DIY Square Format on Holga 135 BC


We all love the beauty of the square format in 120mm film cameras, and as of late, the wonderful Diana Mini was given the feature to produce a square format. So I thought I should give this a try myself. And here it is.

For this, we are basically creating a sort of ‘mask’. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your camera
  • A ruler
  • Paper [the tougher the better and preferably black]
  • Scissors
  • Transparent adhesive tape
  • A sharpie

Easy to follow instructions:

Step 1: Open the back of your camera. Using the ruler, measure the height and width of the frame inside the camera. [My Holga 135 BC measured 1.5 inches in width and 1 inch in height]

Step 2: To turn that rectangular frame into a square you need to insert two pieces of paper that should be 1/4 inch in width and 1 inch in height. [Doing the math 1/4 × 2 = 1/2 and 1.5 – 0.5 = 1 inch. And there you’ll have the 1 x 1 square frame.] So what you do is you make 2 marks of a 1/4 inch in the paper you want to use and you cut them.

Step 3: Here we bring in our trusty Mr. Scotch transparent tape. [If like me you didn’t have black paper, you can always just paint it with a black sharpie.] Then all that’s left is taping the two pieces of paper inside the frame in your camera.

So there you have it. You can now enjoy the beauty of the 120mm square format in any of your 35mm cameras.

P.s. When you get your scans back from the lab, you’ll have the picture in the center and one black strip on each side [the papers you put in], but you can either leave it like that, or crop it with any software like I did _.

written by reneg88 on 2010-09-10 in #gear #tipster #holga #paper #mask #diy #lomo #square-format #tipster


  1. eddie_2k9
    eddie_2k9 ·

    Nice tipster =)

  2. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Gagagaa, good tipster. Actually I was thinking the same thing. and you are two steps ahead of me. Congrats:}}

  3. cinzinc
    cinzinc ·

    nice! and i like the gallery too =)

  4. chaoticsense
    chaoticsense ·

    Oh, I might try this out! Nice tip! :)

  5. camerabrain
    camerabrain ·

    like wow

  6. mojo_lomo
    mojo_lomo ·


  7. sunnysideupphotography
    sunnysideupphotography ·

    COOL! i'm totally gonna try this! could you show us a picture of what it looks like on the inside of the camera after you've put in the two side masks? More specifically, I ask because I'm not sure how to tape it to prevent it from snagging on the film/sprockets.

  8. reneg88
    reneg88 ·

    @sunnysideupphotography thanks! i think the 3rd photo in the gallery of Step 3 shows the inside of the camera, like you're asking. Hope you can make it work! =)

  9. iamtheju
    iamtheju ·

    Been thinking about doing this for a while, so thanks for the tipster, it's very nicely explained.
    I haven't tried it yet but might I suggest making the full [35mm sized] rectangle and removing the 1x1 square, to make a more stable, and removable/reusable frame.
    I might even look for some black plastic to cut out.

  10. iamtheju
    iamtheju ·

    p.s I love how beaten up your holga looks. Mine is too shiny and new looking. lol

  11. biblicalshower
    biblicalshower ·

    Found this tipster through a google search. Been trying to pick between getting a Holga 135BC or a Diana Mini, and I like the square format of the mini but I prefer the lens of the Holga that's a bit sharper. Was wondering if doing something like this would work so I see it does. It's also really nice that even with the crop to make it square, you still get a bit of black cornering :)

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