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Holga iPhone Case: A Review

Discussion in 'Accessories & Phones' started by bpahia, 2 January 2012.

  1. bpahia

    bpahia Addicted

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    Holga is a name most photographers know. Their plastic toy cameras have been around (and loved) for a while. Recently, Holga decided to enter the iPhone accessory market with the Holga SLFT-IP4, an iPhone case that is actually a group of special effect lenses. So, how does this $24.99 (USD) case stack up?

    The Case: The case is entirely made of plastic, down to the lenses. Coming from Holga, I wouldn’t have expected anything less. The case itself is lightweight and attaches on to the iPhone like any other case. It fits snugly, and is comfortable to hold. The lenses sit on a telephone like dial that is rotated to your choice of lens. It is nicely done, but don’t expect the sturdiness of an Olloclip. It is a nice design, though, and the dial is certainly a cool little retro throwback. You are able to access all the buttons and connections on the iPhone easily, which is nice. The lenses are easy to access, as you simply just rotate the dial to your desired effect. Holga did include a lens cover for the dial as well.

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    The lenses: There are 10 different lenses on this, all to varying degrees of usefulness. The lenses are: Dual Image, Triple Image, Quadruple Image, 60mm Macro, Empty Hole (though there is a vignette due to the design), Blue Filter with Clear Center, Yellow Filter with Clear Center, Green Filter, Red Filter, and Red Filter with Heart Shaped Clear Center. I’ll be the first to admit, some of these lenses are, for me, completely useless. I’m not sure when I’d ever need filters with Clear Centers, and I certainly don’t know when I’d ever use a red filter with a Heart Center. Not even on Valentine’s Day would I use that one. The multi image lenses do have nice looks to them, but I feel their usefulness will vary with the user. Some may be able to find use for them, they certainly gave my model a unique look, and I can see architecture and abstract photos benefitting from them. The Green and Red Filters will also vary with the user. There are certainly apps out there that will do the same thing, just much more effectively. The empty space provides a nice vignette look to it, but again, there are apps out there for that. So, this thing has to have a good, useful lens right? Right. And it’s the 60mm macro. I was able to focus on a subject about 2 inches (about 5cm) and get it in focus. In comparison, the Olloclip is able to get you within 12-15mm of the subject. The resulting photos are nice and sharp, and if you already have the Olloclip, gives you a second macro option.

    The verdict: So, is it worth it? That depends. If you keep in mind that Holga’s are “Toy Cameras,” this case is essentially an expansion of that. Is it practical? Not really. Is it going to replace your Olloclip? Certainly not. Is it fun to play with? Yes. Is it a must have iPhone accessory? Sadly, no. While it is a lot of fun to play with, the lack of practical lens effects keep it from being a must have. The macro is very nice, but not essential. Over time, I may find a use for the multi image effects, but I’m sure there are apps out that will give you a similar look. At $25 though, it won’t break the bank. Again, it is fun to play with, but I don’t see it as being an essential part of an iPhoneographers camera bag. If you simply must have EVERY iPhone accessory out there, then go for it. It is a nice first attempt from Holga, and the design is nice. I just wish Holga decides to add more practical effects for iPhoneographers in the future.
     

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  2. RoseCat

    RoseCat Cat'sClockedIt... Site Staff

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    Great critique Bryan, and the set of photo examples are very helpful! The multi-lenses are pretty cool. I agree with your comments on the heart lens. :eek:

    It looks like it could be an interesting add-on, but I think for now I'll save my $25. ;)

    Sent from my iPhone using MobiTog
     
    eurokeith, Aaron Davis and bpahia like this.
  3. bpahia

    bpahia Addicted

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    Thanks Catherine! It was fun writing this! Hope to do more in the future!
     
  4. Smooth

    Smooth Site Admin Admin Site Staff

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    Absolutely fantastic Bryan! Thoroughly enjoyable and informative read.

    Tempted? Yes I am! We have promoted via our twitter etc - hope that is ok - this is an awesome review!
     
  5. bpahia

    bpahia Addicted

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    Don't mind at all! :thumbs: Very happy you did! Was fun doing this!
     
  6. sdgareth

    sdgareth Mere nano mortal... Site Staff

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    Great stuff Bryan
     
  7. lisamjw

    lisamjw Pretty & Sneaky... Site Staff

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    Job well done Bryan! Think I will save my $25.
     
  8. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Addicted Mobi Veteran

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    Great read Bryan, I got really excited when this came out, being a Holga owner. I think they would have been better off creating filters that simulate the Holga look. I would also love to see someone create a polarizing filter for the iPhone.

    Sent from my iPhone using MobiTog
     
  9. bpahia

    bpahia Addicted

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    Thanks for the comments, everyone! I agree on the filters, Aaron. There are so many different accessories and attachments available for Holgas, I'm not sure why they went with what they did. A polarizing filter would be great. So, anyone else have any other products they'd like reviewed? I'm open to suggestions! (or product samples :whistle:)
     
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  10. RoseCat

    RoseCat Cat'sClockedIt... Site Staff

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    I run almost everything through Iris and apply their polarizing filter (and there's sliders to adjust how much). :)

    Sent from my iPhone using MobiTog
     
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  11. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Addicted Mobi Veteran

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    Thanks Cat, I see photoFX also has a series of polarizer filters. I'm not sure they work as well or in the same way as a lens filter though. Do you have any examples of where app polarizers have reduced reflections etc.?

    Sent from my iPhone using MobiTog
     
  12. Bob Lindell

    Bob Lindell Addicted

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    You rocked that heart filter, there buddy! I love that little robot.
     
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  13. RoseCat

    RoseCat Cat'sClockedIt... Site Staff

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    Hmm, er, noooo... :eek:

    Here's where my non-techie self emerges. Which is also why I stopped shooting with my SLR - I just wanted to create/paint photos. All the techno-babble was making my head hurt. ;)

    I'm guessing I don't know the *real* reason to use a polarizing filter. I just know the Iris one pulls out the light & colors and sort of enriches the photo.

    Sorry if I confused anybody... :blush:

    :D

    Sent from my iPhone using MobiTog
     
  14. Aaron Davis

    Aaron Davis Addicted Mobi Veteran

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    Polarizing filters are great for landscapes as they can take blown out highlights off water, plants and sky. I will try and find you some comparison shots from the web. I would love to have an iPhone version and have thinking about how to construct one today, lol.

    Sent from my iPhone using MobiTog
     
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  15. emmii

    emmii New Member

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    this is a great review. thank you for sharing. :)
    my thoughts were similar when i first saw the case.
    it is a "cute" case for $25! thats for sure. but i think that's about where it stops.
     
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  16. AlyZen Moonshadow

    AlyZen Moonshadow Addicted Mobi Veteran

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    I saw this on eBay, but decided to pass. There's also another set, available on eBay, similar to the Holga set, but of a much higher quality, and the price is reflective too (over US$200!)...it contains 3 lenses set on a rotary dial which is fixed to a cover, just like the Holga set. I believe the lenses are a Macro, Telephoto, Fish Eye. Too expensive, for what it is, IMHO.
     
  17. Fastcomet

    Fastcomet Addicted

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    Thanks for reviewing the Holga case, Bryan!! I thought was better than that.
    Great review, though!
     

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