Medium Format Camera


Holga

Categories: Reviews: Equipment : Cameras : Other Film Cameras : Medium Format

Old Remington Giv...
View photos created with this camera

Back to Photo School?
Learn how to use this camera in a BetterPhoto online photography course.


32 Reviews  

Average Rating: 3.5 out of 5

3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
 
John Caruso
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/27/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/25/2008 9:05:52 AM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/25/2008 9:05:52 AM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/25/2008 9:05:52 AM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/25/2008 9:05:52 AM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/25/2008 9:05:52 AM
Rating: 5 out of 5
I gave the Holga a five star rating, but I wanted to stress that this camera is not for everyone. If you know what you're getting into when you get one, you'll love it. If you don't...and you're basing your choice simply on my five star recommendation, you'll be a bit surprised, perhaps even agitated.

Holgas are toy cameras: cheaply made with plastic lenses, minimal (some would say non-existent) exposure control, and rudimentary focusing. They take 120 film (medium format) which is more difficult to buy and get processed. They are notorious for heavy vignetting, light leaks, and soft images. However, all of these points are precisely what Holga fans LOVE about these cameras.

The use of toy cameras gives photographers one more option in their photo bag. They give us a chance to expand our skill, push our creativity, and re-evaluate our notions of the art of photography. Using a Holga--or any other toy camera--is a new experience for many photographers accustomed to the latest in technological advances. Using a toy camera is a very organic, almost visceral experience. And I feel these qualities are alive and well in each exposed frame.

Like life itself, you're never really sure what you will get when you release the shutter. It's photography on faith. It's photography by feel. It's decidedly low-fi and analogue. And it's exhilarating.

11/25/2008 9:05:52 AM
 
John Pitocco 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/7/2008 7:31:13 PM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/7/2008 7:31:13 PM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/7/2008 7:31:13 PM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/7/2008 7:31:13 PM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/7/2008 7:31:13 PM
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Puts the fun back into photography. You never know what you're going to get back!
2/7/2008 7:31:13 PM
 
Crys Rickard
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/11/2006
3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 5/11/2006 1:40:02 AM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 5/11/2006 1:40:02 AM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 5/11/2006 1:40:02 AM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 5/11/2006 1:40:02 AM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 5/11/2006 1:40:02 AM
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Not always going to get a spot on wonderful exposure and print, but have had success shooting some hauntingly vivid images on it.
5/11/2006 1:40:02 AM
 
Jonathan Kosik 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/23/2006 10:44:49 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/23/2006 10:44:49 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/23/2006 10:44:49 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/23/2006 10:44:49 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/23/2006 10:44:49 PM
Rating: 3 out of 5
Love this toy camera. I got a good one, the images are great. Very fun to shoot with and offer a different look. I tape every seam light might leak in and have not had a problem yet.
4/23/2006 10:44:49 PM
 
2 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/20/2006 11:30:42 AM 2 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/20/2006 11:30:42 AM 2 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/20/2006 11:30:42 AM 2 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/20/2006 11:30:42 AM 2 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/20/2006 11:30:42 AM
Rating: 2 out of 5
not a lot of control, but beautiful effects and so fun to use! charming camera with a hint of unexpected pleasures. easy to use.
4/20/2006 11:30:42 AM
 
Nora Madeleine 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/5/2006 11:43:17 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/5/2006 11:43:17 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/5/2006 11:43:17 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/5/2006 11:43:17 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/5/2006 11:43:17 PM
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Takes interesting older looking pictures because it is plastic and light leaks in easily.
4/5/2006 11:43:17 PM
 
Walter G. Rowand Jr.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/5/2005
Contact Walter
Walter's Gallery
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/12/2006 4:00:50 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/12/2006 4:00:50 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/12/2006 4:00:50 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/12/2006 4:00:50 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/12/2006 4:00:50 PM
Rating: 4 out of 5
A real fun camera. Every roll comes back with a new suprize.
3/12/2006 4:00:50 PM
 
