I haven’t written much of my little cheap camera “hobby” here on the ‘geek, though I made a little mention of it on the now-abandoned mediageeeklife blog, and wrote about it in mediageeek zine #2. I’ve amassed a nice little pile of cheap “vintage” cameras that I enjoy taking weird pics with. One of them is a plastic brick-like box called the Holga 35.
The Holga 35 is much more modern by comparison, sporting early 80s type autofocus and exposure, combined with the aesthetics of a cheap knock-off brand walkman bought at Walgreen’s in 1983.
I got mine for $15 on Ebay, brand new, shipped from Hong Kong, just to mess around with (although now I see the price has gone up to $20 – $30 — hmmmm). It’s big sister, the regular Holga is about $20, but takes medium-format film which is much more expensive to buy, process and print. And, honestly, I really haven’t shot too many pics with it yet.
But the reason I’m blogging this is because I was clicking around the lomography website this evening to find instructions for my eBay’d colorsplash flash when I noticed that the Lomo people are now selling the lowly Holga 35 camera… for $55 – $65 dollars (plus shipping)!
Now, we have to acknowledge that the whole “cult” behind a sloppily-assembled, slightly obsolete Soviet-engineered camera is a clever bit of viral marketing. I won’t be the first to say this, but selling it for $180 is a bit of crookery, and just goes to show how effective marketing can be, especially when it poses as something more arty and bohemian.
It is just as much of a ripoff selling a $15 Chinese plastic camera for $65, justified by dressing it up in ironic hipness.
But of course, you knew this. I was just kind of blown away, thinking that when I bought it that this $15 pile of plastic would never be cool enough for Lomo. Either that, or I’m a trendsetter.