Holga & Parallax correction

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by ronobvious, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. ronobvious

    ronobvious Member

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    Has anyone written a 'thing' about what to do about parallax problems with the Holga? I mean, sometimes it actually works out like for this one:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellybeard/2298868421/in/set-72157603956746166/

    I had it totally composed differently but it worked out better - this time.

    Anyway, proximity changes your composition through the Holga's 'viewfinder'. I imagine how you have focus adjusted also alters things. I was just wondering if anyone has tips, etc, or resources about how to adjust your view according to the Holga's.

    BTW, do check out my Holga stuff. I'm very interested in critiques. My workflow is to shoot, scan with Epson V500, and manipulate in Photoshop. My Photoshoping tends to be mostly contrast & toning, but there's one or two wild things in there.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellybeard/sets/72157603956746166/

    Hopefully by the end of the week I'll be developing my own film. Just gotta wait for chems and tank & reels.

    Thanks!

    Kelly
     
  2. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    Hi Kelly,
    Welcome to APUG! One of the great things (for me at least) about Holga's is that you can have tons of fun with them, be artistically creative, and not worry about techie things like paralax correction:wink:

    Having said that though, this site is a trove of information, and someone might have the answer to your question. Good luck with the film processing.

    J
     
  3. ronobvious

    ronobvious Member

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    All true, but still there are those times when you don't want your image potentially ruined.
     
  4. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I think the whole point of the Holga is to revel in its imprecisions. The last thing I'd worry about is parallax correction. If you are concerned, compose loosely in the finder, and crop when enlarging. Once you start actually wet-printing your own, a whole new world will open to you - I think you'll like it much more than playing on the computer. Welcome to APUG, again!
     
  5. Leon

    Leon Member

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    ... best not to use a holga then

    this might sound a bit of a trite answer ... but I'm being serious. I'm not averse to the imperfections of a plastic lens myself, but if I'm wanting paralax exactness and a high level of predictability, I'll use my mf slr. All the holga-tastic characteristics can then be simulated in the darkroom if needs be.

    PS - some friendly advice ... probably best not to speak too loudly about your "creative" use of photoshope here. Folk have been hung, drawn and quartered for less :smile: Welcome to APug
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2008
  6. realitysandwich

    realitysandwich Member

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    its not just the parallax, if you put a piece of tissue on the film plane and look through the viewfinder and then at the tissue you'll see that you're getting a good quarter or half inch more on the tissue than you can see on the viewfinder.
     
  7. ronobvious

    ronobvious Member

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    Ah, I don't worry about other's views on things. The image is the point. BTW, only the first sentence of your reply appeared on the screen. Maybe there's something about viewing full forum posts I don't have turned on.

    I think my point about parallax is valid (and not just parallax; there is also a issue of viewfinder coverage). One buys a Holga for the crappy, plastic lens and the awesome images it produces. What I don't appreciate about using the camera is randomness. I'd rather not shoot something then find out later that it didn't come out exactly as I would like for it to have been. There is lag-time and cost when using film. Just trying to maximize my dollars and number of usable frames. I can buy a Holga lens for my Canons and will do so later, so that would seem to settle the parallax problem and put the problem to bed, but then you're missing the medium format film element, squareness, etc, so the argument isn't finished.

    I prefer film over digital. Don't know why, maybe it's because of my Photography courses in college and the scents of the darkroom. FYI, here is my arsenal:

    Digital:
    Canon 5D (24-70L, 100 macro, 70-200L f/4, 100-400L)

    Film:
    Canon EOS-3
    Bronica SQ-Ai (50mm, 80mm, 150mm lenses)
    Holga

    I don't have the room, plumbing and equipment to do a wet darkroom and I'm not a 100% traditionalist, although I've already mentioned an affinity for film.

    I guess I'll work it out myself with a few rolls of film, which is what I was trying to avoid.
     
  8. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    Hay Kelly, welcome to the APUG group. You will find a lot of folks with answers to any question you can come up with, and some you cant. I dont think you should worry too much about parallax with a Holga, or focus either for that matter. If you can get good images from your Holga you are doing pretty good I think. Holgas were NOT designed for quality images, although some pretty good images have of course been made with them. Have fun with it and learn what you can. I hope this helps you.

