Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Feel Like Dissecting a Holga?

Me too.  So I did.  Then I tinkered.  Then I spent a half hour trying to fix what my tinkering damaged…

Some details:

Remember when I told you Holga really only had one aperture, around f13.  Well, I made my Holga have 2 apertures.  Around f7 and f12.

Step 1: Remove the lens.  Use that great tutorial I posted here a while back.  See that black ring on the desk, I popped it off the lens with a pen.  It was giving me a small aperture, so we took it off.


I went one step further and shaved some of the plastic down.  Don’t take it too far!  See that square in the shutter assembly in the back on the camera?  Don’t make your aperture any bigger than that.


Oooh, lots of light now.


Measure it.  Divide the focal length (60mm for Holga) by the diameter of the circle.  That’s how you find your f-stop.  Write it on the camera with a sharpie once you know it, it’s handy.


Next, I decided that I wanted 2 f-stops.  So I took the thing apart.  So, in a nutshell – here’s why Holga only has one aperture.  It’s because the swing arm that comes over the shutter when you set it to sunny is just a big square hole that is bigger than your existing aperture.  It’s not blocking any more light.  So, all we need to do is attach something that is smaller than the aperture on the lens.

My solution was to glue on the ring I just took off the lens in step 1.


So, take that aperture swing bar out, and glue on your new aperture ring.  I painted around the corners with black nail polish to cut down on light leaks.  Then I sanded the thing to make it fairly flat.


Put the camera back together.


If you don’t mutilate the ring when you remove it in step 1, it’s far easier to put back on.

Try to get the new aperture as flat as possible.  It wasn’t meant to take up more room in the shutter mechanism and it will stick sometimes.

Another way to avoid sticking is to not screw the shutter assembly together quite as tight.  Having a little slack lets the arm swing freely.

If you’ve set up your lens so it screws on and off, you should be able to free a stuck arm by removing the lens and pushing the arm with a pen.

Be really diligent about keeping those yellow wires attached unless you don’t care if your hot shoe works.  I taped my wires in and still had to re-do it 12 times.

Good luck!

Shasta Betty

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