Tag Archives: Panorama Shoot-Out

Panorama Shoot-Out, Part 7: Fisheye Holga

Wcimg3108.jpghen the colour-splash Holga came out, I knew I had to have one! It had a tripod mount and a bulb setting too – nowadays the standard for Holgas – but it wasn’t pre 2006. This one also has a glass lens, and a dedicated 6×6 gate.

Lomography were selling it for a lot more than eBay seller “uranium-99”. Although I usually stay away from items shipped in from Hong Kong, I gave it a go – and was extremely happy with his service. I ordered many other Holga related items from him since then.

To make my shots more interesting, I ordered Lomography’s Fisheye adaptor. Having used their 35mm Fisheye 2 camera for many years, loving the close-up look and warped images, I imagined amazing results with added Holgalicity. How right I was!

Since it’s not that easy to mount the adaptor (you have to screw two bolts into the focussing ring), it has since then become my permanent Fisheye Holga, delivering excellence in weirdo-imagery whenever it tickels me.

For panoramas, I suppose you have to get “up-close and personal” with your subjects to really make an image standout. I imagine them to be just a series of circle-ish images stuck together, and I didn’t have high hopes for this camera to become a sterling panorama candidate. Nevertheless, I gave it a go.

It didn’t help that the day I popped a few rolls of expired Kodak EPP into my heavy-lensed friend, it was very overcast. Not good Holga weather. But, the local fun fair was in town, and I thought what the hell.

This Holga gave me some excellent results in the bright sunny conditions of Las Vegas in 2007 – I love it dearly, and the Fisheye adaptor is now its permanent lens. I’m not going to give it bad remarks for dark pictures. I have to admit that I’ve not used it as close up as I normally would have. What I do see though is that the subjects 20 yards away won’t come out the way I want them to – i.e. up close and personal. Probably to be expected with a super wide lens.

I love the circular images it produces, but stuck together to make up a larger picture, I can’t quite see this as a good panorama contestant. Sorry, Fisheye Holga – you’re out of the Panorama Contest!

Tell you what: if there’s room in the suitcase, you can come with me πŸ˜‰ I always need a whacky Fisheye friend, especially when the weather is good.

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Panorama Shoot-Out, Part 6: Diana (with Endless Panorama gate)

cimg3105.jpgOne of the super funky features Lomography have introduced in their Diana+ is the Endless Panorama gate. It makes it possible for you to shoot square pictures with no overlap and minimal space in between.

Now that could DYNAMITE!

I grabbed a couple of rolls of Fuji RMS and made my way over to Camden on a sunny lunch hour. We were taping the big finale of Britain’s Biggest Loser that day, which inspired me to have a salad from Pret, which happens to be just next to Camden Lock.

It was very sunny outside, but not blazing. So I’ve pushed the RMS to 400 ASA and used the largest aperture Diana had to offer. Let’s have a look:


These results though speak for themselves. Endless Panorama makes your shots look like they come from the Supersampler, another one of my plastic favourites. The lack of overlaps has its advantages, and I absolutely love it.

I like the overall look of the Diana lens too, and the fact that the back doesn’t threaten to fall off all the time. There are plenty of accessories to keep your shots interesting and keep you playing for years. I like Diana!


However, for what I want to do for the upcoming Miami Beach Huts shoot, I really want the individual shots to blend together – like Pink Holga does so beautifully. I’m sure we’ll find another great application for Diana+ and her super gate very soon.


Diana is still in the race though – and most certainly has secured her spot in the suitcase already. It won’t be my main camera for the project, but I wouldn’t want to be caught without her.

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Diana+ and her Endless Panorama Gate


we’ll find out soon…

Cross Processed in E6

The other day I tried my hand at cross-processing some colour negative film in Tetenal Colortec E6. The results are remarkable! Looks like I’ve been back to 1952 for a bit.

I’ve tried it the other way round before (slide film in C-41), which also looks rather funky (or shall we say lomographic?)

So here they are, four panoramas shot with my Yellow Holga. Enjoy!

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Panorama Shoot-Out, Part 5: Yellow Holga

Logic dictates that every Holga should produce pretty much the same outcome. But then, logic and Holga don’t mix – so I went and shot a few rolls on my Yellow Holga. Maybe he’s the lucky one to win a trip to the land of beach huts in July…?

cimg3106.jpgColoured Holgas not only look super funky, they also make it easy to distinguish what you’re doing with them. I tend to use the Yellow Holga primarily for 35mm, with or without dedicated gate.

