguments. But there's also been a distressing amount of mud-slinging and personal insult, plus a modest amount of "My mind is made up: do not confuse me with the facts." I am glad that I started the thread, as I have learned a good deal; but equally, I should not now be sorry to see it end.

EDIT: @ Steve (below): another example of the clear thinking displayed by some, but alas not all, on this thread. Thanks!

Cheers,

R.

Steve M.
10-20-2010, 13:54
I don't get the appeal either, unless it's the fact that at least you're buying a popular camera that is new, and sold by a real business, vs an old unknown camera from who-knows-who on an auction.

The Holga may not be much, but it's probably just as described. On the other hand, who would buy a camera that is GUARANTEED to have light leaks? Art students?