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I’ve been itching to try something “new” for a while, and after weeks of searching I actually came right back around to the very beginning of things. I opted to buy a new medium format film camera. For those of you that may be unfamiliar with the term “medium format” I’ll tell you the biggest difference. A medium format camera uses a film that is about 4 times larger than the standard (35mm) stuff you find at walmart. This means (among other things) that you can make a much larger print from it.

Well, I went and bought a Holga 120N. This little thing is a cult phenomenon. It’s a very cheap camera (mine was about $30) and made entirely of plastic, that includes the lens which is also plastic. The Holga is also extremely unpredictable and no two are alike. They leak light, and have no real precision with regard to the shutter or aperture.


So, I bought one and a good amount of color and black/white film. I also made sure to ask for expired film just so I could make doubly sure that I would have no real clue as to what to expect.

Three Trees in Kansas taken with a Holga 120N by David Bickley

So I took about 24 snapshots in a number of different conditions to get a feel for how it would work.

Michael Miller in Kansas photographed with a Holga 120N by David Bickley

Overall, I’m pretty happy so far. The expired Ilford black and white film I bought produced extremely low contrast images. That particular result could have been better but, oh well. I’m going to fire a few color rolls tomorrow with a modification I made to the camera and see what happens.

Rain swept thrush in Kansas, shot with a Holga 120N by David Bickley

I’ll be sure to post “Day 2” as soon as I get the film back.