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what's up everybody welcome to Dan

Bowman photography this week we're going

to be talking about the plastic

fantastic hoga 120s so many of you may

already know the back story about the

Holga and the whole cult movement sort

of or underground popularity of the

Holga camera in photography circles but

if you're not familiar just to give you

a little bit of a background the holder

1/20 is a totally plastic toy camera

it's a medium format camera shoots 120

film and it was manufactured in Hong

Kong up until actually early 2016

recently they discontinued manufacturing

of the Holga cameras and that was

something that was a real bummer for a

lot of people myself included but you

know there are a ton of these out in the

markets if you're looking to pick one up

you know don't worry about it being

discontinued there tons of them out

there so basically to give you an

overview of the camera like I said it's

a it's a toy camera and it is very

poorly built so I mean there's a wild

variance in the quality that you're

going to get from one holder camera to

the next or even one roll of film to the

next and it's a camera that allows you

very little control over aperture

shutter speed pretty much nothing no

control you get over that so why would

you want to shoot a camera like the

holdup you're going to get some very

interesting images and that's pretty

much the biggest reason to get one and

also it's it's just a lot of fun to

experiment with a camera that's very

unpredictable in terms of results and

quality and because you don't have

control over the exposure settings you

really learn to let go and just work on

things like cop

we're looking for interesting scenes

you're not spending time fiddling around

with the camera and that frees you up to

do some more interesting things so today

what I want to do is just give you a

basic overview of this camera show you

some of the pieces and controls controls

of the camera and then I'll show you

some of the example photos that I took

to give you a sense of what this camera

can do and why it might be something

worth picking up all right so we're

going to take a look at the Holga 120

and you know show you some of the basic

controls and features on here and they

are very basic because not very much

that you can control on this camera so

starting with the top of the camera

there is a hot shoe that you can put a

flash on and I will show you I'll

demonstrate that to you a little in a

little bit this right here is the frame

advance so it's a manual crank so you

have to watch through the hole on the

back of the camera to get a sense of

when you've advanced it to the next

frame now 120 film is usually numbered

on the back so that you can see through

this window to see what frame you're on

and when you've actually hit the next

frame you have to advance this manually

the shutter is right here on the side of

the camera next to the lens and one of

the cool things about the shutter and

the manual frame advance is that you can

do multiple exposures with this camera

there's nothing to block you from taking

multiple images on the same frame so if

you want to do some cool double exposure

photography this camera can do that

without any difficulty on the lens

itself there are several focusing

distances there's single person for

portrait multiple people for family

portrait I guess and then bigger group

and then mountain which is infinity now

the focal length of the lens is

60 millimeters and it says it has an f8

aperture and the way you adjust the

aperture there are two settings it's

kind of hard to see that is sunny and

then there's another one for cloudy or

rainy so if you are on a cloudy day or

there's a little bit lower light you

want to switch to the cloudy setting

otherwise keep it on sunny for just

outside shooting during a normal

settings now to load film into the

camera you have to pull these sort of

metal pins on the side and they have

these little latches here that you can

just take right off of the camera I

definitely advise keeping those in your

pocket because it's very it could be

very easy to lose them if you're not

paying attention so this just comes out

right off the back and you should have a

take-up spool in the camera when you buy

it I actually bought this when I bought

this camera off of ebay

it came with Alba take-up spool which

was very frustrating I had to go buy one

but you know that happens all right the

new Holga 120 just got this on ebay

let's take a look inside

um what there's no goddamn take-up spool

and basically you should put your

take-up spool on this side of the camera

it's a little janky because you can see

that well maybe you can't see in there

very well but there is notches on the

dial and you have to sort of get it in

there just right to set it up now this

actually has and I don't know if this

comes standard but this came on the one

that I have there are is a mask that you

can put on it if you want to shoot six

by four five centimeter frame otherwise

you can take this window off and you'll

get the standard

six-by-six medium-format frame all the

images I'm going to show you in this

video I shot with the mask on six by

four five I wanted to do six by six but

I forgot to take it out of the camera so

you'll have that I guess see what else

is there so you can see the viewfinder

is just a little window on the side I

wouldn't exactly call this a rangefinder

