The Tiny, Fat, Lady Holga 135 BC

13

The Holga 135 BC may be the little sister of the original, legendary Holga, but it ain't less of a camera. It's simple, its light weight, it's small and it got all the great features of its bigger brother - including the fantastic effects of the plastic lens and dark corners (vignette). Plus it use regular 135-film which is cheap, easy to get, to use, and any one hour lab can develop it! But most of all, the Holga 135BC is FUN, FUN, FUN!

Mid February, 2010. I’m on my way from the post office with a package in my hands that I’ve been waiting for for a week. Right then I didn’t know that the content of that package would change my way of looking at the world maybe forever after.

Holga 135 BC was my first take on Lomography, but also my first real confrontation with analogue photography. And it was perfect.

The Holga 135 BC may be the little sister of the original, legendary Holga, but it ain’t less of a camera. It’s simple, its light weight, it’s small and it got all the great features of its bigger brother – including the fantastic effects of the plastic lens and dark corners (vignette). Plus it use regular 135-film which is cheap, easy to get, to use, and any one hour lab can develop it! Practical!

As I mentioned the Holga 135 BC was my first analogue camera and it was perfect for exactly that. It was simple enough for me to get started in just 10 minutes after opening the box – and have in mind that I hadn’t been using an analogue camera since I was a small child! But the Holga 135 BC is extremely user friendly. Just as it’s bigger brother, it got one slide for switching between N for “normal”, short exposures, and “B” for “Bulb” or looooong exposures when the light ain’t quite enough. There’s also one slide for switching between “cloudy” and “sunny” depending on the weather- or lighting conditions. Some people say it doesn’t matter what setting you choose here and that the difference is minimal or non – I agree, I can’t see no difference.

The focusing is also easy-peasy with the Holga 135 BC. On the lens there are four different distance settings visualized by Holgas iconic symbols – one for one person or portraits, one for small groups, big groups and one for mountains or infinity.

The film is wound by a wheel on the back, and the trigger is – in contrast with its bigger brother on the top of the camera, with a built in thread for cable-release – perfect for those long exposures you just want to get Holga-perfect! The trigger and the film winder are not connected, so another great thing is that you can do and layer multiple exposures – which is both interesting and super fun! On the top there’s also a hot shoe so you can mount any regular flash to light up your world.
On the other side of the little beast it also got a tripod mount.

Holga 135 BC is tiny (okay, maybe not THAT tiny, more like a fat short old lady, but she sure is small!) and extremely lightweight, perfect for smooth, discreet street photography.

So what are the cons with this little plastic beauty?
She sure is small and lightweight, but sometimes I find her kind of clumsy and fat – I want her to slide smoothly down in my pocket and stay there, ready, waiting for me… But she won’t, she’s too fat. But I want her close nearby, easy to reach, I don’t want to put her deep down in my mysterious dark, dark, creepy canvas bag. “Luckily” she got a wrist strap, it’s quite unpractical though, I want my hands free – I think a neck strap like the one on Diana Mini would be better.

Holga 135 BC is a fantastic camera which really delivers amazing pictures in a real plastic-, Holga-, toycam- and Lomo manner.

I love Holga because of all of this, but also because you can’t take her quite seriously, she de-dramatize every situation and encourage you to stop thinking and just have fun, just shoot! (But wait a second – don’t get me wrong – she can take some seriously dark and deep photos too, if that’s what you want – believe me!) Also, her basic, black plastics invites and screams for you to modify her, paint her, glue things to her, customize her and play with her appearance to let her symbolize you
But most of all – she lets you have fun, fun, fun!

written by chaoticsense on 2010-10-11 in #reviews

13 Comments

  1. brettac
    brettac ·

    the 135BC (RED) was my 2nd Lomo camera but my flash isn't as extravagant as yours :). photos 4, 10, &14 are my favorite. nice review.

  2. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    your review is pure love for this camera! great! and cool gallery too :)

  3. saintjacques
    saintjacques ·

    haha, i love the huge flashes on holgas. i have the "holga flash" and it looks so ridiculous on it.

  4. chaoticsense
    chaoticsense ·

    thanks guys! :)

    @saintjacques ha, ya I agree, and the best (or ya, maybe worst) part is that the flash itself weighs more than twice as much as the loaded camera... that's quite funny!

  5. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    cool review! thanks for sharing :))

  6. azzzy
    azzzy ·

    nice review and thats one big ass flash

  7. wallflowersforjane
    wallflowersforjane ·

    the holga 135bc was my first camera too and i so agree that the holga needs a neck strap! i have one all ready to go but...i can't use it! :(

  8. weedos
    weedos ·

    Great Review. I've been think about getting one and you may have just made up my mind for me. Cheers!

  9. bittersweet
    bittersweet ·

    My 135 BC red & white is my first lomo cam and i fell in love of it eversince! loved the side vignette edges! Awesome for street photography, which i will be doing soon!

  10. biergoggles
    biergoggles ·

    I got one of my buddies into shooting lomography but he doesn't have a camera (he shoots with mine when I have it with me, Holga 120N) and the Holga 135 BC is going to be the perfect birthday present for him.

  11. tallyho
    tallyho ·

    Great piece. I especially love shots 1, 7, and 8. The 135BC is my first love too:) It just feels best.

  12. helenapie
    helenapie ·

    I really want to get this camera! SOO cute :)

  13. belindjy
    belindjy ·

    :my Purple Holga 135 Bc is my bff :) we hang out and really have a great time together

More Interesting Articles

  • How to Load Film Into the Diana Baby 110

    written by chooolss on 2014-09-14 in #lifestyle
    How to Load Film Into the Diana Baby 110

    It may be tiny, but the Diana Baby is just as capable as its bigger sisters Diana F+ and Mini. Take time to watch this short clip to find out how you can load a 110 cartridge into your pocket-sized shooter!

