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02-04-2020, 11:21 PM   #1
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Diana F vs Holga

Interested in getting a cheap medium format film camera. Not impressed with what I've seen of Holga. Is the Diana any better or is it just the Lomography version of the Holga or the FFP Debonair?
Thanks

Btw the kit I'm looking at has add on lenses so in that respect it's more versatile than the Holga but if the lenses are garbage I guess it doesn't matter that there are more of them.

02-05-2020, 12:09 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
Interested in getting a cheap medium format film camera. Not impressed with what I've seen of Holga. Is the Diana any better or is it just the Lomography version of the Holga or the FFP Debonair?
Thanks
They are all "toy" cameras with similar performance, though features vary by model.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
Btw the kit I'm looking at has add on lenses so in that respect it's more versatile than the Holga but if the lenses are garbage I guess it doesn't matter that there are more of them.
The lenses are, for the most part, garbage, meaning a simple zone-focus plastic meniscus with image quality several steps below a mid-60s era Kodak Brownie or the later Kodak Instamatic. Some models of Holga feature an upgrade to a glass meniscus lens.

Remember, of course, that the intent is to provide the toy camera performance favored for Lomography (the style, not the store). That said, there are several decent quality tools that are favored for the style, but those are not sold cheaply.

***********************************

Now...assuming you are wanting higher quality camera and results from 120 roll film, your least expensive quality option would be a vintage folder or twin lens reflex (TLR). I just bought a Minolta Autocord TLR made in the late 1950s for $135 USD presumably in working condition. I expect a CLA will be another $80-$120, but such might not be needed.

For examples of what can be done with an Autocord see the Flickr group:

Flickr: The AutoCord Pool

There are multiple options for the adventuresome. For example, a Moskva-5 (Soviet copy of Zeiss Ikonta C) may be had from Fedka for $150... Moskva-5, Dual Format, Fedka.com (Moskva Flickr Group)


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02-05-2020, 12:28 AM   #3
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If the emphasis is on cheap you might consider a Lubitel, generally sell for peanuts but they very tricky to use, watch out for the focus screen as everything looks in focus even when its not, learn to judge distance. Its about 1/2 step up from a box brownie but you do get variable shutter speeds and aperture.
They can be swinish to use at times, mine has an annoying habit of the back coming open if someone even looks at it so I use some gaffa tape when its loaded to keep the back secure.
02-05-2020, 05:56 AM   #4
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Get either. Both shoot film and both are mirrorless - how cool and hip can you get!!

02-05-2020, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I would be disappointed in the Diana F+.
A TLR is interesting on the surface but I know nothing about them, so researching, finding a fully functional camera and knowing what's a good buy is the challenge. It's also got the "hey look at me" factor that I'm not nuts about. Kinda like riding one of those ye olde bikes with the giant wheel in the front and tiny wheel in the back.

Thanks
02-05-2020, 09:00 PM   #6
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I prefer the Holga over the Diana F +. For the Diana you can also get a glass lens and lenses of other focal lenghts. Don expect sharp images from either, if you want sharp crisp images you are missing the point of them. If you can get a look at the Holga book from Michael Kenna you will see that even a top notch film photographer does not get sharp images from them

8f you want the top camera style images I think the Holga are priced lower. Holga also has a glass lens m9del the 120 GN however I have no experience with it. My wife and I love shooting with Holga and Dianas ( and pinholes ) but for g99d images my Role chord and Hasselblad are vastly superior.

Rolleichord, Rolleiflex T, Yashica flex and maybe a Mamiya c2 or 220 are best starting camera as long as you factor a CLA into the price.
02-05-2020, 10:18 PM   #7
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Look for a Meopta Flexaret, nicely done up "proper" TLR camera that isn't 'toy' but at rather cheap prices.
Many on ebay and often come CLA'ed

Yes, most sources will mention the Yashicamat, Mamiya, Minolta Autocords, but they are expensive due to the common mentions and really old, so most need servicing (usually at developed country prices) and harder to source for parts.
02-08-2020, 08:48 AM   #8
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I've have a Holga 120N. Actually, it can really teach you a lot about exposure without a light meter with the different films. You can be snobby and say it's a toy and beneath me. Perhaps so but like a fisheye lens there are some interesting and creativity images you can get from a Holga's plastic lens. But like a fisheye lens, you wouldn't want to take all of your pictures with it.

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