Holga confusion

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by PatTrent, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    Well, I can't stand it any longer, and I've got to get a Holga! But I'm confused about which one to buy. I was looking over the Holga Mod's site, and I see they offer to modify Holgas by adding a bulb feature and a tripod socket, among other things. Then I went to Freestyle's site and saw that the new Holgas already have a tripod socket and bulb feature. So now it's down to whether I want closer focusing (2-feet vs. 3-feet) and/or a second aperture (as the Holga Mod folk say the "cloudy" slide on the Holga doesn't really result in a wider aperture than the "sunny" setting.

    What's the real story here, in your opinions? Do you see any difference between the cloudy vs. sunny setting on your unmodified Holga's? Do you think the modifications are effective enough to make them worth the extra cost over the regular 120N sold by Freestyle? (I need to buy something from Freestyle anyway, so the extra shipping for the Holga 120N won't be as much as the stand-alone shipping from another source.)

    I will be shooting 400TRI-X (and occasionally FP4+) and developing it myself. Sometimes I will use the bulb setting, but I have found that exception for very long exposures, I can get a sharp photo by pressing a camera body down firmly against the tripod plate; so I rarely use a cable release unless I'm using a locked cable in order to walk away from the camera for a while (e.g., night photography in my back yard).

    Any advice???

    Thanks in advance,

    Pat Trent
     
  2. highpeak

    highpeak Member

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    Pat, I did try to figure out the difference between the 'cloudy' and 'sunny' settings, but I couldn't tell the difference, look like they have the same aperture opening. As for 'B' and tripod socket, they are standard on my un-modified holga.

    To add a little bit more fun, the holga now has a different set of filters for flash.

    My question is where do you put the cable release?

    Alex W.
     
  3. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    Hi Alex:

    It looks like they put the cable release on the upper left side of the lens, as you face the camera. It costs about $13-$14 for that modification.

    Pat
     
  4. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I have a Holga and a Woca (Holga with a glass lens - very little difference in practice, actually).

    When I picked them up, I did some reading about them, and from what I remember the sunny/cloudy setting in a standard Holga/Woca was actually just a placebo - not actually connected. I believe the Holga Mod guy (or someone, don't recall off-hand) actually connected it and made it effect the aperture in some fashion (it was just 1 stop difference, as I recall).

    I shot a few rolls of 400 ISO film with them - I got them as an intro to 120 format. Sort of interesting pics, but mine had some subtle light leaks, so I ended up covering them in tape. And, ultimately, the semi-blurry pics didn't "do it" for me, so I ended up buying a refurbed Agfa Isolette III :smile:
     
  5. paxette

    paxette Member

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    It doesn't, it's just a square hole far too big to be of any use. I took a piece of soda can, drilled a hole into it then glued it to the square hole to get an aperture of about f19.

    Depends, would you rather search the internets for all the mod's or just have someone do them for you? In the long run finding the modifications on various sites, buying the supplies and then doing them myself cost more than just buying a modified camera from Randy.
     
  6. nicolai

    nicolai Member

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    The sunny-cloudy switch is connected: it moves a little arm with a hole in it in front of the fixed aperture hole. The problem is that the hole in the arm is bigger than the fixed aperture it "covers", so it has no effect. If we're to believe the quoted focal length of 60mm, an unmodified Holga has a single functional aperture of f/13.3 (I broke out a ruler and did the math, details here).

    Taking them apart isn't particularly hard, but if you're not mechanically inclined, don't have the supplies, or just don't want to bother, I agree with the other folks here, Randy at holgamods.com does a really good job for a really reasonable price, and he gets it done fast. My only tip on that is that I have found that I don't need velcro to hold the back on, I just bend the clips tighter with needle-nosed pliers. Every Holga really is different, but I've never had one pop off with tightened clips across maybe 8 of them.
     
  7. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Ok, if my "cloudy" aperture is really f13 and not f8, then my smaller "sunny" aperture (as modified by Randy) can't be f11, as claimed. It must be smaller than f13...so what two apertures does a Holgamods Hoga really have?
     
