Holga 135TIM - The Camera that Smiles Back


The Holga 135TIM – it’s that smiley face camera that has been popping up around and about the internet. Purportedly, the TIM stands for Twin Image Maker, and it sometimes comes with a matching, grinning Holga 12MFC flash. What lies behind grinning façade? Function, function, function.

Image by Joz3.69 from Flickr Commons

The camera’s grin is really how one sets the aperture, with the settings rotation on a wheel. The slight misalignment of the aperture settings – f/8, f/11, and f/22 – often creates some artificial vignette, which can be very nice. Each “eye” is a lens, and both shutters fire at the same time, so it takes a specific technique to make the camera shoot half frames. It goes something like this: open one eye, shoot, use the MX (Multiple Exposure) sliders, close eye, open another eye, shoot, advance. While this may sound confusing and difficult, a little care and some practice make this procedure easy. Otherwise, you can have both eyes wide open for stereo camera action without the cost of using that 120 film we love so much.

Other than the slight difficulty of making the TIM give you half frames, the only other drawback of the TIM is its size, due to the fact that its body is identical to that of the Holga 135 and 135BC cameras, but at the same time you get the full range of color options afforded to you by the Holga 135BC. If you love either half frames or stereo images and don’t mind a camera with a little size to it, this may just be the camera for you!

This camera is equal parts adorable and creepy, but it works like a dream. I took it out for a test drive with me around my neighborhood and to a bowling alley with some friends, and it resulted in pictures that were equal parts fun and every bit in the visual style one would expect from a Holga camera – dreamy, not too sharp or blurry, and exploding with personality and a sense of mood.

Even with the protocol required for half frames, the focus free lens allowed for fast shooting for capturing special moments (or your friends by surprise). In my humble opinion, if you’re looking for a half frame camera or a stereo camera and don’t have the money for using 120 all the time (or you already have a Holga 120 3D camera), you should at least give great consideration to the happiest camera you’ll ever meet.

This article was written by Community member nation_of_pomation.

written by nation_of_pomation on 2010-08-14 #gear #review #toy-camera #plastic-camera #half-frame #color-flash #holga #stereo-camera #3d #holga-135tim #user-review


  1. quaisoir
    quaisoir ·

    Thanks 4 the review.i've always wondered what this cute camera can do.just don't know anyone who owns one.fun shots there!

  2. megustastu
    megustastu ·

    nice review!

  3. mochilis
    mochilis ·

    Wow, what a cute camera! I love the review and the pics, especially number 16.

  4. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    Thank you! It's really great, I am eagerly awaiting getting my own. I'm tired of borrowing my friend's.

  5. mdurham86
    mdurham86 ·

    So, when it comes down to the HOLGA 135TIM versus the Golden Half, which would you recommend? They have a similar price point, though it looks like the HOLGA offers more flexibility. But I still haven't quite made up my mind about which one I want to get!

  6. woosang
    woosang ·

    great review, I have a yellow one with a red flash. :-) A great camera. I had it to little kids and after a minute of learning how to use it, kids give the greatest shots.

  7. angelynne
    angelynne ·

    hi! can someone teach me how to use this camera for the 2 images in 1 frame? i think i done it wrong, thanks! :)

  8. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    Advance the film, make sure only one lens is uncovered, press the shutter button, close the open lens and open the closed lens, slide the MX switch, press the shutter button again, and advance.

  9. psychicd
    psychicd ·

    i also got this camera..i really love it..love the picture taken using it..great reviews..

  10. crs1990
    crs1990 ·

    It's more of a psychotic than a genuinely happy smile, especially in the bright "danger" yellow/black scheme

  11. perelandranus
    perelandranus ·

    where can i buy it? i want!!!

  12. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    Check Freestyle Photo, Four Corner Store, or eBay.

  13. perelandranus
    perelandranus ·


  14. george97
    george97 ·

    Hi Great review, just wondering does this flash work with the lomo Fisheye 2 please help anyone! :D

  15. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    Since the Fisheye No. 2 has a standard hot shoe where the viewfinder sits, any hot shoe flash (including this one) would work.

  16. george97
    george97 ·

    Ok thank you very much :D

  17. triciafukaien
    triciafukaien ·

    Hey there!!!!! what film did you use for this?:)

More Interesting Articles