8.19.2018

I spent $17 on a total "piece of crap" lens and I had a fun time shooting with it yesterday. Hello "Holga for Nikon." Can't wait to use this "glass" on a new Nikon Z with an adapter......hmmm.

I had a serious purpose for being nose deep in Amazon.com on Thursday. We'd just gotten the "thumbs up" on fun video projects from three different clients and I wanted to buy a Thunderbolt SSD drive to put all my footage on for faster editing. I found what I hope will be a good drive but when I was on the site I made the mistake of looking around at the Nikon lenses to see if there was any particular focal length I had missed and needed more than oxygen....

Nothing from Nikon bubbled up but when I started looking at third party lenses I came across the most counter-intuitive lens I could possible imagine. The Holga people have begun packaging the famous(?) Holga 60mm f8.0 lens that has been "featured" on their cameras for decades for various other brands of camera. You can now buy a 60mm Holga f8.0 for your Nikon, Canon and micro four thirds cameras. The lenses come with the appropriate mount for each brand. The build quality is utter crap and focusing is strictly by zone. There is no way to change apertures and even the smartest cameras with the best Auto-ISO will be mystified by exposure with this "gem." 

I should mention that there is one decent feature set: The Holga lens comes complete with front and rear caps.

The vignetting is so strong that the lens acts like a t16 instead of an f8.0. The edges are monstrously dark and I found that the highest precision approach to both focus and exposure was ---- trial and error. Much error, even more trial. 

I should mention that the lens (which I assume is a one element lens design) is not sharp anywhere in the frame. The one benefit for all you people obsessed with camera weight and size is that the all-plastic lens body construction probably weighs in at about 2 ounces and it will fit in the front pocket of your most hipster trousers.

Here (above and below) is my gallery from Saturday's Holga Photo Safari in downtown Austin. See the attack of the electric scooters!!!! See the dark edges!!! No Instagram filters were used in the degradation of these images!!! See flare an anamorphic lens lover could be proud of!!!!

Why did I buy it? Why do I do anything? Lack of impulse control and a credit card balance that the issuing bank seems to be ignoring.... Will I keep it? Well, of course. How else will I be able to invent a whole new style for myself for the future?

Can't wait slap an adapter on the lens and mount it on the GH5S. With the vignetting and distortion of the lens coupled with some V-Log and beginner color grading I think I'll have the kind of winning new "authentic" vibe I need to reach a whole new generation of photo buyers. Cheers!







13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like it. IMHO perfection is overrated and often boring. If anyone can do something interesting with it, you can.

The only thing I would do different is shoot JPEG only in quad format.

Anonymous said...

Also: Link?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Link at the bottom. Links to Amazon don't show up in readers..... Click thru to the original blog to see an Amazon link.

Anonymous said...

What is "quad format"???

Russ said...

Sorry, but I'm not buying it. The lens or the idea of putting a Holga lens on a digital body. OK, yes the images have heavy vignetting, have saturated colors, are unsharp and if that's what you're going for, then it's money well spent. But these images just don't have the look of the Holga images I'm used to seeing... you need film for that.

Eric Rose said...

I love playing with my 9mm Oly body cap lens. It's a total POS for anything serious but it's a gas to use. I took it out on a hike yesterday mounted on my old trusty Panasonic GX1. Got some great shots in the woods, of flowers in a meadow and some olive oil tins in a store.

I even used his lens in Guatemala when I was doing some video work. Really cool vibe and added a neat dimension to what I was filming.

And like all things that create an "effect" moderation is the key to usage. Unless of course you want to become the next Instagram sensation!

Eric

Gary said...

Organic Shaved Ice is just what those two guys are going for.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

One guy, one girl. How can one make "organic" shaved ice? Organic water?

Patrick Dodds said...

Quad format: square?

Clay O said...

That's my favorite old crusty wall. Someday it will be covered up by a new condo/office/multiuse building, but until then, it's ours to enjoy.

James Weekes said...

I have used these lenses on Canon, Nikon and micro 4/3. To get repeatable exposures put the camera on aperture preferred. As someone else said, square format wii get rid of the worst of the vignetting. I use dxo software to emulate Tri-X and the results look very much like when I used a real Holga and real Tri-X. I love the color rendition too.

James Weekes said...

I tried to comment before. You can solve your exposure problems by setting your camera to aperture preferred. This has worked for me with micro 4/3, Canon and Nikon. Never a bad exposure. Then you can concentrate on the fun part.

Andrea said...

Four years ago I made a project on my city a-la "Provoke" (Daido Moriyama etc), shooting in b/w with Holga lens for my E-M5. It was so well received that won the Grand Prize at an annual photographic show. The lens costed me around 25 euros...