Holga!?! What's that?

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  • 08-28-2006, 09:11 AM
    photophorous
    1 Attachment(s)
    Holga!?! What's that?
    I've noticed that every time a thread gets posted with Holga photos, there are many questions. I have only used a Holga a few times, so I have many questions myself. I thought it might be helpful to start a thread just for the purpose of talking about Holgas and letting people ask questions about these strange little cameras. So, if you have been scratching your head when you see the word "Holga," or if yours isn't doing what you expected, here's your chance to ask. Ask whatever you want. I'm new to Holgas myself, but I'll answer what I can.

    I'll start with a couple of things I've been wondering about. Feel free to answer one of my questions, or ask another. Here goes...

    1. How do you get the extreme vignetting seen in most Holga shots? I've been disappointed to find very little in mine. (See below) Is this because I have a rare specimen, or do some people actually modify the Holga to create more vignetting?

    2. I have trouble scanning my Holga film. My scanner looks for edges in the negative strip in order to divide it into how ever many images are on the section of film I'm scanning. Many times my shots have undefined or overlapping edges, and the scanner errors out. I don't think the designers had Holgas in mind. Does anyone have a recommendation for tricking my scanner into dividing the film where I want it to?

    Thanks,
    Paul
  • 08-28-2006, 09:15 AM
    walterick
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Paul,

    I don't have any answers for you re: Holgas. But depending on what scanner you have, you can usually manually determine what area the scanner scans in. Sounds like you have it on "automatic" try looking for a manual option or setting and trying it again.

    I think this is a great idea for a thread, btw. You guys fill it full of information and I'll make it an FAQ!

    Rick
  • 08-28-2006, 09:21 AM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Paul,
    My first question is, tell me what you are doing with your Holga?
    What model do you have? 120S, 120N, etc?
    Then I'd like to know if you are using the 6x6 mask that came with the camera.
    If you are, don't use it. If you bought one from www.holgamods.com, then I'd say keep it, but I am guessing you didn't buy one from there.
    Then what scanner are you using?
    Brian
    The only reason people look at Holga posts so much is because they ROCK!:cornut:
  • 08-28-2006, 09:36 AM
    ladybugamanda
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Am I the only one wondering "What exactly IS a Holga?" or just the first one to tuck her tail and ask?
  • 08-28-2006, 09:42 AM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ladybugamanda
    Am I the only one wondering "What exactly IS a Holga?" or just the first one to tuck her tail and ask?

    Well..
    A Holga is a camera, it shoots 120 film, and they are often thought of as "toy cameras".
    To see a picture of one check out www.holgamods.com, or my site, which has a picture of one of my personal Holgas, that I have personalized.
    Further questions? Just ask!
    Brian
  • 08-28-2006, 09:47 AM
    ladybugamanda
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Thank you! Ya'll are always so good about answering questions!
  • 08-28-2006, 09:51 AM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ladybugamanda
    Thank you! Ya'll are always so good about answering questions!

    You bet!
    We're photographers, we're here to help our fellow photographers!
    :thumbsup:
    Brian
    :ihih:
  • 08-28-2006, 10:18 AM
    photophorous
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Brian / Rick,

    I'm using a Canoscan 8400, flatbed. It has a negative holder that holds a strip long enough for three 6x6 frames. In the scanning software, I tell it I'm scanning MF negs. During the "preview" stage is where it gets hung up. I never thought to look for a manual way to scan them. I'll try that. Maybe I should try different software?

    Brian, I have a 120FN. I am using the 6x6 mask...I'll take that out. Do I need to modify anything to create a make-shift pressure plate? Doesn't the insert hold the film flat? Or, do I want it loose? I tape it up around the film back and a little on the front, but that's it. I haven't noticed any light leaks at all, I guess because of the insert.

    Thanks for your help.

    Paul
  • 08-28-2006, 10:35 AM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Paul,
    I don't know anything about that particular scanner, but perhaps it is cropping the negative some. If there is a manual way to scan, I would suggest that.
    I would suggest you take out the 6x6 mask, hold on to it, but don't stress about it.
    No pressure plate is needed, I don't do that.
    For suggested mods, check out www.toycamera.com, look at the articles section at the top.
    But feel free to email me directly too if you have any questions.
    Brian
  • 08-28-2006, 11:14 AM
    photophorous
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    ...I would suggest you take out the 6x6 mask, hold on to it, but don't stress about it. No pressure plate is needed, I don't do that...

    Thanks, Brian. I'll give this a try. I was a little frustrated because my photos just looked like plain old bad photos, with no character.

    Paul
  • 08-28-2006, 11:33 AM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by photophorous
    Thanks, Brian. I'll give this a try. I was a little frustrated because my photos just looked like plain old bad photos, with no character.

    Paul


    Paul,
    I would recommend you find subject to photograph that will allow your character to come out the most.
    Let me know what else I can do!
    I am sure Megan will chime in at some point too.
    One more thought...
    Do you have a contact sheet? What does it look like? Is there any vignetting there?
    What about the negatives too?
    Don't forget Brian's first rule of Holga photography, "Have Fun!"
    Brian

    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
  • 08-28-2006, 12:18 PM
    photophorous
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    ...Do you have a contact sheet? What does it look like? Is there any vignetting there? What about the negatives too? ...

    I don't have a contact sheet but from the few negs that came out exposed correctly, the vignetting just looks like a regular camera lens with one too many filters on the end...fuzzy in the corners. It looks nothing like the hard black, randomly shaped, vignetting in most Holga shots I see.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    ...I would recommend you find subject to photograph that will allow your character to come out the most...

