My Holga 120N February 13, 2008

Filed under: Photography — saifulrizan @ 4:13 am

Still remember sometimes ago I asked you to guess what’s in the box?


Here it is.




It’s Holga 120N. I bought it from a guy in Hong Kong thru eBay. It costs me around RM 100 plus (including delivery charges). It took about a week or two before it arrives in the mailbox.





It’s a plastic camera. This camera can accommodate all 120 format films. The use of exposure speed ASA (ISO if we’re talking about digital camera) 100 films on sunny days and ASA 400 on cloudy days or indoor occasions is recommended.






The Holga 120N is a standard camera without built-in flash. So does 120GN. Those with built in flash are 120FN and 120GFN. And for those with built-in flash and color filter function are 120CFN and 120GCFN. The 120N has a hot shoe for flash (which I’ll buy sometimes soon).




This is basically a fixed focus camera; however it offers four choices of object distances. There are four symbols on the Focus Ring (look closer), where you’ll see:


1. Symbol of 1 person             = 1m or 3.25 ft.

2. Symbol of Three persons    = 2m or 6.50 ft.

3. Symbol of Several persons  = 6m or 20.00 ft.

4. Symbol of mountains          = 10m or 33.00ft.


In between the Holga 120N logo and the focus ring, you can see the switch for aperture setting. There are two settings for 120N, that is Sunny ( f/11 for use on sunny days) and Cloudy (f/8 for use on cloudy days).




This camera operates manually. See the knob there (as if jog dial on digital camera) on the top left. It’s the Film Advance Knob. Meaning, after every shot, you have to turn the knob about 2/3 turns (you can hear a click sound when you do this). But if you decided to take multiple exposure images, you might want to take two sequential shots without turning the knob. So it will be like there’s one image on top of the other image in one frame.




The package comes standard with two Film Size Masks, one for 16 frames/exposures of 6 x 4.5 cm each per roll and the other 12 frames/exposures of 6 x 6 cm. So, when you decided to use the Frame Size Mask 16, slide the Frame Number Pointer on the back cover to point at the number of frames which matches of the Frame Size Mask used, revealing the appropriate Frame Counter Window at the same time.




This is how it looks inside. No battery required. Seriously I am back to basic. Need a break from digital world.




The simple mechanism there is the leaf shutter at the speed of 1/100sec. When you press the Shutter Release Button (or shutter button on digital camera), the image capture will be directly ‘carved’ to the film (the sensor in digital camera will capture the image once you press the shutter button).












Oh, this is the Shutter Release Button.




You have to press it down when taking pictures. I know I have to be very careful when pressing the shutter to avoid unnecessary moving motion when capturing an image. I have to give up coffee from now on.




Yea, it’s bigger than my Sony DSC H5. So, when you press the shutter release, it will open up the shutter to capture image. Look at the small round, that is where the lights will go to the film (I cannot explain more – remember, I am still a newbie in photography).




So, that’s a short story about my new toy. It’s plastic and comes with a fixed lens F8 60mm. I’m thinking about getting more accessories for this camera, but I will let the time speak for it. Besides, there are more that I needed to learn basically.


















Im sorry if I make you sleepy reading this post, but I am happy to own this piece of plastic, and know that it might help me getting more understanding about photography.


















Ok, stop.

















7 Responses to “My Holga 120N”

  1. Charles Says:

    Woowww…. dude, Great you having Lomo by our side now.. heheh.. but i’m afraid that you’ll be having trouble finding medium format in LABUAN.. heheheh. i can say “0” senang.. but not sure now… if any photoshop got.. woow labuan is getting more “pro” … 😛

    But anyway, last resort you can just use 35mm film.. normal film and easy to get. practice with negative film first then if you are ready give a shot with slide film… if everything goes well lahh… if not wasted only lohh.. and i can confirm that none of the photoshop in labuan selling slide film in a cheaper price.. but they do… i tell you i’m going back to labuan, stay there, and find myself a work.. heheheh. Everything completes me.. heheh..

    ohyaa.. you can just check out few photos taken using Holga with medium format and 35mm(slide and negative film) in my flickr.

    anyway enjoi with your new partner… 😛

    Cheers mate!

  2. Matt Says:

    Hi – To find film easily for this great camera, do an ebay search for 120 film. I buy up stocks of outdated film! You can all check out my holga work by visiting my website at or searching for me on Flickr. From Colorado’s Continental Divide, Matt Lit.

  3. saifulrizan Says:

    Charles : I agree with you. A short trip to all photo shops in Labuan didnt work very well with my mission on finding a 120 films.

    Anyway, I did some DIY mod to the camera, until I :
    a. Got the film adaptor for 135mm and the back cover for it.
    b. Buy a pack of 120 film from the guy I bought this holga from HK.

    P /s : If you’re considering to get a job in Labuan, be sure to secure it first. I mean, job opportunity in Labuan very sempit you know…

    Matt: Hi, Matt, Thanks for the suggestion. Yeah, Im planning to buy a stock for it. 🙂

  4. ethel Says:

    Wow. I dunno anything about that camera as compared to the 2 other person who commented above. HAHAHAHA!

    But err.. the name “Holga” reminds me of “Helga”. Dunno why lar.. something wild’s going on my mind right now oledi.. :mrgreen:

    I love the body of your new camera. So unique! 😀

    Enjoy your latest treasure, Saiful!

  5. Ashley Perri Says:

    Hey I have the same camera, except mines a different color. Anyways I was told theres a pinhole function. I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s true. and if it is do you know of it and how to use it?

    thank you

  6. saifulrizan Says:

    Hi Ashley,

    Yes, there’s a pinhole Holga. It’s simply removing the lens, cover the hole and poke a needle in the centre to let lights to get in.

    You can buy a readily made in eBay or you can simply DIY it yourself.

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