While Holga might not be a household name, the lo-fi photo effects inspired by its famed toy film cameras are familiar to anyone with a smartphone. If you've ever tweaked your shots by adding heavy vignetting, dreamy softness, and light leaks, you're in Holga territory.
The film cameras have been around since the early '80s and continue to be prized as much for their simplicity as for their imperfections. However, if you're not up for the expense or hassle of shooting film and using software and apps seems too much like cheating, there is a way to return some unpredictability to your digital photography--and if you win this week's giveaway, you'll be able to do it for free.
Available from Holga Direct is the Digital Holga lens. It's a simple plastic lens based on the design from the plastic Holga film cameras with an effective aperture of f8 and a focal length roughly equivalent to 60mm with a manual zone focus. Just pop one on your digital SLR or interchangeable lens compact camera and start shooting.
The lens is available for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, and Olympus digital SLRs, as well as Olympus PEN, Panasonic Lumix G, Sony NEX, and Samsung NX cameras. You won't get light leaks or the effects of using different films, but vignetting, blur, chromatic aberrations, and lens flare are in full supply.
This week, digital SLR users can win the Kitchen Sink Kit from Holga Direct, which includes the base lens, three close-up and two macro lenses, and one fish-eye, 2.5x telephoto, and wide-angle lens. Plus, all the add-on lenses can be used on the Holga film cameras, should you choose to experiment with one of those. ILC owners can get the Ultimate Kit, which is everything in the Kitchen Sink but the fish-eye.
Normally, the Digital Holga Kitchen Sink Kit sells for $99.99, but you have the chance to get it gratis. So how do you score this week's prize? Let us enumerate the basic rules. Please read carefully; there will be a test.
- Register as a CNET user. Go to the top of this page and hit the "Join CNET" link to start the registration process. If you're already registered, there's no need to register again.
- Leave a comment below. You can leave whatever comment you want. If it's funny or insightful, it won't help you win, but we're trying to have fun here, so anything entertaining is appreciated.
- Leave only one comment. You may enter for this specific giveaway only once. If you enter more than one comment, you will be automatically disqualified.
- The winner will be chosen randomly. The winner will receive one (1) Digital Holga Kitchen Sink Kit with a retail value of $99.99.
- If you are chosen, you will be notified via e-mail. The winner must respond within three days of the end of the contest. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen.
- Entries can be submitted until Monday, November 7, at 12 p.m. ET.
And here's the disclaimer that our legal department said we had to include (sorry for the caps, but rules are rules):
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. MUST BE LEGAL RESIDENT OF ONE OF THE 50 UNITED STATES OR D.C., 18 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AT DATE OF ENTRY INTO SWEEPSTAKES. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, ALL U.S. TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Sweepstakes ends at 12 p.m. ET on November 7, 2011. See official rules for details.