I just picked up an unused original 1960's Diana in the original bag and box with the strap and instructions for free.
Well, free with a $450 Durst enlarger. It's very well designed, quite sleek and functions beautifully. After using it, I would easily have paid $100 for it .
That being said, a Holga at $25 is pretty rich. I paid $18 for mine and the build quality hardly seems worth that. Unfortunately I don't think anyone else is going to set up a factory to make $12 medium format film cameras that are capable of making excellent pictures anytime soon.
Holga: if it was any more analog, you'd need a chisel.
Isn't New Zealand closer to China than to U.S.?
Originally Posted by ChrisC
Then again my Italian cousins come to NYC and buy italian shoes..
Holga: if it was any more analog, you'd need a chisel.
What I am saying is the build quality is severely lacking. Everyone says, "tape up your Holga or your images will be fogged." I've never used one, so I can't comment on that. It would seem that for $25 you'd at least get a camera that is properly lightproof.
I agree the images you get from a Holga are special, so in that regard they are easily worth the $25. In fact, I would say the extra potential a Holga opens up in a Photographer's mind makes it worth more (Lensbabies sells a lens that in essence converts your SLR into a Holga for $100 minimum). My point is this: it's plastic. It probably costs less than $5 to make. Spend an extra $1 or so to build in some foam for lightproofing. Build on a real hinge or something more sturdy than flimsy clips for the back.
This just in: Holgas (the 120N, cheapest model) is now $28 at Freestyle.
They are expensive because of the status factor. They are "cool". It is now cool to say that your pics happened by accident and luck, and have enough weight to be good based on some technical concern such as your use of a plastic camera. Some day soon, the opposite will be back en vogue.
Originally Posted by brofkand
If I happen to get a great shot with a Holga, Diana, or any other camera, I guess I have the option of proclaiming it, and maybe being cool. People will think I am so badddd ass because I shun technique.....
WHATEVER - I see it as a usable photographic tool in the art of printmaking. When you want something with a certain mood or look, there is nothing like them. $40 seems relatively cheap for the Diana, especially with the new features and the book that comes with it. The Holga at $35 seems cheap too. As long as you view them as a means to an end, and not simply as a CONSUMER PRODUCT judged on surface value alone, they are well worth the money, IMO.
The second someone mentions gear in an artist's statement, a red flag goes up for me, whether it be an overly technical obsession with gear, or a heavyhanded statement about the wonders of shooting without technique.
The only time plastic camera images work, IMO, is when the subject matter somehow relates conceptually to the fact that it is a "cheap toy"; when the camera is used to talk about or create pix making cultural commentary on ways in which a person might have used the camera in all seriousness before it became a cult icon. IMO, very good for a cheap suburban nostalgic mood.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 08-18-2008 at 11:36 PM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
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I think I've put around 50 rolls of film through this Holga now. It failed me when it was new, but since I spent 30 minutes researching, and 10 minutes fixing the issues, it has worked flawlessly. Do I tape it up? Yes, I use gaffer's tape all over it. Does it have light leaks? Probably, but since the 6x6 film mask is installed, it's not that big of a deal. I have two Holgas like this that works flawlessly. I paid $40 for them. That is about three tenths of the price of a 100 sheet box of Ilford MGWT fiber paper in 8x10 size.
I printed the image below yesterday to 9" square, and I intended for it to look like this when I triggered the shutter to open. It is a useful tool, and to come by a useful tool, in the world of photography, for that little money is extraordinary. It's a fully functional camera, lens and all, for the same price as 25 sheets of high quality photo paper.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
Beautiful Thomas! Cameras are tools...they much match the vision of the photographer...and sometimes the tool helps to form the vision of the photographer. No problem with that...it is synergy at its best!
I think I will get the Diana out (if I can find it with our last move) and take it to the beach with my boys!
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
One minor caveat to the above.
Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson
I think that the correct comment is that "Price of equipment is not determinative of the finished results.
Generally speaking, the quality of the top priced equipment does have an effect on the finished results - it just might not have as much effect as one hopes when one is paying for it.
Chris: "You think that's bad? Camera stores here sell Holgas for well over $100 ($65USD). "
The only place that I have seen them for sale in Sydney is at the Museum of Contemporary Art for similar exorbitant prices. And just to really stretch the mugs' abilities they sell the less than forgiving Rollei film (which does come in a pretty container, for what that's worth).
Regards - Ross
Compared to a $3000 Hasselblad, it's a pretty good deal.
I had a former colleague tell me how she too couldn't understand why anyone would pay for a $70 Holga kit that her daughter wanted. She actually talked her out of buying the camera, how stupid it was, how she should not follow 'fashion' trends, etc.... A potential film photographer shot down in her prime. She got her a P&S digicam instead and everyday, three times a day, she walks to the designated outside area to smoke a pack and to the Starbucks to buy a $4 double, double, soy, soy, whatever, whatever, coffee.
Last edited by gr82bart; 08-19-2008 at 06:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.