Holga wide

If I ever happen to be stranded on a desert island, an unlikely scenario, but let’s go with it, and for some reason I’m stuck with one camera and a bag of one type of film, what would they be? I won’t waste your time going through the cameras that almost made the number one spot, I’ll just come straight out with it – the Holga 120 Pan and a big bag of Kodak Tri-X 400 film.
This camera cost £70, which is actually extortion when you consider that it’s made entirely from plastic, including the lens element. It’s not even a particularly high-grade plastic either. It has one shutter speed and two apertures…and that’s about it. But stick a roll of Kodak Tri-X black and white film in and the results, in my opinion, are beautiful, a combination that creates a look that keeps me coming back for more, time and time again.

Enough said – pack your bags, we’re crash-landing somewhere near Fiji.

img621 img661img658img660Images all made using a Holga 120 Pan 6×12 camera and Kodak Tri-X 400 film.

Jamie Helps, Chapel Beach, Port St Mary, Isle of Man
Hamilton, Canada
Hazel Walsh, Colby, Isle of Man
Yellowknife, NWT, Canada


  1. I was actually thinking about asking you what do you think about that plastic baby…and here we go. I have a pinhole version of it but would prefer to switch it to something with a little bit of glass on the front 😉
    Great images. Good recommendation.


  2. Most of the Holgas and Lomos I’ve seen for sale around here are at least $100 CAD so I guess £70 is in the same area! You are right though, it does seem a little like extortion – I mean they are even often marketed as toy cameras so why do they cost so much? Brilliant shots again, very striking.


    1. I managed to get one from Hong Kong (via eBay) for 50.00 GBP (or around 70 USD) including a speedy delivery, which is a lot cheaper than Amazon and the other sites around. I don’t suppose the PANs sell often so maybe it has something to do with higher production costs? Anyway, certain Lomos can be expensive because they have something of a cult following, but a basic Holga such as the Holga 120N, shouldn’t be much more than 10 GBP (less if you find a second hand one).


      1. Good points! I had to laugh when I went into a camera shop here and said I was looking for an SLR film camera and he took me right to the Lomo’s… must have missed the SLR part I guess 😉


  3. I like Holga, but if I had to choose one camera I would go with Mamiya RZ (any of them) and 110mm lens. The film is a bit harder choice. I would, probably, ask to give me money, so I can buy film that works the best for each situation. If I am not allowed to do so then I will go with Ilford Pan F Plus. It is a slow film, but I love how it has almost no grain.


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