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  1. #71
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Why is this camera so popular? I didn’t even take it seriously when I first saw it and still don’t.
    I tried it and liked it, because it helped free my mind of all the clutter that is normally involved in shooting. It FORCED me to not meter, fudge the focus, and just 'see'.

    For a while I even thought the vignette and focus fall-off was cool, but have since changed my mind about that, thinking that it's too much of a gimmick. Now I prefer a simple to use Leica, but am grateful to the 'plastic piece of $hit' because it taught me a valuable lesson regarding eliminating as many barriers between the subject matter and myself as possible.
    "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

  2. #72
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirius Glass View Post
    Yes, like Graflex, Speed Graphic, Crown Graphic, View Graphic. All such terrible cameras!
    I hope that was sarcastic
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."ó Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  3. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Why is this camera so popular? I didnít even take it seriously when I first saw it and still donít.
    Well, it can be a fashion statement, a hipster talisman, a "retro" statement, a "tool" for those who cannot make a sharp, properly focussed image with anything and therefore use a camera that is incapable of forming a sharp, properly focussed image; fools who've bought the hype that it makes 'dreamy" images, and so on.
    It's very well marketed to a specific target (see above).

  4. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I tried it and liked it, because it helped free my mind of all the clutter that is normally involved in shooting. It FORCED me to not meter, fudge the focus, and just 'see'.

    For a while I even thought the vignette and focus fall-off was cool, but have since changed my mind about that, thinking that it's too much of a gimmick. Now I prefer a simple to use Leica, but am grateful to the 'plastic piece of $hit' because it taught me a valuable lesson regarding eliminating as many barriers between the subject matter and myself as possible.
    For me, that lesson was learned with a Kodak 35, a cheap basic 35 that was capable of far better results than I at first realised. Coupled with an income derived from mowing the neighbors' lawns, it taught me to be miserly with frames and use a meter if I didn't want to waste what to me was very expensive film.

    Edit - I didn't learn properly to "see" until I started using an 8x10, one lens, film, developer, and contact printing the results.

  5. #75
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    For me, that lesson was learned with a Kodak 35, a cheap basic 35 that was capable of far better results than I at first realised. Coupled with an income derived from mowing the neighbors' lawns, it taught me to be miserly with frames and use a meter if I didn't want to waste what to me was very expensive film.

    Edit - I didn't learn properly to "see" until I started using an 8x10, one lens, film, developer, and contact printing the results.
    Film is pretty inexpensive, but I too remember a time where I had to look for deals to afford photography.

    Sheet film was a huge disappointment to me; 4x5 and 5x7 was a total waste of time and money. I had to go back to medium format to save myself from being too technical and thinking too much. Funny how different we all are!

    To counter the question of poor camera design, I think that the camera that allows presents the least amount of barriers between subject matter and the photographer's senses is the best one, and the worst one is a camera that completely clutters the work flow with considerations. The more intuitive it is to use, the better it is, and the more you have to think, the more it sucks.
    But then again, practice makes perfect, so maybe with enough use any camera can be easy enough to shoot with... I think consistency matters, and something that seemed counter-intuitive to begin with can be a very good solution. For example, I love shooting my Hasselblad hand held. I would not have thought it when I got it, but now it's as obvious as day that we get along very well working together.
    "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

  6. #76
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    For those who want the release on the left side, the Voigtlander Bessa II may be for you. I had one with a Heliar, loved the lens, and it was fine on a tripod or for verticals, but I found it too awkward to hold for horizontals--not that it was uncomfortable, but I was seeing more camera shake than I was happy with on the negs.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #77
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I tried it and liked it, because it helped free my mind of all the clutter that is normally involved in shooting. It FORCED me to not meter, fudge the focus, and just 'see'.

    For a while I even thought the vignette and focus fall-off was cool, but have since changed my mind about that, thinking that it's too much of a gimmick. Now I prefer a simple to use Leica, but am grateful to the 'plastic piece of $hit' because it taught me a valuable lesson regarding eliminating as many barriers between the subject matter and myself as possible.
    But you can get the simplicity and lack of clutter and settings in other cameras that don't have the light leaks and build quality issues of the Holga.

    My wife, then my girlfriend, bought me a Kodak Duaflex IV in nearly pristine condition for Christmas. I have it loaded with some re-spooled T-Max 100 now. I shot six frames and it's been sitting on frame 7 for months. I need to finish up the roll. This one has the drawback of having to buy re-spooled on 620 film or spool your own, but there are plenty of similar cameras that use 120. Not having developed this film yet I can't really comment on the lens in this thing but my guess would be that it's a substantial step up in sharpness and evenness from that in the Holga, and way below any other lens I own. But that's just a guess.

  8. #78
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    But you can get the simplicity and lack of clutter and settings in other cameras that don't have the light leaks and build quality issues of the Holga.

    My wife, then my girlfriend, bought me a Kodak Duaflex IV in nearly pristine condition for Christmas. I have it loaded with some re-spooled T-Max 100 now. I shot six frames and it's been sitting on frame 7 for months. I need to finish up the roll. This one has the drawback of having to buy re-spooled on 620 film or spool your own, but there are plenty of similar cameras that use 120. Not having developed this film yet I can't really comment on the lens in this thing but my guess would be that it's a substantial step up in sharpness and evenness from that in the Holga, and way below any other lens I own. But that's just a guess.
    You are right, of course, that the Holga is perhaps not the ideal tool for this. But, it was 20 bucks and easy, and it was all I knew.

    Any camera with the very simplest of functions, like film wind and a shutter release button, is going to be a good tool to learn to simply just reacting to what's in front of the camera, without thinking too much.
    "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

  9. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Film is pretty inexpensive, but I too remember a time where I had to look for deals to afford photography.

    Sheet film was a huge disappointment to me; 4x5 and 5x7 was a total waste of time and money. I had to go back to medium format to save myself from being too technical and thinking too much. Funny how different we all are!

    To counter the question of poor camera design, I think that the camera that allows presents the least amount of barriers between subject matter and the photographer's senses is the best one, and the worst one is a camera that completely clutters the work flow with considerations. The more intuitive it is to use, the better it is, and the more you have to think, the more it sucks.
    But then again, practice makes perfect, so maybe with enough use any camera can be easy enough to shoot with... I think consistency matters, and something that seemed counter-intuitive to begin with can be a very good solution. For example, I love shooting my Hasselblad hand held. I would not have thought it when I got it, but now it's as obvious as day that we get along very well working together.
    When I got into large format in the mid 1980s it was a revelation to me. I started with a Linhof STIV three lens outfit, 90 - 150 - 270. After a year of that, I bought the 8x10 and it was another revelation, using just one lens and making contacts. For me, the 8x10 is as transparent as equipment gets when it comes to seeing, setting up, and making a photo. And, it has to be right the first time, there is no cropping a contact if you want the whole image. If I had to get rid of all my cmaeras but one, I would keep the 8x10. And the 4x5 back. And the Super-Rollex 6x7 roll back. And all the Dagors.
    Last edited by E. von Hoegh; 05-17-2012 at 04:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    You are right, of course, that the Holga is perhaps not the ideal tool for this. But, it was 20 bucks and easy, and it was all I knew.

    Any camera with the very simplest of functions, like film wind and a shutter release button, is going to be a good tool to learn to simply just reacting to what's in front of the camera, without thinking too much.
    Any Kodak folder with good bellows would be better than a Holga. A pinhole camera would be better than a Holga. They're the most unmitigated piece of photographic shit I've ever seen.

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