  • March 2015 Workshops and Events at Lomography NYC

    written by mindofmyra on 2015-03-02 in #world #news #events
    March 2015 Workshops and Events at Lomography NYC

    It's time to come out of winter hibernation! The warm weather of spring is around the corner, and it's time to celebrate. From a bar crawl to a community group exhibition, we're doing it all. So grab your kilts and clovers and come join us for another round of fun!

  • Holga 120S - Mother Of All Holgas

    written by dopa on 2014-03-08 in #reviews
    Holga 120S - Mother Of All Holgas

    No bulb mode or hoc tripod socket, but a lot of picture errors and light leaks! It is the "Mother of all Holgas" and now available in the Lomography online store: The Holga 120S. Read on to find out how the Holga cult began!

  • Shop News

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Show Off your Pics with Style!

    Build vivid hanging LomoCurtains, robust free-standing LomoCastles, and dazzling mounted LomoMosaics! Just click them together with the Lomography Photoclips!

  • My First Lomo Affair: Jourdanlynch and the Holga 120N

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-11-20 in #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Jourdanlynch and the Holga 120N

    Jodo and his friend used to make fun of the Holga 120N's plastic body and doubted its capability to take even simple photographs. After shooting a roll with it, he instantly got impressed by the artistic portraits it produced. Have a glimpse of these photographs that led him to have a change of heart!

  • Snippets and Vignettes: Old-time optical toys resurrected as outrageous GIFs

    written by cheeo on 2014-05-20 in #lifestyle
    Snippets and Vignettes: Old-time optical toys resurrected as outrageous GIFs

    Have you ever seen those old optical toys they used in the 19th century to make out-of-this-world animated illustrations for kids and kids at heart? We haven't seen them in the flesh but it’s a good thing that Richard Balzer collects them and turns them into amazing GIFs for all the world to see.

    1
  • Into Wet Collodion Territory with Alex Timmermans

    written by cheeo on 2014-06-12 in #lifestyle
    Into Wet Collodion Territory with Alex Timmermans

    Photography has progressed into a myriad of processes and genres but there are still some people who passionately create imagery using the traditional tools that started it all. Photographer Alex Timmermans is one of those them. See his wet collodion photographs after the jump.

    2
  • Shop News

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Uncrate Long Lost Lomography Treasures - 30% Off in our Discount Section

    Fly over to our 30% Discount Section to discover previously unavailable Editions & Clones! Be quick and make one yours before they are all gone again!

  • What to Shoot with the New Russar+ Lens

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-04-12 in #lifestyle
    What to Shoot with the New Russar+ Lens

    As the mother of all modern wide-angle lenses, the New Russar+ Lens shoots sharp wide-angle photos bursting with character. The solid yet compact ultra-wide 20mm lens can be used to photograph practically anything, and is compatible with a variety of film and digital cameras. Certainly this is a lens that delivers, but like anything, you can reap its full potential by choosing ideal subjects and shooting from a creative perspective.

  • Elitechrome 400 EL: Absolutely Retro

    written by wil6ka on 2014-03-14 in #reviews
    Elitechrome 400 EL: Absolutely Retro

    The entire Kodak Elitechrome series belong to my favorite films. From the EB, to the EBX, ED, and EL; they all have great features once you know how to use them well. The EL with its 400 ISO hardly gets any attention, which is also because of the fact that it is more uncommon. But that is about to change with this. Here's some e-love.

    4
  • Lubitel 166+: Lubitel is for Lovers+

    written by adi_totp on 2014-09-05 in #reviews
    Lubitel 166+: Lubitel is for Lovers+

    Lubitel for lovers+. You're probably wondering, "Why is there a '+'?" It's to describe and expand a whole new definition of the Lubitel - in this case, this camera is not only for lovers literally, but also for anyone who loves to shoot portraits, street scenes, objects, and the skies. Do you love to take photos of your lover, your dear friend, your lovely family, your pet, or at the streets? This camera can be used in ALL situations. You can shoot everything that you love with it!

  • Shop News

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    Wear lomo-love on your skin

    You’ve shouted your analogue love from the rooftops and worn your heart on your sleeve – Now it’s time to take it to the next level and wear it on your skin! Our new Lomography Tattoos are fun, easy to apply and come in five designs.

  • Huge Vintage Camera Lot for Sale on eBay

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-03 in #world #news
    Huge Vintage Camera Lot for Sale on eBay

    Fancy building a camera museum or, well, simply have hundreds of cameras at your disposal? You might want to take a look at this newest camera lot to show up on eBay, which includes 600 cameras by various makers and carries a "Buy It Now" price tag of $34,900.00.

  • Creative Ways to Shoot the Lomography LomoChrome Purple Film

    written by Robn Kester on 2015-03-03 in #gear #tipster
    Creative Ways to Shoot the Lomography LomoChrome Purple Film

    The LomoChrome Purple is easily one of the coolest films to come out in a very long time. The amazing colors and vibe it gives each shot and its wide range of exposures make it a must-have and must-shoot film. Here are some cool ways to help you get the most out of your LCP.

    3
  • To Russia with Love (Part 3)

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-03-03 in #people #lifestyle #locations
    To Russia with Love (Part 3)

    In the third and final installment of his Russian love story, Herr Willie recalls some of the most memorable experiences from his trips to post-Soviet Russia, including traveling aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway and shooting with the La Sardina for Lomography on assignment, and waxes nostalgic about all the amazing people he had met.

    6