Junk, Trash, Plastic Lens

by Mark Hahn

The Holga 25mm lens for Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras has been out for a while, but I’ve resisted buying one. In the past, I’ve shot my fair share of Diana’s, Holga’s, Lomos, Lubitels and pinhole cameras etc., but these have all been film (IE. “real cameras”). Once you put something on a digital body it feels somehow to become a bit of a “fake” gimmick for cheap “artistic effect.”

Let’s face it, the Holga 25mm is built for producing the “Holga effect” on a digital camera, nothing more. Apparently, the maker felt that the lens was actually “too good” to be a Holga so they added an optical sieve to the rear of the lens to force it into discombobulating the image to look more like a film Holga — complete with strong vignette. This approach seemed a little forced to me so I pried off the optical sieve and relied solely on the simple plastic optics to produce my images. There is an elegance to pure physics.

These lenses are only about $15 a piece when bought directly from Hong Kong off ebay. I decided they would be fun for me and my girlfriend to go out playing with sometime. I bought us both one. While out on a date, we ended up in the junk yard and warehouse district on the south side of Tucson. These photos are from our first outing with the lenses.

When we saw the dead appliances, we both knew we had to stop. It was beautiful, sad and wonderful. We walked together shooting photos and exploring the area. We found junk and beauty in the desolation. In the end, the sun set over the warehouses. It was really romantic.