I think I’ve been spending too much time this week in the sun because I’ve been thinking about giving my Holgaroid one more chance…even though last summer I swore I’d never use it again. If you don’t know why I don’t favor this camera, you can check out my review (here)… but long story short it’s a right pain and wastes a ton of film with failed shots. I’d just love to see instant photos from my Holga. The process of taking a whole film roll and then process it at home and scanning the negatives and color correcting the negatives is just not how I want to be spending my summer weekends. Plus now that I’m getting more use to taking double exposures with instant film, I’d love to try with the Holgaroid and see the results. I have also been considering the newer Diana F+ instant back that uses Fuji mini instax film. It’s a much newer product and maybe the reliability is higher than the Holgaroid but the reviews I find online leave me a little cold (plus I’d have to buy it, which at full price is $100). Thought I’d share some old Holgaroid photos and see what you opinions are, let me know in the comments! I also rescanned the photos since the review and they look a lot better! I know I promised two weeks ago to have some Split-Cam photos today but haven’t had a chance to get the film developed.
My Toy Camera Collection
Holga 120 CFN
My first ever toy camera, I bought it at a local photography store back in 2007. It is the dearest one to my heart, you can check out photos I’ve taken with this guy: here, here, here, here , here and here! I don’t have a review but I do have a profile of this camera, here!
Holga Tim (purple edition)
This is also probably one of my favourite cameras, it goes with me everywhere. I bought this for myself as a Christmas present and it’s design really makes other people smile. Wish I could own one in every color, lol. You can see my review of it here! I also have photos of it here, here, here and here!
Diana F+ (Hudson Bay edition)
One of my newer toy cameras, I bought it off of Kijiji used for only $50 which is pretty amazing for the Diana camera with the flash. Didn’t have a say in the design but I really dig it…still haven’t really fallen in love with the camera overall. Feel like I’m a Holga girl and not a Diana one, lol. I have photos I’ve taken with it here!
Bought this two years ago after realizing how painful it would be to get my Super8 camera film developed. The LomoKino is really neat and a great alternative to people who want to create video with film. It doesn’t take much to finish a roll though but I found it really fun to try. Going to be making more mini-movies with it this summer. You can check out one I did last year at Piknic Electronik, here!
Disderi Robot 3
Love, love, love this camera. One of the biggest surprises, I mean for $10 and from Ebay you don’t expect much but this camera is delightful. Always with me to take silly photos while on vacation. I’ve done a review of it, here. Photo taken with it here, here, here, and here and here!
Holgaroid (Holga 120 GFN with Polaroid attachment)
Probably one of the most frustrating cameras I’ve ever owned and also one of the most expensive. I bought the camera and the Holga Polaroid back together used for $100 (although it’s a good deal since the attachment itself is $100 and at the time wasn’t being made anymore). If you want more information I have my review, here and photos here!
Another frustrating camera, but it does have a special place in my heart since it was my 2nd toy camera and a birthday present I bought for myself 4 years ago. It a neat idea for a camera but I wish it was better built and implemented. I have a review, here and a profile of it, here. Photos are here, here, here, here and here!
Diana Mini (Love is in the Air edition)
Another used camera off of Kijiji for less than 50% of the normal price, and honestly it’s one of my favourite designs for Diana Mini’s. I haven’t used it much since the sizing of the frames are so strange and I just know the local film developers wouldn’t print it off correctly. Have 2 rolls in my fridge all ready to be printed when I start doing color developement.
The only toy camera I bought while on vacation, this guy is from the old Toronto Lomography store ( I think? I might be making that up but I remember looking at these at the store). I was really excited for this camera but again because of the special size of the negatives I wanted to home develop the film and my first ‘test’ roll in black and white made me realize this camera is made for color. You can check out my test roll, here!
Another cheap Ebay camera, this one happens to be my newest one! I tracked it down because I’ve seen them floating around for the last few years and it looked like they might stop selling thems oon. They come in so many different juice boxes and milk teas designs. I really wanted the peach one but it’s really hard to find. Waiting to develop the 2 rolls I’ve taken with it.
Purchased on Amazon when I was buying books and it flashed up as an add on for only $12. I can’t wait to show you photos I’ve taken with the Split-Cam. I’ve only taken one roll with it last summer and another roll this weekend but my next Lomography Wednesday post in 2 weeks will actually be from this neat camera.
Disderi Robot 4
Bought this at the same time as the Disderi Robot 3 camera since they were so cheap. It’s hard to remember this guy when it’s a standard 4 lens toy camera and the 3 lens version of it is so much neater. Hope to run it through it’s paces at some point. $10 cameras from Ebay are hard to resist.
I bought this camera for a photo project I’m doing with Victor last summer when I thought making gifs was going to be my newest obession. We are collecting photos for it slowly so I image I will mostly be using it for the project and not sharing many but look out!
SuperSampler (Silver edition)
Picked up mine from Kijiji used for only $20 and still haven’t gotten around to taking photos with it…it also has a roll of film that was left in it from the original owner that I have no idea what to do with.
This is a toy and vintage camera that I received when my grandmother died. Never been able to get the flash working but it’s a cool edition to the collection. I’ve done a review of it here!
No idea why I haven’t tested this little guy it, I’ve had it since Lomography started producing 110 film again and I found it for under $10 on Ebay. I’ve had a roll of 110 film for it in my fridge for over a year too just ready to go. I just feel like I should bring it somewhere where the spy element of it’s size is useful.