    Paul
     
  9. Leon

    Leon Member

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    ok - I guess what I was saying was that this is a strictly analogue site - eg more than just film. That's not to say only film and darkroom users can be members of course, just that discussion of hybrid processes and digi manipulation is generally frowned upon. I doubt you'll engage the membership here in critiquing your work when you say you use photoshop as that is not the point of this site. There is a sister site at www.hybridphoto.com where you'll likely get a much more full response where critiques are concerned. Or maybe www.filmwasters.com where the stipulation is film only - digi manipulations are perfectly acceptable there - also a lot of well seasoned toycamera/ holga users there who might be able to help you out with the predictabiliy
    q. Also www.toycamera.com where there are many holga/diana users

    AS far as predictability with the holga - I'm afraid it's just a matter of getting used to it. One persons answer will only be exactly relevant to their own camera as each is subtly individual. Maybe you should get an old 6x6 slr with the shutter inside the body (broni s2 I think has that) then look at putting your holga lens in front of that. A friend of mine uses a similar set up although makes her own lenses with much success - www.susanburnstine.com

    good luck with it all though :smile:
     
  10. David Grenet

    David Grenet Member

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    This could be an idea to get used to the coverage - use a piece of ground glass (or frosted perspex, tissue paper, translucent tape etc) where the film is meant to go and compare it with the view through the view finder. Once you're used to it at different distances you can correct for it.
     
  11. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    You've got bigger problems than parallax to worry about with the Holga. :wink:

    Just leave a bit of cropping room, or estimate the shift.
     
  12. Wishy

    Wishy Member

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    Totally agree with all thats been said. My holga is a toy, but I'd never expect it to produce "good" images, nor would I worry about parallax correction. For all you know the backs going to fall off mid-roll anyway...
    Fun to use though, and I've had some great happy accidents with it:
    [​IMG]

    Cropping room is actually quite difficult on a Holga, you can't just cut out a corner because you'll get uneven vignetting that way. I'd have to be a square out the centre you crop for it to look right.
     
  13. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Hi Kelly,

    I've recently started shooting seriously with my Holga and I do know that Michelle Bates discusses this issue in her Plastic Cameras book. At least, I'm assuming what you mean is framing/cropping, not parallax, since Holga's aren't really meant for close up photography where that becomes an issue. If I recall correctly, she recommends composing your shot and then taking 2 or 3 steps closer to what you want to capture in order to deal with the fact that the viewfinder is only showing about 70% of what will be captured in the frame. I've used that advice and have been quite happy with the results, since I don't want to crop when printing (in order to get that Holga look).
     
  14. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    I have spoken many times with Michelle and that is exactly the advice she gives--and with good reason, as the technique really does work most of the time. It becomes more difficult when you have subjects that are far away (like a building or something), as you have to sometimes take a lot more steps to compensate for the distance, and then basically give it your best guess.

    I have found--in my own experience, anyway--that the Holga's parallax issues are most pronounced when you have a subject that's close-up. Of course, as has been pointed out, that's the area that's at the limit of the Holga's focusing capabilities, or even beyond it. There really is no formula out there (none that I've found, anyway) for compensating for the parallax problem with this particular camera...it really is a trial-and-error thing that one has to slog through. The Diana has a similar issue, except that it's a vertical parallax in it's case.
     
  15. okto

    okto Member

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    The Holga's lens is the most interesting part of it. Light leaks are rarely interesting, and bad composition is never interesting. If the latter two were what made Holga images interesting, you wouldn't need a camera, you could just selectively light-strike your film.
    I've been thinking about mounting a finder on top of a Holga, directly above the lens, to minimize parallax error.

    If you never expect good images out of your Holga, you probably shouldn't expect good images out of any camera you hold. The photographer makes an image good, the camera—no matter how good or bad—just captures what you see.
     
  16. ronobvious

    ronobvious Member

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    This is exactly my point, thanks. Crappy lens - yes. Composition problems - no.