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DIY Square Format on Holga 135 BC

We all love the beauty of the square format in 120mm film cameras, and as of late, the wonderful Diana Mini was given the feature to produce a square format. So I thought I should give this a try myself. And here it is.

For this, we are basically creating a sort of ‘mask’. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Your camera
  • A ruler
  • Paper [the tougher the better and preferably black]
  • Scissors
  • Transparent adhesive tape
  • A sharpie

Easy to follow instructions:

Step 1: Open the back of your camera. Using the ruler, measure the height and width of the frame inside the camera. [My Holga 135 BC measured 1.5 inches in width and 1 inch in height]

Step 2: To turn that rectangular frame into a square you need to insert two pieces of paper that should be 1/4 inch in width and 1 inch in height. [Doing the math 1/4 × 2 = 1/2 and 1.5 – 0.5 = 1 inch. And there you’ll have the 1 x 1 square frame.] So what you do is you make 2 marks of a 1/4 inch in the paper you want to use and you cut them.

Step 3: Here we bring in our trusty Mr. Scotch transparent tape. [If like me you didn’t have black paper, you can always just paint it with a black sharpie.] Then all that’s left is taping the two pieces of paper inside the frame in your camera.

So there you have it. You can now enjoy the beauty of the 120mm square format in any of your 35mm cameras.

P.s. When you get your scans back from the lab, you’ll have the picture in the center and one black strip on each side [the papers you put in], but you can either leave it like that, or crop it with any software like I did _.

written by reneg88


  1. eddie_2k9


    Nice tipster =)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. wuxiong


    Gagagaa, good tipster. Actually I was thinking the same thing. and you are two steps ahead of me. Congrats:}}

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. cinzinc


    nice! and i like the gallery too =)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. chaoticsense


    Oh, I might try this out! Nice tip! :)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. camerabrain


    like wow

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. mojo_lomo



    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. sunnysideupphotography


    COOL! i'm totally gonna try this! could you show us a picture of what it looks like on the inside of the camera after you've put in the two side masks? More specifically, I ask because I'm not sure how to tape it to prevent it from snagging on the film/sprockets.
    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. reneg88


    @sunnysideupphotography thanks! i think the 3rd photo in the gallery of Step 3 shows the inside of the camera, like you're asking. Hope you can make it work! =)

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. iamtheju


    Been thinking about doing this for a while, so thanks for the tipster, it's very nicely explained.
    I haven't tried it yet but might I suggest making the full [35mm sized] rectangle and removing the 1x1 square, to make a more stable, and removable/reusable frame.
    I might even look for some black plastic to cut out.

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. iamtheju


    p.s I love how beaten up your holga looks. Mine is too shiny and new looking. lol

    almost 2 years ago · report as spam
  11. biblicalshower


    Found this tipster through a google search. Been trying to pick between getting a Holga 135BC or a Diana Mini, and I like the square format of the mini but I prefer the lens of the Holga that's a bit sharper. Was wondering if doing something like this would work so I see it does. It's also really nice that even with the crop to make it square, you still get a bit of black cornering :)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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