So that’s it, my toy camera collection! I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are just so many cameras available these days and it seems lately the prices from the Lomography ones keep going higher and higher in the last few years. Although as you can see most of the Lomography cameras (ie the expensive ones) were bought used and the rest are mostly cheap Asian market cameras that honestly do an awesome job. So if you think I have piles of money to buy cameras – I really don’t. I think the most important aspect of toy cameras is their affordability. It’s better to spend the money on development and film – not the camera. Besides missing a few key cameras like Fujifilm Instax, and larger format Holga cameras I probably have at least one of every type of ‘trick’ available which is kind of neat. If you really want to see photos from one of the cameras I currently don’t have posts for let me know in the comments. Except the last camera I’ve actually taken photos with all the cameras but simply haven’t had a chance to develop the film for them yet. So it’ll be a good kick in the butt and I’ll know what ones people are interested in seeing :)
It`s been a long time since I’ve used my Holgaroid, the last time I posted about it was when I did my review (here if you haven`t read) and I finally thought about picking it up again. It`s quiet a frustrating camera but I had some Fuji black and white film laying around and am a bit bored of the Polaroid Colorpack so I thought it`d be nice to try my hand again… every time I use the Holgaroid I feel like I’m wasting film. I remember with the colored Fuji film that it always had to be very sunny and since it was a great day outside on Saturday I thought it’d take it with us on our walk around downtown. The first 6 photos were too over-exposed to even make out what was in them, even in the shade. I waited until it was getting darker and then the shots were underexposed. I’m sure it worked better using the original intended film for it by Polaroid (that isn’t made anymore) however I think this is my last time using the Holgaroid. From my previous negative experiences to my frustrating day today, I think this guy is going back on the shelf. But I thought I’d share the shots that kind of turned out.
Holgaroid: A Review!
The Holgaroid is an attachment for your Holga camera that converts it into a Polaroid and costs around $200. The original attachment used Polaroid film that is no longer available however its easy online to get Fuji FP-100C and FP-100B instant film which is black&white or color respectively. I got my Holgaroid attachment this summer locally and used. I have always wanted to get this attachment for my Holga, so I picked mine up used for $100 including a Holga 120N camera and the shutter release attachment included. It was a really good deal considering, even though I already had a Holga camera. I’ve taken about 3 rolls of film with the Holgaroid however, and I am not really satisfied with the results. The best way to show you what this camera can do, and what it doesn’t do very well is with examples.
The Holgaroid attachment will turn your medium size Holga camera into a monster. Its almost the same width of the Holga excluding the lens and it taller then the Holga so the Holga hovers if you have it sitting on a counter. The attachment will also make your Holga much heavier. Personally though I don’t mind the size unless I have to carry it in a bag, as its almost larger then my NikonD7000.
Its really…really dark. This shot below was taken in the shade, but on a really bright summer day. I wasted about half a roll trying to figure out what lighting works with the Holgaroid. The lighting from what I found is no shade, no overcast, and no indoors shots, only on bright sunny days otherwise you will get very dark shots or completely exposed film. And even once you figure out what lighting works you still end up wasting film with shots that are too dark to look any good, and this is not cheap film. For every shot that worked, I got one that was black. Even on the bright days, the shots that came out were still dark in appearance.
3. Light Leaks
Now for some people this will be a pro. And definitely on some shots it looks cool but for others this will be a con. I like the light leaks but on some shots its definitely very distracting and I got frustrated that its completely random and I cannot control it. Another thing to note is that you CANNOT leave film in this camera. After the summer, I put away the Holgaroid for a few months because it was much darker outside and I was worried about not getting any shots…..well the light leaks exposed all of the film that normally would be protected. Wasting a whole package that I had just put in.
This is another thing that some people may consider a pro instead of a con. Because the Polaroid back was made for another type of film that is square and the Fuji film is larger then the square image of the Holga, you will get a whole section of your film that doesn’t get an image. I’ve cropped certain images shown below to show you the different but this is what your images will come out as. I really like the cropped images more and from what I’ve seen of people who either had the Holgaroid before Polaroid stopped making the film or purchased expired film it looks really different in its intended square form.
5. Flash Shots
Flash is really tricky with the Holgaroid. If your too close, its usually over exposed and if your too far away the shot will be too dark. You’ll also get the circular exposure. I don’t know what causes this but all my flash shots had this when my regular day time shots did not. It is nice that you can use the Holga flash with the Holgaroid though considering most lighting situations will require this.
These are the common features and concerns with the Holgaroid attachment that most people have so I thought I’d share my experience with it. I think I am going to retire my attachment as its not very fulfilling even when it does take good shots. For $200 and $10 a pack of 10, you’d probably have much better luck just buying a Fuji Film Instanx camera (one version even has a Holga lens attachments) or if you want that vintage feel what I suggest is looking on Etsy, or your local vintage store for an old Polaroid camera. This isn’t to say the attachment doesn’ t take good photos, its definitely possible but the amount of work I had to put in, and the amount of film that was wasted fustrated me. I got my Polaroid Colorpack III for under $50 on Etsy a month after getting the attachment, and have not experience any of the fustration with it, like I did with the Holgaroid – its been love ever since (which isn’t to say there wasn’t a learning curve) . So if you want to save yourself some cash to put towards film and some grief get a Polaroid camera that’s either compatible with Fuji film or film made by the Impossible Project and make sure it doesn’t require a speciality battery to function and you’ll be on your way to getting great instant shots.
Click below at all my shots taken with Holgaroid attachement:
(and if your thinking to yourself, wow that’s only 8 shots – I KNOW.
Out of 30 shots I toke and only got 8 shots that even turned out)