The Holga 120 Pinhole Camera is the newest addition to my every growing collection. I would like to share the attributes and fun you can have with this great camera.
I just got my hands on the Holga 120 Pinhole Camera and wanted to share my experience.
First of all, this camera has some of the standard features of the 120 Holga family. It comes with 2 frame masks for either 12 or 16 frames per roll and a strap. Inside the camera body are two pieces of foam to act as tensions to keep the film wound tight. A word of warning, the foam will probably come off and wind into the film at some point. It happened to me before and did on the very first roll here on the 3rd frame. I used a box tab, poked a hole on it and made it a washer on the left side film spool nub for the next roll and it worked just as well.
This camera is often used with a cable shutter release, shutter cord cable connector and tripod. I had the adapter and the shutter cable, but it turned out my little tripod was a little too weak to hold my Holga still in the wind. Ever the ambitious photographer, I improvised and used my natural environment and creative perspective to finish my film. The Holga 120 Wide base made for it being quite stable on the ground, a bollard, or a concrete rail.
The camera also lacks the standard Holga switch between the “Bulb” and “Normal” because it is always on Bulb mode. The shutter stays open as long as the shutter is depressed. This makes for movement “ghosts” as people move across your shoot. Cars are fun too. This camera also lacks a focus ring as the small aperture of the pinhole allows all distances.
Some pictures come out dreamy and some are so clear you would never guess you lacked a lens. I really love the unpredictability that occurs with pinholes and the challenge of trying to get that shot you really want. It offers me the ability to take long exposures and make those shots that would be so much trouble with a standard camera.
The camera comes with base exposure times for 100 ISO film printed on the back. I recommend following those guidelines for the first few rolls. It is also best to record each frames exposure time and conditions till you get a hang of them, You can learn from each shot to get the type of pictures you want with more consistency. With that said, the camera will still surprise you roll after roll no matter how much you try to control it.
I am addicted to pinhole cameras and I hope you give it a try.