Holga CFN - Plastic Fantastic


The Holga was my very first Lomography camera. After you get throught he learning curve, you'll get awesome images shot after shot!

The Holga is a Lomographic classic and arguably, one of the best toy cameras out there which defies its inherent simplicity. Its as minimalist as you can get – a black, plastic body with a fixed aperture lens (the sunny and cloudy settings don’t exactly help) 2 shutter settings and zone focusing. You’ll also have the choice to shoot in 6×6 or x4.5, I suggest the former since the square format is what the Holga’s made for and where it shines!

When I first used the Holga, my first camera, nobody taught me how to use it and I had no background whatsoever in photography. I shot away rolls of film indoors and during overcast days. All I got from the lab were blank pictures. It was depressing at first but I read and researched to find out what I was doing wrong. The Holga’s aperture opening is f/13 so it really, really needs lots and lots of light for you to get something out of it. Since then, I only use the Holga outdoors during sunny days, indoors with a flash or at night with a tripod and using bulb for around 20-30 seconds. This site, The Ultimate Exposure Computer helped me for exposure times not just for the Holga, but all of my analog settings as well. It’s a must read! The focusing from my experience is at a minimum distance of 3 feet, then 9, 18, then infinity. The focusing isn’t too much of a problem since with its big aperture, the depth of field is vast, just as long as you don’t focus on anything closer than 3 feet.

The Holga is a beast that’s hard to tame. Take some time to master it, to understand it. After you do, you’ll be surprised at how unbelievably good your photos will turn out!

written by cruzron on 2009-07-26 in #reviews #medium-format #lomography #square #120 #review #analog #camera #holga


  1. ilovemydiana
    ilovemydiana ·

    tame it i shall!

  2. oldskool_rider
    oldskool_rider ·

    one of my favourite cameras!!!!
    lovely shots, and great review!

  3. lomosexual_manboy
    lomosexual_manboy ·

    I am yet to tame this camera. I haven't yet given it its fair due since having some iffy rolls with light leaks and bad exposure, but one day I'll have my bonding experience for sure. Oh, and that ultimate exposure computer is a must read for all lomographers. It was one of the first things I read when I started lomography.

  4. boredbone
    boredbone ·

    one of my fave cams. cool galery:)

  5. mrs-paul
    mrs-paul ·

    My Holga is def one of my favourite cameras, I return to it again and again. I still have a lot to learn... yet it surprises me with every film! Thanks for the tips and nice photos...

  6. stouf
    stouf ·

    Good job Ron ! A nice review of the best camera ever (in my opinion) ! Your gallery is perfect ! N°1, 3 and ho! you're the one who took N°5 ! I love this shot !

  7. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    It´s also my first Lomographic cam!

  8. ebolatheelectricmonk
    ebolatheelectricmonk ·

    It's built like crap, but the results are great (mostly....)

More Interesting Articles

  • Lomo'Instant + Splitzer: The Duo at Their Peak!

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-03-30 in #gear #lifestyle
    Lomo'Instant + Splitzer: The Duo at Their Peak!

    With a Lomo'Instant Camera and a Splitzer, you can get absolutely funny and creative images. I took it to the highest level and exposed my shots from 4 to 8 times! What you'll see next is an impressive mix of colors, textures, places and people captured in a very surreal way!

  • Getting Festive with the Petzval Lens

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-12-12 in #world #locations
    Getting Festive with the Petzval Lens

    If you take a left out of Regent St, down a windy lane, past a wise old man with long fingernails, over a wooden bridge and through a giant metal gate you'll find a very magical place. Yep, it's the Winter Wonderland Festival in Hyde Park! It's free to get in and it is the perfect place to get some awesome Petzval shots!

  • Stanley Kubrick's Early Photographic Works on Exhibit in Vienna

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-13 in #news
    Stanley Kubrick's Early Photographic Works on Exhibit in Vienna

    Fifteen of Stanley Kubrick's most memorable photo essays from when he was working as a photographer for "Look" magazine are currently on exhibit at Vienna's Bank Austria Kunstforum. Learn the story behind his very first photograph for the publication, taken when he was only 16 years old, as well as a few others after the cut.

