Tag Archives: dslr

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are

I have wallpaper envy for these creative versions by Nama Rococo. Imagine Black-Scholes’ formulas all over your wall!

On another note, I was having a pretty down day, when a little adorable surprise arrived in the mail – my new lomo camera!

Originally I wanted to get a Holgamods modified lens for my dslr, as I have heard pretty swanky things of their modified Holgas. But in the end, I thought that I could get a cute lomo camera for half the price, and as SH declares, this one is just too cute, and we both keeled over at first sight!

I chose the one with twinkling little stars but there is also another Korean version with shining hearts. It takes 35mm film, including slide film, has no flash, and is pretty much a no frills lomograph camera, which is pretty much what I wanted.

I’m going to the zoo tomorrow with a couple of colleagues, can’t wait to try it out- though still can’t figure out why the exposure counter can’t go beyond one even though everything else seems to be working fine.  Any ideas?

Holga is a certain brand/trademark for lomography, and the camera I got is a cheaper Korean play version (still, infinitely more adorable!)

Introduction from W:

The Holga is an inexpensive, medium format 120 film toy camera, made in China, appreciated for its low-fidelity aesthetic.

The Holga’s cheap construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera’s quality problems have become a virtue among some photographers, with Holga photos winning awards and competitions in art and news photography.

The Holga camera was designed by T. M. Lee, and first appeared in 1982 in Hong Kong. At the time, 120 rollfilm in black-and-white was the most widely available film in mainland China. The Holga was intended to provide an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese in order to record family portraits and events. After the cameras began to be distributed in the West, some photographers took to using the Holga for its surrealistic, impressionistic scenes for landscape, still life, portrait, and especially, street photography. In this respect, the Holga became the successor to the Diana and other toy cameras previously used in such work. A Holga photograph by David Burnett of former vice-president Al Gore during a campaign appearance earned a top prize in a 2001 White House News Photographers’ Association Eyes of History award ceremony.

Most Holga cameras use a single-piece plastic meniscus lens with a focal length of 60 millimeters and can focus from about 1 meter/yard to “infinity”. There is an aperture switch on the camera with two settings: sunny and cloudy. Due to a manufacturing oversight in early production cameras, this switch had no effect, giving the Holga only one true aperture of around f/13 — although these cameras are easily modified to provide two usable apertures. Like any simple meniscus lens, the Holga lens exhibits soft focus and chromatic aberration. Other Holga variants, denoted either by the letter ‘G’ in their model name, or the name WOCA, feature a simple glass lens, but are otherwise identical in construction. The manufacturer has since outsourced supply of the varying plastic and glass lenses to other contractors, and the resultant increase in sharpness and overall quality of the lenses has ironically met with protest by photographers desirous of photos with the trademark, distorted Holga lens effects. The Holga was originally designed to accept either a 6×4.5 format or a 6×6 (square) format. However, the camera’s designer found that in production, when the camera mask was taken out and shot in a 6×6 (square) format, vignetting (darkening of the corners of the finished photograph) occurred. Hence, early Holgas had their film size switches bonded in position to shoot only 6×4.5 format. Many owners removed both this restriction and the 6×4.5 film mask as well, finding the resultant vignetting a desirable effect. Later Holgas were shipped without this film size restriction but still with the single aperture (Holgas can even be modified to use 35mm film.

I found out that the T1 mall actually offers cross-processing, which I would love to try…(the following shows a series of cross-processing shots, from a brief G search):


Cross processing (sometimes abbreviated to Xpro) is the procedure of deliberately processing photographic film in a chemical solution intended for a different type of film. The effect was discovered independently by many different photographers often by mistake in the days of C-22 and E-4. The process is seen most often in fashion advertising and band photography, and in more recent years has become more synonymous with the Lo-Fi photography movement.

Cross processing usually involves one of the two following methods:

– Processing positive color reversal film in C-41 chemicals, resulting in a negative image on a colorless base

– Processing negative color print film in E-6 chemicals, resulting in a positive image but with the orange base of a normally processed color negative

I probably won’t get good shots since this is my first roll, but rather thrilled by the possibilities!  Eg. double exposure as explained by Squarefrog:

Double-exposing a whole roll
It’s possible to double-expose a whole roll if that is your intention. What you need to do is shoot a roll of film as normal. Once you’ve taken the 12th picture, do not wind on any more. Now find a completely dark room. It’s vital that it is completely dark – so go in there and close the door then wait for five minutes and see if you can see anything. If you can, then its not dark enough. If you don’t have a dark room you can buy a changing bag from eBay or any decent photo store.

When you’ve got your changing bag, put your Holga in it, then take the back off and remove the right hand spool (where your exposed film ends up). Now remove the spool on the left and carefully start winding the film back onto it. Make sure you wind it nice and tightly to avoid any unwanted light leaks. Once you’ve done that you can go back into the light and load your film again!

Film swapping
There are several groups set up for swapping film. What usually happens is one person buys a roll of film, shoots it, then rewinds it. They then send it off to some one else who shoots the roll and processes the film. The results are completely unpredictable and very exciting!

The last idea sounds absolutely brilliant. Why don’t we try that, Beansprouts? I shall take my shots in Singapore, and send them to you in HK so you can prowl the crowded Hong Kong streets!


The Luddite finds a new toy;

Brimming with excitement, naturally, but after some research, finally settled on the Canon 450D/Rebel XSi. I had actually been contemplating getting the Canon EOS 5D as some of my friends use the latter and have had nothing but praises for it, but I thought to start with an entry level dslr till I am am actually sure of what I want, haha!

I had been also contemplating Nikon entry level dslrs, or the pretty vintage Leicas, but chose Canon as servicing it would be easier and they have a pretty nifty lens outfit should I choose to upgrade to better lenses later on.

On the Canon 450D : http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/CanonEOS450D/page3.asp 

Specs of the Canon 450D:

  • 12.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • 3.5 frames per second
  • 3.0” LCD with Live View shooting
  • 9-point wide-area AF system with f/2.8 cross-type centre point
  • Picture Style image processing parameters
  • DIGIC III image processor
  • Digital Photo Professional RAW processing software1
  • Compact and Lightweight body
  • Fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites

I played with the EOS 500D version in the shop, but figured out that the extra megapixels didn’t matter to me at this stage, and I hardly use video functions (and if I do, easier to whip up my handy old’  dc which I’ll probably keep for off the cuff images (the replacement batteries were pricey, after all).

I got the EOS 450D body, a 50mm f 1/8 II lens(for casual use), a uv filter and a relatively light travel tripod for the moment. I didn’t opt to get it with the kit lens, as S advised I try it out first and get a better lens as the 18-55mm IS kit lens is ‘subpar’ as she terms it, but the better ones are too much for a beginner at this stage. S, I’m stealing your lenses from time to time to try them out till I figure out which are more suitable! Any opinions from the photography experts – should I just get a second hand kit lens at this stage?

Most of my camera junkie friends are into sports photography – racing cars, sports, and the like. My interests are more deviant from theirs, so I suppose I will have to discover much for myself! Hope to meet SassyStrawberry to learn from her too, I hear she is a photography guru! I often take night photographs – probably have to learn how to master the EOS 450D for this, too.