In the last few years toy cameras gained popularity among many photographers who enjoy their little imperfections and remarkable effects.
A few years back when I got interested in toy cameras, the Holga was definitely a cheap (i.e. inexpensive) plastic camera.
But shortly after, the Lomographic Society got involved and took over the concept and marketing of toy cameras and the prices went up, way up. Their prized possession is a plastic soviet camera called the Lomo LC-A which they have a monopoly over and currently sell at outrageous prices starting at $250 ($600 for the same camera gilded in 24-carat gold. Seriously!)
But don’t worry; they didn’t forget to price gouge the Holga as well. On their website you can get your Holga wrapped in some sort of a starter kit for a $100 and more.
And a word of caution here: For some unknown reason (called Profit) the Lomographic Society found it necessary to upgrade the original Lubitel 166 to something they call Lubitel 166+ and they sell for a low price of just $350. What a bargain!
Remember? We are still talking about PLASTIC cameras.
Smart people; no doubt, their profit margin calculator is working overtime.
But hey, why not? I mean, it’s a free market and if there are people who are willing to pay high prices for cheap cameras…then go for it.
Myself, I strongly believe photography should not be such an expensive trade/hobby and I constantly look for the most inexpensive solutions. I often buy my cameras at garage sales or second hand stores, I search for good deals on ebay or craigslist, I opt to modify the cameras myself, I look for expired or close-dated film (half priced!) etc.
And if I may, let me quickly recommend Freestyle Photographic Supplies where you can find toy cameras at great prices.
You can too, shop around, find out what’s out there and remember;
you don’t have to buy your cameras overstated and packaged with all sorts of unnecessary accessories.
Just something to think about before you decide to delve into the world of toy cameras.
PS. Feel free to share your suggestions for solutions and places to get toy cameras for bargain prices. (I’m going to include as many of them in my next book.)
You can find this article and many creative photo processes in my new book: So Much More than Photography.
The eBook edition is now on sale for $10. Get it here