Why do people love the Holga so much ?

excalibur2

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Well as said using a good camera and lens you get the best of both worlds e.g.
If I posted this shot on flickr (you are all too clever here and anyway know me) or wherever and said "I bought a 35mm brownie and it produces great dreamy shots" how many people would believe me, when really all I did was just set the lens (on my good camera).... wide open. And if I wanted a sharp shot just close the lens down, so I get the best of both worlds without using a crappy camera.
 
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Well as said using a good camera and lens you get the best of both worlds e.g.
If I posted this shot on flickr (you are all too clever here and anyway know me) or wherever and said "I bought a 35mm brownie and it produces great dreamy shots" how many people would believe me, when really all I did was just set the lens (on my good camera).... wide open. And if I wanted a sharp shot just close the lens down, so I get the best of both worlds without using a crappy camera.
I have/had a picture shot on XP2 in a Zeiss Ikon with a 45mm(i think) 3element novar lens. Ive never been able to referater the rendering og that lens with any other camera and it's not that the image is blurry or unsharp it just has a destinct look, albeit subtle, to it. I should find that camera and shoot it more. I heard about a photographer shooting his subjects with the LF camera set to 2xinfinity
 
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excalibur2

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I have/had a picture shot on XP2 in a Zeiss Ikon with a 45mm(i think) 3element novar lens. Ive never been able to referater the rendering og that lens with any other camera and it's not that the image is blurry or unsharp it just has a destinct look, albeit subtle, to it. I should find that camera and shoot it more. I heard about a photographer shooting his subjects with the LF camera set to 2xinfinity
Anyway know matter what you or I say or if I was show dozens of shots simulating shots from a Holga, pinholes etc from lenses or in Photoshop....people would say "Yeah nice but they weren't taken using a Holga, pinhole etc" which from their point of view is the real thing.
 
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I've never got the Holga thing, in so far as why people would spend £50+ on a new chunk of plastic when there are so many interesting vintage box type cameras around in full working order for less than £10? Many of them will give similar (or perhaps even more unique and pleasing effects) and you could buy five or six of those classic cameras for the price of a new plastic Holga. Plus, you aren't encouraging the production of yet more plastic to be recycled or put into landfill in a few years time when the camera breaks.

As for the results, the artistic 'skill' comes in learning the effects that the camera will give in various lighting conditions, then matching that specific effect to suit a particular subject or scene. However, it seems not all Holga users have grasped this concept, and some just trot out a series of blurry, underexposed images that just have a 'Holga' look to them, but don't actually add anything to the often rather mundane image being presented as an 'arty' photo.

Instead of people thinking 'now why do I like that photo', it seems they just see it's been taken with a Holga and think buying one will make any photos they take with it look like that. It's not that simple! It's a bit like Les Dawson's famous comedic piano playing, you've got to play very well to play that badly.

Each to their own though, and if using a Holga gives people pleasure then who is anyone else to criticise this or say it's wrong? One of my photography hobbies as a young teenager was buying cheap box type cameras and mock TLRs from jumble sales and junk shops then putting some film through them to see what I could get out of them. Some of the results:

1924 Kodak Brownie Box Camera on Kodak Ektachrome 100 taken around 1979.



Coronet Twelve-20 TLR box camera (which produces a halo effect when shot into the sun using the sliding smaller aperture) on Ektachrome 100 taken around 1979.




And matching the 'look' of the camera to the scene, one from that 1924 Kodak Brownie again, taken on a dull day in 2017 on Fuji Acros 100.



That's the thing with using old cameras, 'weaknesses' can be used as strengths; shooting this triplet lensed 1964 Yashica 635 TLR wide open gives lots of swirly bokeh, which lends a time-tunnel type effect to the background of this photo of a steam punk.




