The Holga is an inexpensive, medium format 120 film toy camera, made in China, appreciated for its low-fidelity aesthetic.
The Holga's cheap construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera's quality problems have become a virtue among some photographers, with Holga photos winning awards and competitions in art and news photography.
The Holga camera was designed by T. M. Lee, and first appeared in 1982. At the time, 120 rollfilm in black-and-white was the most widely available film in mainland China. The Holga was intended to provide an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese in order to record family portraits and events. After the cameras began to be distributed in the West, some photographers took to using the Holga for its surrealistic, impressionistic scenes for landscape, still life, portrait, and especially, street photography. In this respect, the Holga became the successor to the Diana and other 'toy' cameras previously used in such work. A Holga photograph by David Burnett of former vice-president Al Gore during a campaign appearance earned a top prize in a 2001 White House News Photographers' Association Eyes of History award ceremony.
GOLDEN RULES OF LOMOGRAPHY
- Take your camera everywhere you go
- Use it any time- day & night
- Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it
- try the shot from the hip
- approach the objects of your lomographic desire as close as possible
- Don't think (William Firebrace)
- Be fast
- You don't have to know beforehand what you captured on film
- Nor afterwards
- Don't worry about any rules
COMPARISON BETWEEN DIFFERENT HOLGA MODELS
There are many Holga models,it will be easy to mixed up at the beginning. But just remember a few rules,you will be able to figure out each models' specification.
G represents glass lens,then without G is plastic lens.
N represents B shutter,tripod mount and 6x6 frame mask.
F represents flash light, CF represents color flash light,without F is hot shoe only.
These rules only apply to 120 format camera (135&135BC are another story)
MODEL LENS FLASH B SHUTTER TRIPOD MOUNT FRAME MASK REMARK
120S Plastic Lens X X X 6x4.5 Discontinued
120SF Plastic Lens X X X 6x4.5 Discontinued
120G Glass Lens X X X 6x4.5,6x6 Discontinued
120N Plastic Lens X O O 6x4.5,6x6 w/ Hot Shoe
120GN Glass Lens X O O 6x4.5,6x6 w/ Hot shoe
120FN Plastic Lens O O O 6x4.5,6x6
120GFN Glass Lens O O O 6x4.5,6x6
120CFN Plastic Lens O Color O O 6x4.5,6x6 4 Color Flash Light
120GCFN Glass Lens O Color O O 6x4.5,6x6 4 Color Flash Light
135BC Glass Lens X O O 6x4 35mm film,Black corners
135 Glass Lens X O O 6x4 35mm film
Here's some of my personal shots with my HOLGAs: gallery.holga-magic.com/ploggerb3