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3.9 out of 5 stars21
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2012
I recently received my Holg HL-N and put it on a Nikon D90 to try out. You can see what photos with this lens and its Canon-mount peer look like on the big photo-sharing sites. I thought I'd provide potential buyers with a few observations they might find useful.

First, my copy doesn't fit well on the camera body. It's loose and wobbles. This does not affect pictures, assuming you don't wobble the lens while actually shooting, but I am concerned that it will let dust into the body. I'm certainly not going to leave this on the camera when I'm not using it. I know it is a deliberately and self-consciously cheap affair, but if a $2 body cap can fit snuggly, I don't know why the HL-N could not as well. A toy lense is not worth mucking up a beloved camera.

Second, there is no way this thing is really F8. Shooting outdoors on an overcast day, with the ISO cranked to 1600 and at 1/60, the photos were easily 3 stops too dark. The classic 126-size Instamatic was f/11 and it took fine pictures outdoors with 100 speed film. The HL-N "is what it is" but since it has to be shot manually, I'd like to KNOW what it is. Especially because I was bought this with the intent of using it for black & white on my film body.

Third, as others noted, the viewfinder is very dark with the HL-N mounted. BUT in "Live View" mode (for non-Nikonians, that's composing on the LCD like a point-and-shoot rather than through the viewfinder, you have to choose one or the other) you can see quite adequately and it's also reasonably easy to focus. So this is a fine workaround for that issue.

Fourth, The focus ring on my copy is hard to move, you almost have to put some muscle into it. When the lens extends, it reveals some kind of wet lubricant. I don't like this a bit.

The plastic lens look is unique, if a bit of an overused crutch in some quarters these days. I have never been able to do a satisfying fake of the look in PS. So if, like me, you don't want to start playing around with overpriced additional little cameras or think that unpredictability and unreliablility in a camera are bad things, the idea of this lens is great. So great that I may buy another to see if it's more usable than the one I got. Of course I have no expectation of a quality lens, but it still needs to mount properly and have a reasonably usable focus ring, if only for the good of the camera body.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Can you really get the classic Holga effect on a Nikon SLR or DSLR? Well... no. Yes, it's a real Holga lens, it's cheap, it works, and there's really nothing that can go wrong with it. But the images you get with it won't really be much like the classic Holga camera images. Here's why:

This assembly consists of a Holga lens attached to a Nikon body cap. Simplicity itself. Problem is, though, that there isn't enough back focus on a Holga lens to allow it to come to infinity focus mounted on a Nikon body- the film to lens distance is just too great. So what the makers of this gizmo have done is to glue a small aperture stop to the rear of the lens, converting it from an f/8 to around an f/16 or f/22. That solves the focus problem, at the cost of a stop, but it also significantly increases the sharpness of the image, losing a good deal of that Holga softness and flare. And while the 60mm Holga is a mild wide-angle on 120 film, equivalent to about a 40mm lens on a 35mm camera, it's a longer than normal lens on 35, and a telephoto on a DX sensor camera. Last, the combined effect of the aperture stop and smaller 35mm frame or DX sensor size means you won't get the image fall off at the edges of the photo- another classic feature of Holga cameras.

So yes, it *will* work on your Nikon SLR or DSLR- but the results aren't worth even the cheap asking price.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2011
I own a Holga 135 & 120N and a couple of modified 120N Holgas (thanks Randy) and thought it would be fun to try this Holga 60mm lens out on my Nikon D5100/D7000 in order to get 'instant' results (I know, my bad :/). Anyway, after selecting Manual mode and using a trial & error method to get sustainable exposure, I ended up having to jack my ISO up to roughly 3200 while maintaining a 1/60 shutter speed. There is a certain amount of play between the camera body and lens when mounted and the image through the viewfinder is very dark and hard to distinguish.

I was pleasantly surprised at how Holganized the resulting photos looked with respect to the 1.5x sensor crop factor in both my DX cameras. The soft focus and mild vignetting are subtle w/o looking overdone. I am currently enjoying working with the Colored filters, Macro, and Wide Angle lens attachments I already own.

It would have been nice, however, if a case was included with this lens.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2012
OK, how much fun is this little toy?? Yes, it is a toy and not a "quality" lens. But, it's fun value is at least 10 times as much as what I paid for it. Creating old-style, soft focus, vignetted photos. A welcome addition to my equipment and I'm sure it will bring me hours of fun and hundreds of great pictures. Seller shipped it quickly, I had it 2 days after I ordered.

Setting it up with my camera (D40x) couldn't have been easier. Take off the lens, snap this one in place, set the camera to Manual and play with the shutter speed. You need to turn the ring on the lens to play with "focus" distance, from about 2 feet through 30 feet (there are 4 pre-set distance settings) and anywhere in between. Easy peasy.
On a clear day, I can keep the ISO at 200 and still maintain a shutter speed of around 125. Not too bad. Although the picture in the view finder is rather dark (due to the small opening in the back of the lens not much light finds its way into the camera).
Keep in mind: due to the sensor factor, the 60mm will translate to 90mm in "real life". So don't expect wide angle shots.

If you like to experiment, get it. It won't break the bank. And if you don't like it (but why wouldn't you???), I'm sure someone else will be happy to take it off your hands.

Only con: like a previous reviewer said, a case would be nice. But then again it's plastic, so little risk of scratching it.
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on September 10, 2014
I love funky alternative photographic processes, but these days it's mostly about the photoshop than the darkroom. However with this spiffy little lens half the work of making your photos funky is done.

It fits well and works well. Makes my Nikon D7100 work like my 1965 Diana.
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on April 8, 2012
So far so good, have used it a few times. Takes some experimenting, but I like the results so far. Very much like a regular holga camera without the expense of film, processing and printing. Worth the cost, but buy it from the US. Took 4 weeks to receive it from Holga Direct.
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on January 2, 2014
I believe this lens is well worth the $25. It does require some work to get useable pictures, but once you get it down you'll have a blast. I don't think that this lens is going to see a lot of use, but for the price, why not add it to your collection of lenses?
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on February 24, 2014

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on March 15, 2014
I bought this lense for my Nikon D3200. The lense does wiggle, not a tight fit like your kit lense.The plastic quality is cheap made in China, but it's $25. You will need plenty of light and time to focus.
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on March 13, 2012
This lens is a fun little lens to use. It takes a little adjusting to get your exposure correct on some cameras, but really makes an image when you want one that looks old fashioned.
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