It’s been a little while since I have gone out to do some shooting with my Holga. Just the other day though, encouraged by an assignment for my photography class, I took the lightweight little camera out to the local tulip Festival to shoot a roll of color film.

My film of choice for this day was Kodak Portra 400, partly because I have had some great luck shooting it in the Holga in the past and partly because it just happened to be the film our teacher gave us for the assignment. I had about an hour to roam around the tulips and shoot the roll and during that time I rediscovered why I love shooting with this camera.

The main reason is the simplicity. It is probably one of the most basic medium format cameras out there. Once you choose between the cloudy or sunny option and between bulb or the fixed shutter speed (around 1/100th of a second), the only thing you have to worry about is your focus. This means you have a lot more time to think about your compositions and subject.


The other thing that I love about the Holga is how light it is. I saw many other people trekking around the tulip fields lugging huge tripods and massive cameras in addition to backpacks filled with extra gear that day.

I was not jealous. With the Holga only weighing a couple of ounces, you almost forget it is there at times. It is small enough that I was even able to fit it in my jacket pocket when I wasn’t using it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Holga 120n or medium format film in general, I have made a little video giving a brief overview of the camera and the film used in it.

Hope that video overview was a helpful introduction to the Holga 120N and provided some useful information to those interested in trying one out.

Though the unique and unpredictable nature of the Holga can make me not want to use it all the time, as a cheap, easily accessible tool, I think it is invaluable in terms of learning new skills and exercising your photography muscle.

~ Brendan Morrison



Your turn: submit an article

EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.

If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. 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.


  1. Looks like a perfect camera for beginners. I am personally not a fan of Holga but this one looks like something right of my alley. The photos look good, too.

Join the discussion