So that's why I don't really understand the Holga thing, as lots of fun can be had exploring 'vintage' budget alternatives (not that a Yashica TLR is a budget camera, that was only included to illustrate a point). However, that's just me and the opinion and thinking of others will vary. (y)
You actually gave a very good explanation on the aspects on putting any camera, lens or techniques to good use and the contrary. I think you do get it ;)
 

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But if you posted the same faked Holga shots and told people that they were real?
 

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But if you posted the same faked Holga shots and told people that they were real?
Not sure what you mean.....but I've taken quite a few crappy shots with good equipment and could lie to say that were taken by a Holga etc would Joe public know the difference or know I was lying.
 
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Anyway know matter what you or I say or if I was show dozens of shots simulating shots from a Holga, pinholes etc from lenses or in Photoshop....people would say "Yeah nice but they weren't taken using a Holga, pinhole etc" which from their point of view is the real thing.
No it was more that you need to aply it very carefully to the extent it's easier just to shoot the effect in the camera with those qualities embedded in it.
It's No different than choosing to shoot portraits with a 200mm f/2 for the "compressed" shallow DOF look og using an f/0,95 bokeeh monster or a TS lens for control over plane of focus in portraiture or combining the two in a 178mm Kodak aero ektar on 4x5" or any specific classic lens for it's unique rendering shooting intentionally for that look. Doing it during PP can become to much an afterthought and that will shine through in the results but yes there are people doing it successfully.
 

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Sorry, crossed posts with Soeren!

Yes, if you faked a Holga/Lomo style shot in PP and told people it was a Holga/Lomo shot, would they still hold it in the same disdain as they would if they knew it had been faked?
 

excalibur2

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Sorry, crossed posts with Soeren!

Yes, if you faked a Holga/Lomo style shot in PP and told people it was a Holga/Lomo shot, would they still hold it in the same disdain as they would if they knew it had been faked?
dunno but you could take the view if it is a great shot most people wouldn't care what equipment was used. But here I suppose we would like to know i.e. what camera etc was used. erm without lying. ;)
 
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Sorry, crossed posts with Soeren!

Yes, if you faked a Holga/Lomo style shot in PP and told people it was a Holga/Lomo shot, would they still hold it in the same disdain as they would if they knew it had been faked?
This is the point of this whole thread.

- Shot on a camera that is capapble of better IQ - processed to look like a Holga / Lomo photo = "I don't like the PP on this image"
- Shot on a Holga / Lomo = "You should use a camera capable of better IQ"

Both outcomes are the same and frankly very narrow minded, because the image in both instances doesn't meet their 'standards' of IQ.

People need to realise that not everyone likes the same things.

A Holga and the photos that come out of them really have no appeal to me whatsoever. What I mean is that I wouldn't chose to shoot on one as it would not satisfy me. I can understand why some people like to shoot them though, and I wouldn't try to assert my personal tastes and standards on someone who has shot on a Holga, clearly because they want that look.

That's not to say that I don't like the results either, some of Sharky's photos a couple of pages back are fantastic, its just not for me.
 
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Does it really matter.
In other areas people like to use old style equipment .Think of the archer who uses a wooden longbow and wooden arrows rather than the latest high tech recurve or compound bow with high tech arrows or the rifle shooter who uses a black powder flintlock or percussion lock musket rather than the latest super accurate match rifle.
They will never get the same scores but they are perfectly happy with the equipment they use and the results they obtain.
Each to their own, life would be boring if everyone wanted the same thing.
 
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Here are a couple of very similar photos. Both made within a minute or two of one another. The first with my Holga 120N (60mm lens & Ilford HP5+), the second my Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 (75mm lens & Kodak Tmax 400). Both were scanned on the same scanner and then processed in the same way in Lightroom. The Holga photo was made using the "cloudy" setting, so roughly f/8 at the default shutter speed of approx 1/100s, which has resulted in some underexposure. I didn't make a note of the Zeiss settings, but I would have taken an incident reading for the light and then set the aperture wide enough that I could get a shutter speed fast enough to avoid shake. It's still much sharper than the Holga photo, but nowhere near as sharp as the Zeiss can achive in better light (or with a tripod and cable-release).

