When an Upgrade is Actually a Downgrade / by Simon Abrams

Canon 7D with Holga HL-C AdapterI just got myself a Digital Holga Starter kit for my 7D, turning my rather expensive DSLR into the equivalent of a plastic-lensed Russian Chinese toy camera. There’s no way of overstating this: this lens is really cheap. It feels cheap, it’s 60mm focal length is brutally unforgiving, the aperture just is what it is (roughly equivalent to f/8), and it demands that you crank your ISO way beyond what your good sense tells you you should be using. But it’s really fun, and definitely makes one appreciate the niceties of autofocus and the like, and getting a good result (whether by happy accident or otherwise) makes it all worth it.

Drawing kit, shot with HL-C Macro lens adapter

I got the close-up/macro lens kit. The “lenses” in the kit range in focal length from 500mm to 30mm, and are even tougher to focus with than the base lens by itself (particularly that 30mm), but again, the results can be quite beautiful. The restrictiveness of the lens definitely makes me slow down and think more about what I’m about to shoot. This is definitely a bit of an adjustment for me, given that I’ve been spoiled with the instant gratification of a purely digital background.

So, is it really a downgrade? Well, technically, I suppose it is, due to its inferior quality and what not. But all in all, it’s definitely a worthy investment at around $50.