Holga 120N

The Holga Magic. Why would anyone want a Holga I asked? Just about the cheapest low quality camera it seems possible to make or buy! Logic couldn’t answer the question as to why so many people like Holgas and why they have a cult-like following. Even many serious photographers with countless expensive cameras to choose from also have a Holga on the shelf. So in the end I had to put down my own $39.99 and buy one for myself and see if I could find the magic! Holga has certainly defied the odds, first sold in 1982 in Hong Kong it was “designed” by Mr. Lee Ting-mo for the Asian working class, originally there were no plans to sell them outside of Asia. A cheap entry level no frills (no options) camera using 120 film which was more commonly available in Asia at that time. All plastic, even the basic meniscus lens. Replete with poorly fitting often failing parts, spontaneous camera back openings, not to mention the copious light leaks! Apparently there are so many random flaws that users fondly say no 2 Holgas are the same. How did it even last a year let alone be coming up on it’s 40th Anniversary!! In fact they were made until 2015 when Tokina the parent company closed the factory & the original production stopped long past what logic would have dictated in this digital age. But not even that could kill off the Holga & by 2017 they were being made again this time by another Chinese company who somehow found the old molds that had been reported destroyed and put them back into production. So along with the camera I’ve purchased 5 rolls of 120 Foma Holga 400 (It’s actually Foma Action 400) and now I’m off to see if I can capture a little piece of that elusive “Holga Magic”!

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