Holga Vs. Diana

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by NikonGarret, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. NikonGarret

    NikonGarret Member

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    Hello,

    I am looking into getting either a Holga or a Diana camera that uses 120 film. Which do you guys prefer and why? Also whats the difference between the two?
     
  2. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I just got a Diana F+ -- found at a thrift shop.

    I don't know about the Holga, but this Diana has 4 F-stops. Since I didn't get a manual I don't know what those F-stops are but I'm guessing they're about 22/11/5.6/4.0. The lens is plastic. On some Holgas you can get a glass lens.

    The shutter speed is fixed at whatever it is - maybe close to 1/80th and it has a "bulb" setting where the shutter stays open as long as you hold it.

    This camera has zone focusing and a plug-in flash that sits on top. I believe the Holga has a built-in flash.

    Also, the film back on the Diana slides on and locks in place. I think the Holda is held on by sliders on either side. Looking at the Diana it seems less likely to have light leaks around the sides.

    One more thing, the Diana has a tripod socket.
     
  3. TBN

    TBN Member

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    I have a Holga 120 CFN - The CFN has a build-in flash, with three color filters to choose from. A tripod socket. 2 F-stops. Bulb setting. Zone focus. 60mm lens - I think mine has a plastic lens.
    As wblynch mentions; the film back is held in place by sliders in boths sides, which you mount your camera strap in. (!) You need to cover the back and film counter window with black tape, to prevent light leaks.

    I bought it used, some time ago, and I've only shot two rolls with it so far. It's a fun camera, and I've seen people take some amazing shots with it.
    I've never tried The Diana, but maybe I'll get one for my collection.

    Gandolfi (Emil Schildt) sometimes shoots with a Diana.



    - Thomas
     
  4. thicktheo

    thicktheo Subscriber

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    ...the Diana shoots a smallish ~40x40cm frame on medium format film, while the Holga shoots the full 56x56cm frame. This fact alone was enough for me. Tried both cameras (on a paid assignment) and sent the Diana back in the cupboard.
     
  5. Romary

    Romary Subscriber

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    I'll check this evening on the negative, but a friend borrowed me a Diana in June it was not 40x40 mm.

    An interesting possibility if you like that, with the current version of Diana (see Lomo int.) . is the possibility of doing pinhole. i tested it, it's good. I do not think that possibility exist on the old versions.
     
  6. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Diana F+ : you have plastic masks that you can change - 40x40 mm, 56x56 mm and panorama mask. Also there is a pinhole option. I had diana F+ and now I have holga (holgaroid actually) - I don't see much difference in final prints.

    Some say that old diana (not F+) was giving dreamy and nice pictures, but I did not try that one (yet :smile: ).

    regards,
     
  7. giacomo.fiani

    giacomo.fiani Member

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    Actually, I've got the same camera, and the 2 f/stops have the same aperture. It's useless to switch from one to another.
     
  8. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I would say more like 22/16/11/8 in Diana F+
     
  9. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I have an old (original) Diana and a new Holga. I like them both. The Diana gets 16 frames of 4x4cm per 120 roll. Vignettes more that the Holga. Has 3 aperture positions. However it has no tripod socket or flash hot shoe. The Holga has both which makes it more useful in certain circumstances.
     
  10. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    :blink:

    not understood... (why?)

    One thing to consider: Never believe the claims, that the diana F+ is the same as the old classic Diana camera. It is not!

    I have no proof, but to me the Diana F+ is more like a HOLGA in disguise..

    And I once saw an add for HOLGA's

    it said:

    HOLGA
    son of Diana

    I have both the Diana F+ and some of the old ones. I never use the Diana F+ !

    I love the way the old Diana "focusses" and distorts the image.

    I don't get that feeling on the Diana F+ at all. Just a darker image in the corners and then a slightly unsharp image for the rest....

    More like the HOLGA.

    I don't have a HOLGA, but I have seen amazingly beautiful images made with this.
    (especially by Wolfgang Moersch - see here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgang_moersch/sets/72157625476934888/ )

    The new Diana F+ is good as it has the socket for tripod, but that's it for me...

    (I customized my old one so it now has it too).

    So, It all depends on what images you want.

    In any case, it is fun cameras to use.
     
