Posted by Nitsa
on Apr 6, 2010 in toy cameras
| 3 comments
For just a few dollars you can get yourself a plastic camera that will truly make it possible for you to break free of the restrictive correctness in photography.
The Holga, often branded as a “toy camera, takes 120mm film type and produces 12 6cmX6cm or 16 4.5cmX6cm medium format exposures per roll and has a large fan base among the photography community.
This toy camera, manufactured in China, was originally produced to offer an inexpensive solution for working-class Chinese to take family portraits, until it was discovered and revived by fine-art photographers in the west.
It is a simple camera with a 60mm fixed plastic lens and a few basic adjustments that quite doubtfully accomplish anything.
There are a number of variations on the original 120S version such as the Holga 120FN which has a flash or the 120GN type that has a glass lens.
The Holga can be modified in a number of ways, for example; it can be adapted to receive 35mm film or even turned into a pinhole camera.
One of the best traits of this innocent looking toy is that there are no focus or f-stop settings to hassle with; therefore it is not only easier to shoot on the move but it also makes the Holga a camera that can liberate the photographer from the obligation to pursue precision and perfection that are often essential in traditional photography.
The Holga produces beautiful, distinctive looking images that are especially soft and are framed with dark and blurry vignette.
TAKE OFF YOUR MASK
If you wish to make the famous 6X6 Holga square format photos make sure to remove the mask insert, otherwise your photos will be 6 X 4.5 format.
Some people tape their Holga all over the place with light-tight black tape in order to prevent the inevitable light leaks that the Holga is proudly famous for. However, some people see the light leaks as part of the Holga’s charm and will refuse to tape their Holga. It very much a matter of preference .
However, it is a good idea to tape the sides of the back cover as it has tendency to come apart exactly at the wrong moment (i.e. when shooting).
SHOOTING 35MM FILM IN YOUR HOLGA
You can modify the Holga to accept 35mm film and make some uniquely cool pictures. Many websites including youtube have good information and instruction videos on this fun adjustment.
When shooting 35mm film in your Holga, you will need to adjust your shooting method and remember you are taking horizontal, panoramic-like images through a square viewfinder.
Another matter to overcome is advancing to the next frame without actually seeing the frame’s number in the red window (which you will need to tape over anyway). The solution is to turn the knob 1 1/2 turns between every exposure.
One of the Holga’s most recognized feature is the double exposure. As the Holga does not have an automatic advance mechanism, the double exposure is just bound to happen, especially by the over-excited beginner.
So when you do create a double exposure with a Holga accidentally, don’t despair or view it as a waste. Instead, simply enjoy the unexpected results, which can turn out unique and intriguing.
And of course, if you do like the unpredictability of double exposure you can always purposely double (or even triple) expose for your delight by exposing your film twice (or more) before advancing to the next photo.