  • Shop News

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Give your space a facelift with your own analogue print

    Really want to bring your film photos to life? We’re now offering totally analogue fine art prints in a host of large sizes and formats! Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • My First Lomo Affair: Sonjay and her Holga 120 CFN

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-05-23 in #gear #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Sonjay and her Holga 120 CFN

    Sonja started her analog adventures during her teenage years. She took her first film photographs when she was 13 and has been in love with the magic of the process since. Her idea of a perfect day involves developing film rolls while listening to jazz and having a cup of tea in between. In this interview, she recalls about her experience with her first Lomography camera, a Holga 120 CFN.

  • Beautiful, Crisp Shots Taken with the LC-A 120

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-09 in #lifestyle
    Beautiful, Crisp Shots Taken with the LC-A 120

    Just when you thought the LC-A family couldn't get any bigger and better, in comes the LC-A 120. Check out a few sample shots taken in Japan with this awesome new camera after the jump!

  • Our Surprise LC-A 120 Photo Discovery – Dopic’s Fantastic Japan Snapshots

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-16 in #news
    Our Surprise LC-A 120 Photo Discovery – Dopic’s Fantastic Japan Snapshots

    Recently, we’ve been digging through all our LC-A 120 negatives from when we first started testing the new camera. During this search, we had our very own finding Vivian Maier moment when we unearthed a bunch of photos shot by the super-talented dopic whilst he was on vacation in Japan last year. We totally love these shots and couldn’t resist sharing them with you!

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • LomoAmigo: Stephen Dowling Tests the LC-A 120

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-01-14 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo: Stephen Dowling Tests the LC-A 120

    Previously a music journalist, Stephen Dowling now writes for the BBC. If that isn't interesting enough, London-based writer is also passionate about film photography. He has blog called zorkiphoto where he writes about all his favourite cameras and film types. The folks over at Lomography UK lent him an LC-A 120 and, as you'll see in a bit, he managed to get some wonderful shots.

  • A Collection Of Awesome Konstruktor Snapshots

    written by shhquiet on 2015-04-10 in #gear #lifestyle
    A Collection Of Awesome Konstruktor Snapshots

    There's nothing more satisfying than taking fantastic photos with a camera that you built yourself. If you've always wanted to impress your friends with your mad DIY skills, pick up a Konstruktor Camera Kit and show them what you've got! It's also a cool way to get them into Lomography, because as you build the camera you'll discover how analogue photography works. Oh, and the Konstruktor takes gorgeous photos, too - check out the gallery and see what we mean!

  • Workshops and Events for January 2015 at Lomography UK

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-01-05 in #events
    Workshops and Events for January 2015 at Lomography UK

    Happy New Year Everyone. We're confident that our January 2015 workshops will help you dust off those January blues and get you smiling again. You'll be able to learn how to expose an image onto fabric or canvas with our LUMI paint workshop, learn the basics of our super Diana F+ camera and take to the streets with the Lomo'instant. There is also a great exhibition of analogue prints from photographer Arat “Huge” Komsawadichai. Find out more and book your spot by clicking here.

  • Shop News

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    Enjoy a truly analogue moviemaking experience with Lomography's 35mm movie camera and an accompanying accessory to watch your films with. View your masterpieces in the most analogue way possible with the LomoKinoscope. Get it now 20% off the regular price!

  • Lomopedia: Ansco Pix Panorama

    written by cheeo on 2014-07-14 in #reviews
    Lomopedia: Ansco Pix Panorama

    Our featured camera for this installment of Lomopedia is known for lo-fi panoramic shots and its clunky plastic body. It’s no other than the Ansco Pix Panorama camera. Get to know about this panoramic shooter after the cut.

  • Marvelous LC-A 120 Photographs from the Community

    written by chooolss on 2014-12-19 in #lifestyle
    Marvelous LC-A 120 Photographs from the Community

    Lomography has previously shown you the kind of shots that one could take with the new Lomo LC-A 120. Now, with the first batch already shipped out and arriving to their lucky owners, it's the community's turn to show everyone what they've been shooting with this awesome camera!

  • Loving the Lomo'instant!

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-01-16 in #news
    Loving the Lomo'instant!

    It's only been a few months since the lovely Lomo'instant camera was officially launched online and in the Lomography stores. Since then this Instant compact camera has been flying off the shelves. You've all been busy experimenting and uploading your amazing shots so we've decided show you some of the best shots out there to inspire you to get creative!