From time to time I enjoy just going out and walking around a city with one camera, my Holga 120 CFN. I like the soft focus, the vignettes and the ease of point and shoot. The Holga takes 120 film ( color or black and white) and depending on the size image you want you can set the camera from either 12 or 16 exposures. I prefer the square format which results in 12 exposures. There is also an ‘N’ or ‘B’ setting. The ‘N’ is for normal shooting at about 1/60 second. The ‘B’ is used when you need longer exposures and ‘better’ use a tripod.
All Holgas are not equal. I bought a pink one thinking I would just use it for color film but the light leaks were so bad that all my photos had red streaks across them. I taped up the outside of the camera and I put tape over the red counter window but nothing helped. I know that some people like the red light leaks but this was extreme. The camera sits on a shelf in a girl’s pink bedroom. Luckily it was only $30.
And that’s the other nice thing about the camera. It’s cheap. You can find them at your local camera shop. In Portland that’s either Blue Moon Camera on N Lombard or Pro Photo in NW. Or you can go to the Lomography website and choose from all sorts of cheap plastic cameras. Urban Outfitters, a teen’s clothing store also carries a few Lomo cameras. Pop in a roll of film and away you go. I choose to have my film developed and not printed only because I hate to spend the money on prints that might be crap. So I bring home the negatives and scan them on a flat-bed scanner, Epson V700. Then I can decide which ones to have printed by my local lab.
The ‘CFN’ means my camera has a color flash. I thought I’d use this feature more but I seldom do. So if you want to save more money just get the Holga 120N. That’s what I started with until someone didn’t know how to remove exposed film and broke the knob ( hi, hubby). I was in London at the time and lucky for me London has two Lomography stores so I headed to the one off Carnaby Street and picked up the 120 CFN……and a cool bag. I wish we had a Lomo store in Portland because the one in London offers some cool workshops. I visited the store three times and every time it was packed with people buying film cameras of all sorts. FILM IS NOT DEAD.
Some of the things I like that you can do with a Holga are the double exposures and the Holgaramas. I am still working on getting the overlap just right, but even when it doesn’t match up perfected it is still cool. I did recently buy the Holga panoramic camera but there is something I like about the overlapping.
My photos are not sharp. Some Holga photos I see are sharp and I wonder why mine aren’t? I finally decided it is my lens. I read that Holga is now making a glass lens, but does that defeat the purpose of this quirky camera? I may have top get my hands on one and see what I think. Until then, why not give this a try. Go spend about $30 on a plastic Holga camera, $4 on a roll of film and go out for a few hours and have some fun.