Things I Learned from Using Holga CFN for the First Time


As the old adage says, you learn from your mistakes. Here are a few things I learned from using my Holga CFN for the first time.

I’ve been itching to try lomo photography for ages, but it was only a month ago when I finally decided to purchase a Holga CFN. I’m pretty much pleased with the first roll of Fuji Velvia shot in my Holga, but I know they’ve could been better.

Here are a few things I learned from using my Holga CFN (named Holgaga) for the first time:

• Getting too excited could be disastrous! Don’t forget to remove the lens cap. Apparently, this is a common mistake that many novice Lomographers (like me) commit. I wasted a couple of shots when I failed to take the lens cap off before snapping.

• Read the film specifications. Different films produce different results. I was clueless that specific films require specific lights. Fuji Velvia, for instance, gives impressive results in outdoor, daylight occasions.

• Holga is a toy camera that needs a lot of light. Shooting in low light conditions (without a flash and a superspeed film) is a bad idea. Now I know!

• Secure the back of the camera with an electrical tape. It has a a tendency to get dislocated and fall off. My first roll of black and white film got overexposed due to light leaks.

• Don’t ignore the N and B setting, that’s the little switch at the bottom of Holga. Some of the my indoor shots were crappy because I didn’t switch the aperture to Bulb setting which is necessary for long exposures.

• Use a pair of reliable, brand new batteries especially if you plan to take photos at night. This is very important! I found myself getting really frustrated because the old batteries I put in the compartments died only after taking a couple of shots. Argh!

• Check the foam padding and battery compartments too. Make sure they’re not loose and are correctly aligned. To ensure their stability, tape them. I failed to do this, so my batteries ended up getting displaced, and the foam got stuck in the film.

That’s basically it! As the old adage says, you learn from your mistakes. I can’t wait to get out, take some more snaps, and play with my Holga, hopefully without committing the mentioned errors again!

written by antibiotyx on 2010-05-05 #gear #review #tips #holga-cfn #holga #novice


  1. sthomas68
    sthomas68 ·

    I second all your points...since I took the mask out of mine I had to tape the batteries down and I did lose a piece of foam as well. 12 shots is not a lot to mess around with! Definitely won't be shooting with less than 400 speed.

  2. antibiotyx
    antibiotyx ·

    good to know i'm not the only one. haha! i felt so stupid the first time i used my holga. i didn't even know the parts of it and how they function. reading and practicing help a lot, indeed.

  3. tveden
    tveden ·

    Fantastic, I wish you many good years with this cheap piece of plastic. She's wonderful, I have used lots of money of different lomo cams, but the Holga is my darling. Nice to see some Holga love these days, where the Diana is stealing the picture ; )

  4. juznobsrvr
    juznobsrvr ·

    always wondered what N and B mean... btw i like #2. 3 and my fave is 13... cheers

  5. middernachtlopper
    middernachtlopper ·

    I had similar light problems with my first film in Fisheye Nº2 : /

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