In this case, I definitely prefer the Holga photo. The vignette and focus fall of help draw my eye to the engine and bridge and also enhance the damp, foggy atmosphere. For many other photgraphs I would prefer the Zeiss, but not on this occasion. I could edit the Zeiss photo to mimic the look of the Holga (although the character of the lens blur from the Holga's plastic lens is probably not as simple to replicate as just adding a blur in Photoshop), but I don't want to do that. As I've said earlier in the thread, I bought the Holga specifically for the way the photos it makes look and making fake Holga shots is not really something that I want to do.

Some people will prefer the Zeiss image, which is fine. Some people will not like either because they think it's an unappealing photo. It's all fine.

1

FILM - Vintage sidings
by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr

2

Elsecar
by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr
 
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Maybe a stupid question but how do you get 2x infinity ?

I like both the photos Nige, I'm not sure which one most ! The way the Holga has rendered the picture definatley as you say focuses you eyes on the centre the other one I find I have a bit of a roving eye looking at multiple elements through out the picture. Both lovely as always from you. Have you played with colour film at all in the Holga, at first I thought black and white would suit the Holga much more than Colour but then I shot a roll of out of date Ectar 100 I had knocking about and although the ASA of 100 was a bit more limiting in what conditions I could use it the results really surprised me. A little bit of colour shift which added to the result.

tree.jpg

church.jpg

canal.jpg
 
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Ask Buzz...
 
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Maybe a stupid question but how do you get 2x infinity ?
You can't is probably the scientifically correct answer. :)

What it means in this context though is that, using a field camera, you extend the bellows to a certain point to get infinity focus. If you extend the bellows further than this you are focussing beyond infinity so nothing at all is in focus. See this Google images search for examples.

You could probably get the same effect by focussing in front of the subject if you made sure that nothing else was in the zone of focus. <Waits for one of our LF photographers to tell me otherwise... :)>.
 
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You can't is probably the scientifically correct answer. :)

What it means in this context though is that, using a field camera, you extend the bellows to a certain point to get infinity focus. If you extend the bellows further than this you are focussing beyond infinity so nothing at all is in focus.
This would be my interpretation also. It's a term I've not heard of before in this context. Beyond infinity focus from an imaging perspective, would be where the lens is closer to the imaging plane (film or sensor) than its focal length in the same units, and hence, as you say, nothing would be in focus.
 

excalibur2

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Here are a couple of very similar photos. Both made within a minute or two of one another. The first with my Holga 120N (60mm lens & Ilford HP5+), the second my Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 (75mm lens & Kodak Tmax 400). Both were scanned on the same scanner and then processed in the same way in Lightroom. The Holga photo was made using the "cloudy" setting, so roughly f/8 at the default shutter speed of approx 1/100s, which has resulted in some underexposure. I didn't make a note of the Zeiss settings, but I would have taken an incident reading for the light and then set the aperture wide enough that I could get a shutter speed fast enough to avoid shake. It's still much sharper than the Holga photo, but nowhere near as sharp as the Zeiss can achive in better light (or with a tripod and cable-release).

In this case, I definitely prefer the Holga photo. The vignette and focus fall of help draw my eye to the engine and bridge and also enhance the damp, foggy atmosphere. For many other photgraphs I would prefer the Zeiss, but not on this occasion. I could edit the Zeiss photo to mimic the look of the Holga (although the character of the lens blur from the Holga's plastic lens is probably not as simple to replicate as just adding a blur in Photoshop), but I don't want to do that. As I've said earlier in the thread, I bought the Holga specifically for the way the photos it makes look and making fake Holga shots is not really something that I want to do.

Some people will prefer the Zeiss image, which is fine. Some people will not like either because they think it's an unappealing photo. It's all fine.

1

FILM - Vintage sidings
by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr

2

Elsecar
by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr
To me it looks better creating an oldie worldie look..you are half way there using a Holga and just need to add something like a sepia colour.
 
