Advantages Can shoot experimentally; Cheap body; Easy to modify; Flexivle
Disadvantages Expensive running costs; Poor quality body; Very basic focus settings
|Range & Quality of Features|
|Ease of Use|
*SLIGHT UPDATE AFTER I DROPPED MY CAMERA*I received this camera (the gold pimpin' version) on my 21st birthday from my boyfriend's sister. It was a fantastic thought, but I didn't play with it for several months as I had no idea how it worked. The instructions I received in the manual were awful, but having some common sense (not something I'm blessed with) would probaly help. More about that later. It's essentially a plastic toy camera, so I thought it was just a prop for my "Geeks'n'Chavs party". In any case, I guess I'll briefly go through the information that I have learnt regarding lomography and holgas since being given this as a present:
LOMOGRAPHY. What is it?
Lomography is an artistic experimental style of photography, where light leaks are common. The colours are often changed, and overlapping frames are common place. More information can be found on http://www.lomography.com/about but I think the photos I have shown below will visually demonstrate the idea better. It has now become common place for applications (such as hipstamatic) on iPhones etc to emulate the style. I guess the main rule about lomography is that there are no rules, and you should experiment; shooting from different angles etc.
The look and feel of the camera is... plasticky. It's very light, and when you shake it you can hear rattling inside. Rest assured, it's not broken- the spools just aren't in very tightly. (Random tip/modification, you can make your own spool using a straw. Follow link at the bottom if you are interested).
When you open the back, there's a spool and some plastic masks. I tend to shoot without the masks, as you can have layover techniques (see photos for explanation). You can get 16 photos per roll with the mask (4.5cm x 6cm) or shoot without the mask and have 6cm x 6cm photos.The film used in this camera are 120 medium format films. These cost on average £4 per roll, but I tend to buy expired film on ebay. They tend to be of good quality, especially if they have been kept in a refrigerator. You then have to develop the film, which costs a fair amount. Like most things in life, if you get to know the shop assistants you can normally get a discount (if you go frequently enough). It's cheaper if you just get the negatives developed, but scan them in yourself (but you will need a film scanner).
The functions are really basic. You can switch the flash on or off (but you'll need batteries for that), and you can change the focus. The focus is quite hit and miss, and it took me a while to get used to it (as I'm used to shooting on semi-auto focus, and on digital). There are 4 settings, illustrated by: one man, 3 men, lots of men and then infinity sign. In order to take a photo, you need to roll the film (like the disposable cameras). This is a really handy function, as you can unroll the film, and take pictures with multiple exposures.Oh, and the instruction manual. As I said, I think it's rather poor. The translations are not done very well, and there are quite a few grammatical mistakes. However, there's not that much to learn from the manual, other than how to put the film in. Most of it is quite common sense, you just need to wind it up yourself (unlike the only other manual camera I've used, which does it for you). One more tip; when winding up the film, you should probably use some sticky tape to tape the end onto the spool. That way, it will wind up tightly, and won't have light leak onto the film (thereby rendering it useless). Better instructions/modifications/tips can be found online, as there's a huge holga community online.
This camera is also really hard to break..! I dropped it the other day, and being a super pro footballer, thought I would be able to balance it on my foot.... I ended up kicking it across the street (stupid defender's legs) but it remained relatively unscathed other than a scratch on the electrical tape- by the time you've put electrical tape on your camera, it's clear you no longer care about the appearances.... Fortunately, the camera operates just fine :)Who would enjoy using this camera?
The holga is not my favourite of cameras, due to the pricing. I have some photos which I love from using this camera, but it's not worth the price for me. I far prefer my DIANA+ adaptor lens, as I can shoot numerous times without having to worry about my wallet. To a certain extent, it seems as thought the digital applications have replaced it, and it's not worth going to the trouble and expense of doing it the old fashioned way (although Holga enthusiasts would disagree, I'm sure....)SUMMARY
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