Recently, I wrote about purchasing a Holga lens for my Canon 5D. It arrived last week just in time for a shoot I was booked for last weekend. I was looking forward to shooting some lomo-glam in addition to the stuff my client expected from me. Unfortunately, it didn't work out as planned. My lomo-glam aspirations were interrupted by the reality of a lens which is very difficult to see with.
I had read about the difficulties of seeing through the viewfinder with the Holga lens attached. I figured as long as I could "sort of" see, I'd be okay. I was wrong.
They had me shooting in a studio against a wall which had been painted black. I set up three lights, all with their modeling lights on. Plus, there were house lights in the studio: overhead florescent fixtures. The model was in front of me and I looked through the viewfinder. Nothing. Zip. Nada. I couldn't see her at all.
I wheeled in a couple of the studio's tungsten lights. They were 1k zip lights. Still, no dice. I could barely see anything. Certainly not enough to focus or even come close to focusing. All I could see was the barely visible outline of someone standing in front of the black wall. And when I say, "barely visible," I stress the word "barely."
So much for my hopes of shooting some lomo-glam, leastwise in a studio. The Holga lens, BTW, doesn't have distance marks on the focusing ring. If it did, I might have been able to shoot semi-blind with it. I suppose I could have used a trial-and-error method, adjusting the focus until it was as good as it was going to get, but that would have meant burning a bunch of time and my clients were paying me to shoot stuff that didn't include experimental lomo-glam.
I'll likely give the Holga lens another chance when I'm shooting models outdoors in daylight on some future gig but, for now, anything I might do with that lens will probably be while shooting things other than glamour. Oh well.
The young, plaid-clad, pretty girl at the top is one of my victims from last Saturday. I know, I know, the plaid skirt is rather cliche. I didn't choose the wardrobe. My client did.