    Good advice, but hard to follow. :)

    Paul
  • 08-28-2006, 12:21 PM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    My only other advice to you Paul, would be to buy another Holga!
    You can never have too many Holga's!
    I currently have four, and I know Megan has about that many too!
    Brian
  • 08-28-2006, 12:55 PM
    Max P D
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by photophorous

    Brian, I have a 120FN. I am using the 6x6 mask...I'll take that out. Do I need to modify anything to create a make-shift pressure plate? Doesn't the insert hold the film flat? Or, do I want it loose? I tape it up around the film back and a little on the front, but that's it. I haven't noticed any light leaks at all, I guess because of the insert.

    Thanks for your help.

    Paul


    Paul, I'm so glad you started this thread! :yesnod:

    A link of instructions to modify your holga is at this Holga Mod site. Scroll to the bottom to see how to modify the 6x6 mask.

    About a week ago I started my own Photocolumn/FAQ/Gallery to showcase the Holga as well as some of my own Holga photography. Forgive me for tooting my own horn but if anyone is interested it is here.

    Good Luck. :thumbsup:
  • 08-28-2006, 01:02 PM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    That's a good website, there are lot's of Holga tips out there.
    Dan's site is good too.
    Use your favorite search engine and search for Holga tips.
    If you aren't up to doing it yourself, let Randy do it at www.holgamods.com, there are lot's of great tips there too.
    Brian
  • 08-28-2006, 01:05 PM
    Max P D
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Also, if you decide to modify the 6 x 6 mask yourself, be sure to wet sand the cut edges so it won't scratch your film...
  • 08-28-2006, 01:21 PM
    Max P D
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Not to bombard folks with modification info but another good do-it-yerselfer site is Holga Tune-ups and Mods.

    FWIW, I don't mess with adding baffles or the swinging aperture. And I haven't tried to make the Holga focus closer... yet. :D
  • 08-28-2006, 01:28 PM
    photophorous
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Max P D
    Paul, I'm so glad you started this thread! :yesnod:

    A link of instructions to modify your holga is at this Holga Mod site. Scroll to the bottom to see how to modify the 6x6 mask.

    About a week ago I started my own Photocolumn/FAQ/Gallery to showcase the Holga as well as some of my own Holga photography. Forgive me for tooting my horn but if anyone is interested it is here.

    Good Luck. :thumbsup:

    Thanks for tips! These are great links.

    Paul
  • 08-28-2006, 01:30 PM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Something else I just thought of Paul.
    If you look at all of my Holga photographs, I don't always have the vignette and or other abberations.
    How is this so?
    Tell me and we'll both know.
    But, I remember reading a thread somewhere about how light leaks and flares can happen with a Holga.
    I hope I can explain it well.
    If you push the shutter release button down slightly, you'll get a light leak and if you do it fully, with the lens cap on, you'll get some too.
    The light comes in along the shutter release button.
    Try it, experiement with it.
    But don't get frustrated and have FUN!
    Brian
  • 08-28-2006, 01:50 PM
    photophorous
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    Something else I just thought of Paul.
    If you look at all of my Holga photographs, I don't always have the vignette and or other abberations.
    How is this so?
    Tell me and we'll both know.
    But, I remember reading a thread somewhere about how light leaks and flares can happen with a Holga.
    I hope I can explain it well.
    If you push the shutter release button down slightly, you'll get a light leak and if you do it fully, with the lens cap on, you'll get some too.
    The light comes in along the shutter release button.
    Try it, experiement with it.
    But don't get frustrated and have FUN!
    Brian

    I'll try it with out the mask and see what happens. It makes sense to me that the mask could be "protecting" the film from a lot of the light leaks, so maybe when I remove that I'll get more sporadic results. With the mask in, light would have to leak from the back of the camera to hit the film...or right around the shutter itself. I'll shoot a roll soon and we'll find out. :)

    Paul
  • 08-28-2006, 02:41 PM
    Max P D
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    If you look at all of my Holga photographs, I don't always have the vignette and or other abberations.
    How is this so?
    Tell me and we'll both know.

    Brian

    That's an excellent point Brian! I've noticed this as well. I have a theory :idea: and it depends on the focusing distance for the amount of vignetting seen. But really, I dunno, I'm just guessing...

    Also, and this is off topic, each Holga has their own distinctive light leaks. For example, I've noticed Brian's avatar, and a few of his Holga pics, have that same light leak in the upper right corner. A sort of Holga DNA. if you will... :skep: :wink5:
  • 08-28-2006, 03:31 PM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Max P D
    That's an excellent point Brian! I've noticed this as well. I have a theory :idea: and it depends on the focusing distance for the amount of vignetting seen.

    That's very possible!
    I have pondered that long and hard it sounds quite reasonable.
    Brian
    :idea: :confused: :thumbsup: :D
  • 08-28-2006, 04:20 PM
    photophorous
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mtbbrian
    That's very possible!
    I have pondered that long and hard it sounds quite reasonable.
    Brian
    :idea: :confused: :thumbsup: :D

    I was also thinking it might have something to do with the relative location of the sun. Sometimes, the vignette circle seems to be shifted to one side or another. That's just a guess, though. I'll try to take notes on my next roll, so maybe we can learn something. :)

    Paul
  • 08-29-2006, 06:55 AM
    mtbbrian
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by photophorous
    I was also thinking it might have something to do with the relative location of the sun. Sometimes, the vignette circle seems to be shifted to one side or another. That's just a guess, though. I'll try to take notes on my next roll, so maybe we can learn something. :)

    Paul


    The two of you have similiar thoughts I have had, so maybe there is something to them!
    Yes, Paul please take a few notes, that would be good!
    Brian
  • 08-29-2006, 06:15 PM
    Max P D
    Re: Holga!?! What's that?
    Does anyone have experience using diopters with a Holga for closer focusing?