Sheet Film Holga?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Robert Kennedy, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    O.k. I just recently had some surgery. Minor stuff really, but I needed to be in the hospital for a fews days and am only now getting back online....

    Anyway, about three minutes after being given 4mgs of morphine in my IV, I came up with either a good idea, or....well, a morphine induced nightmare...

    I figured it would be possible to modify a Holga to hold some old 6x9cm film folders. In my quest (continuing and getting better by the way) to make dry plates, I got some 6xi9cm plate holders. I have also seen them in plate/film combos. Now, while the Holga at BEST covers 6xi6 (and that last 0.5 is really iffy in the corners), that is still good coverage for the 6xi9 format. It isn't like say using a Polaroid back on a 35mm system. Plus, if you want that vignetted look, this is the way to go.

    So, as I sit here with my friends in the little brown pill bottles, I am thinking how to precede here.

    See, I could do two things -

    1 - With some Dremel work, get the back of the Holga "flush" so that the plane of the 6x9 holder is aligned with the imaging circle. Then adapt some sort spring back system onto what is left.

    2 - Screw the camera body. The lens and the shutter on a holga come of easily. And if you go for the "SA" model, snipping and rerouting the flash wires is very simple. Take the lens and shutter assembly off the Holga, attach it to a wooden body similar the 4x5 pinholers that Bender puts out, and leave it at that. You make the back end of the camera and simply screw on the old Holga assembly. As long as your math is moderately ok, and nobody is giving you morphine. Do it on a lensplate, and you could even have a 6x9 pinhole/Helga.

    So the questions are

    1 - Should I listen the voices in my head when I am chasing the dragon?

    2 - Should I try and modify a holga body or just make a body with a Holga lens on it?

    One seems kind of "bottom up" and the other seems "top down".
     
  2. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Robert-

    Your post has scared me a bit...but probably not in the way you think. It's almost a déjà vu experience.

    Due to some spinal cord issues that I won't go into, I've been spending some time with a mix of vicodin and neurontin in my system. Although not as wicked as morphine, this combination sometimes gets my mind playing in ways that I don't think it normally would. During one of my less lucid moments, I came up with the idea of finding a cheap old 6x9 folder with a trashed lens and retrofitting a Holga lens onto it. This is something that, once my back's taken care of, I fully intend to pursue.

    I'm not sure if my idea is a good or bad one, but I guess I can take comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one whose mind wonders to camera design when the drugs kick in.

    (BTW: Lest anyone think that these drugs are beneficial for my actual photography, let me assure you that there is nothing more frustrating than taking a meter reading with my Sekonic and trying to translate the resulting information into the aperture that I want to use. I feel like a complete idiot looking at "1/15 at f2.0" on the meter and trying to translate that into f22 while taking the receipricatory characteristics of my film into consideration. Plus, one of the insidious side-effects of neurontin is cloudy vision; not one of the things any photographer wishes for.)
     
  3. 127

    127 Member

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    If I were to take approach 1, I'd throw out the holga back completely, and attempt to fabricate a complete new back to fit the front half of the holga. This has the advantage that you can fit it to any holga (each having unique optics), without modification. You also don't trash the camera if it doesn't work out (not a big deal, but hey - I'm a cheapskate).

    Personally I'd go with something closer to the second route. However you can pick up an old 6x9 folder for next to nothing (less than on ebay), and you'll get reasonable optics, and full coverage. Mount that on the front of a wooden box, and you're in business. I did something similar in 5x4 earlier in the year, though that was a little more complex, as the wooden box needed to do the focusing, rather than the lens assembly (and I still need to designa and build the shutter). With a lens assembly that has focusing, apperture, and shutter built in, it will be a doddle to build.

    Ian
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    There was a really cool camera out there whose name I think was something like Syvestia. The body was little more than a clamp for the film back and lens board. It had handles on either side and a mount for a view finder.

    I thought it was a great idea. It would seem to me a that modifieng a plastic holga would be easier, but Holga's are such crap and the lens would probably be sharper sans elements.

    Hope your feeling better and home soon.
     
  5. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    I think its Freestyle that sells the "Holgaroid", a Holga with a Polaroid back adapted to it. You might look at Freestyle's Holga section to see if its still there and get some ideas.
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Robert, you're making it more difficult than it needs to be. Get a Crown Graphic form ebay. Not the 4x5 version, but the 2x3 version. The 6x9 holders should fit. If not, 2x3 holders are readily available. Put the holga lens/shutter assembly onto the camera lens board. It's that simple. The bed should drop down to prevent it from getting in the image area since it is a wide lens. You should be set.

    -Greg
     
  7. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    I think this is a case of "better living through modern pharmacology"...

    Seriously, it would be MUCH easier to put a crappy lens on a 2X3 Speed or Crown than to go carving up a Holga.
     
  8. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I'd trade you for the vicodin and neurontin, I have to take klonopin and neurontin--nasty combination either way, though.