Holga Wallpaper

Don’t you just love the focussing symbols on the Holga’s lens? I sure do. In fact, I love their simplicity so much, I used them in a recent presentation. I didn’t find a really reasonable base to work with, so I used one that was close enough to what I wanted, one that Greg Lawler made to offer t-shirts. You should totally buy one.

I didn’t stop there, but made a very simple wallpaper out of it, so I thought I’d spread the joy.

Screen shot 2009-09-28 at 21.07.37

It’s a really simple one, but I like simple wallpapers that don’t distract too much. So here you go. The resolution is 1920×1200 but you can stretch or scale it up and down however you want, I’m sure. Should you need a different resolution, let me know. Credits to Greg for making the turning the figures into something I could use.

Enjoy! Who said I’m not crafty, eh?


A Summer Trip to an Empty Airstrip

A few weeks ago we left Berlin for a day to visit J’s parents. That usually means getting up a bit early, but it was a perfect summer day, and I had something in mind for us to do. Not too far from where they live there’s an empty airstrip, these days pretty much used by paintball warriors, model airplane pilots and people trying to max out their cars and bikes.

The cow monologues

It’s also inhabited by heaps of cows, which as you’ll surely agree, is definitely a plus. We left Mari with her grandparents and took a nice bike ride out to the airstrip. It used to be a local military airport before the wall came down, but ever since it has been unused and pretty much left all to itself. There were empty buildings, warzone-like buildings, big piles of tires, much likely burned out on the tarmac, lone trees, vintage East-German chairs, people shooting paintballs at each other, and obviously long runways.

Prepare for liftoff

It just called for a film photo extravaganza. J took the Spectra out for quite a spin, giving into my recommendation of going a bit crazy with Polaroid film for once. We had a blast, I can say that much. We took a lot of pictures of cows obviously, but the airstrip and the little tower on it were worth the trip alone. The clouds were good to us too, and there was pie after. What more can you ask for?

A Lone Tree

It was also a good opportunity to give my Holgaroid back a thorough beating, and I gotta say, with the modded Holga it was a blast. Finally enough light to touch the film. Sometimes you just have to waste some film, just for the heck of it. We sure did that day.


News Quickie

Do people still use the word quickie? No idea, anyway, I do.

As a Holga fan I’m sure you’ve noticed a dip in the Holga matrix just recently. That’s because the Holga manufacturer has unleashed no less than two accessory lenses upon the mind-blown toy camera photographer world. A wide-angle and a tele lens, sweet stuff. I immediately ordered mine, since they were available on ebay on the day of the announcement. The awesome peeps over at the Holgablog got all the inside scoop, so head on over there and read all about them. If you want to buy some, search ebay for “holga tele lens” and “holga wide lens”, and you’re golden. They’re frickin cheap too.


In case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Fuji would discontinue its Fuji Pro 800Z film, updating the post that Fuji may have changed their minds. I’m happy to say that they apparently did, and that this awesome film is here to stay. It’s my favorite 800 speed film, and I don’t mind that I now have three five-packs in my fridge. It’s a good film to have at the ready, and it’s just perfect for shooting in slightly lower light during winter.

If you haven’t tried the film, you really should. It’s a nice fit for the Holga in lower light, though it even works during the day when you’re not shooting right into the sun. I can’t blame you for trying, since one should just shoot into the sun from time to time, but you probably wouldn’t be all too happy.

Also, let me just go ahead and recommend Four Corner Store, my new favorite dealer for expired film, and toy cameras for that matter. But the last order I did was just film, a whole big box full of it. So much looking forward to stuffing all my cameras with all kinds of different film, some of it expired back in 1993.


A whole lotta good news, eh?

What A Difference A Stop Makes

It’s not a secret that the Holga is broken by design. It comes with a switch for sunny and cloudy weather, but believe it or not, that switch doesn’t do anything. Just until recently I chose to ignore this flaw, but the Holgaroid changed my mind. What annoyed me was that it needs insanely good light to get decent results.

After Kai reminded me that I still could do the aperture mod, I gave it a go, and gave the Holgaroid another extended whirl yesterday. My word, that rather simple mod does make quite a big difference. If you don’t believe me, have a look at these two photos, shot within 30 seconds of each other.

Holgaroid Tomatoes
Holgaroid Tomatoes

The left one is brighter, and that’s the one taken with the cloudy setting, which now actually works on one of my Holgas. It’s really nice to suddenly have this additional 2/3 of a stop to play with. Yesterday it was extremely bright outside as you’ll see on some of the other Holgaroid shots, but for this scene I chose a scene partly in shadow, so I can see a potential difference.

The modification itself is pretty easy, you don’t even have to do the whole thing, if you just want a slightly wider aperture, just pop out the ring on the lens as described on by Nicolai on his “facts about Holga apertures”, or you can do the whole deal, if you have some superglue at hand. The additional step of glueing the ring back on the aperture arm is pretty easy. Of course it’s also quite interesting to see how the innards of a Holga work, they’re amazingly simple, and it’s quite easy to figure out how you could for example disable the bulb mode altogether.

Believe me, it’s so worth it. That additional step comes in really handy when you’re shooting with 100 speed film. But yesterday in some scenes it was so bright that I could safely use the sunny setting with the Holgaroid. The cool thing (if you think that way) is that the additional 2/3 of a stop bring you to closer to a real stop f/11 than you are with the Holga’s default aperture of f/13.

Personally, I don’t care that much, because even with the default aperture I managed to get nice exposures on 100 speed slide film, but a time may come when it suddenly becomes important. I’d suggest you read the facts page about all the nitty gritty details.

I have the original Holgaroid by Polaroid (yes, they really made it) that only takes type 80 film. I do like the square a lot, so it’s no big deal, but the fact that there’s only the low-speed Viva film left to shoot threw me off a bit. I do think we’re back on now, and I might just have to order some more of that film.

Another thing I noticed with the Holgaroid back is that it makes for a lot wider angle than the standard Holga lens. Anyone can confirm this? It felt like I could get a bit closer to things, and that I even had to to have them fill the frame.