The Holga was my very first Lomography camera. After you get throught he learning curve, you’ll get awesome images shot after shot!
The Holga is a Lomographic classic and arguably, one of the best toy cameras out there which defies its inherent simplicity. Its as minimalist as you can get – a black, plastic body with a fixed aperture lens (the sunny and cloudy settings don’t exactly help) 2 shutter settings and zone focusing. You’ll also have the choice to shoot in 6×6 or x4.5, I suggest the former since the square format is what the Holga’s made for and where it shines!
When I first used the Holga, my first camera, nobody taught me how to use it and I had no background whatsoever in photography. I shot away rolls of film indoors and during overcast days. All I got from the lab were blank pictures. It was depressing at first but I read and researched to find out what I was doing wrong. The Holga’s aperture opening is f/13 so it really, really needs lots and lots of light for you to get something out of it. Since then, I only use the Holga outdoors during sunny days, indoors with a flash or at night with a tripod and using bulb for around 20-30 seconds. This site, The Ultimate Exposure Computer helped me for exposure times not just for the Holga, but all of my analog settings as well. It’s a must read! The focusing from my experience is at a minimum distance of 3 feet, then 9, 18, then infinity. The focusing isn’t too much of a problem since with its big aperture, the depth of field is vast, just as long as you don’t focus on anything closer than 3 feet.
The Holga is a beast that’s hard to tame. Take some time to master it, to understand it. After you do, you’ll be surprised at how unbelievably good your photos will turn out!