  8. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    How to do the cable release mod
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/judyboy/312136130/
    How to do the aperture mod:
    http://squarefrog.co.uk/holga/index.php?id=aperturemod (also has other mods on the same page)

    On the old Holgas (120S) there was no bulb mode or tripod socket. I got one of the newer ones(120N) for my birthday this year and it seems to have been taken over by my husband... Only huge problem is the bulb mode/normal mode switch is just underneath the lens on the bottom and you do forget you have previously had it in bulb mode and you end up with funky blurry pictures from that. I have taken apart my 120S before and the closeup mod isn't too hard to do either except I got impatient and did a very silly thing... I read the internet. And it said the shortcut method to the closeup mod is just force the lens to go beyond the focal length... yes that ruins the screw and you can't do the closeup mod properly anymore and if you "focus" too closely your lens now falls off, oops! Good thing this is a toy...
    By the way, nailpolish is excellent for painting holgas those funky colours too.
     
  9. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    On the old Holgas (120S) there was no bulb mode or tripod socket.

    Correct - the lack of these options was exactly what inspired the creation of Holgamods.com & similar sites in the first place. They still do some mods that Holga hasn't come up with yet.

    As a longtime Holga user, and as someone who has taken apart a few, I can safely say that the aperture switch does absolutely nothing. The so-called "sunny" option drops an arm in front of the aperture, with a square hole in the arm...that's bigger than the aperture! In other words, it's not blocking any light from reaching the film. Total placebo, just ignore it.

    I must also say that the Holga Fisheye lens attachment produces some truly wild pictures, too.
     
  10. PatTrent

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    Wow! Lots of great information here. Thanks for all the speedy replies.

    OK, looks I'm going over to the Holga Mods site to make my purchase.

    Hmmmmmm, do I want to start with one, or maybe two, or maybe . . . ???

    Pat
     
  11. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Get two. They break!
     
  12. PatTrent

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    OK, I just ordered Randy's usual Modified Holga, plus flocking and velcro and the customized 6x6 frame. My main interest is in the two apertures and close focusing, so the other features are just "frosting on the cake" and cost very little to add. Can't wait to try it out. First roll will be FP4+ in Rodinal 1:100, Semi-stand (1 hour, 2 inversions initially and one inverstion at the 30-minute mark). The next roll will probably be Tri-X with a slight push in HC110-B (I usually use dilution H, but for pushing, it will be B instead.) I hope they come out nice and vignetted and softly focused. Otherwise I will have to resort to some Vaseline and/or a too-small lens hood.
     
  13. nicolai

    nicolai Member

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    It can, there's a little ring behind the lens that you can pop out, which makes it about f/10 (details here). IIRC Randy pops that out and glues a washer to the aperture arm, thus making it actually effective.

    The hole in the metal shutter plate is f/8 (well, f/7.9, but whatever), so depending on how Randy drills the plastic and what size washer he uses, f/8 and f/11 are probably as right on as you're going to get with a Holga.

    Though, even if they are, Holga have some really funky stuff going on, because f/8 at ~1/100 on a sunny day should completely blow out ISO 400 film, but it's just about right. I did some tests on the lens--info and discussion here--but found nothing that made any sense to me.
     
  14. tchamber

    tchamber Member

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    You may find the FP4+ too slow, depending on what you're shooting. I generally shoot Tri-X (400), sometimes HP5+, and always give it an extra minute or two in the developer. For color, I shoot Portra 400 and ask for a one-stop push. YMMV, but that's what works for me.
     
  15. PatTrent

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    I hear you. Well, I guess I'll just have to experiment then. I'd like to use up the FP4+ before standardizing on Tri-X, so I'll test a roll and then not be surprised if I find I have to push the FP4+. I have a couple rolls of Fuji 400HG to test also. Can't wait for the Holga to get here. The order confirmation message said it might be 10-14 days due to a back log.
     
  16. tchamber

    tchamber Member

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    If you want to use slower film, I think Randy will modify the apertures to give you two wider ones than are standard with the camera. If that's an important consideration you might try to contact him.
     
  17. PatTrent

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    Thanks for that info. I think I'll have him do that on the next Holga. Then I can use the one I've already ordered for Tri-X and the second one for FP4+. What fun!
     
  18. PatTrent

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    Hurray! My modified Holga came today and it's now loaded with Tri-X so I can take some photos later this afternoon when it cools off outside (too hot right now--might even melt the camera, LOL).

    I attached a Vivitar 283 flash and it actually fired with the Holga's shutter!!! Amazing. :D