The Holga 120 series is a toy camera made of plastic that uses 120 medium format film in either 6 x 4.5cm or 6 x 6cm. In the realm of medium format photography, the Holga 120 is one of the most simplistic and inexpensive options available. It is known for creating a circular vignette around the exposed image as well as light leaks that can dramatically affect the final image. To try and help cover any potential light leaks, black electrical tape can be used along the back of the camera. However, even with its cheap plastic design and flaws, it has amassed a significant following among film photographers.
The current default model, Holga 120N, is a near replica of the original Holga 120S but with some improved modifications. It has a fixed, 60mm plastic lens, and the only focus available are four symbols that represent portrait images to landscape images. The Holga 120N only offers one shutter speed, approximately 1/100 seconds, and a Bulb setting for prolonged exposures. The aperture is limited to two settings – “sunny” and “cloudy” – that are approximately f8 and f11. As a result of these minimal functions, first time Holga 120N users may want to photograph in well-lit conditions and become familiar with the camera, its limitations, and the results it can provide. The Holga 120N also features the standard 1/4” x 20 tripod mount and a hot shoe flash sync.
The Holga 120 series is also available in the following models, which offer the same standard features as the 120N with some modification:
Holga 120GN – Has a glass lens instead of a plastic one for slightly sharper images.
Holga 120FN – Offers a built-in flash.
Holga 120GFN – Contains both a glass lens and a built-in flash.
Holga 120CFN – Offers a built-in color flash.
Holga 120GCFN – Has a glass lens and built-in color flash.
Photographic communities have also created additional modifications of the Holga 120 cameras, which has produced accessories such as 35mm film adapters, cable releases, and even a Holga twin-lens reflex camera.