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LENS PORN: Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon + Hack

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon
Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon




For my buddy Nikon D5200, I was getting tired of the Nikkor 18-55mm kit lens after 2 months and wanted to get myself a second lens...

Maybe a telephoto zoom lens....

Maybe a prime lens...

...A 50mm?

...A 28mm?

...or why not something weird, like this Holga 60mm f/8!

...and get, I did.



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Image Quality


It has a fixed focal length of 60 mm and aperture of f/8 (more like an f/22???). It's very dark for use indoor, but you should be able to get ultra vintage photos if you can use a flash with it.

It feels better for outdoor use. This lens is more like a 90mm on my Nikon D5200 since it's a crop sensor. I really like how you can produce images/videos that have a 1960s color film look to it.

However, once you get in a sunny area or point the lens toward the sky, the whole frame suddenly becomes a blank canvass of bright white light. Yikes!

The focus ring has 4 focus markings -- 0.7 m (Single Person), 2.0 m (Family), 6.0 m (Group) and 10 m / infinity (Mountain). The focus ring is very stiff, as if it were jammed. After removing the viscous thing from the helicoid, it had a smoother focusing.

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon + Hack

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Modifying the Holga HL-N


It's possible to make this lens brighter... by removing the Aperture Plate and Sieve Plate (the one causing the vignetting). You can always re-attach them in case you change your mind. The modified version works best for indoor, but you can still use it for sunny outdoor without any problem.

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon
Before modification

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon
After modification, it now lets in more light.

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Conclusion


This is a challenging yet fun lens to use, if you're the quirky and adventurous type of person. It produces lo-fi old 1960s color film images/videos. You simply cannot reproduce that vintage ambience in post. No can do sir!

Besides, it's so cheap and you won't lose anything to try this lens.

The leap from kit lens to this challenging lens teaches you good virtues: patience, practicality, intuition and common sense. It opens your eyes and tells you that it's not the end of the world without autofocus, vibration control, nano coating optics and whatever high tech features you can find in expensive lenses today.

Stripped down and simple photography.

Holga has another cheap lens that can be fitted on my camera... their Holga Pinhole lens. It has about 38mm focal length and is even more challenging than this Holga 60mm already is. However, it's still an interesting prospect that I'd like to pursue someday.

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Samples


Shot with a Nikon D5200.

Most of the images here are unedited, some were boosted for Levels.


For the complete photo album, please go to this link:
https://flic.kr/s/aHskwfRzJt



Landscape and buildings

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples
Fisher Mall along Quezon Avenue corner Roosevelt.

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples
St. Lourdes Church along Retiro corner Kanlaon Street.
Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon



Nature photography on sunny outdoor
This includes the modified and unmodified versions.

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples
Flower garden somewhere in the neighborhood.

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples
Beautiful scene on a sunny late afternoon at Rizal Park.

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon



Night/dim lighting using the modified HL-N

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples
Taken in the evening with my phone's LED as lighting.

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples



Minimum distance to focus is 1 feet.
To get closer, I attached a macro extension tube.

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon
Normal room lighting, modified version of the lens.

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon
Unmodified version, used with flash.



Macro images with the modified HL-N
Used with macro extension tube.

Holga HL-N 60mm f/8 for Nikon

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples

Holga HL-N prime lens for Nikon... unboxing, hack and samples



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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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