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  1. #81
    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.

  2. #82
    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

  3. #83

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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.

  4. #84

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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.

  5. #85
    cliveh's Avatar
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    I must admit, on this thread so far the Konica AiBORG is the most ugly camera I have ever seen. I don't think I could even pick it up, let alone use it.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  6. #86
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    RB too, David?
    My Graflex Model D has a RB.
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  7. #87
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EASmithV View Post
    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
    Damn! You broke the code!
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  8. #88
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    For me, the 8x10 is as transparent as equipment gets when it comes to seeing, setting up, and making a photo.
    I totally agree with this, but I'm okay with cropping the contact print, if the world doesn't fit the frame. Strangely, I find that I sometimes crop 8x10" almost exactly to whole plate on the odd occasions I do crop. Or I might use the half-frame darkslide mask to make two 4x10's on a sheet. That said, 8x10" feels like pure photography to me.
    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

  9. #89
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    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.
    I think it comes down to what it is that our eyes want to, and are trained to see. The problem I had with view cameras was that I felt I could not see. My wants in photography has a lot more to do with fleeting moments, seeing spatial relationships between static and moving objects, moments that never come back. I could never capture that with an 8x10, at least not as freely as I can with a Leica or even my Hasselblad. That, to me and my pictures, is seeing, to be able to react on an impulse, and that's another reason why even the Holga was useful to me. I don't sing its praises, but you can't deny it's simple and clutter free. Just point it in the general direction you wish to point it, at the right moment, and release the shutter. Repeat, and that's it. Some of my best work is done with a Holga. I just wish the film transport was more reliable.

    And I realize it will not work for you.
    "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

  10. #90

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    I LOVE the Nikon F4; the only thing I dislike about it is its dependence on batteries. I prefer to use it with the MB20, but it makes the battery life pretty short. Even so, it's one of my all-time favorite cameras.

    The Nikon MD1 has an optional shutter release button on the front left-hand side that I use a lot. I am right-handed but left-eyed and I have other left-handed tendencies also. Unfortunately my brain is stupid so I'm not ambidextrous.

    I think my most unpleasant experience with any camera was an Argus brick I found in a clothing store. I think the Argus is very adorable and aesthetically pleasing, but definitely NOT a joy to use or even to hold.

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