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Holga 135TIM - The Camera that Smiles Back

The Holga 135TIM - it's that smiley face camera that has been popping up around and about the internet. Purportedly, the TIM stands for Twin Image Maker, and it sometimes comes with a matching, grinning Holga 12MFC flash. What lies behind grinning façade? Function, function, function.

The camera’s grin is really how one sets the aperture, with the settings rotation on a wheel. The slight misalignment of the aperture settings – f/8, f/11, and f/22 – often creates some artificial vignette, which can be very nice. Each “eye” is a lens, and both shutters fire at the same time, so it takes a specific technique to make the camera shoot half frames. It goes something like this: open one eye, shoot, use the MX (Multiple Exposure) slider, close eye, open other eye, shoot, advance. While this may sound confusing and difficult, a little care and some practice makes this procedure easy. Otherwise, you can have both eyes wide open for stereo camera action without the cost of using that 120 film we love so much.

Other than the slight difficulty of making the TIM give you half frames, the only other drawback of the TIM is its size, due to the fact that its body is identical to that of the Holga 135 and 135BC cameras, but at the same time you get the full range of color options afforded to you by the Holga 135BC. If you love either half frames or stereo images and don’t mind a camera with a little size to it, this may just be the camera for you!

This camera is equal parts adorable and creepy, but it works like a dream. I took it out for a test drive with me around my neighborhood and to a bowling alley with some friends, and it resulted in pictures that were equal parts fun and every bit in the visual style one would expect from a Holga camera – dreamy, not too sharp or blurry, and exploding with personality and a sense of mood.

Even with the protocol required for half frames, the focus free lens allowed for fast shooting for capturing special moments (or you friends by surprise). In my humble opinion, if you’re looking for a half frame camera or a stereo camera and don’t have the money for using 120 all the time (or you already have a Holga 120 3D camera), you should at least give great consideration to the happiest camera you’ll ever meet.

written by nation_of_pomation


  1. quaisoir


    Thanks 4 the review.i've always wondered what this cute camera can do.just don't know anyone who owns one.fun shots there!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. megustastu


    nice review!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. mochilis


    Wow, what a cute camera! I love the review and the pics, especially number 16.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. nation_of_pomation


    Thank you! It's really great, I am eagerly awaiting getting my own. I'm tired of borrowing my friend's.

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. mdurham86

    So, when it comes down to the HOLGA 135TIM versus the Golden Half, which would you recommend? They have a similar price point, though it looks like the HOLGA offers more flexibility. But I still haven't quite made up my mind about which one I want to get!
    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. woosang


    great review, I have a yellow one with a red flash. :-) A great camera. I had it to little kids and after a minute of learning how to use it, kids give the greatest shots.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. angelynne

    hi! can someone teach me how to use this camera for the 2 images in 1 frame? i think i done it wrong, thanks! :)
    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  8. nation_of_pomation


    Advance the film, make sure only one lens is uncovered, press the shutter button, close the open lens and open the closed lens, slide the MX switch, press the shutter button again, and advance.

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  9. psychicd


    i also got this camera..i really love it..love the picture taken using it..great reviews..

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  10. crs1990


    It's more of a psychotic than a genuinely happy smile, especially in the bright "danger" yellow/black scheme

    over 3 years ago · report as spam
  11. perelandranus

    where can i buy it? i want!!!
    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  12. nation_of_pomation


    Check Freestyle Photo, Four Corner Store, or eBay.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  13. perelandranus

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  14. george97


    Hi Great review, just wondering does this flash work with the lomo Fisheye 2 please help anyone! :D

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  15. nation_of_pomation


    Since the Fisheye No. 2 has a standard hot shoe where the viewfinder sits, any hot shoe flash (including this one) would work.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  16. george97


    Ok thank you very much :D

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 中文(繁體版).