I can almost explain the effect in this example. If you look at the top of the plants which are in focus – the nearer ones have sharp tops whereas the furthe ones are out of focus UNLESS they’re a little shorter. This means that the focus plane, if moving outward, is moving down the frame – closer subjects will be sharp if they’re in the top of the frame whereas further subjects will be in focus if they’re at the bottom of the frame.
This first example is pretty basic, you might even be able to recreate it with a F1.1 lens or something similar but this is so much cheaper. The depth of field here is much shallower than you would normally get from an F1.8 lens and that means you can pick out subjects from what is a pretty boring view, and really make them stand out.
So this test photo does actually show what this lens does. When you bend the tube a certain way, you can bend the plane of focus (which is usually perpendicular to the direction you’re pointing your camera, which is why, if you focus on things 2m away – all things 2m away will be in focus.
With this thing, you can bend this imaginary line. In this example, the pen pot (which was definitely not a tin of chocolate wafer tubes) is pretty much in focus here, whereas the light on the left is wildly out of focus, even though they are equidistant to the lens/sensor.
Here is one of my most precious lenses, or, the second iteration of.
This is simply an old 50mm lens stuck inside BMW engine tubing (other unnecessary commuter car brands are available).
To the other end of the tubing I’ve super-glued the mount of those cheap extension tubes you buy for macro photography.
The whole thing is pretty easy to use once you get your head around focusing. I’m not going to get into how it works, I might do a tutorial on that at some point.
The lens can be used for some macro, though it’s not at all ground-breaking in that mode.
I use it for portraits and, most of all, “street” shots, to get an abstract perspective.
Again, not much point explaining – 3 examples up tomorrow!
Guess where this photo was taken from! Well, the platform edge actually. Just another example of composition. Not as off-center as the last one but still complete asymmetry, or diagonal balance – If you drew a line parallel to the rail, midway between the rail and the… apple?… you would cut the photo in half, meaning the rail and the apple balance each other out.
Here’s another example, also from the train. This “Glass” series was a more of a challenge for myself than a showcase of photography, so almost all of the pictures in the series are taken in the space of two weeks – One day per lens pretty much.
Here you can see the blindingly obvious reflection of the holga lens but since this lens is far from professional, casual photography is fine I think. The reflection almost goes well with the abstraction of the huge satellite dish.
Back onto nerdy stuff – note the off-centre composition that seems to work fine with this lens.
Here’s the first example of the images you can expect from the Holga lens. F8.0 does mean you need well lit environments to get a sharp picture however this landscape was taken from a moving train, making it even harder to get the right sharpness of subject.
Although I don’t like the 1:1 picture ratio, the redeeming quality is the support of central composition – the uniformity of the photo (being a square) compliments symmetry.
As you can see, the image from the lens is in quite a strange aperture. The lens is pretty much an elaborate and neater pin-hole lens, with no glass elements other than a plastic one which is just decoration I think.
The lens has a large central opening and 8 small holes around the outside, which you can almost make out in the vignette pattern in this image – looks a bit like a cog.
The best use for this lens are well lit landscapes and distant portraits as the minimal focal distance is around 2m. I mainly use these photos on Instagram, given that a square crop suits them best, which you can see in tomorrow’s examples.
This is a fun little lens. Not one I would use very often but It captures interesting pinhole-like photos which are meant to reflect the style of old holga lenses.
It’s very compact and will fit in any pocket. It’s also mostly plastic meaning it weighs less than a spare battery, meaning I usually bring it with me, even though 90% of the time I don’t use it. It is still worth it for the 10%!