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Thread: Holga/Diana

  1. #21
    bvy
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    Quote Originally Posted by summicron1 View Post
    it is also worth noting that while the holga has a switch that seems to indicate it changes the aperature from sunny to cloudy, it doesn't do squat. If you are a tad handy you can take the camera apart and install a smaller lens opening on it so it actually does something.
    That was true of the older versions, but the ones in production now have a working aperture switch.

    Regarding sharpness, I recently bought a set of close-up lenses for the Holga. The 500mm lens attachment not only enables focusing on subjects at arm's length, it also produces a sharper image than anything I've done with the bare lens. Great for fill-the-frame portraits...

  2. #22
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    I have about 6-8 of each. I probably use the Dianas more, because they give me more of the effect I'm after when shooting them (vignetting, softness). All of my Dianas are the older ones, so I can't speak to the results with new ones. Both Dianas and Holgas will leak light. I use black tape on the bodies (and parts of the interiors) to minimize them. They're a lot of fun to use.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
    diana- no light leaks, plastic lens, sharper than holga, pinhole setting in addition to regular apertures,
    holga- light leaks you can't explain, no pinhole on standard model, plastic lens,

    i prefer the diana, we're talking the recent version, not from the 70's.
    So a Holga is just a shittier version of the Diana?

  4. #24

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    Seems to be. My friend has a Diana with no light leaks at all and a pretty decent lens. My Holga pinhole only has no light leaks because I go mental with tape. Can't comment on the lens.

  5. #25

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    I've shot for several years with both the Holga (actually, MANY types of Holga!) and the new Diana. Each camera has its strong points, and each has its faults. I think a summing up of each camera's specs and quirks is a good way for people to judge for themselves.

    DIANA
    Has three aperture stops, one shutter speed plus bulb mode, plus a pinhole option. Going with the widest aperture makes for quite a narrow DOF and the in-focus "sweet spot" gets quite small at times. Viewfinder placement is directly above the lens, which needs to be compensated for slightly when shooting a close-up subject. Shutter is fairly sensitive and requires little effort to operate. Focus ring is on the front of the lens, not visible from photographer's viewpoint at the rear of the camera...which can lead to forgetting to reset focus when changing subjects (a case of "out of sight, out of mind"). Flimsy plastic construction--it feels like it would break easily if you dropped it onto a hard surface. It can be a bitch to load, especially if you're trying to do it quickly in the field. 4x4 image comes with a few light leaks and some vignetting. A fair array of accessory lenses and flash, of varying quality. Camera back has a sturdy slot-fed twist lock at the bottom. The camera takes it's own accessory flash only, unless you get an available hot-shoe adapter so that you can mount a standard hot-shoe flash.

    HOLGA
    Two aperture stops and one shutter speed plus bulb mode. More solid construction than the Diana, though I still wouldn't drop a Holga down the stairs. Viewfinder is in classic rangefinder position, which needs to be compensated for considerably when shooting a close-up subject. Simple shutter operation, but the shutter needs to be forced firmly to go off. Viewfinder is slightly deceptive: it actually covers only about 85-90% of the frame, which needs to be compensated for--this can be done by taking a full forward step before shooting. When the internal frame mask is removed, the Holga can produce sometimes spectacular light leaks and vignetting, which really show up in B&W. Easier to load than the Diana, though still not a cakewalk if you're in a hurry. Numerous accessory lenses and flashes--some good, some very good, some so-so. Lens is traditional focus, with easy to read symbols clearly visible from photog's POV. Lens is slightly wider-angle than the Diana's...a clear but not enormous difference. 6x6 image can go all the way to the edge of the film, sometimes through the film numbers. "Sweet spot" can be quite small, depending on the lens quality--another Holga quirk: uneven Chinese quality control, which many consider to be part of the camera's charm. Camera back can come off under duress, but this is easily remedied with a little tape. Comes with a standard hot-shoe, so any Holga or other "regular" flash can be put on the camera.

    I personally prefer the Holga, as it is a somewhat more versatile camera due to it's numerous accessories, plus the fact that it's easier & quicker to load in the field than the Diana. I also prefer the sturdier feel of the Holga--I've literally climbed up and down cliffs with one around my shoulder and never felt the urge to worry about the camera. I would not feel the same way about the Diana. While I do like the Diana's 3 aperture stops, for me it's not quite enough to make it my #1 plastic camera...the Holga's vignetting and light leaks are what sells it for me. Hope this is helpful.

  6. #26

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    Again, really great info being put forth here. I should be getting my 1st Holga in the mail today. I appreciate everyones total honesty regarding what these cameras are and are not. Silverhead thanks for that last shot at it! I'm looking forward to the freedom of having some fun with this without getting technical.
    I picked up a Mamiya 645 a bit back, which is a very nice camera, but truthfully I think I'm more excited about this Holga showing up! I do a lot of artistic stuff on the side, and my wife is an artist. And the older I get it's just cool to simplify things and have some fun once in awhile!
    Thanks again,
    2bits

  7. #27

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    If you want to try simplifying the Mamiya, set it to its smallest aperture, focus at infinity and shutter on bulb. Tape everything in place and shoot as a very expensive and very heavy pinhole. I've actually considered trying it myself…in fact I might, next time I run some film through.

  8. #28
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    I've seen some references early in the thread to "4x4 masks"; what does that mean? Is that a 4cm by 4cm mask? I have a couple of Holga's and don't recall seeing any ot those. I have 6x6 and 6x4.5 masks. I kind of like the light falloff with the 6x6 mask. Without that, they might not be Holga images! But thanks for the suggestion of taking the mask out; that may offer some new possibilities.

  9. #29
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    My wife only shoots holga's right now and I really like her work as do others. She uses 400 speed colour film in bright bright light and gets some very wonderful results.
    She has a gentle touch and looks for scenes that reflect the joys of youth... probably because she lives with a cranky old coot like myself.
    Her work will be hanging along side mine in Mass this October and later in Calgary.. ** very subtle plug **

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
    me, I guess. I just never got an image that I considered usable from my holgas (when they were $15, not $30). There was always some nasty light leak or flare that I couldn't get rid of. Others seem to do some nice work with them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Boys and flight.jpg  

  10. #30

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    She does nice work!

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