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About the Holga 135:

The 135 was released in 2007. What makes this camera unique is it's built-in ability to shoot 35mm film. Holgas traditionally shoot 120 film.

I got mine from freestylephoto.biz for $42.99.

The Holga 35mm flickr group.
These were my first shots ever with a Holga 135. This was part of a photo project called "The $50 camera." The Epic Edits Weblog challenged photographers to buy a film camera for under $50 and shoot an entire roll of film and post it online with a review of the camera. I never shot with a Holga before, so I figured this would be a great opportunity.

I wanted to shoot some night scenes with the Holga, so I figured I would figure out how long to keep the shutter open by first shooting with a Nikon D80 DSLR. I set the settings on the Nikon to match the Holga. 8 f-stop and 200 speed film. I shot first with the Nikon with bracketing set to +/-2 stops. That yields dramatic variance between shots--good for creating HDR photos.

I never intended to make a side-by-side comparison of these cameras, because they are just worlds apart. But since I have these pairings, it would be fun to see them side-by-side.

It's too bad the Holga shots didn't turn out well. Most of the blame (I think) goes to buying cheap 200-speed Walgreens-brand film. I should have gotten some nice 50 speed film. Also, I wasn't using a shutter release on the Holga, but the Nikon, I did.

Lessons learned:
  • The bulb setting is really nice to have. I was suprised that a toy camera would have this feature.
  • Even though I'm shooting the Holga with a tripod, it really needs a shutter release cord for longer exposures. I can get away without a shutter cord with the Nikon D80. However, the plastic body on the Holga really moves around alot when pressing and holding the shutter. My exposures were in the range of half a second to 8 seconds.
  • For long night exposures, use quality film under 100 ISO
  • Focusing is tricky with the Holga.
  • I was shocked at how the bracketing on the Holga was so diminutive compared to the Nikon. It might be the poor quality of the Walgreens film. But I think I could stand to make the bracketing more extreme when using the Holga.

Holga 135
f-stop 8
200 ISO Walgreens film
no shutter release

Nikon D80
f-stop 8
200 ISO, raw file
shutter release
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