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Thread: Holga question

  1. #1
    harveyje's Avatar
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    Holga question

    Can somebody tell me what the fascination is with the Holga camera. You can make almost any camera a "box" or "simple" camera by using wide latitude film, F/16, 125th of a second. and hyperfocal distance setting and achieve the same degree of spontaneity in the pictures. I personally have difficulty understanding the "artistic" value of a photo made using a "cheap" tool with so many faults. This opinion probably comes from so many years using a box Brownie and lusting after something "better". Please do not take offence at this posting - I am trying to understand the fascination.
    John Harvey
    Colorado Springs, CO
    harveyje@usa.net

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    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where the great "artistic" appeal comes from, but the Holga certainly produces a distinctive "look" that one can learn to use to an advatage. Part of this appeal has something to do with the natural vignetting produced by the lens. Apart from the outer edges of the frame, they take remarkably good pictures.

    I bought a couple and fooled around with them a bit. They are fun yet can be a royal PITA with light leaks and all the tape necessary to stop them. They do demonstrate that its not necessary to have a fortune in fancy gear to take good pictures. Not a bad way to learn basic photography skills.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
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    For me, this is the appeal of a Holga. Keep in mind I see no point in shooting with the 6x4.5 frame on at all.



    Not bad for a $20.00 camera that I dropped a lot....

    PS - Jorge THAT is my wife....
    Last edited by Robert Kennedy; 08-18-2004 at 09:37 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: To add a PS
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    Leon's Avatar
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    It's the fantastic plastic that does it

    and these too ...

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    scootermm's Avatar
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    I think its mainly due to the simplicity and how physically small and compact the camera is. I think they are just fun and really thats why people enjoy them. I know alot of people spend hours taping up them and sealing everything (which I dont quite understand) personally I have two and use them exactly how they were bought.... light leaks and all.

    my contribution to the spontaneous Holga Gallery






  6. #6

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    it is a great way to focus on the act of seeing and capturing great images. sometimes when you use 'technically adavnced' equipment the technical side of photography robs from the artististic side.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 04_07_21_doorway_sunset-thumb.jpg   lotus_flower-thumb.jpg   piedmont---lake-clara-meer-thumb.jpg  

  7. #7
    wdemere's Avatar
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    OK, so (cost not an issue) if you could have a Fuji GS645 folder (about the same size as a Holga, but with a much better lense) or a Holga, which would you choose? The Holga does 6x6 with vignetting, whereas the Fuji does 6x4.5, but it has a far better lense and meter and rangefinder.

    If cost is an issue, obviously the Holga is nice and cheap. But what about an older folder like a Zeiss Ikonta with uncoupled range finder? Those are fairly cheap too, and the lenses are a lot better. The Holga has that "Holga look" though...

    And, if you are really worried about cost, why not a Polaroid 101 with close up adapters and filters, etc. and some type 655? The film costs more, I guess, but it is definitely in the same ballpark costwise. And you get 4x5 negatives. A little more bulky than the Holga though.

    What about a point and shoot 35mm with autofocus and flash? Almost as cheap as a Holga in most cases, and just as portable. Not 120 though.

    I guess my point is that cameras don't make pictures...

    Thanks,

    William

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    scootermm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdemere
    I guess my point is that cameras don't make pictures...

    true. but some cameras when a picture is created with them have a certain signature and characteristic.

    Thats what a holga gives the photographer. So I would take the Holga over the other ones you listed if I were looking/seeking that holga-feel or holga character.

    Its small plastic and readily available. I can replace it for $20. I can rip out the shutter and make is a lenscap long exposure camera with a nut glued to the bottom..... or take off the lens and replace it with a pinhole. Or manually wind the camera halfway between frames and create overlapping panoramics that run the entire length of the roll. such as this.

    those things are simply done with a holga..... could possibly be done with a slew of other cameras but the holga is readily available and marketably easily accesible. Yes the polaroid, ikonta, or fuji and many others could do these things but Holgas are available at MANY places and that makes them more popular. I dont have to worry if I drop mine in a river as Im wading neck high through it or if I get cigarette ash on it at a concert. I can just as easily replace it by going to the photo place downtown.

  9. #9
    Leon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wdemere
    OK, so (cost not an issue) if you could have a Fuji GS645 folder (about the same size as a Holga, but with a much better lense) or a Holga, which would you choose? The Holga does 6x6 with vignetting, whereas the Fuji does 6x4.5, but it has a far better lense and meter and rangefinder.
    I dont use holga because they are cheap, I use them because they are holgas, and in this case, I do beleive that the camera goes a long way to making the picture, ... in the right hands of course. When using the Holga, i am not constrained by anything - focus is hit and miss, the viewfinder is useless, so framing doesnt bother me too much either, i have got my development times for overcast, normal and bright days off, i only use one type of film, and I shoot away - nothing is more simple. I save my mental gymnastics and intense concentration for teh darkroom and my other cameras and spot metering shenanigans.

    I'm sure there are very few , if any, holga users who bought them as a cheap alternative to a camera with a meter etc ... surely not?

    of course, the holga isnt the only tool of this ilk, theres the Diana (and her clones), the coronet 4x4 mk II etc etc.

    Let us praise the plastic.

  10. #10
    ann
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    william
    you are correct the camera doesn't make the picture. Leon has pretty much capture my feelings about this; the bottom line is -some people "get it" others don't.
    It really doesn't make any difference, people are out making images.

    I have a wide variety of formats available to me and i choose the one that makes my heart sing and fits the project. That means sometimes it is high end and other times plastic land. In fact my holga does not leak, which suits what i am with this camera.

    How many people do we know who don't "get it" period. Regardless of which format we are using.

    Why is it that photographers insist on talking about equipment rather than the images Wonder if painters discuss which brush they used, etc. Always amazed me that we get so caught up with nuts and bolts.

    I suppose the bottom line; it makes me happy.

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