Extreme DIY: The $25,000 Holga | Cult of Mac

Extreme DIY: The $25,000 Holga


Mike Martens put a $25,000 pro back onto a $25 camera
Mike Martens put a $25,000 pro back onto a $25 camera

What do you get if you rip the back off a cheap plastic Holga camera and gaffer-tape it to the front of a $25,000 Phase One digital camera back? You get the $25,000 Holga aka The Holga-Cam of the Apocalypse, a 22-megapixel beast that shoots exquisitely high-res images through a low-fi plastic lens. I love it.

The Holga-Cam of the Apocalypse is named for the Horseman lens board sandwiched between these disparate layers, and was built by photographic tinkerer Mike Martens. The project is of course preposterous, but then who wouldn’t want to shoot with it for a day? No cameras were damaged in the making of this behemoth, either, so the whole thing is reversible. Here’s the kit list:

Holga 120N camera body (retail: $25)
Phase One P25 Digital Back (retail: $24,000)
Horseman lens board
Foot of Black Gaff [sic] Tape

It works like this: The P25 is connected to the Holga’s hot shoe by cable, and this lets the sensor back know when an image is incoming. The gaffer tape provides a light-tight seal, but Mike is toying with the idea of making things more authentic and hingeing the back so light can leak in.

To see the results of the Holgapocalypse, head over to Mike’s Flickr pages, where you can experience the weird disconnect of a crazy-sharp rendering from a piece-of-junk lens. And for the lowdown on how he put the camera together, take a look at this Flickr set.


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