This is one of the first modifications I ever did on my trusty Holga. I LOVE macro photography but don’t have the money for a killer lens. Thank GOD for toy cameras! By getting lots of little parts together I fashioned myself a crappy little macro outfit but it didn’t come without a lot of trial and error.
The first thing I tried was actually modifying the Holga by removing the lens and shaving down a plastic bit that acts to stop the lens from becoming unscrewed. I went to squarefrog’s website for instructions http://www.squarefrog.co.uk/holga-hacks-close.html. It didn’t work so well in my case. I just couldn’t get the focus right no matter how hard I tried.
Next I decided to add to the camera using diopters to increase the magnification of my plastic lens. I wanted to get pretty close to my subjects and I also wanted to be able to use the set-up on multiple cameras so I purchased the Cokin Filter system which comes with ring adapters in multiple sizes for a range of cameras, digital and film. I highly recommend it as it’s a) plastic b)offers a dizzying array of filters for all kinds of situations and c) inexpensive. I ordered a +3 diopter and attached it to my Holga and attempted to figure the focus point out by taping a piece of vellum paper to the back of the open camera (subsequent efforts have proven that scotch tape across the back of the camera works even better) and at the closest focus range (the single person) and bulb setting, I moved the camera close to and farther away from my subject. While this method would’ve worked eventually, it was an excruciatingly long process as it would take a couple of weeks to get the film back and by then I’d kind of lost track of what I’d done. Enter the Polaroid back or Holgaroid as it’s sometimes called. In about 30 minutes the instant results allowed me to correctly determine how close I could get to my subjects. I’ve subsequently ordered a +10 diopter that I got for $6.00 from eBay that I like even more than the Cokin (just because I can get closer).
I love the mysterious effect you can get by using the Holgaroid. Here are some of my results. Until next time…