Infobox Camera
camera_model = Holga

manufacturer = Various
camera_type = Box camera
sensor_type = Film
sensor_size = 56 mm × 56 mm
recording_medium = 120 film
lens_system = 60 mm plastic meniscus
focus_type = Manual zone (four settings) [http://shop.lomography.com/holga/specifications/ Holga / Specifications ] ]
shutter_speeds = 1/100" [http://www.apogeephoto.com/july2001/plastic_fantastic.shtml Plastic Fantastic] ", Apogee Photo Magazine] or 1/125, Bulb
f_numbers = f/|8.0, f/|11.0
The Holga is an inexpensive, medium format 120 film toy camera, made in China, appreciated for its low-fidelity aesthetic.

The Holga's cheap construction and simple lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera's quality problems have become a virtue among some photographers, with Holga photos winning awards and competitions in art and news photography. [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/technology/circuits/08schiesel.html Which Camera Does This Pro Use? It Depends on the Shot - New York Times ] ]


The Holga camera was designed by T. M. Lee, and first appeared in 1982. [Bates, Michelle, "Plastic Cameras: Toying With Creativity", New York: Focal Press (2006), ISBN: 9780240808406] [http://scissorxarm.blogspot.com/2008/04/history-of-holga.html : History of Holga ] ] At the time, 120 rollfilm in black-and-white was the most widely available film in mainland China. The Holga was intended to provide an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese in order to record family portraits and events. [ [http://shop.lomography.com/holga/history/ Holga / History ] , lomography.com] After the cameras began to be distributed in the West, some photographers took to using the Holga for its surrealistic, impressionistic scenes for landscape, still life, portrait, and especially, street photography. In this respect, the Holga became the successor to the Diana and other 'toy' cameras previously used in such work. A Holga photograph by David Burnett of former vice-president Al Gore during a campaign appearance earned a top prize in a 2001 White House News Photographers' Association "Eyes of History" award ceremony.


*Holga 120S - The original Holga. Fixed shutter speed, adjustable focus, plastic lens, ineffective adjustable f-stop switch, hot shoe, and 6x4.5 film mask. Although now out of production, the 'WOCA' is actually identical but with glass lens.
*Holga 120N - Updated version with the same plastic lens, tripod mount, bulb exposure mode, an easier-to-move film counter window switch, and an additional 6x6 film mask.

* Holga 120SF - A standard Holga 120S, with a flash.
* Holga 120FN - A Holga 120N with a flash.
* Holga 120CFN - A Holga 120FN with a color flash.
* Holga 120GN - A Holga 120N with a glass lens.
* Holga 120GFN - A Holga 120FN with a glass lens.
* Holga 120GCFN - A Holga 120CFN with a glass lens.

* 35mm Holgas:

* Holga 135 - A Holga with 35mm film
* Holga 135BC - A Holga already made for 35mm film, plastic lens and the same lens mount of the holgas 120 but with 45mm lens.
* Holga 135PC - The pinhole version of the Holga 135 BC.
* Holga 135AFX - 38 mm f/3.8 lens with infrared autofocus, automatic film load, built-in pop-up flash and interlock shutter release.
* Holga K202 - Meow Kitty camera in the shape of a cat face with blinking lights


Most Holga cameras use a single-piece plastic meniscus lens with a focal length of 60 millimeters and can focus from about 1 meter/yard to infinity. There is an aperture switch on the camera with two settings: "sunny" and "cloudy". Due to a manufacturing oversight in early production cameras, this switch had no effect, giving the Holga only one true aperture of around f/|13 - although these cameras are easily modified to provide two usable apertures. [ [http://jsurp.tripod.com/holgaman/id2.html] ] both this restriction and the 6×4.5 film mask as well, finding the resultant vignetting a desirable effect. Later Holgas were shipped without this film size restriction (Holgas can even be modified to use 35mm film.).

Modifications and variants

Holga cameras are often modified:
* A Holga's interior can be "flocked" — coated with matte black paint — in order to limit the effect of light bouncing off the plastic interior from light leaks. [ [http://www.holgamods.com/mods/mods.html mods ] ]
* The Holga's aperture switch can be modified to provide a large ('cloudy') and small ('sunny') aperture. [ [http://squarefrog.co.uk/holga/index.php?id=aperturemod Holga Hacks: Aperture Mod ] ]
* The lens, and sometimes the entire shutter assembly, can be replaced with a pinhole (the "Pinholga"). [ [http://www.holgamods.com holga ] ]
* The plastic lens can be replaced with a glass version (the "Woca").
*Newer models of the camera come with multiple optional frame inserts (4.5 × 6 cm and 6 × 6 cm). Shooting without an insert can lead to problems keeping the 120 size film flat against the film plane.

Some modifications permit the use of other film formats:
* Holga cameras may be fitted with a Polaroid back, allowing use of Polaroid 80 series instant film, or with newer models, 100 series film (but the image is not centered). This modification, sometimes termed a "Holgaroid" or "Polga", renders the viewfinder unusable, but allows for instant Holga prints.
* By sandwiching a normal 35mm roll of film into the Holga's 120 spool, "sprocket hole" exposures may be taken that expose the entire surface of 135 film. [ [http://photondetector.com/tools_ref/135-advance/ Photon Detector: Tools & Reference: 35mm Film in Holga, Diana, Agfa Isoly, and Zero Image Film Advance Guide for Sprocket Hole Photography ] ] [ [http://www.holgamods.com/faq/faq.html faq ] ]
*Cameras such as the Hasselblad have been modified to make use of a Holga lens. [ [http://www.holgamods.com/new/new.html new ] ]
*Holga plastic lenses have also been adapted to the Canon EOS, the Nikon f-mount, Pentax, Sony, Olympus and Minolta. An f-mount, 'melted' plastic Holga lens has been used on a digital f-mount camera while the EOS Holga has been mounted to the latest Canon DSLRs. Adapted lenses are also commercially available. [http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00NG77] [ [http://www.howcast.com/guides/1504-How-To-Make-Your-Holga-Lens-Mountable-To-Your-SLR-Camera-EOSNikonSony-ETC Howcast - How To Make Your Holga Lens Mountable To Your SLR Camera (EOS,Nikon,Sony, ETC.) ] ] [ [http://www.holgamods.com/ holga ] ]


ee also

*The Diana camera (and clones), the Holga predecessor 'toy' camera of the 1960s
* List of photographic equipment makers

External links

* [http://www.jlh-photo.com/holga/ The Holga FAQ] by Joseph L Harris
* [http://www.lomography.com/holga Holga at Lomography]
*Williamson, Paul. " [http://www.squarefrog.co.uk/ Life through a plastic lens] " Squarefrog Holga Site.
* [http://www.lensculture.com/mbates.html Holga gallery and audio interview with Michelle Bates, author of "Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity".]
* [http://www.holganizer.com holganizer.com] Holganizer - Faking a Holga (online or with Photoshop)
* [http://psp.olympe-network.com/gallery/#album=20&photo=581 Holga shots]
* [http://davescaringe.com/gallery/medium Dave Scaringe Photography]
* [http://www.picturenoise.com/holgapage.html Holga Picture Gallery]
* [http://www.goholga.com Holga Hacks and Modifications]

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