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To me it looks better creating an oldie worldie look..you are half way there using a Holga and just need to add something like a sepia colour.
Thats something that's definitely not my cup of tea. I don't mind people toning their photos for the effect it has, but I'm not a fan of it being used (often with a white vignette!) to try and make it look like an old photo - they look cheesy and fake to me. I know that plenty of people do like this faux old fashioned look through, as the number of them I see in some Facebook groups will attest. :)
 

excalibur2

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they look cheesy and fake to me.
Well I think most people here would agree with you as I posted photos in comps, one in sepia and one B\W that look like a bad copy of a Holga but didn't get many votes. :(
 
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Well I think most people here would agree with you as I posted photos in comps, one in sepia and one B\W that look like a bad copy of a Holga but didn't get many votes. :(
I wouldn't take anything from comp results Brian. You could enterthe best photo ever taken and if the judge on the night likes pictures of dogs, the dog photo will win. :D
 

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You can't is probably the scientifically correct answer. :)

What it means in this context though is that, using a field camera, you extend the bellows to a certain point to get infinity focus. If you extend the bellows further than this you are focussing beyond infinity so nothing at all is in focus. See this Google images search for examples.
This triggered alarm bells for me, as in, either I really don't understand something, or this isn't quite right! On my 135 cameras, infinity focus is closest to the lens, and as you move the lens further away (with the helicoid), the focus gets closer. So I would guess to use "twice infinity" I'd need to move the lens closer to the film than for infinity focus (not possible with most 135 cameras, obvs). How much, I couldn't know, but I'd guess that maybe the "twice" suggests putting your 4x5 150mm lens at 75mm?
 
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This triggered alarm bells for me, as in, either I really don't understand something, or this isn't quite right! On my 135 cameras, infinity focus is closest to the lens, and as you move the lens further away (with the helicoid), the focus gets closer. So I would guess to use "twice infinity" I'd need to move the lens closer to the film than for infinity focus (not possible with most 135 cameras, obvs). How much, I couldn't know, but I'd guess that maybe the "twice" suggests putting your 4x5 150mm lens at 75mm?
Correct
 
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This triggered alarm bells for me, as in, either I really don't understand something, or this isn't quite right! On my 135 cameras, infinity focus is closest to the lens, and as you move the lens further away (with the helicoid), the focus gets closer. So I would guess to use "twice infinity" I'd need to move the lens closer to the film than for infinity focus (not possible with most 135 cameras, obvs). How much, I couldn't know, but I'd guess that maybe the "twice" suggests putting your 4x5 150mm lens at 75mm?
Just put it down to my misunderstanding Chris. :)
 
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Here are a couple of very similar photos. Both made within a minute or two of one another. The first with my Holga 120N (60mm lens & Ilford HP5+), the second my Zeiss Mess-Ikonta 524/16 (75mm lens & Kodak Tmax 400). Both were scanned on the same scanner and then processed in the same way in Lightroom. The Holga photo was made using the "cloudy" setting, so roughly f/8 at the default shutter speed of approx 1/100s, which has resulted in some underexposure. I didn't make a note of the Zeiss settings, but I would have taken an incident reading for the light and then set the aperture wide enough that I could get a shutter speed fast enough to avoid shake. It's still much sharper than the Holga photo, but nowhere near as sharp as the Zeiss can achive in better light (or with a tripod and cable-release).

In this case, I definitely prefer the Holga photo. The vignette and focus fall of help draw my eye to the engine and bridge and also enhance the damp, foggy atmosphere. For many other photgraphs I would prefer the Zeiss, but not on this occasion. I could edit the Zeiss photo to mimic the look of the Holga (although the character of the lens blur from the Holga's plastic lens is probably not as simple to replicate as just adding a blur in Photoshop), but I don't want to do that. As I've said earlier in the thread, I bought the Holga specifically for the way the photos it makes look and making fake Holga shots is not really something that I want to do.

