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.
Want to submit your own 5 Frames...?
Go right ahead, submissions are open! Get your 5 frames featured on by submitting your 350+ word article by either using this Google form or by sending an email via the contact link at the top of the page.
This series is produced in conjunction with Hamish Gill's excellent 35mmc.com. Head on over to read the other half of these stories there.
Share your knowledge, story or project
At the heart of EMULSIVE is the concept of helping promote the transfer of knowledge across the film photography community. You can support this goal by contributing your thoughts, work, experiences and ideas to inspire the hundreds of thousands of people who read these pages each month. Check out the submission guide here.
If you like what you're reading you can also help this personal passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page and giving as little as a dollar a month. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.