Holga (Lens) Madness!

Many of our close friends know that we have a keen interest in film cameras! Our initial knowledge and exposure (pun intended eh heh) of film cameras was the Holga Camera (notwithstanding those disposable film cameras we grew up using). While researching online about the different types of Holga cameras, we stumbled upon a variety of Holga accessories, including Holga lenses for DSLRs cameras and iPhones, phone apps mimicking Holga effects, Holga lenses for Fuji Instax cameras, DIGITAL Holga cameras and even “Holgaroids” (Instant Film backing with Holga cameras).

Clearly, we were spoilt for choice!

However, we decided to get various Holga lenses for the Canon DSLR and the Fuji Instax mini camera, to add to our collection of cameras and accessories! We also bought a third-party lens adapter, so that we could use the Canon Holga lens for our Fujifilm X-T10.

In many of our previous entries, like our trip to Haw Par Vila, we made used of the Canon Holga lens. We also took a few shots on our Fuji Instax Mini 7s with the Holga lenses. So, this week, we decided to share our views on these two types of Holga lenses (just in case you are wondering whether to get it yourself)!

1) Holga Lens for Canon DSLR

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Here’s the Canon Holga lens, with the third-party lens adapter!
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Detachable Holga Turret Lens, consisting of different colours, patterns and the split image filters.

Here are some photos for comparison:

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Taken with Canon DSLR 500D!

The photos below are taken with the Canon Holga lenses.

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Immediately one can see the vignette effect, which creates a darker and low-fidelity photo. Such is the intention of the original Holga camera, which was designed for working-class citizens in Hong Kong!
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The former Supreme Court…
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And the modern Supreme Court of Singapore!
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Even though we were a good 100 metres away from the building, the short range of the Canon Holga lens caused it to take a ‘close-up’ photo.

 

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St Andrew’s Cathedral from quite a distance!
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The famed steeple of the Cathedral, captured clearly.

Our Verdict

The Holga lens for the Canon DSLR is a genius move for those who love images with “Holga” effects! The upshot is the ability to retain digitised ‘Holga’ photos without the extra cost of developing film normally taken with the Holga camera.

However, we found difficulty with the focusing ring. Although the lens had different focal lengths for portraits, group shots, or even landscape, we feel that it does not make much of a difference. After a while, we just stuck to one mode.

We also had difficulty in adjusting the aperture. Holga cameras are generally operated manually. Sometimes when using the Holga lens on the Canon DSLR, we forget that we have to adjust the aperture manually according to different lighting (as opposed to sticking to the auto-mode on the DSLR).

On a sidenote, we found the turret lens fun to play with! We love how the colour filters brings out a different mood and contrast in our photos, and the split image filter spurs us on to be more creative.

Modern technology has allowed budding photographers to edit photos and smartphones apps caters for photo editing e.g. Instagram and their numerous filters. Obviously, we believe that hardcore Holga fans should stick to using the Holga camera. Clearly, the Holga lenses for Canon DSLRs was a way for Holga to enter into the modern photography market. Nevertheless, Holga lenses are useful if you what to achieve unpredictable results, bearing in mind that the photos will have a softer, blurry effect than the usual modern cameras.

We say if you can get your hands on the Canon Holga lens and the Holga Turret lenses below SGD$50, go for it!

One of our favourite reviews of the Holga Lens is by the Phoblographer! Do check out their review 🙂

2) Holga Lenses for the Fuji Instax Mini Camera

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Here, we decided to use the good old classic Fuji Instax Mini 7s (pictured here with the Holga lens attachment)!
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We bought this second-hand lens kit from Carousell, a Singapore-based online retail platform. Everything inside was almost new! We love the small pouches that comes with each filter!
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We realise that the various lenses are acrylic squares… DIY anyone? 🙂

We took a few test shots for each lens set! All the instant films are taken with auto-flash mode on the Instax Mini 7s.

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Double Colour Filters (DCFS-135K)
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Colour Gradation Filer Set (CGFS-135K)
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Soft Surround Filter Set (SSFS-135K)
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Another test for the Soft Surround Filter Set (SSFS-135K), this time focusing on the flower and the effect of the blurred edges.
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Split Image Lens Set (SILS-135K)
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Colour Filter Set (CFS-135K)

Interestingly, these Holga lenses can be used on Holga 135 series (K200NM and K200N), as well as the Polaroid 300!

Our Verdict

We just have to say this: we loveeeeeeeeeeee the filter lenses! Although it is a bit of a hassle to carry around the entire lens kit (and trying not to lose any of them), these filters are fun to play around with and adds more creativity and uniqueness to one’s instant films!

In testing out these shots, we had to manually gauge the distance of the focus as the view finder does not show the effects of the filters (as it is not an SLR). Nevertheless, if you can get your hands on these lenses for below SGD$20, go for it!

Comparing the Fuji Instax Holga Lenses and the Canon Holga Lens

Finally, we leave you some comparisons between the Holga lenses for the Fuji Instax Mini (green label) and the Canon DSLR (these were printed on instax via the Fujifilm SP-1 printer; black label) respectively. Hopefully these comparisons might aid you in choosing which lens kit to get!

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Over on our Instagram page, you will be able to see the above comparisons as well! We have not compared the Holga camera against these Holga lenses because we don’t have one (but if you are keen for us to review one let us know if you are willing to loan us one :D).

We hope you have enjoyed our review of the Holga lens! We just love talking about cameras and photography and we cannot wait to share more good things to you next time around!

Till next time,

Damianwithsandra.

2 thoughts on “Holga (Lens) Madness!

  1. You’re so cool! I don’t think I’ve truly read through anything like that before.
    So great to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this subject.

    Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is one thing that is needed
    on the internet, someone with some originality!

    Like

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