Multiple Holgas in your arsenal also means you can have more than one film on the go: You could have one for black and white, and one for colour neg. Or you could have two different films both on standby in different Holgas, so you don’t have to finish a roll first. It’s also a great way to have several Holgas loaded, if you have to take plenty of shots quickly and don’t have time to reload your little friend.

I found shooting a roll of panoramas takes about one minute, but unloading and reloading your Holga takes about 3 – which means you might miss what you actually want to shoot. Use the time you’re sitting in a cafe, or when the sun’s hiding behind that annoying cloud instead.

Back to the task at hand:

For this test, I’ve used Kodak Ektachrome EPP 100 (yellow being the Kodak colour – easy to remember). It was a fairly sunny day, with occasional cloud cover. It was enough to see if the expired EPP was still up to the challenge, and to see how Yellow Holga handles panoramas.

See for yourself:




This is IMG in Chiswick. That weird ghosting thing in the picture is my finger in front of the lens…

I’m pleased from this as much as my other Holgas, apart from the harsh overlaps. Only the magic Pink Holga seems to blend images well so far – maybe we’ll find out why later in the series.

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So the question remains: Which of my Pastic Fantastic Cameras will win a trip to Miami, and travel the beach with sunshine, sand and the ocean?

We’ll find out soon πŸ˜‰

Panorama Shoot-Out, Part 4: Diana (without a gate)

The lovingly recreated Diana+ by Lomography is the ugly duckling in my collection.

However, looks can be deceiving; I’ve had some excellent results with this baby since I bought it last year.In fact, it’s slowly becoming my favourite plastic camera!

Lomography have added some funky bits to the package, like the possibility to shoot 3 different formats: original square images (16 square 4cm), full frame images (aprox. 5.2×5.2cm) and endless panoramas! Pop in a different gate and start shooting.

That means I have to test both options here: images without a gate, making the images look blended into each other on the sides. Or, pop in the Endless Panorama gate, which means that the images have only a little to no gap or overlap between them. Both very attractive options.

First, Diana’s NO-GATE option:

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Not too shabby, is it? This by the way in MTV in Camden.

I’ve taken plenty of them, using some Fuji RMS (pushed by two stops on a very bright day), as well as some on Fuji T64 Tungsten on a rather overcast day. Needless to say, the latter came out RUBBISH – although I pushed them by two stops. T64 is dark, blueish and has limited colour scope. Let’s stay away from anything lower than 100 ASA in the future, shall we?

Bottom line:

I like the ones from the sunny day, although I do see a rather harsh overlap between images.Β  I’d prefer a more blended look. But then: is that the actual camera, or would more sun get rid of this problem?

All I know, Pink Holga does it beautifully – and Diana (with no gate) doesn’t. Next!

We’ll be back for Diana when we pop in the Endless Panorama gate.

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Panorama Shoot-Out – Part 3: Pink Holga

Time to check out what the contestants can do!

[singlepic id=300 w=320 h=240 float=left]As I said before, the Pink Hoga is my favourite (at the moment). I love them all to bits, but the colour really does something for me. “It’s so gay”, people say – but I think it’s more like a funky breath of fresh air in my drawer.

Like most of the panorama tests, I shot these images using the 12 shot gate, but only advancing the film with the 16 setting. That way, I get an equal amount of overlap from picture to picture.

I can’t take credit for this idea though. I had pondered over how best to make it all as equal as possible, until I came across this article by Rob Turner in JPG Magazine. Some of the gaps still look wonky, but that’s because I’ve only found out about this article half way through my tests. Thanks Rob!

All was shot on expired Fuji RMS, developed in Tetenal Colortec E6 (opened over two years ago, but still going strong), on a few sunny days around Camden, Mount Pleasant and Islington. Enjoy!

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My two cents:

I love the way the images blend together. As you will find out shortly, I’ve shot plenty of other images, and often the edges are harsh lines with ugly white gaps in between. Jay no like, innit?

As it turns out, my favourite camera (visually) delivers great results. So far.

But can it hold up against the competition?

We’ll find out soon πŸ˜‰

Panorama Shoot-Out – Part 2: Meet the Contestants

5 plastic fantastic cameras are going head-to-head in my tests, all of them lomographic pieces Β of low value. They all eat medium format film, although they can survive on the odd roll of 35mm.

They’re happiest in brightest sunshine, they don’t like overcast or twilight shots, unless you utilise the bulb setting. Most of them have some kind of flash, but I don’t like to use it.

I’ve collected them over the years, have used and tested them all to a certain extent, but never (knowingly or deliberately) shot any broken panoramas with them.

