1. What’s a Holga?
A Holga is a plastic bodied camera made in Hong Kong. For more info on their history, check out this Four Corners Dark article.
2. What are the tech specs on a Holga?
It depends on the model, but most Holgas have 2 apertures, f/8 and f/11, and 2 shutter speeds 1/100th of a second (N) and bulb mode (B). Things vary from model to model, so if that doesn’t help, ask!
3. What makes you think you’re so knowledgeable about Holgas?
We’ve done a lot of research. Really.
4. Who even runs this blog?
5. Can I submit to your blog?
6. Where do I get a Holga?
It depends on where you live. In the U.S., Four Corner Store on the East Coast and Freestyle Photo on the West Coast are both great. If anyone can recommend a good store for the UK, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, or Asia, that would be great. There’s also always Lomography, and, for those adventurous folks that like a great deal, there’s always eBay (Adrian swears by it).
7. What Holga should I get?
Are you a beginning photographer and/or on a budget? If yes, get a 35mm Holga (135, 135BC, 135BC TLR, 135TIM, K200NM, K202). You will waste a lot of money learning how to use a camera 12 shots at a time on a film format that costs a lot more to buy and have developed and printed/scanned and are harder to find a lab to process them than 35mm, which you can take to the corner drug store. Yes, the square 6x6 format of the 120 Holgas are cool, but consider it a reward for learning the basics of photography. Some 35mm cameras do take square 4x4 images, but they are often more hassle than cool and are very low res because they use so little of the negative. Would you say you were an amateur or professional photographer that knows that they’re doing, or maybe you want to start using medium format film but lack the money for a “nice” camera? Go for any of the 120 Holgas! It’s a good way to get used to the format, and they’re just fun. Are you interested in long exposures, photography history, or experimenting with different processes? Try one of the pinhole Holgas (anything ending in PC). Building your own pinhole camera is very difficult, plus you can use any of the filters/other accessories on any of the pinhole cameras. Anyone interested in 3D photography should check out the 1203D, 1203D Pinhole, or the 135TIM. Or, if you don’t want to give up the kind of control an SLR gives you, but want the look of a plastic lens, Holga makes lenses that mount on most 35mm and digital Canon and Nikon SLRs, and any other brand could mount them with the proper, cheap adapter.
8. What film should I use?
Read this if you are a beginner: ISO is the number on the film that isn’t the format (50, 64, 100, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200) and relates to how light-sensitive the film is and also how grainy it is. Because you have little control over the exposure of film in a Holga (only 2 apertures and one real shutter speed), it is important that you choose your film speed according to what and where you are shooting. ISO 50 - 100 should be shot outdoors in full sun, 200 - 400 in the morning, overcast day, and afternoon, and 400 - 800 should be used indoors with a flash. Color negative film is the cheapest to buy and easiest to have processed (in 35mm), so we recommend that to beginners. Kodak Gold, Fuji Superia, Lomography (in 3 packs only) and Ferrania Solaris are all inexpensive and go great with a Holga (you can get a pack of 9 or 16 rolls of Ferrania Solaris 100/200 from Four Corner Store for very cheap). If you have access to a darkroom or a professional lab, black and white film also looks very good in a Holga, and is often more forgiving exposure-wise. Fuji Neopan, Kentmere, Fomapan (who now make a “Holga” film), Kodak Tmax, Lomography (in 3 packs only) or any of Ilford’s black and white films are a good choice. If you don’t have access to true black and white developing, there are still Kodak BW400CN and Ilford XP2 Super, 400 ISO films that can be developed in color negative (C-41) chemicals and come out black and white. Slide (positive) film is used for making slides with incredibly accurate colors when developed in E-6 chemicals, or cross processed in color negative (C-41) chemicals to create wild color-shift effects. Fuji, Kodak, and Lomography makes various slide films, and while they are more expensive, to many they are well worth the price.
9. Anything else? Just ask!