Raymond K. Yeung
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/8/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/13/2006 5:14:15 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/13/2006 5:14:15 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/13/2006 5:14:15 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/13/2006 5:14:15 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/13/2006 5:14:15 PM
Rating: 5 out of 5
weird, random, fun, and you never know what abstract/cool stuff you might get
2/13/2006 5:14:15 PM
 
Erin  M. Richardson 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/6/2006 7:58:23 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/6/2006 7:58:23 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/6/2006 7:58:23 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/6/2006 7:58:23 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/6/2006 7:58:23 AM
Rating: 4 out of 5
I really enjoy this camera. Although its appearance isnt the most spohisticated the photos it can produce make its appearance obselite. The photos are very dream like, almost everything has a hue over it, almost a fog, while maintaining great exposures and the amazing detail of a medium format camera. Although this isnt a Hassie or a Bronica, the Holga has a look and quality all its own. Plus its only $20.00!!
2/6/2006 7:58:23 AM
 
George Anderson 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/30/2006 12:38:15 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/30/2006 12:38:15 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/30/2006 12:38:15 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/30/2006 12:38:15 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/30/2006 12:38:15 PM
Rating: 4 out of 5
Great camera, for experienced photographers who have a particular need for its unusual effects. I'm rating it strictly on that basis, not for mechanical or optical quality - as if!!

Definitely NOT a 'snapshot' camera' -if the user knows what he/she wants to achieve with it. Very cheaply made? Yes, incredibly so, but it's actually fairly reliable because of its extreme simplicity (forget the models with built-in flash and other complications to go wrong)

As to picture quality, its dirt-cheap, yet unusual plastic menicus lens can make for a striking, atmospheric result. I've won TWO photo contests with mine - can't say the same for my Leica, yet!

1/30/2006 12:38:15 PM
 
Thomas Cuellar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/12/2006
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/12/2006 5:15:31 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/12/2006 5:15:31 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/12/2006 5:15:31 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/12/2006 5:15:31 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/12/2006 5:15:31 AM
Rating: 4 out of 5
Fun to use (I own the 120CFN). Eyecatching photos almost always.
1/12/2006 5:15:31 AM
 
Kelli Breeton-Fairall 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 12/17/2005 2:04:12 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 12/17/2005 2:04:12 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 12/17/2005 2:04:12 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 12/17/2005 2:04:12 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 12/17/2005 2:04:12 PM
Rating: 4 out of 5
I fell in love with Holgas the minute I saw what they can produce. I've barely experimented with mine so far, but it's quite fun and yields surprising and sometimes really good results. The settings are limited but you can have a bit of leeway with exposure. Shutter release cable adapters are available for low-light photography. I recommend getting the 120N verson (hot shoe) and not the built in flash. Supposedly, the built-in flash can yield bad results. I think most external flash units will work on the Holga, but you have to be careful not to tip the camera back or it'll fall off. Non-flash settings, I think, are best for this camera. I haven't tried studio lighting, but natural lighting is great. This is a cheap way to get into medium format photography.
12/17/2005 2:04:12 PM
 
Erin Gillespie
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/15/2005
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 12:35:40 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 12:35:40 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 12:35:40 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 12:35:40 PM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 12:35:40 PM
Rating: 4 out of 5
This is a great camera for fine art. Each one is different, creating unique, vignetted, medium format images. the vignette and softer focus create dreamlike images. Not to mention you get an extremely lightweight medium format camera!
11/15/2005 12:35:40 PM
 
Janice M. Baer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/15/2005
3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 5:37:47 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 5:37:47 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 5:37:47 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 5:37:47 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/15/2005 5:37:47 AM
Rating: 3 out of 5
Fun camera. No stress. Just point and shoot but don't bother looking through the view finder. Often has light leaks even when taped. They can create an interesting look or be annoying. Its a crap shoot.
11/15/2005 5:37:47 AM
 
