The First Day of Spring & Holga Lenses

March 21, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I know spring is coming every year when the tulips and crocuses start pushing up – often with snow still around the yard.  I usually get the camera out and photograph these first signs.

This year the snow has been gone for quite a while and I almost neglected to look in back where the crocuses usually bloom.  Fortunately, I didn’t miss them!

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Nikon D700, Holga HL-N lens, ISO 800, 1/10th of a second.

This year, I decided to do something a little different.  If you’ve seen some of my other photos, you know I sometimes like to play with different camera effects in Photoshop and Lightroom.  This time, I thought I’d shoot with a Holga lens.

If you aren’t familiar with Holga, it is a medium format 120 film “toy” camera manufactured in China.  Because these cameras are built very inexpensively, they generally has some optical aberrations due to the limitations of these cheap lenses.  Makes for some really interesting and artistic results through vignettes, light leaks and blurring.

I wanted to play with cameras like these for a while.  I was fortunate enough to find that I could purchase Holga lenses that would mount to my Nikon D700 DSLR camera.  Sort of really “dumbing” down this expensive camera!   I bought these from http://www.holgadirect.com/

Below is a photo of the main lens and the close-up lenses that I used to achieve this.  Shot this with the 120mm close-up from about four inches away from the flowers.  The close-up lens snaps right on the top of the Holga lens – low tech, but simple to use.

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The back of the Holga lens is pretty much just like a pinhole camera, so it is a little hard to compose the image through the viewfinder as very little light is coming in through the lens.  Lots of trial and error, but I love the end result.

Hope to shoot more over the course of the summer!


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