because you don't really focus or

anything through the viewfinder it's

literally just a hole through the camera

and you can see the viewing on the front

you can just see it's literally just a

hole through the camera that so you're

not going to get exactly the framing


just by looking through the the

viewfinder there's really no way to do

it on this camera you just point it and

shoot a note for the best so I just

wanted to demonstrate to you using a

flash on the top of your Holga 1:20

camera now you can see can't really get

it all in the frame but there is my

young newest speed light right on top of

the Holga camera and when I press the

shutter it fires off the flash now one

of the things I've noticed is because

the camera is totally plastic this speed

light really counterbalances the whole

the whole thing and it's much heavier

than the camera so it's actually kind of

hard to balance a speed light on top of

a Holga so it's not something I would

necessarily recommend unless you really

needed a flash on therefore for whatever

reason maybe you're shooting at night or

something also one of the things to note

is you really want to make sure you lock

this down very tightly the hotshoe is

not me it's a standard hot shoe but

obviously the construction isn't the

best so this my speed light I noticed

was a little loose when I was trying to

put it on here the first couple of times

and I really had to lock it down really

tight to make sure that that contact

stayed close because it was literally

just firing off my flash over and over

again because the contact was jiggling

on top of the camera which is not


have all right so now I'm going to show

you how to load some film into your hoga

120 camera now I have some Loma chrome

XR 100 to 400 purple film this is a fake

color infrared film and you'll be seeing

some more of this when I show you my

video from the photos I took at the

Boston Marathon where I was using this

film so first obviously gonna want to

open up your film pack and your plastic

or whatever the hell you want to call it

alright so like I said earlier to open

up the back of the camera you take these

pins off of the side and maybe want to

put them in your pockets that I just

tossing them down and take our film and

let's say we're just going to peel this

off to reveal the backing paper and of

course it's black bagging papers it's

kind of hard to see but we're just going

to load this up into the camera there we

go I'm going to pull this across your

frame and again not super easy to see

but there's a notch

see if I can get this in better light

there's a notch in the take-up spool and

you want to put this piece of paper up

into the notch like so and then you're

just going to and I would recommend

holding the paper onto the take-up spool

that you're just going to turn the crank

and keep your paper going and I would go

until these start lines are in the

middle and what we're going to do is

take the back and just put it back onto

the camera which is easier said than

done because this is kind of janky so

once you got that tight on your camera

don't take these janky pins and just

slide them right back on now there's a

notch right here on the pin and it

should sort of overlap with the notch on

the side of the camera this will hold it

in place kind of like I said this isn't

the best constructive camera in the

world but that's not why we get it

anyway so put those on there those will

be fairly secure no it's kind of hard to

see but there are two numbers here on

the side near the frame window you have

16 and you have 12 now whichever number

the slider is pointing to is how many

frames you will get on your roll of film

so we have it set to 12 so we're going

to get 12 shots full frame right on the

film and that's standard for a 120

millimeter so yeah that's pretty much

all it is you take you know you take it

in you load it you press the shutter

advance the film crank until you see the

the next number frame come through the

window and you're ready to go

and you'll be shooting with your local



so is the Holga 120 a camera that you

are interested in buying and what would

I recommend the hang for it

I wouldn't recommend paying more than

$30 for this camera I bought mine on

eBay including shipping $30 and you know

I think that's a pretty fair price for


now you can probably find a little bit

of a better deal if you're shopping

around for them but the prices did

skyrocket a little bit not really

skyrocketed but they did go up since the

company that manufactures these

discontinued them so people are looking

to pay a little bit more for them now

but I was i bought mine after the

announcement like right after the

announcement and I was still able to get

one for about 30 bucks and I think

that's the going rate for them some

people want to charge more because they

kind of become like a collectible piece

or you know something along those lines

but again this is a plastic camera

you're not going to get great images out

of it it's just something fun to play

around with more than anything so you

know you can put a value on that

if you want alright so let me know down

in the comments what you think about the

over 120 I'm interested to hear what

other people are thinking with this

camera if you've shot with it before or

if you're planning on going to pick

you know let me know what you think if

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