Jean Pierre Candelier 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/27/2005 11:29:38 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/27/2005 11:29:38 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/27/2005 11:29:38 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/27/2005 11:29:38 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/27/2005 11:29:38 AM
Rating: 3 out of 5
Fun to use. Very creative results. Expensive to process and very unpredictable.
9/27/2005 11:29:38 AM
 
James P. Hildebrandt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/29/2001
4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/7/2005 2:48:47 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/7/2005 2:48:47 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/7/2005 2:48:47 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/7/2005 2:48:47 AM 4 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 9/7/2005 2:48:47 AM
Rating: 4 out of 5
Wow, $24.95 + shipping and I have a medium format camera. One word can sum up this camera "Craptacular", it is very cheaply made but can produce some great shots. Definitely worth buying, for the price you can't go wrong. When using the full 6x6 frame you can achieve some great vignette effects (I hear if you use a flash it brings it out even more). Check them out at www.holgamods.com , the guy there imports them from China, fixes some bugs in them and makes them more usable then sells them for very little markup. Do you Holga?
9/7/2005 2:48:47 AM
 
Eleanor McKee 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/28/2005 2:49:24 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/28/2005 2:49:24 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/28/2005 2:49:24 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/28/2005 2:49:24 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/28/2005 2:49:24 PM
Rating: 5 out of 5
I love this camera! There's so many things to do and experiment with it! I need to buy a couple more so I can tweak them all differently. My experimental class in college introduced me to this beauty. Beware of light leaks though!!
8/28/2005 2:49:24 PM
 
Chad Coombs
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/6/2005
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/6/2005 7:11:08 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/6/2005 7:11:08 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/6/2005 7:11:08 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/6/2005 7:11:08 PM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 8/6/2005 7:11:08 PM
Rating: 5 out of 5
120 toy camera from russia
8/6/2005 7:11:08 PM
 
David M. Milstien
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/13/2005
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/26/2005 9:08:03 AM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/26/2005 9:08:03 AM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/26/2005 9:08:03 AM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/26/2005 9:08:03 AM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/26/2005 9:08:03 AM
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
An incredibly fun and creative camera. I totally recomend a Holga to anyone who wants to take pictures. It's like christmas morning every time you get your photos back. You never know what you're going to get
6/26/2005 9:08:03 AM
 
DAVID S. SCHWORM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/20/2005 7:27:11 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/20/2005 7:27:11 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/20/2005 7:27:11 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/20/2005 7:27:11 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/20/2005 7:27:11 AM
Rating: 3 out of 5
very interesting for a plastic camera. alot of fun to use.
3/20/2005 7:27:11 AM
 
Jeff B. Campbell 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/9/2005 4:20:21 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/9/2005 4:20:21 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/9/2005 4:20:21 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/9/2005 4:20:21 AM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/9/2005 4:20:21 AM
Rating: 3 out of 5
Excellent fun medium format camera. Total manual, one shutter speed, one aperature. Unpredictable exciting results. Great fun! Super inexpensive.
3/9/2005 4:20:21 AM
 
Tara L. Gullett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/10/2004 3:20:27 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/10/2004 3:20:27 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/10/2004 3:20:27 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/10/2004 3:20:27 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/10/2004 3:20:27 PM
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I don't think I've worked out all the kinks from mine yet. Require modifications.
11/10/2004 3:20:27 PM
 
Tessa H. Cox 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/18/2004 9:42:08 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/18/2004 9:42:08 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/18/2004 9:42:08 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/18/2004 9:42:08 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/18/2004 9:42:08 PM
Rating: 3 out of 5
Holgas are good for snapshots with snap. The end.
10/18/2004 9:42:08 PM
 
Sam Alexander 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/24/2004 7:19:39 AM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/24/2004 7:19:39 AM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/24/2004 7:19:39 AM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/24/2004 7:19:39 AM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 6/24/2004 7:19:39 AM
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Great fun!
6/24/2004 7:19:39 AM
 
