Holga Cameras

The final installment in our Lomography introduction - The Holga Camera!


The history of the Holga is pretty reminiscent of that of the Diana. Produced in Hong Kong from 1982 onwards, the concept was to produce a simple, minimal and inexpensive medium format camera containing the most basic photo mechanisms - providing a cheap and accessible alternative to the otherwise expensive world of medium format photography. This camera was named after the term “ho gwong”, meaning “very bright” which, after throwing a European spin on it became “Holga. Since, the camera has gathered increasing popularity with its unpredictable features that, in a ‘normal’ camera, would be considered fatal defects and up to this day the Holgas low-tech appeal grows stronger and stronger.
The modern day Holga does not differ much from the original, its basic nature has made it notoriously difficult to work with, which is apparently all part of the "Holga experience” and is 100% worth it once you get the end results!

Theres loads of different Holga models – but here's an introduction to  the three that we stock :-

 The features of this camera are;
  • Takes 120 (medium format) film.
  • Has a plastic 60/8 optical lens – responsible for creating the radiant colours and softness synonymous with the Holga. When used in bright sun, vignetting (darkening) around the photo edges can also be expected from this lens.
  • One of the few adjustments Lomography introduced into the modern Holga camera was its built-in colour-splash flash. A little wheel sits around the electronic flash and allows you to spin it and choose a red, yellow or blue filter to tint your photographs. It also has a clear setting too!
  • The Holga has an uncoupled advance and shutter, meaning that you don’t have to advance after each shot – you can shoot limitless times on the same frame creating fun multiple exposures, or advance partially to create over-lapping images!
  • Same as the Diana cameras and the Fisheye no. 2, the Holga has two shutter speed settings;
        • “N” - “Normal” which is a speed of roughly 1/125th of a second. This setting is best for shooting in natural daylight (or if there is a flash attached to the camera) as it allows light into the photograph with out it being shaky. 
        • “B” -“Bulb”. This setting basically allows you to have the shutter open for as long as your finger is on the shutter release – it’s not timed! To create wonderful long exposures. 
  •  The aperture and zone focus settings on this camera have been made very simple with diagram dials to determine whether conditions are “sunny” or “cloudy” and how far away the subject is – is it a close-up portrait? Is it a group of people? Or is it mountains? Basically! 

Unfortunately we are currently out of stock in this model, but it's one that we get in frequently. The Holga 35mm is basically a slightly miniaturised version of the medium format original. It shares many features with the original model, such as zone focus, uncoupled advance and shutter (allowing you to do multiple/overlapping exposures) as well as having a “B” setting for long exposures. However, it does differ to the original Holga in the following ways;
  • Takes 35mm film as opposed to 120. The benefits of this are that the films easier to come by and much better value for money.
  • It doesn’t have the built in colour-splash flash. In fact, it doesn’t have ANY built in flash – only a hotshoe connection to allow an external one to be fitted.

Identical to the Holga 35mm in looks, the Holga 35mm Black Corner is basically the same camera with and additional rear mask to create the “Black Corner” effect – which is dark, shadowy vignetting around the outsides of the photograph, adding depth and mystery to your shots!

That's all the Holga cameras we stock here at Fat Buddha - but remember to check out our full range of lomography as well as our lovely photography selection which includes books, magazines, accessories and more! 



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