In praise of the humble Holga

Holga 120FN

There are two extreme factions out there: one obsessed with megapixels and dynamic range and super duper sharp gimongous lenses, one that answers to all that with a loud “meh” and does’t give a damn.

Broadly speaking, exponents of the first faction will be shooting, depending on their level of income, gigapixel panoramas and the last and greatest in terms of digital cameras equipped with humongous lenses for thousands of dollars of value; the others will be shooting a 15$ plastic fantastic toy camera with some film in it: yes, I’m talking about the mighty (and recently resurrected!) Holga.
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Paper-backing-melting-hot! Or: how I almost melted a Shanghai GP 100 film



When I say that where I live the weather this time of the year is hot, I don’t think many people get it, not really.

So here is an example, fresh out of the developer. It’s a frame from a roll of Shanghai GP 100 black and white film, in 120 format.

I’ve shot this film for years in Hasselblad, Rollei or Holga cameras, not just because is cheap but more importantly because souped in Rodinal 1+200 semi-stand for 1 hour gives, in my opinion, beautiful tonalities.

But I’ve never experienced, not once, what happened today.

I shot this particular roll in a Holga, and the weather even in the mountains was super hot and muggy. The shirt between my back and the backpack was soaking wet, and the sun, when it was out and not covered from the clouds, was unbearably hot.

I came home, developed the film, and – surprise! – the ink of the paper backing had melted onto the film. Yep, you read it right: it had MELTED onto the film.

Now, I kinda dig this unplanned “impressionistic” look for some of the shots, especially considering these were by an Holga anyway. However, no more 120 film shots for me until this heatwave is over, or at the very least I’ll be more weary of keeping the camera in the shade at all times…


How good are 16Mp? Olympus OM-D E-M10 + kit zoom 14-42 II vs Fuji GS645 + Fujichrome Velvia 50 Iso


We’ve been spoiled by cameras like the A7r or the D800. It’s not anymore a matter of “good enough”. But once in a while we should try to remember from were we came, taking a reality check.
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