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Thread: Holga confusion

  1. #1

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    Holga confusion

    Well, I can't stand it any longer, and I've got to get a Holga! But I'm confused about which one to buy. I was looking over the Holga Mod's site, and I see they offer to modify Holgas by adding a bulb feature and a tripod socket, among other things. Then I went to Freestyle's site and saw that the new Holgas already have a tripod socket and bulb feature. So now it's down to whether I want closer focusing (2-feet vs. 3-feet) and/or a second aperture (as the Holga Mod folk say the "cloudy" slide on the Holga doesn't really result in a wider aperture than the "sunny" setting.

    What's the real story here, in your opinions? Do you see any difference between the cloudy vs. sunny setting on your unmodified Holga's? Do you think the modifications are effective enough to make them worth the extra cost over the regular 120N sold by Freestyle? (I need to buy something from Freestyle anyway, so the extra shipping for the Holga 120N won't be as much as the stand-alone shipping from another source.)

    I will be shooting 400TRI-X (and occasionally FP4+) and developing it myself. Sometimes I will use the bulb setting, but I have found that exception for very long exposures, I can get a sharp photo by pressing a camera body down firmly against the tripod plate; so I rarely use a cable release unless I'm using a locked cable in order to walk away from the camera for a while (e.g., night photography in my back yard).

    Any advice???

    Thanks in advance,

    Pat Trent

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    highpeak's Avatar
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    Pat, I did try to figure out the difference between the 'cloudy' and 'sunny' settings, but I couldn't tell the difference, look like they have the same aperture opening. As for 'B' and tripod socket, they are standard on my un-modified holga.

    To add a little bit more fun, the holga now has a different set of filters for flash.

    My question is where do you put the cable release?

    Alex W.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highpeak View Post
    Pat, I did try to figure out the difference between the 'cloudy' and 'sunny' settings, but I couldn't tell the difference, look like they have the same aperture opening. As for 'B' and tripod socket, they are standard on my un-modified holga.

    To add a little bit more fun, the holga now has a different set of filters for flash.

    My question is where do you put the cable release?

    Alex W.
    Hi Alex:

    It looks like they put the cable release on the upper left side of the lens, as you face the camera. It costs about $13-$14 for that modification.

    Pat

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    I have a Holga and a Woca (Holga with a glass lens - very little difference in practice, actually).

    When I picked them up, I did some reading about them, and from what I remember the sunny/cloudy setting in a standard Holga/Woca was actually just a placebo - not actually connected. I believe the Holga Mod guy (or someone, don't recall off-hand) actually connected it and made it effect the aperture in some fashion (it was just 1 stop difference, as I recall).

    I shot a few rolls of 400 ISO film with them - I got them as an intro to 120 format. Sort of interesting pics, but mine had some subtle light leaks, so I ended up covering them in tape. And, ultimately, the semi-blurry pics didn't "do it" for me, so I ended up buying a refurbed Agfa Isolette III

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    paxette's Avatar
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    as the Holga Mod folk say the "cloudy" slide on the Holga doesn't really result in a wider aperture than the "sunny" setting.
    It doesn't, it's just a square hole far too big to be of any use. I took a piece of soda can, drilled a hole into it then glued it to the square hole to get an aperture of about f19.

    Do you think the modifications are effective enough to make them worth the extra cost over the regular 120N sold by Freestyle?
    Depends, would you rather search the internets for all the mod's or just have someone do them for you? In the long run finding the modifications on various sites, buying the supplies and then doing them myself cost more than just buying a modified camera from Randy.

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    The sunny-cloudy switch is connected: it moves a little arm with a hole in it in front of the fixed aperture hole. The problem is that the hole in the arm is bigger than the fixed aperture it "covers", so it has no effect. If we're to believe the quoted focal length of 60mm, an unmodified Holga has a single functional aperture of f/13.3 (I broke out a ruler and did the math, details here).

    Taking them apart isn't particularly hard, but if you're not mechanically inclined, don't have the supplies, or just don't want to bother, I agree with the other folks here, Randy at holgamods.com does a really good job for a really reasonable price, and he gets it done fast. My only tip on that is that I have found that I don't need velcro to hold the back on, I just bend the clips tighter with needle-nosed pliers. Every Holga really is different, but I've never had one pop off with tightened clips across maybe 8 of them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolai View Post
    The sunny-cloudy switch is connected: it moves a little arm with a hole in it in front of the fixed aperture hole. The problem is that the hole in the arm is bigger than the fixed aperture it "covers", so it has no effect. If we're to believe the quoted focal length of 60mm, an unmodified Holga has a single functional aperture of f/13.3 (I broke out a ruler and did the math, details here).

    Taking them apart isn't particularly hard, but if you're not mechanically inclined, don't have the supplies, or just don't want to bother, I agree with the other folks here, Randy at holgamods.com does a really good job for a really reasonable price, and he gets it done fast. My only tip on that is that I have found that I don't need velcro to hold the back on, I just bend the clips tighter with needle-nosed pliers. Every Holga really is different, but I've never had one pop off with tightened clips across maybe 8 of them.

    Ok, if my "cloudy" aperture is really f13 and not f8, then my smaller "sunny" aperture (as modified by Randy) can't be f11, as claimed. It must be smaller than f13...so what two apertures does a Holgamods Hoga really have?
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  8. #8
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    How to do the cable release mod
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/judyboy/312136130/
    How to do the aperture mod:
    http://squarefrog.co.uk/holga/index.php?id=aperturemod (also has other mods on the same page)

    On the old Holgas (120S) there was no bulb mode or tripod socket. I got one of the newer ones(120N) for my birthday this year and it seems to have been taken over by my husband... Only huge problem is the bulb mode/normal mode switch is just underneath the lens on the bottom and you do forget you have previously had it in bulb mode and you end up with funky blurry pictures from that. I have taken apart my 120S before and the closeup mod isn't too hard to do either except I got impatient and did a very silly thing... I read the internet. And it said the shortcut method to the closeup mod is just force the lens to go beyond the focal length... yes that ruins the screw and you can't do the closeup mod properly anymore and if you "focus" too closely your lens now falls off, oops! Good thing this is a toy...
    By the way, nailpolish is excellent for painting holgas those funky colours too.

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    On the old Holgas (120S) there was no bulb mode or tripod socket.

    Correct - the lack of these options was exactly what inspired the creation of Holgamods.com & similar sites in the first place. They still do some mods that Holga hasn't come up with yet.

    As a longtime Holga user, and as someone who has taken apart a few, I can safely say that the aperture switch does absolutely nothing. The so-called "sunny" option drops an arm in front of the aperture, with a square hole in the arm...that's bigger than the aperture! In other words, it's not blocking any light from reaching the film. Total placebo, just ignore it.

    I must also say that the Holga Fisheye lens attachment produces some truly wild pictures, too.

  10. #10

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    Wow! Lots of great information here. Thanks for all the speedy replies.

    OK, looks I'm going over to the Holga Mods site to make my purchase.

    Hmmmmmm, do I want to start with one, or maybe two, or maybe . . . ???

    Pat

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