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Holga 120 PC Pinhole Camera

Any photographer worth his or her salt knows that you do not need a specific camera to create inspiring images. So you may ask, "why bother with a review?" The truth is that we are all at different starting points of experimenting with pinhole. The Holga 120 PC pinhole camera is an excellent introduction to both pinhole photography and shooting with medium format film. Holga 120 PC
120mm film
Holga 120 PC
The camera is black plastic and features a viewing window. The camera operation is extremely simple. The simple shutter release can be pressed numerous times before you advance the film manually to the next exposure. For long exposures, you will need to keep the shutter release depressed the entire time which may introduce camera shake and unwanted movement in your image. There is no focus required and no aperture to select. The fixed f/192 aperture renders a sharp image while combined with a solid tripod and fast film speed. A tripod socket on the bottom of the camera is convenient for attaching a support device.

Copyright © 2009 Brian J. Krummel
Earth Slide. 2009
an overcast day at the farm required a 20 second exposure on ilford pan F+ 50 black and white film. The long exposure was hand-held and resulted in blur. A faster film such as ISO 400 would have been more suitable for the lighting conditions. Film was processed in Agfa Rodinal at a 1:25 dilution for six minutes.
The interior features two masks: 6 x 6 square images (yielding 12 images per roll) or 6 x 4.5 vertical images (yielding 16 images per roll). The user manual recommends ISO 100 or ISO 400 film. I would recommend a fast film speed such as ISO 400 for your images. In the box, you will find: an instruction manual, camera strap, lens cap, and two interior masks. To get started, buy a few rolls of 400 speed film.
For a beginner, you really cannot go wrong with the less than $40 price tag. It will give you a good introduction to the field of pinhole. The convenience of shooting medium format film will yield larger-sized negatives. The main drawback that I found was the lack of a shutter lock or cable release socket. If you are a more of a do-it-yourself photographer, simply buy the lensed version of the Holga and convert it into a pinhole camera by following the step-by-step directions in Chapter 9 of the book.

Products used in this review: Holga 120 PC camera, Ilford Pan F+ 50 film, and Agfa Rodinal developer. For comparable medium format shooters, check out the Diana+ or the Zero Image 69.
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