The Analog Revolution Part 3: Film Is Not Dead

Holga 120N Ilford HP5+ photo by Sandy Ramirez


In our final installment we will quickly look at the various film options available to analog photographers. Obviously through the history of photography there have been a plethora of cameras available to users and the Adorama Used Department carries a large selection of cameras from the small Minox to 8x10 view cameras. Here I will discuss available cameras that fit the ?o-fimovement. Let's start off by mentioning a bit about the recording medium. Digital has had some effect on the availability of film. Kodak no longer produces film so stock is very limited and Fuji has reduced the availability of various stocks. Ilford and Lomography currently produce the widest variety of stocks, including Lomography's 110 film stocks. I will be focusing primarily on medium format cameras for this article as the larger negative will provide much better quality.



Holga 120N




Let's start off with the camera that pretty much created this trend, the Holga 120. Built in China with a plastic lens (a glass lens version called the WOCA is around but very hard to find) and very limited controls, the Holga comes in a variety of versions including pinhole and 6x12 panoramic. The beauty of the Holga lies in it's imperfections. Light leaks, film not lying flat and of course even with the selector a constant f/8 or so aperture. The Holga allows for multiple exposures and if you unscrew the lens and remove the aperture disc, you can get about f/4, though don't expect any sort of sharp focus. The point of using a Holga is to free yourself from all the technical thoughts and focus entirely on compostition.


Holga 120 shot by Thorburn




Depending on the version, it will either have a flash or a hotshoe. Personally I prefer the hotshoe versions as then I can use a Pocket Wizard and control various types of off camera flashes. The Holga also enjoys the ability to use peel apart instant film via a Polaroid Back designed for it.




The Diana F+




The next up in this lo-fi analog field is the famed Diana F+. Originally built in Britian back in the Sixties, the Diana has returned, and has a nice set of interchangeable lenses. Perhaps the most flexible of the cameras discussed in this article, the Diana gives a slightly better image than the Holga and fewer leaks of light.



Diana F+  Shot by Matt Callow


The Diana also enjoys a Polaroid Back. This one however uses Fuji's Instax Mini integral film. One great benefit of either the Holga or Diana is the fact that one can get adapters (or in the case of the Holga actual lenses already in mounts) to use these optics on a digital SLR. Please note that manually cotrolling the exposure is recommended when using these lenses on a DSLR.


Lubitel 166+


Finally for those interested in image quality at a low cost there is the Lubitel 166+. This TLR creates sharp images considering the fairly low tech level of the camera. With a classic PC sync post on the lens and fully controllable aperture and shutter, the Lubitell will provide you the best image quality of these lo-fi systems.


Street Portrait done with a Lubitel 166+ by Phil Hearing




Personally I love the Lubitel 166+. It gives the most control and the lens itself provides very good quality. The PC sync allows the use of various off camera flash options including the use of radio slaves.




This brings us to the end of our series. I hope you enjoyed this all and feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.


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