Some people will prefer the Zeiss image, which is fine. Some people will not like either because they think it's an unappealing photo. It's all fine.

1

FILM - Vintage sidings
by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr

2

Elsecar
by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr
I actually prefer the second shot taken with the Zeiss, I think one subliminal reason the Holga shot might look more appealing is because the electricity tower (pylon) is less apparent and doesn't draw the eye. If you don't believe me then try cropping the Zeiss shot to just on (or below) the second arm of the tower (to retain as much of the adjacent tree as possible) and see how it looks. I'd do it to demonstrate but respect your 'No' on 'edit my images'. I think the second image as a cropped shot is much better looking than the full size Holga one, which can't really be cropped successfully due to the strong vignetting.


Thats something that's definitely not my cup of tea. I don't mind people toning their photos for the effect it has, but I'm not a fan of it being used (often with a white vignette!) to try and make it look like an old photo - they look cheesy and fake to me. I know that plenty of people do like this faux old fashioned look through, as the number of them I see in some Facebook groups will attest. :)
I'd agree there, I've only done one such shot (as a token gesture) because someone suggested it. To be honest, as a far as such things go, I don't think it ended up looking too bad but it certainly needs the right subject (with nothing modern in it to date it) to stand any chance of avoiding cheesy naffness. It would probably look half decent if I could have been bothered to spend time fading out the straight edges to left and right.

 
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h'mm what ever turns you on :D
But repeating my post many years ago, if my eyes were like an holga lens I'd see an optician and if my tv screen looked like holga shots I'd throw it away. ;) but hey that's me :exit:
That's one of the maddest comparisons I’ve read on this site and I’ve read some mad ones.
 
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For those who say they can replicate Holga shots in post processing , Prove it ! just out of interest I would like to see this done, a before and after would be good. I tried it myself but the results looked nothing like the Holga but I very rarely mess much with my images. I dare say you can do better.
 
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For those who say they can replicate Holga shots in post processing , Prove it ! just out of interest I would like to see this done, a before and after would be good. I tried it myself but the results looked nothing like the Holga but I very rarely mess much with my images. I dare say you can do better.
Now there's a challenge to rise to.
 
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OK, chalenge accepted - how did I do?

Fake Holga 1
They look like digital photos with a vignette and edge blur. They don't pass as Holga shots IMO. Way too sharp

I may have an attempt myself to see if I can get something that looks more authentic. It's likely not as simple as just adding a blur and vignette - because of the Holga's meniscus lens the image also distorts towards the edge of the frame, often uniquely to an individual camera to a greater or lesser extent.
 
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They look like digital photos with a vignette and edge blur. They don't pass as Holga shots IMO. Way too sharp

I may have an attempt myself to see if I can get something that looks more authentic. It's likely not as simple as just adding a blur and vignette - because of the Holga's meniscus lens the image also distorts towards the edge of the frame, often uniquely to an individual camera to a greater or lesser extent.
Interesting - for sharpness I used your railway image (the holga one - not the zeiss) plus a bunch of other stuff on Flickr as a guide. There's a buttload of detail in the centre of the frame of your picture, and to drop the detail any further would have been too obviously fake. Good point about the distortion at the edge though.
 
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Who needs post processing? All you need is a genuine 1950s tinplate mock TLR box camera, which even chucks in a free halo when it's shot into the sun with the sliding small aperture selected. (y)



Or with the built-in special effects turned off:



You know when you've been out-Holga-ed! ;)
 
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Here's my attempt. I used a JPG shot with a Nikon D3200 as the starting point. It was already B&W and had some PP (including a bit of vignette) already.

Before:


Holga-fake-original-image
by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr

After:


Holga-fake-converted-image
by fishyfish_arcade, on Flickr

I think it's a reasonable facsimile of what I might get from my Holga. Not perfect, but not bad. Took me about 25 minutes and would probably take less time were I to try again given I know some of the techniques I used now.

I'd still rather use my actual Holga when I'm after an image like this though. :)
 
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