I'd been thinking about this for a long time. It was not a decision about money (the camera itself is $35), but a matter of having yet another camera at home. I already had enough... but the Holga didn't stop tempting me.
I decided to pull the trigger after my last hike to South Sister. I really, really missed my film camera up there, but I just can't afford to bring several pounds of extra weight with me on hard hikes like that one.
The Holga is the cheapest and probably lightest option for film, besides the Diana (and I'm not shooting 35mm, it's just too much work). So I went for it.
I know this is a toy camera and the results will be very different from those I get with the Bronica. But I like the look of it, how unreal the photos look. It won't work for every situation, but I'm sure I'll make good stuff with it.
I need time to get to know it though. I shot my first roll a few hours after getting it, and I couldn't wait to develop and scan it (I was so eager that I skipped roll #47 - it's coming soon though). Please keep in mind this was a test roll, shot really quick (within maybe 20-25 minutes) trying to get familiar with the camera, how it focuses and how it renders stuff.
Film: HP5+ 400 rated at 400
Camera and lenses: Holga 120N
Developer: Kodak D76 1:1, 9 minutes at 24C
Scanner: Epson V600
Location: Portland, OR
There's not much to say about the photos. I tried to take close shots like #1, far away subjects like in #10, and even some text to see how sharp it'd render it (#11).
I can't make any conclusions just yet either, but:
- The look of the pictures.
- Quality is much better than I thought.
- The camera is actually nice to use. It's made of plastic and it's a bit clunky, but I enjoyed it.
I don't like
- Let's say the camera is not built like a tank. I'm afraid there will be light leaks at some point. And accidents loading and unloading film.
- The lens distorts the images badly, almost a fisheye look. I'll have to keep that in mind for close subjects.
That's it for now. I started a new project page called The Holga Series where I'll be posting my favorite images taken with this "toy" camera. I've uploaded 5 from the test roll to have some content, they'll be replaced with better photos (hopefully). I'm excited about this, if you can tell.