The Holga 120N, known to be a regular participant in crappy camera challenges around the world and very underestimated, in my opinion. Serving its users with random distortions like image blur, vignetting, and light leaks. The result of an inexpensively built plastic body accompanied by a cheap meniscus lens with an aperture of 60mm.

Nothing to see here with only three aperture settings (f/8.0, f/11.0, f/13) and three shutter speeds (1/100, 1/125, bulb). Many say that I am wasting film using such a primitive camera. That it’s just a camera for kids or newbies to photography. I beg to differ. With the right film, a little patience, and a tripod this camera is just as capable as any other.

My favorite film to use with my Holga 120N is Ilford 100 professional. My tripod in hand I have everything I need to capture great images with my Holga. Arriving at my favorite location, San Xavier Mission, I set out to find the perfect photo-op. I usually set out for still objects that work well with natural light. It was a sunny day with a few clouds so this was not an issue.

I love the looks I get from people as I, scout out my shot, hover down, and in all seriousness take my shot. Yes, I take it just as serious as shooting with a top of the line medium format camera! Other photographers smile and grin at me. Others just simply observe and nod. Oh, if they only knew what I know.

I own several film cameras, a medium format and a few SLRs. I do enjoy shooting with them too but nothing is as fun as shooting with my Holga. As much as you try to control the outcome you never really know how your captures will turn out until you develop the film.

All in all, it’s definitely a noteworthy camera.

~ Jennifer

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About the author

Avatar - Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson

A photographer and visual artist from NJ that specializes in film photography. She has recently discovered her passion for black and white film photography. Jennifer has been shooting since she was a kid and has been doing so professionally for 18 years. Jennifer...

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  1. I have never shot a Holga, but these photographs make me want to try. Great work! San Xavier is a wonderful place to shoot. I’m about to try to post some Pentax 645 shots of Art Deco Tucson 🙂

  2. Wonderful images, better than I expected possible with a Holga. Always look at these plastic fantastics and wonder why no one can make something out of metal and as compact. Cosina made the fantastic GF670 and poof, they’re gone. Damnable shame.

  3. Thank you, Jennifer, for these so appealing pictures here.They all have a very distinct look to them which gives them an almost unique touch. In these pictures, you show a certain subject still with accuratess. But you also allowed that a sensible atmosphere is coming with your pictures. And for that, a camera like the Holga is certainly the best tool to achieve the goal here.
    Please share more with us in the future!
    Best regards

  4. Great photos! I totally agree and get it with these cameras and the limitations, when they come up trumps the images are really special. Thank you for a refreshing article!