I little bit of Holga does you good…

Holga cameras were introduced in China in 1982 to make photography ‘available to the masses’. There are now various forms of the camera – 120, 35mm, panoramic, twin lens…every single one an absolute piece of shit, but as I’m always preaching “It’s not the camera that makes a good photo…”

I have the Holga 120 GCFN, it has a glass lens, rather than the ‘classic’ plastic version. It has two f stops, f8 and f11(?) and one shutter speed, 1/80th second, there is also a B setting. The GCFN also has a rather funky multi coloured flash. And that’s it, all wrapped-up in the flimsiest plastic body that would make a Fisher-Price toy camera look like a hand-made Leica.

Having said all that, I was a bit disappointed with my Holga when I got my first batch of films back, the quality was TOO good! Where was all that famous distortion and blurring? I must admit, I felt a bit cheated!

Look at these shots, all taken on Kodak Portra 400, especially the portraits and then claim you can’t afford to shoot medium format. A holga GCFN cost less than £25, brand new. The glass lens has a definite ‘sweet-spot’ where the focus is very sharp.

I don’t shoot with the Holga very often, but when I do, I love the results.

I’ve done nothing to these shots, they are all ‘raw’ out of the scanner. All files are about 1.2mb. Scanned in an Epson V700.

17 comments

  1. Great shots!!! The camera you get is in good shape, unlike my unlucky friend who got a “Light Leak Version”, still she loves it for some artistic reason. =D

  2. Very cool pics. So far I mainly shot with a DSLR (Canon 550D) but a few weeks ago I bought a Lomography Diana+ and now I’m really curious to play around with it and shoot some film :)

  3. I really like the hands and the girl–both of the multiple exposures with the colored flash–as they are unique to the Holga. Very nicely done.

  4. I need to see if I can find my old Diana camera. From the sounds of it, it’s even more low rent than the Holga. Essentially these are plastic pinhole cameras but are a blast to shoot with. Never know what results you’ll get.

  5. Pingback: Vintage Leica.. | The Happy Snapper

  6. Pingback: What’s in the bag? | snapgrabber

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