Manufacturer: Holga Ltd.
Type: point-n-shoot, scale focus
Lens: 60mm “optical lens” (yes, that’s what it says on front!). Supposedly f/8 or f/11 apertures, but the aperture selection never does anything. Assume f/11 when using.
Shutter: Yes. It has a shutter. Two speeds even: “B” and “N”. B stands for Bulb, i.e. it’s open until you release the shutter. “N” stands for about 1/125th second.
Hot shoe (but flash fires both on pressing and releasing of shutter button)
Film advance is with a thumb wheel.
Tripod mount (but no cable release, so you’ll have to improvise for long exposures)
Handy focusing pictograms showing a head-and-shoulders, three people together, a large group of people, and a mountain.
Insert that allows you to shoot 16 smaller images, instead of 12.
It’s hardly worth doing a profile on the Holga, as it’s such a cult classic. Poor craftsmanship makes for a lot of light leaks, difficult operation, and a lousy plastic lens makes images so bad they’re good (if you like that lo fi look). While the camera does work with color film, its sweet spot to me seems to be black and white film.
Included in this post are shots from my son’s recent fifth birthday party. Ilford HP5 film, pushed one stop by my lab, with the on-camera SB-20 strobe set to ISO 800. I was hoping to pick up a little of the ambient light but that didn’t really work out…almost all the background illumination is from the strobe. I would have been better off shooting with a ISO 3200 film.