Meet all five of them:

Holga #1 – Model 120 SF

[singlepic id=302 w=320 h=240 float=left]My first ever Holga brings back memories. I remember reading about it on the Lomography site, or seen it in a brochure that came with my first Supersampler. I picked this one up in a shop in Islington in 2005 after haggling with the owner about what turned out to be Β£5 (they wanted Β£45 originally).

This model is the original Lomography Holga, comes in a yellow funky package with one roll of film, black masking tape and a book called “Mes vacances avec Holga” by French lomographer Frederic Lebain. The only one in my Holga fleet that comes with a plastic lens.

Holga #2 aka The Fisheye

[singlepic id=301 w=320 h=240 float=left]My second Holga came with a colour flash and a proper 6x6cm gate. I got it from a lovely Chinese chap on eBay n 2006 I believe, and it didn’t take me long to grab that Fisheye adaptor for it too. Lovely outcome on both 120 and 35mm. Comes with a glass lens for er… “sharper” images. Yeah, right!

Apparently you can tell by the letters what model this is: G for “glass lens”, C for “colour flash”, F for “flash”, N for “don’t kNow”

Holga #3 aka Pink Holga

[singlepic id=300 w=320 h=240 float=left]How beautiful it is! I absolutely love it, and it makes this highly technical instrument look like a fashion victim from Beverly Hills.

Bought from the same Chinese vendor on eBay. Shame I can’t remember his name, he would get great credit here! I’ve used this on many occasions, and although VERY pretty, I have to admit my favourite is the previous one, the Fisheye. We’ll see what this baby can do for panoramas.

Holga #4 aka Yellow Holga

[singlepic id=299 w=320 h=240 float=left]Bought it at the same time as the pink one, because I couldn’t decide. They do a purple and a multi coloured one now too, and a white one and a gold one – but before I got completely mad and collected them all, I remember that all I wanted to do was take some funky pictures… so I stopped buying Holgas for the moment.

I use this one mainly for 35mm film, either with the adaptor, or with hand rolled bits utilising old backing paper.

Diana+ aka Ugly Duckling or The Outsider

[singlepic id=298 w=320 h=240 float=left]Bought in 2007 when Lomography released their new medium format plastic camera, the Diana+ is a loving recreation of the late 60ies model. As they do, many other Dianas have now been released with external flash, in different colours and lenses, this one is the simplest of them all.

Featuring a plastic lens, and an option for endless panorama (without overlaps). The main advantage of the Diana over all the Holgas is the aperture. Whereas Holgas don’t really have one (despite the switch, it’s always f10ish), the Diana can shoot at f8, f11 and f16 – even in Pinhole mode.

What’s more is that the shutter snaps at 1/60th, which is one stop improvement over the 1/125th of the Holgas. That means I can probably get better results on lower sensitivity film, or in less bright conditions.

I have to admit that I LIKE overexposure, and it’s easier to get my hands on 100 ASA and lower expired film than on 400+, which in Holgas yields the best results.

So the question is: which one of these cameras will get the plane ticket to Miami? Which one will be fed the most expensive film? And which one will give us the most amazing panoramic results?

Will we call them Holgaramas or Dianaramas?

Find out next week, when I’ll take all those ladies for a ride πŸ˜‰

Panorama Shoot-Out – Part 1: Introduction

We’re going to Miami Beach in July to finish working on the Miami Beach Huts project – I can’t wait!

I thought it would be fun to shoot some wonky panoramas on medium format while we’re there, some of the Beach Huts, and plenty of others in the brilliant Sunshine State sun.

But wait a minute…

Nobody can afford a 617 camera like Peter Lik uses, nor the film that belongs in it. I favour a lower cost approach with much higher wackiness factor: I’m going to shoot panoramas like the Supersampler. My panoramas are going to look like this:

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Over the course of this series I’ll have a closer look into the pitfalls of all that’s involved, and see which camera to take on the trip.

Our contestants are 5 strong lomographic 120 plastic cameras are in the race, as well as a variety of expired film I’ve picked up at my local shop.

I’m developing all rolls and formats myself, and I’ll have to scan them in afterwards. Digital Photography can appear on the site a few seconds after I’ve pressed the shutter, but with this project a lot more time and effort is involved.

Looking forward to the results? So do I! Burning question I want to answer in this contest are:

  • Which camera is the best for wacky panoramas?
  • Which film shall I use – Tranny or Color Neg?
  • And which Tranny or Color Neg am I going to use?
  • Does it really make a difference to shoot on fresh film, or stick with cheap-o-sucker expired material?
  • ShallΒ  use E6 or C-41 for processing?
  • Is cross processing an option, and if so which film goes into which bath?

All will be revealed over the next few weeks – stay tuned πŸ˜‰