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Holga 120 Pan: The Lightweight Panoramic Miracle

325g. Who knew so much pleasure could be so light? Read on to find out what I'm talking about!

Image from Holga Direct

The Holga 120 Pan is a medium format panoramic camera producing beautiful 6×12 cm images. Its characteristics make it a dream come true. This beauty beats all the concurrent medium format panoramic cameras with, its price (less than $100), its weight (325g, including film, neck strap, and lens cover) and its durability (plastic is fantastic).

One could argue that its 90mm ‘OPTICAL LENS’ is a piece of crap. I would argue that the fancier competitors (e.g. Linhof, Horseman etc…) produce cold, sad, perfect panoramic shots you wouldn’t even consider hanging in your toilet. Or maybe I’m just frustrated I can’t afford one of these monsters… Anyhow, the usual soft focus and vignette produced by the dirt-cheap lens give the warmth and dreaminess we all love in lomographs. There are two aperture settings in this Holga, so no need to modify it.

I’m passionate about this plastic miracle, and sometimes I even think I finally met my favorite camera.

You can find a few useful tips about 6X12 lomography in this review. Here’s an extra tip, which can be applied to any medium format camera you want to load with 35mm film. It’s simple as hell, requires only some foam, an empty 120 spool and a reloadable 35mm canister.

1. First, cut a tip of the 120 spool, bearing in mind it has to fit inside a 35mm spool.
2. Insert this tip in the top of the 35mm reloadable spool.
3. Tape your film to the 35mm spool.
4. Close the 35mm canister.
5. Using 3 pieces of foam, load your film. When winding, you will spool the film in the reloadable canister.
6. Since your film is not protected, cover the back window, and, place a frame counter. Again, you can find one in this review.

7. After shooting, when your roll is finished, invert the spools in your camera, place the 120 spool tip in your roll of film, close your camera and wind your film back in its original spool. In doing so, you can shoot as many 35mm rolls in a 120 camera without needing a changing bag.

I cross-processed that Fuji Sensia 100 in Fuji CN16Q chemicals.

Last thing, it works very well in cold weather. But that’s another story.

written by stouf


  1. sushi_9009


    ♥ :))

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. vicuna


    Great review @stouf! ;)))

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  3. neanderthalis


    Good review and creative use of 135 film

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  4. superlighter


    light plastic wide fantastic! great review and fab gallery mr. stouf! :)

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  5. stouf


    @sushi_9009 @vicuna @neanderthalis @superlighter Thanks dear friends ! I think LSI should make a Diana equivalent. Its multiple aperture settings would be very welcome : ) Cheers

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. bravopires


    ah brilliant as always!!!!!!

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  7. lighthouseblues


    Great review and great picts, thanks @stouf !

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  8. adi_totp


    @stouf is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Wohoooooooooo!!! great review bro! :D :D

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  9. disdis


    well done @stouf!

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  10. kuryzu



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  11. simonh82


    Great review and ace pictures. I've not come across this camera before, but it looks like it takes nice photos. I would like a Horseman 617 though.

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  12. stouf


    @bravopires @lighthouseblues @adi_totp @disdis @kuryzu @simonh82 Thank you so much ! You're opinion is highly appreciated : )

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  13. adash


    Great review and awesome photos!

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Nederlands, Deutsch, 中文(繁體版) & Italiano.