  11. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    I bought an old Diana at a thrift store...a lot of fun. I stopped taking photos at "12", thought the film's end leader seemed a bit long, and then was surprised by the small negs. (and the extra unexposed film!) As most of my work is large format, the large amount of distortion, etc of the Diana is perfect for me. The negatives from the later toy cameras are almost too good for me!

    A scan of a carbon print:
    120 Tech Pan, Diana Camera
     

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  12. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    Thanks! That's good to know

    I threw a roll of Fomapan 100 in my Diana F+ yesterday and ran around the yard taking pictures. I was also surprised when there was film left after "12". I took more all the way out to 16.

    It turns out there's a sliding window for 12 or 16 (depending on mask usage, I guess) and I had the open window on 12. But I now see the tab needs to be on 12 and the window is open beside the 16 for 6x6.

    Things you learn.... :smile:
     
  13. musila

    musila Member

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    I have a plastic lensed Holga. I "broke" the lens by hammering on a step up adapter so I can shoot with filters. Well it's not broke, but the lens does come off if you unscrew it too far. And I used a make-shift ground glass to make a new focus scale. The lens is sharp enough for me in the middle, and the edges wonderfully blur out. I think I would prefer a Diana, just because of the F/stops, but since I have the Holga I won't bother.
     

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  14. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    Actually that's been fixed in some of the more recently produced models. I purcahsed the Holga 120TLR this summer, and there are two working apertures -- f/11 and f/13ish.
     
  15. TBN

    TBN Member

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    On the one I have, the two apertures are working fine.
    There's a switch on the left top of the lens - saying "flash/cloudy ~ sun".
    My guess is, the apertures are f/11 - f/16.
     
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  16. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    Both are good cameras. I use both with 400 speed film in the Diana and 100 speed film in the Holga.

    On the Holga, tape down the Bulb/Instant switch or you could get way overexposed pictures.

    Jon
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2011
  17. TBN

    TBN Member

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    Been there - done that ! :whistling:


    Those attached shots are really good.
     
  18. thicktheo

    thicktheo Subscriber

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    Well, I don't know... I removed the mask from the (new, Lomo edition) Diana and I was still getting images smaller than 56x56cm on my negatives. As long as I remember, that is... I'll have to check the negs again, it's a long time. The sure thing is that the "square" mask of Diana F+ does not cover the full "width" of the film.
     
  19. wblynch

    wblynch Member

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    I read that the original Diana F did have a smaller frame, like 44mmx44mm

    The Diana f+ I have is missing its accessory masks/inserts and it does make a full sized square negative (could be 56x56).

    I made two mistakes with my first roll through. I used ASA 100 film instead of 400 and only the ones in bright sunlight or with a flash came out at all. Then I had the indicator window set for 16 exposures instead of 12 and everything was overlapped.

    If anyone has leftover inserts they don't want I would take them :smile:

    -Bill

    Oh yeah, Jon those are very nice shots you attached above. Very impressive. I really like the one of Yosemite Falls.
     
  20. giacomo.fiani

    giacomo.fiani Member

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    Well, maybe they fixed this issue in TLR model, but I'm sure that on mine (CFN) if you switch from cloudy to sunny, you'll get the very same aperture. I saw this shooting in B mode with no film and the back open. But you know these are particular cameras, maybe it's just a defect of mine, even if I read of other people having the same problem.
     
  21. Romary

    Romary Subscriber

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    I do not have an Holga, but this issue have been mentionned many time. If I understood correctly, the hole in the plastic is smaller than the hole in the aperture plate.
     
  22. Silverhead

    Silverhead Member

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    Actually they're about f/8 and f/11. Holga finally got on the stick and fixed the thing...it only took them 29 years, LOL...
     
  23. MDR

    MDR Member

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    The Holga and the new Diana are different at least the results I get from my examples. The Holga has less spherical aberrations than the Diana personally I prefer the look of the Holga for most pictures. The Old Diana again has a different look than both the new Diana and the Holga. The older Diana has stronger spherical aberrations than the Holga but less than the new Diana, the image is somewhat softer than the Holga's but not by much. I like the Holga and old Diana equally well but the results I get from the new Diana are often too harsh (sharp, contrasty, too much aberrations). Everything I just wrote was from personal experience with the cameras I own, results might differ from other cameras by the same manufacturers. BTW Holga has solved the problems with the aperture and now offers f8 and f11. A point in favor for the new Diana is the Pinhole aperture.

    Dominik