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!