Back in the day, when things were simple, we had one Holga camera: The Holga 120S. But since then, the range of Holga cameras have increased dramatically, ranging from bizarre Hello Kitty branded point and shoot cameras to even bizarrer stereo 3d cameras.
As Holga are releasing more and more products, especially since their rebrand/relaunch as Holga Inspire, we thought it would be time to take a look through the Holga catalogue, examining exactly what holga products you can buy these days.
Before we head on with the guide, here’s a quick rundown of the holga cameras and what the letters mean, as far as we know! Basically, you should be pretty much able to put any of these letters together and buy that specific camera (i.e, want a glass lense 120 holga with standard,no-color flash, then what you need,sir, is a Holga 120GFN).
|S||Standard, as in the original Holga 120S|
|N||New/Normal, means the new standard, the 120S was replaced with the 120N|
|G||Glass, A glass version of the standard plastic Holga lens|
|F||Flash, this means the holga has a flash built in|
|W||Wide, for a wide panaoramic holga|
|CF||Color Flash, these letters will always be together, the color flash enables you to change the color on the flash that is built into the holga.|
|PC||Pinhole Camera, Anytime you see PC, it means the holga doesn’t have a lense, but a pinhole instead, along with a permanent ‘B’ bulb mode.|
|BC||Bent/Black Corners, The standard 135 camera lacks a lot of vignetting, so holga introduced the BC version to ‘bend the corners’ of your photo giving that much loved holga effect.|
|3D||Three Dimensional. Basically, a holga with 2 lenses.|
|TLR||Twin Lens Reflex, a holga with one lens for framing and one for taking the photo.|
|TIM||We have no idea, probably just a cute name?|
|120||Takes 120 Film|
|135||Takes 35mm Film|
|110||Takes 110 Film|
Now we have the camera builder out the way, let’s take a closer look at the cameras you can buy:
The 120 Series
The replacement for the original Holga 120S, the 120N is still the ‘standard’ Holga camera. Stripped to it’s bare minimum, without any bells and whistles, the 120N has no flash, and a plastic lens. Still the original, and best of the ‘new’ Holgas.
This Holga, is the standard Holga 120N, but with an internal flash. As outlined above, the flash isn’t too great, but it’s better than nothing!
The 120GN is the standard non-flash 120 Holga with a glass lense. I’m a bit unsure of the ‘G’ series of Holgas, primariliy due to the fact that surely the plastic lense,and it’s associated ‘quirks’ is one of the main draws to a holga.
The 120CFN has a ‘color flash’ built in. This is the same as the flash built into the 120FN, apart from a small wheel on top of the camera that allows you to rotate different colored filters over the flash-these are red,blue,or yellow. The 120CFN is a fun camera, but the colored flash is a gimmick most of the time, and you still get the associated problems of the built in flash(no hotshoe, dodgy wiring, can’t change batteries half way through a film etc).
That’s got to be the most letters you can get in a Holga name. Using the guide above, you can see this puts everything but the kitchen sink into the 120N holga: The glass lens and the color flash.
The Holga 120PC is the Pinhole version of the Holga 120N. Instead of a lense on the camera, you get a pinhole, along with a permanent bulb mode (no ‘N’ switch here).
The Holga 120WPC, again is a pinhole camera, but this time has a wide lense. The negative this camera produces is an astounding 6×12 (opposed to the normal 6×6 of a holga 120N)! This camera has a cable-release thread for attaching a shutter release cable (sometimes included, other times not). The cable release screw also acts as a shutter release button when pressed, allowing you to take shorter exposures. Also contains a useful exposure guide on the back, and a few small nobbles on top of the camera to line your shot up, plus a spirit level to make sure it’s level.
The 3D is a relatively new kid on the block, it’s the same body as the 120PC-3D (below), but with holga lenses instead of pinholes. The stereo camera also has color flashes built in, and a cable release thread instead of a shutter switch.
Load up your stereo camera with slide film, take some snaps, develop, mount onto the slide mounts and view in the 3d viewer:
I personally haven’t had any experience with this, but if anyone has used it, feel free to comment below explaining if it really works!
The 120PC-3D is the same stereo camera as above, but instead of lenses, you get pinholes. You do get a funny little crosshair on top of the camera for framing purposes.
The Holga TLR and GTLR cameras were released May 2009 in Asia as a test release first, with the rest of the world receiving them in August 2009. The camera lens and functions themselves are the same as the 120 CFN and 120 GCFN, with the colour-wheel flash and plastic/glass lens. The real difference is the viewfinder. Instead of a standard viewfinder (which is useless on the standard holga), the TLR features a second lens in which to frame your shots. This fixes the parallex issues for horizontal alignment, but still doesn’t fix the vertical. It’s in interesting camera, but the second lens is just for framing rather than focussing like many other TLRs.
The 135 Series
The Holga 135 is the standard 35mm holga. It has some good features, and some not-so-great features. The good points are that it has a non-coupled advance so you can double-expose your life away, it has the same features as the 120N: a hotshoe, broken aperture, bulb setting, tripod mount etc and it takes 35mm film (obviously!), that can be processed by many more shops than 120. The downsides? The camera lacks any of the ‘quirks’ that make the holga special: it doesn’t vignette, it doesn’t have the ‘dreamy’ blur, and you don’t get sprocket holes showing like you would using 35mm in a 120 Holga (good/bad, who knows?). A good thing though is at least you can reqind your film without a darkbag. It even has a film counter!
The BC Version of the 135 is an ‘improved’ (if that’s the correct term, it probably actually makes the photos worse, but ‘better’ in a holga-way!) version of the 135. It contains an internal mask to help give the photographs a more ‘holga-y’ look-this includes more vignetting, and the blurring around the edges.
The 135PC is the Pinhole version of the 135, so instead of a lense, you get that good ‘ol pinhole!
Holga 135BC TLR
The Holga 135BC TLR has the exact same innards as the 135BC, but instead of a standard viewfinder, you get a waist level finder and an extra viewing lens, just like the other Holga TLRs.
This bizarre looking camera sports twin lenses that you can open or keep closed in whatever combination you want. If you leave just one open you get a half frame Holga! More info here.
Other Holga Cameras
Holga K200N fisheye
The K200N is a 35mm fisheye camera. It contains a colorflash, plus the lense is detachable!! The bosy of the camera looks like any other 35mm cheap camera, but the lense transforms it into something a bit more interesting!
Holga Baby 110 /Holga Micro 110
The Holga 110 Camera has a few different names, but the main ones are the 110 baby or the Micro 110. As the name suggests, the camera takes 110 film, and is TINY! Not much else to say really, it’s small, it takes 110 film, it’s like pretty much any other 110 micro camera.
Mew Mew Holga
The Mew Mew Holga is another fantastic creation by superheadz , it’s a camera, in a tin! It get’s better though, when you open the tin, and use the camera, it makes cat noises every time you take a photo! These don’t appear to be sold in many places, but if you must, you can get one off ebay. Nic Nichols over at FCD has a review!
And that concludes our little adventure through the holga catalogue. It doesn’t really end there though, there’s loads of different color Holgas, but we aren’t going to go there right now…
ARGHHHHH MY EYES. THEY IS BLIND.