Phillip M. Paulk 1.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/13/2004 6:24:22 PM 1.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/13/2004 6:24:22 PM 1.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/13/2004 6:24:22 PM 1.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/13/2004 6:24:22 PM 1.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/13/2004 6:24:22 PM
Rating: 1.5 out of 5
Very fun, inexspensive medium format. I'm told they have light leaks, however mine has not developed any. I've only shot about ten rolls through it. It was enough to encourage me to get a more controllable medium.
4/13/2004 6:24:22 PM
 
Alex Russell 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/8/2004 1:00:45 PM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/8/2004 1:00:45 PM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/8/2004 1:00:45 PM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/8/2004 1:00:45 PM 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 4/8/2004 1:00:45 PM
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
This camera, famous for it's light leaks, funky color shifts, and out-of-focus shots, is a really neat toy. It takes the technical aspect away, leaving the photographer to concentrate on composition.
4/8/2004 1:00:45 PM
 
Ann Texter 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/16/2004 8:55:58 AM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/16/2004 8:55:58 AM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/16/2004 8:55:58 AM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/16/2004 8:55:58 AM 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 3/16/2004 8:55:58 AM
Rating: 5 out of 5
3/16/2004 8:55:58 AM
 
Kelly P. Bevando 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/21/2004 2:31:06 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/21/2004 2:31:06 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/21/2004 2:31:06 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/21/2004 2:31:06 PM 3 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/21/2004 2:31:06 PM
Rating: 3 out of 5
This camera is a wonderful camera that takes pictures with a unique look. There are only 2 apertures: Sunny and Cloudy. There is only 1 Shutter speed: 1/100th sec. There is 4 focal planes: 1 person, 3 people, 7 people, mountain. So, as you can see, the settings are a little bit limiting, but for the price, it is a great camera for photographers who want to break free from all the rules and just have some fun with shooting. Every picture I get back has a dark vignette around the edges. Every Holga has it's own light leaks. Some people tape them all up, but I prefer to just keep mine in the bag and let the leaks be part of the fun.
2/21/2004 2:31:06 PM
 
Katie Clark 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/18/2004 5:48:56 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/18/2004 5:48:56 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/18/2004 5:48:56 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/18/2004 5:48:56 PM 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 2/18/2004 5:48:56 PM
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
I love the distorted looks you get from the camera. If photos actually come out, it is a great surprise, however, that can be that bad part too, that you usually get more bad than good. And it is not an slr
2/18/2004 5:48:56 PM
 
Doug Schmidt 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/29/2004 4:49:23 PM 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/29/2004 4:49:23 PM 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/29/2004 4:49:23 PM 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/29/2004 4:49:23 PM 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 1/29/2004 4:49:23 PM
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
I also have the Polaroid Back for this camera that take 88,89,84, etc polaroid peel apart film. Shots come out ok, its an artistic cult form, but very contagious and addicting.
1/29/2004 4:49:23 PM
 
Patrick Govaerts 1 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/12/2003 8:13:53 AM 1 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/12/2003 8:13:53 AM 1 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/12/2003 8:13:53 AM 1 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/12/2003 8:13:53 AM 1 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 11/12/2003 8:13:53 AM
Rating: 1 out of 5
A Holga is a very basic plastic toy camera. The images it makes are full of flaws, but that is the charm of it. Turning its weaknesses into a style element is very much part of the creative process when using this camera. Fortunately, I own "serious" cameras too....:-)
11/12/2003 8:13:53 AM
 
Bill Blevins 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/31/2003 3:11:01 AM 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/31/2003 3:11:01 AM 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/31/2003 3:11:01 AM 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/31/2003 3:11:01 AM 2.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Cameras 10/31/2003 3:11:01 AM
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
A FUN TOY - A Holga is a replica of a 1940's - all plastic - toy camera that sold in 5 and dime stores as a toy for about $2. Today you can purchase this medium format camera on the Web at specialty camera stores for under $20. It shoots 120mm film and it claims to have settings to adjust focus as well as two settings for exposure - sunny and cloudy.
10/31/2003 3:11:01 AM
 

32 Reviews