Holga 120CFN - A Plastic Princess


Holga is a medium format camera produced in China with the goal of being a cheap camera and accessible to much of the population and that used the most popular film in China, the 120 film.

The Holga camera, designed by T.M. Lee was originally produced in 1982 in China and it’s success was the result of the popularization of the toy-cameras and photography lo-fi in the West, which sold more than half a million units in 20 years in over 30 countries.

Holga has the lo-fi aesthetic, using lenses and plastic body and that’s one of the bigger reasons for it’s success.
Plastic lenses cause distortions in pictures, creating a “dream look”, which has been much sought after by photographers to art lovers and photography enthusiasts in general. This effect is caused by poor quality of lenses and being in one piece, unlike most of the cameras.

Vignetting also plays an important role in Holga photography. It occurs when the camera expose on a 6×6cm frame leaving the edges of the frame darker than its center.

Nowadays we have a large amount of “Holga versions”…from the 135mm Holga…to the Pinhole Holga…with or without hot shoe flash or gel filters…

Another important Holga feature is the capability to get modified…
Everyday a new mod is published in the web…and here you have some examples:
- The lens and shutter mechanism can be replaced by mechanisms of pinhole.
- Some models have accessories (masks) that modify the size of the frames (4.5×6cm and 6×6 cm)
- DIY accessories that enable the use of 35mm film cameras in 120.
- The plastic lens of the Holga can be adapted for use in SLR cameras Canon EOS, Nikon f-mount, Pentax, Sony, Olympus and Minolta.
- Fit Holga with a Polaroid back aka Holgaroid

You can get a bunch of accessories for your Holga too…like filters, colored flashes, fisheye lenses, etc…
Each one of these mods or accessories gives you a brand new world of photography to explore…
And if you combine them…well…everyday you can take a new, different and original shot…

When it comes to Holga…imagination and enthusiasm are your only limitations…
Some books about Holga are available too and with them you can have a good example of what it’s Holga capable of…

Get one and you will understand every line of this review…
Holga is more than a camera…it’s a passion…

written by nelson-oliveira on 2009-11-16 #gear #plastic #120 #review #blur #toy #light-leaks #vignetting #holga #distortions


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    She's the best ! Great review !

  2. annegreat
    annegreat ·

    Your last sentence is so true!

  3. falsedigital
    falsedigital ·

    Glad to see some more holga love. I'm not a fan of the diana so it's good to see people haven't forgotten holga :3

  4. iaki
    iaki ·

    my favorite
    i love her

  5. mrs-paul
    mrs-paul ·

    Love my Holga very much!
    Fab review, love shot No:5... beautiful colours...

  6. maryalexandra
    maryalexandra ·

    My Holga rarely disappoints! Nice review!
    I just can't tear myself away from the square photos. :) That's why I have no desire to use any other analogue camera.

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