Holga scratches

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by Thomas Bertilsson, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    This is ticking me off. The foam inside my Holga came off when it got hot. It actually got wrapped into the film roll and wrecked a roll of film too.
    So I tore it out and asked advice on what to do with it. I got the advice to use the loopy side of Velcro on the film back to push against the edge of the film transport (top and bottom so not to damage the film). So now I'm getting scratches across the emulsion, on all frames.

    What can you do to keep the film sort of flat, but most importantly, make the film roll spool up properly and tightly without scratching the film and replacing the foam?

    I'm at a loss and disappointed, as about twenty really good shots got ruined. See attachment.

    Thankful for help, or I'll just ditch the Holga in favor of a Diana.

    Thanks,

    - Thomas
     

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  2. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    That really stinks Thomas. I suspect that the Velcro is far too stiff for this application and is putting too much pressure on the film gate. I would suggest using something in the take-up side of the camera rather than putting additional pressure on the gate. If you used a stronger adhesive you might be able to attach better quality foam on that side of the camera. Have you considered some foam from the craft store and something like Gorilla glue?

    - Randy
     
  3. HMFriedman

    HMFriedman Member

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    Are you using a Holga N, which has a 6X6 mask included? The addition of the mask has done wonders for my film flatness. I also use an end piece torn from the bottom of a film carton, folded in half, under the bottom end of the film roll; that seems to have helped the film tension. Finally, why not glue another piece of foam back where the original was?

    I sense your frustration, but don't give up on Holga. How else can you have so much photographic gratification for $28?
     
  4. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Wow, that's a great photo! My sponges fell out too with my new Holga from Freestyle, and got rolled up ruining my best shot. The traditional way to keep the film tighter is to fold up some cardboard, like from the ends of the film box, and jam it under the film spool on the left.

    Jon
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2008
  5. asp.artist

    asp.artist Member

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    I've had this problem, too. With a new Holga. I assumed it was the film. I've been using artista from Freestyle and how the end of the film is attached has changed. I justed fished out the foam when processing until I got a chance to reglue with some elmers. Now I don't have to have 4 rubber bands holding the back of the camera on while rewinding the swollen film. No problems with the older Holga.
     
  6. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG!
     
  7. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Don't give up on Holga. Holga good ! And Holga likes Thomas ! That's a great shot.
    I stuck the fuzzy side of the velcro on the bottom of the camera under the reels on my old foamless Holga. Works fine.
     
  8. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Wow, APUGers to the rescue... :smile: I can still use the negatives digitally, and create new negatives, so all is not lost. These are hard to re-shoot, so I'll work them over in the unspeakable way.

    Re: 120N - yes, it's the newer version with a film mask.
    Re: New foam - Yes! I will try it, with good adhesive. And I got the tip to use a teflon tape to cover the foam that lies against the spool. That way it doesn't stick. I like that idea a lot! Came from my dad, who had the same thing happen to him. But he's smarter than me and only opens the back of the Holga inside the darkroom...
    Re: Giving up. No way. Just a bit disheartened. It seems every time I go on a photography trip something bad happens to my stuff. Last year for the Minnesota APUG gathering I had a batch of 15 rolls (or so) of Agfa APX25 that pooped out on me. This year the Holga scratches the film. Fortunately it was only four rolls out of 15 that got damaged, but that's still 25% of everything I shot.
    Diana: I will get one of those too. They seem to have less problems.

    Thanks for all of your suggestions and helpful, supportive comments.

    - Thomas
     
  9. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    MAn, sorry to hear this Thomas. That sux A$$ royally! This is really bad luck for you two years running now. I am going through the final rolls of our trip... Did some sheets, and 2 rolls of Neopan tonight so far so good, I also rewashed my other problem negs...No dice I am afraid. So it will have to be next year before I can get some more Palisades Head negatives... Unless I make a dedicated trip one night to do it! Any takers?
     
  10. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I glued some foam into my older Holga that never came with foam. I only put it on the takeup side and I just used some random stuff that came with some sort of computer item my husband brought home from work. I used PVA glue which isn't even suppose to work really but it's held pretty well. I get a few scratches on mine but that's because there's only some floppy bits of electrical tape covering up the film gate (again, this is the older model that didn't come with the fancy 6x6 mask). It's always worth checking those bits around the mask and leading up to the mask and not just the foam when looking for scratches.
     
  11. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Mine is of that same vintage (if you will) as yours it seems. You might be able to get just the 6x6 mask - I was at one point some years ago - although I can't recall now where I found it. I got tired of the scratches after a while despite it being one of the Holga 'features'...

    - Randy
     
  12. HMFriedman

    HMFriedman Member

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    B&H lists the 6X6 masks alone - $3.99, but it looks like a special order. Calumet will sell you a new Holga N for 38.00, including 5 rolls of HP5+.
     
  13. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    $4 plus, what, standard $30 shipping rate from the US? Nah. I don't get much scratches on mine anyway since I made semi-floppy film gates of folded over electrical tape. I've not had a huge problem with scratches on the holga. The Valiant box camera, on the other hand, is a scratchdemon in an unassuming black box...
     
  14. cgmoyer

    cgmoyer Member

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  15. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Great resource page that last one.

    I'm going to go the 'new foam' route that Heather is talking about, but modify it with my dad's secret weapon - teflon tape. That way the film doesn't stick to the foam, but still receives the pressure it needs.

    - Thomas
     
  16. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I'm still confused as to how your film is coming in contact with the foam to cause the scratches. The foam should only ever be touching the backing paper, yes?
     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The scratches are not from the foam.

    The problem with the foam is that it comes off. And it's the substitute for the foam (loopy velcro on the film back, lightly pushing on the film to hold it flat) that caused the scratches. So I'm going back to what was there before the film got scratched, but in a modified version with some very slippery tape so that it doesn't come unglued again (while retaining the pressure on the film spool).

    - Thomas
     
  18. pauliventi

    pauliventi Member

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    teflon tape

    the tape used by plumbers?
    so how did you stick it down?
    did you place some foam then use another type of tape to keep the teflon in place. hope that makes sense.
     
  19. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Pauliventi - the teflon tape is just like any other tape with an adhesive on it, and that sticks to the foam. The teflon is on the film side and is, as you know from frying pans and other things using the material, non-stick. You probably can't, and shouldn't, use plumber's tape for this. The teflon I'm talking about is fairly stiff.

    It's funny you found this thread. I have actually made some headway in making the Holga workable again, with regard to the scratches, anyway. I took a very fine grit sandpaper and polished the edges of the film guide (the 6x6 mask), and then I took a small piece of hardwood and polished the soft plastic to a shine where the film rubs against the guide. This seems to have helped.
    The modifications have to be such that the film rolls up nicely without putting too much tension on the film, because if there's too much tension on the film as it goes through the transport, it rubs too hard against the film guide, and is more likely to scratch the film.
    Whatever you do - try it out before you use it too much.
    - Thomas

    - Thomas
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Oh Lord, yeah, that velcro stuff is really tough, that's not a good solution at all. I'd think some sticky velvet from a crafts store would do better, but again you'd introduce a substance that can get gummy when hot.

    To save those scratched negs, the scratch is not on the emulsion side, so that is good. How about trying some edwal, and failing that, I guess you can get an LVT done if you have a masterpiece you want to save.
     
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  21. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Just an addition: Velcro is made from nylon, the same material used in the green sponges for cleaning dirty pans.
    It is very abrasive, so what ever you do: keep it away from the film.

    Peter
     
  22. pauliventi

    pauliventi Member

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