I ♥ Holga

Holga 120 CFN shot with a Praktica MTL3 and Kodak Ektachrome E200 film.
Holga 120 CFN shot with a Praktica MTL3 and Kodak Ektachrome E200 film.

For a long time, I doubted wether I shoud buy a Holga. I liked the pictures made with a Holga and the camera is pretty cheap, but did I really need another camera? And when I actually saw one in a photo shop (as opposed to on a stand alone picture in a web shop), it looked very big and clumsy to me. But in the end I succumbed. I bought the gorgeous plastic box camera that is now known among my friends as the big green monster.

It’s a simple beast. I have the CFN-version, with plastic lens and coloured flash (white, red, yellow and blue). In theory, has two apertures, cloudy and sunny. Due to a construction error, it only has the larger aperture (f13), flipping the aperture switch has no effect. Shutter time is either 1/100s of B. Included with the camera are two masks, either to fit 12 pictures on a standard 120 roll, of 16.

It took a bit of getting used to at first. The sponges that kept the film tight in the camera were immediately eaten by the first film I shot. Film is now being helt tight by some random bits of cardboard. Soon afterwards I found out that red-scale at a dark party was not a good choice in the Holga. Or any kind of low iso film in moderately dark situations. And when it is light enough, stubborn light leaks make covering the edges of the camera with black tape necessary.

But soon enough, I got used to the peculiarities of my new treasure and my Holga became absolutely indispensable. For one thing, you can pull all the ususal Lomography tricks with the Holga: double exposures, microclicks, panoramas, colored flash, it’s all fun. But the real power of the Holga is in the fantastic plastic lens. A flashy party picture with different color layers is great, but my favorite Holga pictures are regular single pictures, with their unique dreamy appearance that no Instagram filter can equal.

It´s a great holiday camera, too: not only produces it great pictures, it’s also sturdy enough to be tossed about in a backpack, and the cheap plastic look doesn’t attract thieves.

The best spent 69 euros from 2012.


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