Holga owners: Do you send your film to labs for processing?

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by jasonjoo, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Hey guys,

    I just searched through APUG and came across this thread:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum51/33847-film-holga.html

    In the thread, someone mentioned that due to the fixed shutter speed and 2 aperture settings (another person actually mentioned that the apertures do not change in a Holga), you really need to correct your exposures in the darkroom.

    However, if you do not have access to a dark room, will an outside lab be able to process the films and make the necessary adjustments to the film for correct exposure? I don't have much experience with film, let alone processing film, but my guess is that labs that develop films are automated.

    I ask because I'm considering purchasing a Holga, but don't have access to a darkroom at the moment.

    Thanks for reading! I'm all ears here :smile:

    Jason
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Unless you shoot only one subject per roll of film, it difficult to control you image contrast when developing. You can not "make the necessary adjustments to the film for correct exposure". Once film is exposed, it is exposed. All one can do in development is expand or contract the contrast range.

    So yes, I let a professional lab develop my film shot in a Holga. You can do the same.
     
  3. geauxpez

    geauxpez Member

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    Alternately, you can develop your own negatives. I have read several recommendations for Diafine spefically for Holga negatives to improve the odds that you will get a decent image to print. I just ordered some for that purpose. I doubt that most labs would use such a developer.

    Adam
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    a good friend of mine who does wonderful toy camera work has several ;and each is painted a different color and each has a different type of film which is used for specific lighting conditions. Each type is developed to those conditions.

    Since they are so light it is not an issue to have several handy .

    One doesn't need a complete darkroom to develop negatives so you might consider doing your negatives.
     
  5. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    To elaborate on Ann's post a bit, although I have two Holga's, I only carry around one at a time. So what I do is ensure that I use the entire roll of film in the 'same' lighting conditions / environment / location / subject. This way, when I go to the lab to process my film - I only use colour slide film and I just don't have the time or darkroom to process my own film - I will know whether or not to ask the lab to push or pull the film, if necessary.

    Of course, I always try to match the film I use to the lighting condition / environment / location / subject before I use the camera, so in virtually all cases I have rarely asked the lab to do anything but process the film normally. It's in cases where I don't have a variety of film to choose from and for whatever reason, the conditions changed.

    If you're trying the Holga out for the first time, B&W film has more latitude than colour negative film which in turn has more latitude than colour slide film. So it may be best to try B&W film first to account for the learning curve. Get the lab to process the roll normally and see what you get.

    Regards, Art.
     
  6. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I have only shot HP5+ in my Holga until recently. There is just now, the first roll of FP4+ in it. I process all of it for 8 minutes in 510-Pyro 1:100.

    Any adjustments occur on the enlarging easel.
     
  7. nicolai

    nicolai Member

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    It's a Holga. Use a compensating developer like Diafine as geauxpez suggested and take what you get. If you want to tweak, mount the Holga lens on a MF camera with a focal plane shutter or a LF leaf shutter. It's the only way you're going to get real exposure control.
     
  8. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    Buy your Holgas from www.holgamods.com and you'll have two "workable" f/stops.

    Do we know each other Ann?
    :tongue: :wink: :D :rolleyes:
    Because, I do my Holga's that way too.
    My unpainted one has black wand white film in it, my red one has slide film and my yellow one has color negative film in it.
    Go for it and buy a Holga or two or...
    It will put the fun back into your photography!
    Good Luck!
    Brian
     
  9. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    Brian, that's where I plan to purchase the Holga from.

    Thanks for the suggestions and comments. However at this point, I will NOT have access to a dark room, so I will have to send my photos off to a lab.

    Seems like a lot of fun though. I will be ordering soon!
     
  10. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Having never sent 120 film to a lab I have no idea what a lab print will look like. Is it square?
    That being said, you can scan the negs and I think you'll be fine with the range of B&W films available in 120. Maybe use TriX pulled a stop for bright sunny days, processed normally for partly cloudy and pushed a stop or 2 on really cloudy days. Any lab can/will follow those instructions.
    Have fun-That is the idea.-
     
  11. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Good lab prints from 120 film, using 6x6 format film will be square, yes. A local lab just printed 6x4 prints from my holga shots (doh). But I send it off to a good lab now (RGB Lab somewhere up north here in the UK, I forget where, Doesn't matter much does it?) and get nice colour prints back. Never had a huge problem with holgas and exposure but I do have a hand meter and estimate the holga to be f-8 and around 1/100sec shutterspeed. I meter for whatever the box speed is of the film, even if it's B&W film and I'm using diafine. Never seemed to matter much but I guess I'm not picky enough :tongue: I get images; that makes me happy.
     
  12. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I have a lab do most of my Holga rolls. I usually ask for develop only and I'll just get the decent ones printed (I scan the negs to see what works). B&W I can do myself, but I put expired color film through it, too.
    The one thing I usually have to remember is to warn the guys at the shop. The last time I took a roll in, I forgot to mention it was from a Holga. When I picked it up, the guy looked me kinda sheepishly and said, "Well, we think there might have been a problem with this roll. We're not sure if it was our fault or if there might be something wrong with your camera? There was a lot of vignetting and what look like light leaks." I chuckled and told him it was from a Holga. I had to explain what it was (he'd sorta heard of them, but never seen shots from one), then he was amused.
     
  13. jasonjoo

    jasonjoo Member

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    winger, that is pretty funny :smile:

    Thanks for the info guys. I'll probably have a few rolls developed at a lab, but hopefully I'll be able to learn how to develop my own negatives soon. I'll have access to my universities dark room over the summer!
     
  14. JCT

    JCT Member

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    Holgas are a blast -- I used them to get my teenagers interested in film, my dancer daughter keeps one in her ballet bag next to her pointe shoes!

    Definitely take the time to learn to develop, the big negatives are lovely and you really don't even need a darkroom for B&W, you could get away with just a changing bag.

    Have fun!

    JT