Holga Lens

Updated: Mar 17, 2019

£20 Toy Lens!

I am a huge fan of the Holga cameras, I have had mine for several years and it has toured festivals with me and had many adjustments done to it (blog coming soon on it's most recent makeover).

After a conversation with my colleague Jason, who keeps encouraging me to go back and try experimental techniques in the dark room, we got talking about Holga cameras and how fantastic and affordable they are. Completely customisable, and there is never any fear in doing something wrong or breaking it as it will always lead to fun and interesting results, I mean I have toy soldiers currently glued to the inside of mine.

Let's skip a lot of the conversation that we were having, as they will all have their own blog posts eventually (Hasslebin coming soon) we ended up on Amazon and within seconds I purchased the lens you see above for my 6D MKII.

It is tiny, it's plastic therefore it is Christine proof (I drop things a lot :| ), it doesn't feel like it should work but it does. I skipped past the part of chucking it on a camera and going out and about and getting the feel of it.

I have used my Holga camera so many times before, I knew I was going to get a beautiful vignette

and I was praying for light leaks, there is just something special about them on film. I skipped the testing phase and took it straight into the studio to test with the fantastic Erin from Tyne Tees Models.

The quick with this lens is that you can't change the aperture, obviously you can change your ISO on your camera (or choose your ISO depending on the film if you want to chuck it on Canon film camera). I was using the Broncolor set up we have in one of our studios at work, I only had to knock the intensity of the light up 2 or 3 stops for the style I wanted. Totally into dramatic overhead one light set ups again.

A couple of the results can be seen below...

Erin @ Tyne Tees Models.

Sometimes for tests where I know I am not going to retouch and I am shooting in black and white I will shoot jpg. I can hear my students gasp in horror at that little bit of information. But I know its how I want it to look in camera, I know there isn't going to be any editing, and because of the wireless technology I can literally be shooting to my devices as well as the models, or I can hand over the jpgs straight away. I have a full time job, I run a business, I have a Nana with dementia who I tend to visit a lot, as well as spend time with family. If I can streamline my workflow, I will. Commercial jobs I have a different process for.

The exchanging on images didn't happen this fast in this instance, we had a short timescale and after talking to Erin we decided to do a little conceptual shoot, which I don't normally do with no preparation but Erin proposed an idea, something similar to an idea I wanted to try so I thought why not.

The lens is a lot of fun, and for £20 it's definitely something I want in my kit at all times as a 'just in case,' I love the softness of the lines, how it isn't fully pin sharp, the vignette and that almost film quality that can be a struggle to achieve with digital.

I highly recommend it, and I can't wait to experiment with it on my up and coming shoots.

To buy the Canon fit lens click below, the same store also stock the Nikon version too.


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